The idea behind Tinder, and pretty much any other online dating service or app, is that your odds are only as good as your sample size, but this convenience quickly becomes a liability. The options seem limitless; sure, you like this person but what if there’s someone better just a couple swipes away? Creating the perfect dating app profile becomes somewhat of a personal challenge—blending a delicate cocktail of physical attractiveness, interesting hobbies and just-quirky-enough biographical details—to attract as many potential matches as possible.
Personally, I’ve found scrolling through dating apps to be a lot like an IRL game show, where every new profile is a closed door and it’s anybody’s guess as to what’s behind each. Honestly, is there anything more anxiety-inducing than blindly deciding between an above-ground swimming pool and an all-expenses-paid trip to Bali? The answer is no, which is exactly why you need to make sure that your door screams Bali (or above-ground swimming pool, whichever is more on brand for you).
Here are five tips you can use to improve your dating app profile and secure more matches.
Don’t Use A Group Photo As Your First Photo
Why is this still a thing that people do? This is ineffective and misleading. I’m not trying to group-date you and your buddies, although I’m sure there’s an app for that. I need to know who you are and what you look like as soon as I come across your profile because otherwise I’m stuck at the bar looking out for you, or the guy on the left shotgunning a Bud Light, or the dude in the middle wearing the cowboy hat. We all know how this works: if your first photo is neither remotely distinguishable nor appealing, it’s an automatic left swipe. I won’t even give you the benefit of the doubt and scroll through the other photos. There are at least 67 (I’m assuming) other singles in my area with better foresight than you. In fact, I once saw a guy write in his bio, “This section is useless. Let’s just swipe right if we like each other’s faces.” And he wasn’t wrong. Come prepared to face-duel or don’t come at all.
Speaking Of Bios, Don’t Leave Yours Blank
I’m almost positive this is the kind of thing James Bond would do in a movie immediately before lining up a minimum of six dates in one night, but this is real life, you are not James Bond and, hopefully, your dates will have better luck than any of his ever do. That said, try to include some identifying details in your bio. What do you do for a living? What are your interests? I’m not saying you have to write the next great American novel here or anything, just enough to prove that you’re an actual human being with likes and dislikes.
Connect At Least One More Of Your Online Profiles
Unlike other dating apps, Tinder already pulls your Facebook interests, which is helpful if you’re an active Facebook user but detrimental if you haven’t updated your liked pages since middle school. Although becoming Snapchat friends with your Tinder matches can be overwhelming and even a little messy, including your Instagram or Spotify profile is an easy way to share a little more of your personality with potential matches. Let’s be honest, you were going to cyber stalk each other anyway so why not give the other person a head start. The truth is you can learn a lot about someone by scrolling through the photos they share online. Maybe you both went to Europe last summer or you frequent the same local bar. Or maybe they’ve been carefully documenting their two-year-long Pokémon Go journey online. These are things you need to know!
Delete Any Photos Of You And (Hopefully?) An Ex
Like the group photo, this can be easily misinterpreted. Who is this person you’re hugging so closely and why are you wearing color-coordinated outfits? Are you currently in a relationship? If so, WTF. Are you planning on abandoning this person in the near future for someone you meet on here? Ew. Or are you both looking for a third? Again, ew. The whole thing is just very confusing and no one on here is emotionally stable enough for any of this. Solo photos and clearly platonic group shots only please.
No. Dead. Animals.
I’m not about to debate the legality of this activity you seem to be so proud of with you but I really don’t want to ask you out to coffee either. The most common victims in these photos are fish and other aquatic creatures but I’ve seen worse and the verdict is this: it is absolutely not attractive. I don’t care what your high school science teacher told you about women’s natural desires for a partner who can provide for them. I live one quick Uber ride away from the nearest Trader Joe’s and that’s really all I need in life… that and puppies. Swap that photo of you and your catch for one of you and a LIVE puppy and you’ve got yourself a guaranteed right swipe.
Life is only as good as you make it and your dating app is only as good as your matches. Clean that profile up and get to swiping!