How to actually succeed on a dating app
Gone are the days when you had to lie about meeting your significant other through a dating app. As smartphones have transformed the way we look for love, swiping left and right to choose a potential partner has gradually become the new normal. But with so many people searching for a soulmate on these apps and sites, how can you stand out from the crowd? These expert tips, inspired by advice from the app-creators themselves, will improve your chances of matching with the right person.
Choose your photos wisely
First impreions matter, and nothing makes a better dating-profile impreion than a great photo. As you set up your profile, take your time choosing shots that show off your looks and hint at your personality.
At the very least, you need a couple establishing shots that potential matches can use to recognize you when you finally meet up in person. Look for at least one good close-up of your face and one more distant snap that shows a fuller view of your body. In these photos, your features should be clearly visible, so avoid images where sunglaes cover your face or you have completely different facial hair. In addition, don’t try to fool the viewer with old photos—stick to snaps dating from the past few years. You should choose your default photo from one of these shots.
In addition, you can include more than just two photos (although you don’t want to go overboard with too many). Once you’ve established what you look like, dig up some pictures of yourself cuddling a pet or participating in a hobby you enjoy. World travelers, this is the time to show off those vacation shots. Just make sure you’re in them—you don’t want long-distance shots where you can barely be seen, or random images where you don’t appear at all.
You can also include a photo of yourself hanging with friends, but be careful with these: If a potential date doesn’t even know which face in the frame belongs to you, they’re likely to move on pretty fast. Avoid blurry photos with too many faces, and don’t make a group shot your default image.
Finally, bear in mind that you might not make the best judge of your own face. When you’re choosing between pictures, ask one or two close friends for advice on the images that show you in the best light.
Work on your bio
A picture may be worth a thousand words, but the text of your profile is still important. According to Tinder exec Rosette Pambakian, men are 98 percent le likely to get a match if they leave their bios blank. Even if you’re the loveliest person in the world, a miing bio—or a terrible one—will not grab the attention of the matches you want.
Some apps give you room for a full-length autobiography, while others limit you to a line or two. No matter how much space you’re working with, you should start by thinking about what your personality is like and what unique traits make you different from other people. Also look at other profiles to see what types of descriptions pique your interest. Then invest some time and effort into describing yourself, your hobbies, and your goals. As with photos, getting a friend to look over what you’ve put together can flag any potential problems.
Unfortunately, we can’t give you a magic formula for a great bio. But we can point out some things to avoid: Generic openers, too much boasting, and attempts at awkward humor. You should also avoid making your profile run too long—viewers have short attention spans, so they probably won’t read your whole life story.
In addition, remember to follow the rule of “show don’t tell.” Instead of describing yourself with a long list of adjectives, Match recommends talking about what you do and which activities you enjoy. If you’re altruistic, talk about your volunteer work; if you’re an adrenaline junkie, mention your latest foray into sky-diving. Then potential suitors will be able to judge whether you’re “funny” or “adventurous” for themselves, rather than requiring that you spell it out explicitly.
Oh, and if you find yourself bouncing around an app for several months or years, remember to update your profile to keep it relevant. If your profile still references your 2014 road trip as if it’s recent history, other users will get the impreion that you’re not actually on the site very often.