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Love ‘em or hate ‘em, but dating apps are the quickest way to find singles in your area. They aren’t the end all, be all, but they can be great tools. That is, provided you use them in the best way! Unbeknownst to you, you could be accidentally sabotaging your chance with your online dating bio(s) and not even know it. So let’s make sure you’ve got all your pistons firing so you present your best self online.
One of my favorite conversations went as follows: I see a call from a dude friend who lives around the corner from the restaurant I’m at, I answer the phone, “Q’doba.” “Sweet,” he answers and hangs up. I saw him a few minutes later. Convo was two words and one was superfluous. So while we may not value words as much, they are important if you want to attract quality!
The very first thing she’s going to see is how much time you put into your profile or bio. Even before she reads the words, she’s going to see how many there are. If your answers are all one or two words or you have the phrase, “just ask,” anywhere, to her, it says you don’t put much value on yourself or finding someone on the app or site. That might not be true! But that’s the image it presents. So take some time and really fill out most of the fields. It’ll be noticed.
Dating is supposed to be fun! I know, right? A lot of single people forget that. I know that it might NOT be sometimes, but we have to remember that it is supposed to be. And the first way to show that is with positivity and not negativity. I’m not saying that you have to be all sunshine and rainbows if that’s not your personality. You should avoid words like “not, no, hate, don’t, no-go.” If you don’t like spicy foods, that’s totally fine. But writing, “I much prefer milder cuisines,” sounds much better than, “I hate spicy foods!”
We all may have some baggage or issues from past relationships. It happens. What shouldn’t happen is to let those feelings take over and be front and center. Not only does it come across as someone still holding onto things from the past, it shows that you really haven’t the emotional maturity to move on and be a decent human being.
This actual terrible profile said, “If you don’t have a job or you’re a child and play video games all the time….see ya. If you have kids….that’s a no-no. If you’re giant and/or build like a man….get F***ed.” Wow. I know they say hurt people, hurt people, but this guy is on another level.
I know it’s hard to be creative and funny on every section of your dating profile, especially with generic prompts like favorite TV shows. The tendency is always to list things. “I like Euphoria, House of the Dragon, Black Mirror, Secret Invasion and Shadow and Bone.“ Lists are the most logical of things. It’s barely a sentence and there’s no emotion in it. So here’s a tip I want you to remember: Never List, Always Describe.
Instead of answering the question, “What music do you like,” with a list of bands and artists, focus on one in particular and expand on it. “Well, I like a lot of music but let me tell you about my favorite concert of all time.” That’s going to tell more about you than any list. To summarize:
Another reason to stay away from lists is the danger of accidentally hitting a disqualifier or dealbreaker. Maybe it’s smoking or a different religion or a hobby. When we are first checking someone out, you haven’t built any sort of foundation yet. You don’t know enough — or you may know nothing — about the person to counterbalance a bad impression.
For instance (exaggerating highly), you list 15 things under “hobbies & interests,” one of them being fishing. Unbeknownst to you, her last boyfriend had a tragic fishing accident in which they found him covered in eels, dressed in a fish “fursona.” She’s going to see that and you get a big “no” from her because she doesn’t know you yet. Of course, we won’t know all the possible minefields about a person, but the more you list, the greater the possibility that you’ll hit one.
When a woman is checking out your profile, you may have only seconds to catch her attention. And if you’ve caught it, can you keep it? The easiest way to get someone to notice you is visually. Humans are very visually oriented, so use that. Pictures hit that quickly. Statistically, women prefer a man smiling, looking away from the camera. Maybe looking into the camera comes off as too LinkedIn-y, I dunno.
My own thought is that it looks like you’re busily and happily engaged in an activity, and the first question people might have is, “What is he doing that is making him so happy?” And no selfies, mirror or otherwise!
It’s not just the things you talk about but how you talk about it, that can matter more. I call it “question bait.” This can be done in person as well as online. You say, “I am taking cooking classes right now at the local CC, as I’m still not allowed into my mom’s kitchen after the 2017 ‘Thai noodle incident.’” What immediately does she want to know about? The 2017 Thai noodle incident, yes! It gives her an easy and immediate thing to respond to. This can be done in the captions of photos too. “About 10 seconds after one of these photos was taken, I was hit in the face with a fish. Can you guess which one?”
I think one reason I was a successful dater is that I always told women the truth about what I wanted or was looking for. If that didn’t work for them, that’s fine! I want someone who wants to be there, not someone led in under false pretenses. And you know what? For the most part, people really appreciate honesty! If you are into casual, great! If you’re looking for poly or open, no prob! If you’re an asexual, on the spectrum, let’s go! Whatever you are, there is someone looking for that. The more we hide or disguise ourselves, the harder it will be for them to find us.
You can also have fun with it and be over the top. “Hi everyone, thanks for checking me out. If you’ve made it this far, I applaud you as these apps can suck our souls dry! Well, I don’t suck and I’m looking for other people that don’t suck to hang out with. Wait, that sounds wrong. I mean you can suck…. You know what, I’m just going to quit before I dig myself too big a hole. ….don’t mention holes, damnit!”
The main thing I suggest online, even if you’re not on a dating site, is to not be stagnant. I’m always tweaking something or adding something or updating my info. Life can be an “A/B test” where you’re always figuring out what aspects or facets of you people respond to best.
But the biggest thing is to look like you are, or are having, FUN! At the end of the day, people want to be happy, and if you look like someone they could be happy with, that first hurdle is already passed!