Depending on your history with dating apps, you may either love them or hate them. On the one hand, they’re an awesome way to connect with people you would probably never otherwise meet. However, if you’re frustrated with dating apps, either because you’re not getting any matches or because conversations with the ones you are getting end up fizzling out, dating apps can get real tired, real fast. How do some people meet the love of their life on their very first Bumble date, while others spend literal years just fruitlessly swiping? Before you rush to delete all your apps and proclaim an indefinite break from dating, try revising your dating app strategy. You’d be surprised at how small changes to your profile can make a big difference in your matching success.
The tough thing about connecting with someone through a screen is that you can’t really get a sense of their vibe. So much of chemistry is determined by how well you interact in person, on an actual date with a real, live human being. On dating apps, users have to make quick judgement calls based on a few photos and a short bio. No wonder it can feel impossible to meet that perfect person! If your profile doesn’t immediately catch people’s eye, you may lose out on potential connections that would have been great IRL.
What I’m trying to say here is that your profile matters, and it matters a lot. To get more promising matches, try revising your profile to reflect your most authentic personality. “Be specific about yourself,” says Michelle McSweeney, a linguist, and researcher who studies the way people communicate digitally. McSweeney tells Elite Daily that adding quirky details about yourself in your bio can be helpful. “It gives the person reading a much better picture of who you are,” she says. Lots of people like long walks on the beach and guacamole with margaritas — those things aren’t really what makes you you. Do you have a specific recipe you can’t get enough of? What about a favorite place to spend time outside?
McSweeney says these details help make you seem more real, not just an onscreen avatar. “Part of the profile is developing trust — at least enough to meet in person,” she notes. “These small details help establish trust by showing that you are a real person who does things in the real, physical world.” This practice is called “warranting,” and it helps ground you to others and make you more relatable.
Avoid using your profile to highlight all your biggest accomplishments. This might seem counterintuitive, but dating apps aren’t like Instagram — more curation is not necessarily better. “By presenting only the ‘best of’ reel, it shows prospective matches that you have a more exciting life than they can likely keep up with,” McSweeney says. “If the goal is a relationship, highlight the mundane things, too, because that’s what you’ll really be doing.” Don’t proclaim that you’re always out dancing if you’d rather spend your evenings with popcorn at the movies. If your dream first date is a trip to the art museum, include that detail. The only people you need to impress are the ones you might be compatible with, so don’t worry about listing out all your major achievements. Your unfiltered personality matters more.
Everyone is on apps for a slightly different reason, so it helps to state clearly what kind of relationship you’re looking for. “We should all be honest in our bios, and if that turns people away, it’s fewer people to sift through,” McSweeney says. This doesn’t mean you have to write, “I hope to meet someone with brown hair and a shoulder tattoo, get married in three years, and settle down with two children and a golden retriever.” More generally, what type of companionship would make you happy? “The key to this is to make it about activities rather than the type of person,” McSweeney explains. “So, if you love watching movies, you’re likely looking for someone to watch movies with you.”
You’re not looking for a specific type of person, but rather a person who is willing to do specific things with you. “It’s unlikely you will like someone strictly based on one dimension of their personality, and that’s what we’re saying when we say we’re looking for “X” type of person,” McSweeney says. “When we say we’re looking for someone to do “Y” with, we’re saying that we want someone who is multidimensional.” If you write in your bio that you’re looking for a hiking buddy, you’re opening the door for someone to message you about going hiking. You two share an interest, and now you also have a great first-date idea. It’s a win-win situation.
Don’t be afraid to make your profile a little different from the average Joe’s. “I’ve seen great bios where people talk about their love of punctuation, how they enjoy a specific episode of a show or some quirky thing they like to cook,” McSweeney says. “These details are rich and help people connect to you as the interesting and multidimensional person you are.” You’re much more nuanced than an online profile can show, but if you pique people’s interests, they’ll want to learn more about you. That’s the first step toward getting matches that translate to killer chemistry.
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