I consider myself a dating expert. After nearly a decade of first dates, bad boyfriends (sorry, guys), and ample time spent on five different dating apps, I know a thing or two about the ins and outs of the pastime most 20-somethings love to hate.
In the last few years, of course, dating apps have become increasingly prevalent. The online dating industry rakes in nearly TWO BILLION dollars annually, and celebrities and Joe Shmoes alike are touting the successes of each new app that comes our way.
So, ladies, if it’s such a huge industry, why are YOU not seeing more success? You’ve got the apps, you’ve swiped right, and now… nothing. Today, I’ll tell you the four things your profile needs to stand out from the literal crowd — setting you up for more success than you’ve ever had before.
1. A variety of photos that don’t suck
Let me tell you, there are about a thousand ways you can choose the wrong photos to feature on your Bumble profile. Here’s a list of pictures you should AVOID AT ALL COSTS:
- Group #girlgang photos in which you are clearly the least attractive friend
- Group #girlgang photos in which you are clearly the most attractive friend
- Group #girlgang photos in which you are indiscernible from your like-mindedly attractive friends
- Group photos of any kind (Seriously, when you’re all the same gender – which one the hell are you!?)
- Photo in which you are holding a fish you just caught
- Photo in which you are holding a puppy you just borrowed
- Photo in which you are holding any animal that does not belong to you
- Photo in which you are holding any animal that is not alive (Why do I even have to say that?)
- Photo in which you are holding a child that does not belong to you
- Photo that has clearly been cropped to hide something about your body
- Photo that has clearly been cropped to hide someone alarming from your past
- Photo that has NOT been cropped and therefore showcases your smoking hot ex
- Photo that has NOT been cropped and therefore showcases a man who could be your brother, ex, cousin, or close friend
- Photos that feature you and any member of the opposite sex alone, just the two of you (no exceptions — too confusing)
- Gym selfies
- Car selfies
- Any photo in which your assets are more prevalent than your face (This goes for both genders — looking at you, man-in-tight-pants-with-the-cropped-out-face)
Seriously, here’s what you should go for: Pick 4-6 photos of you, either alone or in a group of people that are clearly not you (Two or more of a different gender than your own, preferably). Excellent examples: a sample headshot a friend took for you, a candid snapshot of you and your parents on vacation, a selfie you took in great lighting on a day when you were feeling good, that funny picture of you and your two guy cousins, and a picture of you and your puppy. This should not be nearly as hard as everyone makes it.
2. A witty (not funny) bio
Too many people try way too hard to be funny on their online dating profiles. I get it — you want something that’s going to stand out. But in pursuit of standing out, you could be ostracizing an entire group of people who might not get your humor. Instead of going for “funny,” pursue “witty.” It’ll show off how smart you are while simultaneously opening up doors for conversation.
Now, I’m not saying mine is perfect, but I do think mine accomplishes this pretty well. Mine says, “Writer by day, Stranger Things enthusiast by night.” Not only does this clue swipers in on my actual occupation (we’ll get to that more in #3), but it shows a quirky (yet relatable) thing that I love, invites further questioning (“So do you think Barb is still alive?”), and keeps it short and sweet. Do people need to know your MBTI type before they even know your last name? No. But is it nice to know a little more than where you went to school? Yes. My best friend’s bio used to say, “Avid flosser and Dr. Pepper enthusiast.” Witty, relatable, and good dental hygiene to boot. #CrushedIt
3. Updated information
Unfortunately, this facet of your profile is not super fun — but it is super important. Make sure you connect your profile to Facebook, but also make sure that the information on your Facebook is correct and up-to-date. This information includes your age, alma mater, graduation year, current job title, and current employer. Why is this important? I once matched and chatted with a super cute 24-year old… only to learn that he lied about his age and was actually only 18. Not the end of the world, but certainly a deal-breaker for me. Not so keen on sharing your employment status with the world? Consider briefly explaining why in your bio. The more legit you seem (and less like a catfishing Internet predator you appear), the more likely you are to create functional and lasting matches.
4. A go-to opening line
Finally, the best thing you can have at your disposal is confidence. As you probably already know, Bumble requires the woman to make the first move.* Because of this, you’ll want to have at least one or two opening lines prepared once those matches start rolling in. Can’t think of anything beyond “Hey, what’s up?”? Check out my list of tried-and-true favorites. But to create your own, think of things that would make YOU respond. Hey, if it would work on you, it’ll probably work on your soulmate too.
*In the case of women seeking women or men seeking men, either party is given the opportunity to initiate conversation.
All in all, the most important thing to remember on Bumble is to have fun. Don’t take yourself (or your matches) too seriously, and you’ll find yourself with some fun dates, some great stories to tell, and maybe even a real match. Set yourself up for success by creating the perfect profile that shows off who YOU really are, then let the matches roll in.