A show of hands: How many of us have created a dating profile, swiped away, and somehow found yourself years later still single and only having gone on a handful of dates? You’d be surprised how many people relate to that sentiment (including me!). While we can chalk up part of it to pandemic times, a disinterest in dating, and an unwavering ability to swipe with no abandon (leaving you with a ton of matches you don’t even remotely care to get to know), you might be missing out on dates just because your profile isn’t up to snuff.
If you’re ready to put yourself out there, go on dates, and finally meet the person of your dreams, it can take a little bit of effort up front—especially when it comes to your online dating profile. Here’s how you can up your dating app presence and get more matches that count:
1. Pick the right photos
A good dating profile really comes down to photos, but that doesn’t have to do with shallow ideas of what is and isn’t attractive either. It’s about showing your personality, your hobbies, and all-around you through a few images because, sadly, that’s the thing most people are going to look at first. As a rule of thumb, use this space to present your favorite photos of yourself, including the silly ones you take with your friends. Think of how much effort you put into looking cute on a first date—you’ll want to emulate that in your photos. Here are a few guidelines to help you pick the best photos:
Focus on the first photo
Make sure your first photo is the best photo of you, and it’s best to choose a close-up photo of your face with no other people. Don’t make someone scroll through to figure out which person you are out of your five best friends. Choose something that shows your face really well, ideally with good lighting.
Include a full-body photo
Your body isn’t something to hide, and only including photos from the neck up makes it seem like you’re uncomfortable with yourself. Make sure one of your photos shows your whole body, whether it’s you with friends or family, outside, your favorite outfit, or a mirror selfie.
Show off your interests
Your photos don’t need to be a bunch of glamour shots of you. Vary them by showing your hobbies and interests. If you love fashion, show off your cute outfits. If your favorite summer pastime is playing golf, add a photo of you doing that. If you love trying new restaurants, include a photo at your favorite spot in your town. Show potential matches what you love instead of just telling them.
Include your pets
Listen, you know your pets are cute, so why not show them to the world? Another great conversation starter, showing off how much you love your pets is a side of you the rest of your profile might not share.
2. Include your job and education
Regardless of how shiny and glamorous or seemingly boring your job and education might seem, it’s a great way to start a conversation. You’d be surprised how many people will strike up a conversation based on knowing something about your company, talking about your school’s sports team, or knowing someone in common.
3. Optimize your bio
Your bio is an essential place to talk about yourself, what you’re looking for, what you like, what you do, and why you’re on an app to begin with. You get to share your personality and be a little creative. Here are a few guidelines to get you started:
We get it, you like Beyoncé and The Office and working out and the most basic bar in your town. Don’t take up precious space in your bio talking about things everyone loves—talk about things that you’re passionate about and feel unique to you.
Don’t be too serious
Throughout your overall profile, have fun! Dating doesn’t have to be so regimented, so add your personality wherever you can, and your bio is the perfect place to do this.
4. Add your interests
Bumble gives you the option to add five “interests,” like your hobbies and social issues you care about. Make sure to fill this out, including a range of things you love. Don’t list off the five different workouts you love or put a bunch of things that are too similar. And if you have a social issue you really care about (environmentalism, Black Lives Matter, LBGTQ+ rights, just to name a few), make sure to include those too to attract like-minded people.
5. Connect your Spotify
Bumble and Tinder give you the option to connect your Spotify account to show off your favorite artists. If you use Spotify, utilize this feature! This is a no-brainer way to show another side of you. Plus, you don’t know the rush of someone responding with their favorite Taylor Swift era unprompted until you experience it.
6. Answer the prompts
If you’re on Hinge, Bumble, or OKCupid, make use of the prompts the app already sets up for you. These are a great and easy way to get to know someone before you swipe, and they make starting a conversation a lot easier. When possible, opt for the prompts that are a little more open-ended and allow the other person to easily respond, like “two truths and a lie,” “never have I ever” (always a perfect first date opportunity), and “first round is on me if…”
7. Add your COVID-19 vaccination status
On Hinge and several other apps (like OKCupid), this is coded into the bio with all of your other personal information. On Bumble, make sure to add this information to your bio. This is helpful for planning dates and gives you a heads up that the person you’re talking to is taking COVID-19 seriously.
8. Include lifestyle choices like drinking, smoking, etc.
If the app allows you to answer if you’re a drinker or smoker, don’t be afraid to put those answers on your profile. If you’re not a drinker, you might not want to meet someone who says they drink every single day, or vice versa. If smoking is a part of your life, you’ll want to make sure the people you talk to know that, so you know they won’t judge you or you’ll know if they do too. This will attract people with the same interests or values across the board.
9. Include your political views
If your political values are important to you and you want someone who aligns with those values, it’s important to include this up front. This makes sure you don’t waste your time with someone who disagrees with you, and it eliminates the need for a conversation about it later.