Love at first swipe: tips for dating apps
Compared to five or ten years ago, there are a million dating apps out there these days. From the classy UI of the “designed-to-be-deleted” dating app Hinge to the old-school swipe-and-search hookup app Tinder, the dating app boom has ballooned from a novel online phenomenon to a staple of modern romance.
As dating apps have become more ubiquitous, you might be thinking about giving them a try (or maybe you already have). However, despite the flashy marketing campaigns designed to support them, dating apps aren’t always as easy to find success with as their creators would like you to think.
For instance, which app, or apps, are right for you? What kinds of information should you share about yourself online? What shouldn’t you share? How do you turn an e-conversation into a real date? And how can you make sure that you’re attracting the kind of people you’re interested in, instead of those you’re not?
All of these considerations can make dating apps seem a little overwhelming. Still, you don’t have to worry: while there’s a lot of e-fish in the sea, we can help you catch one that meets your needs. In order to do that, let’s dive into the deep end to give you practical tips for dating apps — and, in doing so, help you hook your next great romance.
Tips for dating apps
Tips for dating apps fall into two categories. First, there are practical tips and tools, such as how to choose the right photos and write a good bio. The other tips are more high-level: they involve how to choose what app is right for you based on the experience you’re looking for, how to make dating fun, and how to make the most of your time online.
In this blog, we’re going to look at that first category: practical tips for dating apps.
Choose great photos
Our first tip on the list isn’t rocket science: if you’re going to join a dating app, it pays to have some nice photos of yourself to share. That doesn’t mean you need to go out and have a professional photoshoot done (in fact, having highly curated pictures might make you seem less real than candid pictures), but some flattering photography will go a long way toward intriguing your next date.
Try including the following: one closeup high-resolution picture of your face (preferably where you’re smiling!), one picture of you engaging in an activity you love, one picture of you with a friend or family member, and — if you’re feeling brave — a video of you doing something fun or engaging. Showing yourself in a variety of situations will help others get a good idea of who you are and what you like to do.
Here's some other photo advice for dating app best results:
- Choose photos that feature a multitude of colors for a vibrant profile that really “pops”.
- Don’t be afraid to include a classy black and white photo (just don’t overdo it).
- Make sure your true personality shines through in your photos — if you’re not a serious person, don’t post a catalogue of pictures where you’re not smiling!
- It’s a no-brainer, but don’t post grainy photos or “joke” pictures of yourself. If people want to see your meme collection, they can do it on the first date… not before you introduce yourself.
- Group photos are wonderful, but don’t make it hard for people to see you. Nobody wants to try and pick you out of a crowd!
Write the kind of bio you’d want to read
Everyone shows up to dating apps for their own reasons. Depending on what you’re looking for, it’s important to write the sort of bio you’d be interested in reading. Are you looking for a deep, lasting romance? Then it’s important to be your true self and put your best foot forward. Talk about your interests and what you’re passionate about, and you’ll find others who share your values will naturally gravitate toward you.
If you’re not taking things too seriously, try a funny or lighthearted bio. If you’re really just looking to hook up with people, you might not want to state that in a bio… but you also don’t want to waste peoples’ time, so try to make it clear what you’re after once you’ve matched with someone.
The point is, you get back what you put out into the universe. Don’t be silly if you’re not looking for something lowkey, and don’t wear your heart on your sleeve if you just want to go on some casual dates.
Other tips for bio writing include:
- Don’t write about what you DON’T want in a partner on your profile. While you might think typing “not a dog person” or “don’t talk to me if you smoke” will help vet bad matches, you’re actually taking up valuable bio space to talk about what you DO like instead. You want to appear inviting and intriguing — not overly judgmental! — so use that space wisely.
- Emojis are fine, but don’t go overboard. You want something of substance on your profile… so give people substance. Emojis are for texts, not biographies. ;-)
- Avoid one-liners. Most are cliché, and your dates have probably already seen them all.
- Keep it real. Let your personality shine through, and don’t be afraid to share your passions on your profile.
Actively date, and use speed and consistency to your advantage
We get it. Dating apps can be exhausting to deal with. But you’re not going to get anywhere if you don’t take the process of dating seriously. Time and time again, people report better experiences on dating apps if they consistently message others with regular frequency.
Why? Because when you don’t know someone, you don’t really owe them anything — so failing to text back leads to very few consequences. That goes both ways, which means your potential love interests aren’t going to wait around if you’re playing hard to get. By actively maintaining a conversation and moving toward an in-person date (we recommend asking for a real date three to five days into a text exchange that’s been going well), you’ll stand a far better chance of turning an e-romance into a real relationship.
Date with confidence
It might feel like a lot of work finding your twin flame on a dating app. But the truth is that dating apps, when used correctly, can be an amazing tool for connecting with someone you really enjoy.
If you need a little extra advice on how to navigate the dating world, we’re here to help. We’re journaling experts who provide real-time coaching to anyone who’s feeling stuck in love. You can drop us a line now and we’ll work together to discuss your dating profile… or, you can consult our follow-up blog for more practical tools to make your dating apps work for you, instead of against you.
Too much swiping? Check out our article on doing a digital detox.
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