After going live on a dating website or app, nothing is worse than being greeted with nothing but crickets. Getting responses isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be, either–at least, not if they are coming from the wrong people. What gives? How does anyone find a real romantic partner through internet dating? As noted by Bumble CEO Whitney Wolfe in numerous interviews, the people who get results put extensive effort into their profiles; the ones who are greeted with crickets don’t.
No, Great Photos Aren’t Enough
Like many people, you may be under the impression that the photos that you share on dating apps are far more important than anything that you could put in your bio. Nothing could be further from the truth. If you are looking for someone with whom you are compatible on more than just a superficial, skin-deep basis, you need to flesh out your profile with more than flesh.
Here are Some Tips
Whether you are just getting started with internet dating for the first time or have been at it for a while, no one is immune to dating profile problems. Luckily, experts like Whitney Wolfe have weighed in extensively on this, and their advice couldn’t be clearer: Optimize that dating profile already!
Some of the most tried-and-true ways to do so include:
- Know What Doesn’t Work – When it comes to online dating profiles, certain things should be avoided at all costs. Banish any duckface photos that you have, and certainly don’t share them here. Try not to share group photos because they cause more confusion than it’s worth. Make the majority of your photos candid shots as opposed to studio portraits–and keep selfies to a bare minimum.
- Get the Conversation Started – Everyone who engages in online dating complains about the lame, uninspired initial messages that they often receive. Sometimes, this is because people don’t even bother reading a profile. More often, however, it’s because the profile gives them nothing to go on. Include an interesting anecdote or two, or finish out the profile with a thought-provoking question.
- Don’t Go Negative – As much as people enjoy commiserating about the horrors of dating, but don’t use your bio or profile to do that. Self-deprecation is nice in some cases, but it should be used sparingly here too. When someone finishes reading your profile, they should feel good. They should come away thinking that you’d be a positive, enjoyable person to meet, so avoid negativity in your profile.
- Photos Alone Won’t Cut It – Sure, some dating apps give you very little room to explain yourself. Still, don’t take that as a sign that it’s fine to omit yours entirely. Photos alone won’t help you attract compatible people. Rather, you need to take advantage of as much of that available space as possible to really tell people who you are.
- Don’t Lie–or Even Exaggerate – Everyone has things that they feel less than great about. Perhaps you don’t have a college degree, or maybe you think you’re not photogenic enough. It can be tempting to lie, omit or exaggerate things on a dating profile, but that way lies misery. Whitney Wolfe and other online dating experts know best: Without being honest about yourself, finding a compatible person will be an uphill battle.
- Express Yourself – Don’t be afraid to let unique aspects of your personality shine through. Even if you think some of your quirks will turn off certain people, those are the people you wouldn’t be compatible with anyway. Connect your Instagram to your dating profile if possible, and find other ways to share who you truly are with your audience.
- Look at the Camera in Photos – Try to only share photos where you are squarely facing the camera. You may have a side that you like best, but posing with your face pointing away from the camera makes it tough for people to tell how you really look. It also may come across as being deceptive.
- Smile! – Even if you aren’t a smiley, happy person in real life, it’s crucial to share photos where you actually look pleasant and are smiling. If you aren’t smiling in most of your photos, people will feel like you don’t want to be approached. Then why are you on a dating site? At the very least, choose photos where you look happy.
- Avoid These No-Nos – Certain things should be kept off of dating profiles if you want to attract serious responses. These include photos where you’re making duckface as well as group photos, since it is difficult for people to tell which one is you. Candid photos are the best, and selfies should be avoided or used very sparingly.
- Show Your Friends – Get a few close, trusted friends to provide feedback on your profile. People often think that they’re coming across right when they actually aren’t. Put yourself out there and be open to a little constructive criticism.
Why should you heed the advice of someone like Whitney Wolfe? For one thing, the 27-year-old entrepreneur was a co-founder of the dating app sensation Tinder. She’s since moved on to much greener pastures with the development of Bumble, a dating app that’s been designed with women in mind. Unlike most sites and apps, men who match with women only proceed to the next step when women voluntarily contact them.
Because she played a key role in building Tinder’s initial user base and acted as VP of marketing for the company, Whitney Wolfe has a unique understanding not only of what works but of what doesn’t when it comes to online dating. A graduate of Southern Methodist University, where she majored in International Studies, Whitney Wolfe has been featured as one of Forbes Magazine’s 30 Under 30 for 2017, and she was named one of Elle’s Women in Tech in 2016. Under her direction, Bumble receives more than 10 billion swipes and generates more than 800 million matches every single month.
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