Let’s face it – one of the primary ways we are ‘meeting’ each other these days, is from behind our own respective screens. Sometimes this means through apps specifically designed for dating, and sometimes – it means someone sliding into those Instagram DM’s because your most recent picture was particularly flattering.
Whether it is a client reaching out to me for help on their online dating profile, or just my personal observations as I swipe myself, I can’t help but notice some small tweaks that could make a big difference in the quality (or quantity) of people you’re attracting. Here are three things I notice on a regular basis that can be easily fixed:
Your primary photo isn’t putting your best foot forward.
I was going to start off with a point about your bio (if you even have one), but the fact of the matter is that online dating – just like ‘regular’ dating – is heavily reliant on the visual aspect. How you look and present yourself absolutely matters. I know it’s taboo to say, but we really do judge people within 3 seconds of seeing them.
This means that your primary photo is literally the catalyst of people scrolling through the rest of your photos, or even looking at your bio at all. If you don’t catch their interest, you’ll lose them immediately.
- Have other people in the photo with you. (Which one ARE you?)
- Have someone of the opposite sex in the photo with you (Is that your brother? Sister? Cousin? Ex?)
- Have a photo that’s far away and shows more of the scenery than it does of you. (That sunset is great, but I need to be Squinty McSquinterson to see your face).
- Be smiling! Dating is hard enough as it is, we all need to be as approachable as possible.
- Crop the photo to frame your face kind of like a head-shot.
- Don’t overly edit or use a million filters. If the first impression you give is that you need to alter your appearance, you’re starting off way behind the curve on this.
Your bio is pushing people away.
That is, if you even have a bio. I can’t tell you how many women I come across (I imagine the same is true for men) who don’t have any bio whatsoever. I understand that perhaps you think you can succeed solely based off of your looks, but allow me to give you a little dose of reality:
There are a lot of good-looking people out there.
In fact, I believe one of the reasons why dating is such a nightmare for people these days is that we are focusing so much of our attention on appearance and image that we just assume that’s all we need. What’s going to set you apart?
- Talk about what you don’t want. If your bio reads like a list of side effects from a medication commercial, people will never get to the part where they learn anything about you.
- Mention exes or baggage from the past (we all have it and it’s nothing to be ashamed of, but your bio is meant to attract new people).
- Leave it completely blank!
- List fun things about your personality that make you unique. “Why you?”
- Mention what you’re looking for in a partner. Help men and women see themselves in your description.
- Make it sound like you actually want to be in a relationship. People want to be wanted!
You never actually talk to anyone.
One of the biggest complaints I hear about online dating is that it’s just an endless amount of swiping or matching without actually speaking to anyone. And, then, if you do start messaging back and forth – there is very rarely a time when you get together in real life.
I understand not everyone is looking for a relationship, or to date…but then, why are you on a dating app or website?
I’d encourage everyone to be more discerning about who they actually ‘swipe right’ on, because if you match with somebody you weren’t really interested in talking to (and therefore, never do), all it does is bring down the average enjoyment rate of the entire online dating concept and pulls people off of it because “it never really works out anyway.”
There are men and women out there looking for you – help them find you!