To flirt and survey prospective suitors, we no longer have to don our tightest jeans and meander our way outside to where people are—thanks to our smartphones, we can now flirt in the comfort of our pajamas during commercial breaks of The Bachelor with a glass of wine in hand. And with new dating apps like Sweatt, we can find someone who is just as into burpees as we are. What a time to be alive.
In all seriousness, putting fitness as a dating priority doesn’t mean you’re shallow or just after a six pack. Studies show that couples who sweat together have happier relationships. And if fitness dating apps help us find a partner in squats more easily than simple trolling the Equinox juice bar, what’s not to like?
For all its convenience, though, online dating comes with its own set of problems. Does a yoga or race pic come off as brag-y or impressive? And is it cool to admit your Versa Climber obsession in your bio, or should that wait until the second date? Analyzing your dating profile can suck up more time that attempting to calculate your 10K split times.
In a world of belfies and gym selfies, we need a true north. So we asked two dating experts and (for validation) an athletic guy to tell us what works and what doesn’t in making a fit girl dating profile. (Psst… Read up on these 4 Online Habits That Say He’s Not Boyfriend Material.)
“Less is more in an online dating profile,” says Andrea Syrtash, dating and relationship expert. “If you share too much, chances are it won’t be read. On the contrary, you don’t want to limit your answers to the length of a tweet. Find the happy medium between long description and one-liner.”
Regardless of word count, it’s important to be honest and provide enough material to start a conversation.
“Putting forth things that are important to you is the best way to find what’s best for you,” says Alexandra Chong, president at Badoo , a dating social network. “If you’re into healthy eating or a specific sport, it’s best to be really honest about that.” For example, if you were vegan and you’d be uncomfortable with dating someone who’s a meat eater, you might want to bring that up before an awkward dinner IRL. But if it doesn’t matter that much to you, don’t sweat it. “Chances are, it’ll come up in conversation pretty fast…especially if you’re sharing a meal!” says Syrtash. (Find out What He Really Thinks About Your Online Dating Profile.)
For John Levya, owner of Hoboken Fitness and dating app user, specificity is key, “I hate when women use general descriptions, such as ‘fit lifestyle’ or that interests include ‘fitness,’ yet all the pictures include drinking, eating pizza, etc.”
When creating your profile, share the things and experiences you’d want to share with your partner, Levya advises. If you spend six days a week at your local CrossFit box or don’t mind shelling out for a luxurious yoga retreat, acknowledge your passion in your write-up or with a pic. It’ll help narrow down your swipers to people who actually share your specific interests (because that CrossFit bro might not be down with downward dog).
Consider what a gym selfie is saying about you. “Personally, I think there are more dynamic ways to show that you are athletic. It is better to have a picture of yourself demonstrating the sport, rather than flexing the muscle you get from that sport,” says Chong.
Levya approves of the gym selfie, as long as it’s honest. “When it’s head photos only, I assume the worst,” says Levya. “Men are visual creatures and not being able to see the whole body can be misleading.”
Another thing about selfies: they’re easy. As online dating becomes more popular (usage has grown by 15 percent in the past 10 years, according to Pew Research Center), Chong says it’s more important to find creative ways to stand out. “It’s important to be clear about the type of attention you want. Showing a post-race picture or interesting yoga pose is a way to show who you are and differentiate yourself.” The more, the better.
Overall, Chong says to think of your profile an advertisment of yourself. “Your profile is a representation of how you want to be viewed, from the types of photos you share to what you say in your bio. Consider the kind of audience you are attracting with your advertisement.”