Dating has changed a lot since the outbreak of coronavirus, moving a lot more online than ever before. Psychologist Dr Amantha Imber explains how to increase your likelihood of finding success on dating apps through certain profile tweaks.
Single people have never been more reliant on online dating than they are now. Thanks to COVID-19, the days of walking into a crowded bar and easily meeting people seems like an eternity ago.
Wearing a mask and keeping 1.5m apart in potential meeting places doesn’t quite have the same appeal.
While creating an online dating profile that leads to more matches may seem like it just comes down to what you look like, there are several strategies you can use to boost your chances of finding a great partner.
Include at least three photos in your profile
According to Lucille McCart, the country lead for Bumble in Australia, users that have three to six photos get 93 percent more matches.
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McCart explained on the How To Date podcast, “If you’ve just got your two best photos on there, even if you look absolutely fantastic, you’re still not going to get as many matches because people are really looking to see a variation of different things.”
Selecting photos that show you doing things that you love is a great way to get variety.
Be deliberate with the photos you choose
In addition to having a range of photos, selecting the optimal ones matters a lot.
“Your first photo that your potential matches see should always be just you,” says McCart. No one wants to be playing Where’s Wally when the first photo is a group shot.
For your first photo, you should also select a photo where you are not wearing sunglasses. “Eyes are the window to the soul, so it’s really important that you can see them,” explains McCart.
Likewise, avoid photos that are blurry or heavily filtered – potential matches want to see who you are clearly and not be misled by images that don’t accurately represent who they are about to swipe right on.
Say what you do want, not what you don’t
According to McCart, people with a detailed bio get 32 percent more matches than people who don’t have one. The best performing bios are short and snappy, and ideally funny and positive.
“Definitely ones that lead with humour and ones that talk about what you’re looking for in a positive way [get more swipes],” says McCart.
While it can be tempting to write a shopping list of what you don’t want, McCart says this can be a turnoff. Instead, McCart recommends always leading with what you are looking for and being upfront about that.
“If you’re looking for a relationship, be open about it. ‘I’m looking for a relationship with this type of person,’ or, ‘I’m in this stage of my life and this is what I’m looking for next.’ This is going to save you time because the people that you’re matching with are aware of that from the beginning.”
Use your profile to create conversation starters
It’s easy to think about an online dating profile as a series of words and images that paint you in the most positive light. But take your profile a step further by thinking of every piece of information on your profile as a potential conversation starter. By doing this, you’ll make it easier for people to engage with you and be able to be interesting and creative in how they start their interactions with you.
For example, instead of just having various headshots of yourself, select photos of yourself doing activities that you love to do that represent some of the things that make you unique.
Use video chat to filter potential dates
When lockdown hit Australia between March and May, Bumble saw a 76 percent increase in video chats.
“When people weren’t able to meet face-to-face, there was a huge adoption of our video chat feature because it was about trying to recreate that dating experience virtually,” says McCart.
While Australians are now in differing stages of being in or out of lockdown, video chat still provides a great filtering mechanism for deciding whether to invest the time in meeting someone in person.
The visual, verbal, and non-verbal cues provide a lot of data as to whether someone is worth investing time in face-to-face.
While updating your dating profile can be time-consuming, the payoff can be significant in providing you with more choice and ultimately, improving your chances of finding love online.
Dr Amantha Imber is a psychologist and the co-host of How To Date, a podcast about how to master the messy, complex, and downright bizarre world of dating.