Just looking at the blank page in front of me is enough to make me shake my head. There’s so much to say and I don’t know where to begin.
I really do feel for people who are trying to find a date these days, especially at this age in life. Especially if people have kids. Especially if you haven’t dated in a while. Especially if you’re pretty set in your ways. Especially if you live in a small town. It’s rough out there! How do I know? I’ve got connections to people trying to meet that special someone. Where are they? There’s grocery runs, there’s sporting events, there’s church, there’s every day errands. There’s... the dreaded dating app.
Plenty of Fish. ZOOSK. Match. Elite Singles. OK Cupid. Coffee Meets Bagel. Bumble. Tinder. These are all dating apps designed to connect you with your perfect match. Dating apps are actually pretty standard these days in getting to know someone and finding out if you should arrange to meet up. The problem with dating apps, is sorting through the clutter to find what you’re looking for. When I say clutter, I really mean... well, junk. Not to say that people are junk. No that’s not what I’m saying. However, some of the profiles out there, are downright cringey. I physically winced when my friend showed me what we’re working with here. We concluded that people need help with their profiles and bios. More specifically, guys need help. Let me just put this out there- I’m sure women need help too, but because we aren’t searching for women, we don’t see those profiles. (I’ll do a blog on that when I get the chance.) So, I’m going off the profiles belonging to guys in their 30’s and 40’s.
Keep in mind, this blog is for the guys who really are looking for a grown up, committed relationship. This is not for the males looking for a hook up. If you’re looking to just hook up, I guess if what you’re doing is working for you, keep on keeping on. If you’re serious though, and want a good quality female, please read on.
I feel like there should be some basic rules here. Friends, people are putting themselves out there in the worst possible ways. I’m sure these are not horrible people. I am positive these are nice men with a lot to offer. I’m thinking they probably have a great sense of humor. I’m willing to bet they are successful at their jobs or careers. I like to give people the benefit of a doubt because you can’t get a real feel for someone based off a few photos and a one-minute bio. Or can you...? Since the photo is what draws most people in or causes them to swipe left, or right, I’ll start with those.
Gentlemen. We ladies want to meet you. We want to find someone to date and get to know, with the end result being a meaningful relationship- whatever that amounts to in our agreed individual definitions. It’s clear to us that some of you want that too. So why are you writing bios that you obviously didn’t think through? Why are you giving us photos of you with cute Snapchat bows and little red noses? You’re 38 years old. Now maybe this is to show us you have a sense of humor and can be goofy. I did think about that. I’m trying not to judge, I'm really not. Maybe don’t make that your main profile photo though. Snapchat is fun and the filters are great, after we get to know you! When we are looking for a responsible man that has his life together career-wise, knows who he is as a person and is happy with that, is comfortable financially, and isn’t living with his mom, a man with a unicorn horn coming out the top of his head with rainbow vomit spilling from his mouth doesn’t really give us that picture. It sort of just doesn’t relay that mature, adult-like aura that you might actually possess.
My friends and I kind of go back and forth about the gym pics. I feel like I understand why men include gym photos in their profiles. If you work hard on your body and you’re proud of your achievements, and it’s a huge part of your lifestyle, the gym pic is a good way to let us know that. Maybe it’s a subtle way of letting us know you expect the woman you are interested in to take her body and/or her health as seriously as you do yours. That’s fair. I think the problem lies with the way you go about the gym photo. It might not be the greatest idea to lead with it. Only because for most (not all) women, it can come across as self-involved and give the idea that you are trying to impress with your body and that’s all. Judgy, I know. It’s not ok. I wish it weren’t so, but I’ve got the voices to back that up. I personally like gym photos because I admire the hard work that goes into a brick house bod. However, if you decide to include a gym photo, please make it tasteful, not obnoxious. Wife beater tanks are not the greatest way to showcase your accomplishments.
Group pics. Is it obvious who you are in the photo? If not, don’t include it! Is your entire group drunk or high in the photo? Might want to ixnay that photo. We all love a good party every now and then, but again... what are you trying to attract to your profile? If you want a party girl, then I suppose you’re on the right track with a photo like that. If you want a grown woman with a sense of responsibility, leave that out. (Unless you truly get drunk and high on the regular, then I guess keep it in so we can swipe left.)
Also, what is with the photos of you and other women? This confuses me. I’m not sure if these women are your sisters, your cousins, your neighbor or a hot chic you hang out with and she is helping you screen your possible connections. I don’t know. Labeling photos helps. If it’s some random you met at a bar and you’re including her in your photo, I want to know why. Is this to prove you are fun? Or is it to prove you can get hot women? I don’t know the answers to these questions. What I do know, is that women don’t really want to see that in your profile. But I must be missing something, because lots of men commit this faux pas.
Bathroom photos. I don’t understand these either. I know you’re using the mirror and maybe it’s the only way to get a full body shot. Women do this too, and I am not sure I understand. It’s sort of weird to see you all dressed nicely and then there’s the phone in your hand and you’re smiling big and the toilet is directly behind you. Or there’s odd things on your bathroom counter. Private things maybe. Maybe your bathroom is a swamp. Dirty towel on the floor, open shower curtain with an unorganized shower in full view... we notice all of this. It’s unpleasantly distracting. If you need a full body shot, please have a friend take a photo of you. I think most smart phones come with a timer on the camera these days. Figure that out and prop up your phone and take a few.
Please let your photos be recent. I don’t mean as in yesterday, but within the last couple months. If you have started losing your hair, don’t post a photo of yourself from college when you had a full head of it. We are fine with men who are not fully coifed. It’s all good. If you put on a few pounds in the last two years, for many of us, that's fine too, just don’t post a photo of when you won “best bod of the beach” back in 2010. Don’t take a picture of a picture. It is blurry and gives the impression you’re trying to hide something. I mean, we’re going to see you in person eventually if the conversation goes well, so being you helps.
Please DO have a good headshot that isn’t you cropped out of a previous engagement photo. Please DO smile and try not to be too close to the camera or else it looks like you’re peering through the peephole of a door. You don’t have to be dressed up or anything, be you- just be a smiling or laughing you. We don’t mind a nice straight in the lens gaze either, it can be pretty effective when done right. Use this type of photo for your main profile pic. Go ahead and include you doing your favorite activity or maybe you with your dog, or with your hobby for the next couple of photos. Try and make the photos be just you, and if you must include others in the shot, please write a small caption of who they are or what you’re getting up to.
These are actual bios of people who have clearly missed the mark.
Let’s move on to bios. The bio is tricky. You have a limited amount of space and time to write a little thing about you and not lose the reader immediately. There must be a template floating around out there that goes something like this: “I like the outdoors and adventure. No hookups. If you want to know about me, just ask.” Translated into: “I’ll do the minimum amount of work for this bio, and I’ll also do the minimum when it comes to dating you.” You see how that works? Write a short, catchy paragraph about things you enjoy, what you bring to the table and why we would want to date you. I mean, everyone likes the beach. Everyone likes being active. Everyone likes music. Everyone likes spending time with family and friends. Make this more personal. Share something short and funny, maybe a little gentle sarcasm, or something witty like... “I know my way around an Excel spreadsheet. I’m not afraid to put that out there. I also am a huge college football fan, an amateur chef, and owner of one lucky dog named Bolero. (He’s named after the tie.) If you scratch his ears, he’ll be your best friend for life. I’m not much different really. We’re pretty simple creatures.”* It’s not super long, it made us smile, and it gave enough information to let us decide if we have some things in common. Don’t be afraid to look at examples of good bios to help you out.
There’s good news though friends! I met my partner on a dating app. Yes, we met 3 years ago on Tinder. It was a little fluky because we aren’t really the dating app types, but here I am in the most successful relationship of my life, *no comments from the peanut gallery please* and I couldn’t be happier. One thing I think we both did when looking through profiles, is that we didn’t get into the almost hypnotic act of swiping, swiping, swiping. It’s so easy to just become like a robot and swipe left, left, left. Instead we took some real time and went through bios and photos seriously. We met up for a dinner date, and the rest is history. Either that, or we were both so relieved to meet someone normal and get the heck out of the dating app neighborhood. Just kidding. It is fun to chat with people and discover that you have things in common. Dating can be fun. The trick is a successful dating profile guys.
Now, go back to your dating app profile, ask yourself if YOU would date you, and maybe do a little maintenance on your photos and bios. Interested women within 25 miles will thank you!
*taken from The Date Mix examples of good profile bios