So you want to use Tinder to find a relationship?
By Sarah Smith
I have a guy friend who, despite having a great job, decent looks, and warm personality, just tends to bomb on Tinder. I know what you’re thinking: there has to be something wrong on his end. And, you’re right.
But it’s not him, it’s his profile.
I asked him to send me some screen shots of his Tinder profile to see why he was having such a tough time finding dates. I’ve put together a list, as a semi-smart, semi-attractive, non-hookup-seeking-fellow-Tinder’er, of common profile mistakes that a lot of the local Tinder market, my friend included, employ that will make me swipe left faster than you can form an assumption of a stranger:
1. All of your pictures are of you doing the same thing.
This could be anything from sitting in your car taking the same smiling selfie over and over, to six pictures of you holding various forms of dead animals. I’m all for hunting and smiling, but please use your pictures to show me that you are a multifaceted person capable of being more than a one trick pony.
2. You didn’t write anything in the, “About Me,” section.
If you really don’t have that many pictures of yourself doing interesting things to give me a general sense of who you are, please, please, please, write a little bit about yourself. Just a couple of sentences about your hobbies, or something interesting that you feel makes you a little different (but please, leave some mystery.)
3. You didn’t write out any of your big deal breakers.
You need to write them out loud and clear. For me, I put in my profile that I believe in God and global climate change. They’re just not things I care to debate with my significant other.
If you’re worried you’ll scare potential love interests off—guess what? That’s good! You will. But, you know what? You will narrow down the field of people who are interested in you to people that you already know will either jive with you on those deal breakers, or who can look past them.
Honestly, most girls I know would rather read a bit more than less. Don’t worry about writing a book.
4. You wrote a massive paragraph.
Seems to conflict with #3, I know. But when you write a lot don’t mash it all together. Using bullet points makes for easier scanning during swiping. It is also less formal and easier on the eyes.
5. You didn’t write in your profile, “Not here for hookups.”
I can’t tell you how nice it was to see that in so many guy’s profiles. It actually built a little trust that I could right-swipe their profile and be comfortable that I wasn’t going to get an instant, nasty pickup line or dirty comment.
6. Your photos are all of you half-naked.
Don’t put any shirtless photos in your profile if you want to meet someone who cares more about you than how you look.
I don’t care how great your abs are; it isn’t going to make a difference in whether or not I meet you in person eventually. It just tells me that you are possibly shallow, insecure, or couldn’t think of a more interesting way to separate yourself from the rest of the Tinderites.
7. You made up a fake job/company just to put it on Tinder.
Make sure that the job or education information that Tinder uses from your Facebook account is legitimate. Don’t be a catfish. Be honest about who you are.
I understand not everyone feels comfortable putting the actual name of their company or specifically what they do as a career on the internet. If that’s the case, at least try to show where you went to trade school/college/etc and make sure that’s correct.
I’ll be honest: I’m a nerd and I like talking to other people that studied nerd things in advanced education. It’s less awkward for both of us if I can swipe left on you knowing that we aren’t a good fit intellectually, than just going off of a handsome photo and then having to gradually ghost via the messenger.
8. You don’t have one good selfie as the main photo.
Ask one of your more honest and artistic friends if the lighting in the photo is good, if it is a good angle, etc. My guy friend had one selfie up as his main photo that was in a bathroom with a greenish-glow that made him look kind of sickly.
Also, if all of your selfies are terrible, ask said artistic friend to help you take one. Why does it matter that much? One good selfie is the difference between seeing someone’s genuine smile and wanting to know more about them which becomes a click to read the profile, to an instant left swipe.
Don’t worry though, guys, we’re not all looking for “10’s.”
9. You don’t state your height.
This is a big deal breaker for most girls. It’s not even really a vanity thing…some of us are tall and others of us have preferences, etc. If we meet in person, it won’t be difficult to figure out.
10. You say something in your profile like, “currently have a beard,” but all of your pictures are un-bearded.
Is Tinder a phone app? Could you use said phone to update this? Stop being lazy and take a photo with the beard. Beards change your whole look. If you’re proud enough to sport one, I’m sure there’s a girl on Tinder that will be just as enamored with it as you are… it’s not me, but I’m sure there’s someone.
You wouldn’t want to meet a girl that only has pictures of herself as a long-haired blonde but has a written disclaimer that she’s now a short-haired redhead, so don’t expect us to want to meet someone else sight-basically-unseen.
11. Your profile says, “I like to have fun, hang out with friends, and go to the movies/bar/___”(insert cliché thing here that literally everyone likes to do.)
Boring. I’m going to swipe left no matter how cute your smile is.
12. There are pictures of you with random little kids, but there’s no mention of them in your, “About Me,” section.
Are they yours? Did you kidnap them? Are you the world’s coolest uncle? It’s good to clarify, because that’s going to be one of the first things you’re asked.
Once you match up, be brave. Send an interesting first message asking about something in your match’s profile to show you went further than smile-deep on her profile. You know you’ve already peaked this girl’s interest by being you, and you’ve hopefully eliminated a few of the shallow ones if they took the time to read what you wrote, so I’ll bet she writes you back.
*Note: I prefer Tinder for its simplicity and quick exchanges, but you could use these notes as a guide for whatever other dating app or website you prefer.
This article was originally published at The Good Men Project. Reprinted with permission from the author.