What Men Secretly Look For When They're Checking Out Women On Dating Apps

According to guys on Reddit.

woman and man sitting together while he looks at his phone Getty

If you're a person who is dating or who has dated in the not-so-distant past, there's a pretty good chance that you've used an online dating site (like Match or OkCupid) or dating apps (like Tinder, Bumble and Hinge) to do it.

After all, a 2017 survey found that 70 percent of single men and women use dating apps while they're at work — and yes, that's JUST during their time on the job!

Let's be real. Movies might have us convinced that we can find true love in long-term relationships when we visit some whimsical location like a library, or by accidentally bumping heads with a stranger while stooping to pick up a shiny new penny from the ground, but reality is different.


And if you want to date in reality, chances are your best bet when it comes to connecting with someone who has serious relationship potential is going to be traipsing into the world of online dating in one form or another.

Simply filling out a profile and crossing your fingers for good luck simply isn't going to cut it, however.

If you want to stand out from the crowd, you've got to create a dating profile that will show men what an attractive woman you are, not send them running to hills!

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Now, I realize the chances are pretty high that you've already created one or two dating profiles in your day. Maybe you've even had some pretty decent returns too!

Or maybe, you haven't. Maybe you've tried to communicate everything awesome and lovable and cool and groovy about yourself, and for whatever reason, you're only attracting the creepiest of men, if any men at all.

That doesn't mean that you're a bad writer or that, worse still, you've got a bad personality. All it means is that you've been writing profiles that would appeal to you and maybe some other straight ladies, but you haven't yet written a profile that would capture the attention of the kind of man you're looking for, because let's face it, men and women look for different things when they look at profiles on dating apps.

Here's something you probably already know: men are highly visually creatures.


Sure, they want to get to know you as a person, but first, their interest in your looks must be attained. This doesn't mean you need portrait level photographs. It just means that you need to make sure you have several clear, and full body shots of you, lovely you! However, that's not all that men look for when they are checking out a profile. In fact, men have a lot of serious feedback when it comes to talking about what works, and what absolutely doesn't, on dating profiles.

One redditor recently visited AskMen on Reddit to ask this question:

"Men of Reddit, what makes you notice a women's online dating profile? I'm about to venture into online dating and I want to learn what to do and what not to do."

For insider takes on this issue, here's what men say they look for in women on dating apps like Tinder, Bumble, and Hinge.

1. Originality is key.

"If she actually put some effort to writing it and didn't just use dumb canned lines like, 'fluent in sarcasm' or 'looking for my partner in crime' or 'Venmo me $5 and see what happens.'"


2. Good pictures are just a start.

"Most guys swipe based on the pictures but proceed post-match based on profiles. Just because the match rate is really low for guys. But if your profile is a ghost town or train wreck it doesn't really give us anything to start the conversation (and we're expected to start the conversation so give us something to work with!)...

"You can also use your profile as a filter. If a guy opens based off your profile he's likely interested in dating (this requires a somewhat interesting profile). If it's a canned pickup line or the like he's liable to be trawling for something casual (not a 100% determinant, though)."

3. Actually just fill out a profile. Period.

"Just complete your profile and you'll be ahead of 90% of people. If you use actual sentences and don't use your profile to complain about guys, then you're in the top 1%."

4. Be specific and clear.

"'I'm really down to earth!' 'I have a bubbly personality!' I still don't know what these are supposed to mean, but from experience it's usually said by someone who is not down to earth and not very exciting."


5. Let your pictures speak for you.

"Don't mention anything about your body in your bio. Let your pictures do the explaining, that's what they're there for. If there's something you feel like is noteworthy (for better or worse) just have a picture where it is recognizable and leave it at that...

"If you have a really nice backside, I am 90% more likely to swipe right on someone who actually has a picture that shows it off than someone who just says so in their bio."

6. Ditch the Snapchat filters.

"On Tinder, the 'I'm a simple person who likes to laugh and spending time with people I love" means, I have no personality at all! That and Snapchat filters."

7. Just be yourself.

"Just be genuine. The most off-putting thing there was for me was just someone who's desperately trying to prove something. Like lists of deal breakers, or listing faults and saying deal with it, or awkward attempts at poetic language...


"Just a clear image of who you are, what you care about, where you want to go in life; even if the answer is you don't know."

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8. Share your interests.

"The best way to avoid being seen as uninteresting is to show that you have interests. Be specific, not general....

"You don't enjoy hiking and going to the beach, you drag your friends to the hiking trails one Saturday a month and spend every other weekend snorkeling. Just as an example."

9. Good pictures are key.

"The pictures are the first potential point of failure. So good quality ones that show you in an attractive light and your full body and easily identified, with at least one where you are the only person, are essential."


10. But include fewer friends in your photos, please.

"Having your very first picture be a group picture of you and your friends. It's wonderful that you have friends that you do things with, but if I see a group picture, I'm automatically going to assume that you're the least attractive one...

"There's nothing wrong with not being as attractive as your friends, but the fact that you're trying to hide how you look means that you're already starting the potential relationship off with dishonesty."

11. Keep your lists offline.

"Lists. Just don't. Nothing makes me ignore a profile faster than a girl that starts listing off baseball-like stats of a guy that she will deem worthy of time. It reeks of vanity."


12. Sometimes, less is more.

"Don't overwrite. An underwritten profile doesn't do much of course, but clicking in to see a massive block of text guarantees I won't read every word."

13. Proofread!

"Use good grammar and punctuation. I know it’s not fair, but whenever I saw a poorly-written profile, I’d think, 'She’s an idiot. Not worth my time.' (I also think guys who can’t write are idiots.)"

14. Use your own words.

"Don’t quote celebrities or writers or movies or anything like that. It’s lazy."

15. Keep it positive.

"Stay away from the no's in your profile narrative; the 'no jerks or players' sort of thing. When a woman mentions the negative it shows her as someone who's had the life taken out of her. Also don't be rude. I know there is a kind of double-standard with regards to this, meaning guys getting called out for being demanding while it can be seen as OK for women who do it. Just try to present the best you that you can through pics and words."


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Rebecca Jane Stokes is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York with her cat, Batman. She's an experienced generalist with a passion for lifestyle, geek news, pop culture, and true crime.