Stephen here, and today I want to talk about something I’ve obsessed over in my past that I think I have a pretty good system down for.
That something is dating profile bios.
Claire told me some of you have been requesting tips, and for those of you that don’t know, Claire and I met on Hinge, so hope this helps.
Before Claire, I was on Tinder and Hinge and spent a decent amount of time on both. I’ve also conversed with my guy friends over what they’ve seen in different profiles and what they put into their own bio’s. I’ve seen everything from girls putting in full on paragraphs about their expectations (yikes) to girls who didn’t post any bio at all. With that in mind, I would like to share some advice and thoughts on what I think goes into a good bio for dating profiles.
Let me start by saying this is for MOBILE dating bios like Tinder, Hinge, Bumble, etc. I was also a guy looking for a girl and (assumingly) the girls I was seeing were looking for guys. I say that because dating profiles for webpages like match.com and other ones you do primarily on your desktop have different approaches. I am also not a good resource for crafting bios for same-sex relationships as I don’t have any experience with that although I assume the same rules apply.
The reason for specifying is because your bio should be centered around one central theme: who the heck are you trying to attract?
The double-edged sword of mobile dating apps is the laid back, casual approach you can take with it – and it all starts with the bio. It’s the first line of offense in the dating war (well, bio and pictures). In my experience, the best bio’s are the ones that were intentional but not serious. What I mean by that is someone would write something true about themself that was personal to them but not oversharing. Something like, “southern girl from NC”, “only child but not my mother’s favorite”, “indebted econ major”. Something someone can use to start a conversation about and know a little something about you. It was a pet peeve of mine when I saw general, over repeated statements on bio’s like “love adventures”, “fitness person”, “LOVE to eat!”. It’s like, yeah, no shit.
If you’re someone who’s reading this and think to yourself, “but I do like those things!” I say to you – be more specific! Instead of “fitness person” say something about what kind of fitness. Are you a weightlifter? Runner? Rock climber? Say something more. As for the adventure thing. I think people put that there in hopes someone else knows what an “adventure” is and lets their imagination run wild. For me, I just assumed “adventure” meant traveling. In which case…just say you like that and where.
Other than saying something intentional but not serious, I would say keep your bio shorter. I don’t have a hard rule on length, but just don’t do a block paragraph. I don’t know a single guy who would read a block of text about someone telling their life story and being excited to swipe on them. It just comes off…desperate and desperation is the foreshadowing of some red flags in my opinion.
For the people who feel they don’t need to put anything…why? For me, I thought it was weird for someone not to put anything at all. Did you do that because you felt your pictures could speak for themselves? Are you not creative? Are you a bot? I mostly thought it was a bot or some catfisher person so I would normally steer clear of those profiles or risk ending up on some “gotcha!” type show.
To me, the bio was 50% of the reason I would swipe for someone, with the pictures being the other (obvious) reason. I don’t care what anyone says. If you’re on a dating mobile app you care what the other person looks like. That doesn’t mean your shallow, it just means you’re a human being. We like people we’re attracted to.
My guidelines for your profile pictures are pretty simple but somewhat “insensitive” with these applying to both guys and girls. To me, the dating game is brutal. People don’t take any time at all to decide if they want to swipe for you on these dating apps so you need to make sure your ducks are in a row to give yourself the best chance. With that in mind, here are my rules on your profile pictures:
- Have AT LEAST 3 pictures. Any less and you risk being viewed as a bot or someone who’s hiding something
- The first picture should be the absolute best picture of you. I’m talking the lighting was great, you’re face is fully visible, it’s a clear picture, and you look GOOD!
- After the first picture, the order doesn’t matter as much but I recommend having a picture with some friends where you don’t look like an ogre around them, a full body picture (again, no one likes surprises), a picture of you doing something you would normally do on a weekend or free time, and another picture of just you.
- All pictures need to be clear that it’s you in them. I’ve seen some profiles where I’m not even sure who the original person was. This really means don’t have all your photos be you and 5 other people in them.
- Limit your selfies to really just one photo. Excessive selfies start to drift into the self-involved/desperate camp which is what you want to stay out of.
- Smiling isn’t a requirement but smiling in pictures is the easiest way to show you’re approachable and someone other people would want to be around.
- Have photos be within the last couple years. We may not think we look different than that picture of us 5 years ago – but we all do.
Now, if you’re someone who read that and thought, “well I don’t have any photos of me” I would make it a priority to get those taken of you. Next time you’re with your family or friends, ask someone if they would take your photo or ask your friend. I’m also on the fence about people who clearly had a professional take photos of them for their profile. On the one hand, I totally get it. I kind of had to scrape the photo album on my phone for pics and it wasn’t easy. But on the other hand, I felt some of them came off like a try hard. I guess it comes down to how the pictures come out as it can vary wildly. If I had a professional take photos of me for my hinge account, I would say the more candid shots the better and to have the photos be way more fun than serious.
And that’s it. This isn’t rock science but something that I’ve definitely over thought and worried about in the past. The part worth anything is really when you start talking anyway, you just need to do your best to make sure you get there.
I should also say this was my experience. Maybe you read this and completely disagree or did the opposite of everything and had great success. If that’s you, that’s awesome. The great thing about relationships is that there AREN’T any hard rules to success. With that said, it’s my opinion there are things you can do to give yourself the best chance and those were it.
Happy swiping out there!