Gone are the days of snickering under our breath at those cheesy Match.com commercials. With dozens of apps out there to help you connect with other like-minded singles, it would seem as though the stigma of online dating has dissipated. But it's not all swipe rights and romantic relationships. With app dating comes a whole new set of obstacles to tackle. Since I kind of missed this whole app dating scene, watching my friends fumble through them haphazardly has become something of a pass-time for me. Intrigued by HOW to actually achieve a successful outcome, sparked some new approaches for us (I say us, because I now feel emotionally involved in the outcome of all the swipe rights I participate in, I'm THAT friend #packagedeal). So here we go...
CHOOSING AN APP. BOOTY CALL OR DATE?
By now, I think we've all heard of Tinder, even if you're off the market, you still live on the same planet. Maybe you even follow the instagram account @tindernightmares where users share what is most often, cringe-worthy booty call attempts. I remember when this first hit the app store. It was like "hot-or-not" came back on crack. You couldn't deny that it was at least a little exhilarating to be "served-up" singles in your proximity with the ability to judge them in nanoseconds by swiping left (not feeling it) or right (into it) almost entirely based on a couple of photos (is this shallow? ABSOLUTELY). It's no secret that Tinder very quickly became the app for users who were looking for more of a "no-strings-attached" relationship. For some people, that works. But if that's not you, then you likely got bored of this and quickly moved onto other apps touting more substance.
If you're looking for more of a meaningful, long-lasting relationship, then maybe you've graduated from Tinder to something like Bumble with the hopes of trading eggplant emojis for real emotions. I'm not saying you're not going to have a few Tinder-minded stragglers on here, but the idea is that it is more for relationships (so I've been told) and for once, women are actually in charge of starting the conversation! Did you know, the founder of Bumble (Whitney Wolfe) was formally a co-founder at Tinder with, then boyfriend, Justin Mateen, until Wolfe left after being "demoted" from her position on the board for breaking up with Mateen. She sewed Tinder for 1 million dollars on grounds of sexism (and won). This then led to her starting her new app, Bumble which also includes Bumble BFF (for finding platonic relationships) and Bumble Bizz for connecting business professionals! Ok, this is starting to sound like a Bumble commercial, sorry! Anywho, Happn is another app that is targeted towards connecting you with those you "happen" to pass on the street, in a cafe or at a party.
PERFECTING YOUR PROFILE
If you want success, perfecting your profile is key. What does that mean? That means have a few short sentences in your Bio that give an "at-a-glance" perspective into your interests, and flattering photos that showcase your personality and style. This part can be HARD, i'll give you that. Actually, 1 in 5 app daters have asked for someone else to write their bio for them. I get it. Remember those super awkward speeches you had to give in class about yourself? That was ROUGH. I don't think it's a bad thing to need a little help crafting what you chose to share about yourself. This is where I came in, as my friend's "Bio" consisted of just a sun emoji (Granted, if you knew her, that emoji choice was on-point, but obviously we're working on the basis that these are strangers).
Consider that your "audience" is likely moving quickly so keep your bio light-hearted, honest, and maybe even witty. Stay away from anything that requires too much of a back story or is more of an inside joke between friends. A great way to get them to engage (if it's a match) is by adding something in your bio that they can refer to in conversation to get the ball rolling. Example: "What if Soy milk is just regular milk introducing itself in Spanish". If you don't get that then you don't know that "Soy" is "I am" in Spanish. Pretty cleaver and a great conversation starter. Do I think this person thought of that on their own, probably not, but it shows they have a good sense of humor.
When selecting which of your photos make the dating app cut, keep these things in mind: They want to see your face, so too many photos with hats, sunglasses, or from a distance/behind you, don't really give a great first impression. Have a variety of crops, for example, face, 3/4 body, and full body. Too many selfies can come across as being vain or having a lack of friends. Speaking of friends, maybe keep those group shots to a minimum, don't forget it takes time to pick you out of the crowd and we're working on a tight deadline between a left or right swipe.
TIPS FOR WOMEN, FROM GUYS:
Refrain from the photos of you with kids in impoverish countries. While it's nice to see that you're into philanthropic activities, it comes across as though you are using these children as "props" to show what a good person you are. Actually, stay away from pictures with kids, period. Yea, fine they might be your super cute niece or nephew but at first glance you're giving a different impression, and also babies probably shouldn't have a place on dating apps. Style is a big factor when looking through your photos. Anything that makes you look too "basic" gets a left swipe.
Almost every bio states your passion for adventure, which is pretty basic (who doesn't like to travel or go zip-lining). Try being a little more original, my idea of adventure is... (fill in the blank) or maybe just assume they know you'll like adventure and steer clear from this line all together. Also, writing that you're just on this app to hang out with peoples dogs is a major eye roller. #yourenotfunny
TIPS FOR MEN, FROM WOMEN:
Guys, selfies...just no. It's weird. Especially if all 5 photos are selfies, like at least ask your mom to take your picture. Maybe we still haven't bridged the gap on what men think women are into vs. what women are actually into. Shirtless pics or cropped photos of your muscles are not it. If this is you, you're trying way too hard and need to chill out. The same rules apply here. Give us a handful of good photos that give us an idea of who you are. This means face, 3/4 body, and full body...with clothes on. Ditch the hats, sunglasses and too many group photos. Women tend to be a little more forgiving when it comes to a bad photo or two, but don't shoot yourself in the foot by adding that photo of you in the club and again, no babies.
It's a good idea to write something and not just rely on your looks here. Having a good bio can be the thing that tips you to the right so make sure you're being honest and authentic, otherwise we will see right through it. Most women love a guy with a good sense of humor, so if you've got it, flaunt it. Stay away from saying things like "I'm only on here because my friends told me I should" or "I'm not really sure how this works"....it's not that hard and spare us the crap. You're an adult, you downloaded the app (unless your friends have your apple ID password) just own it. We're on here too so stop acting like you're here by accident. Keep it light hearted and avoid anything too heavy.
WHAT REAL APP DATERS ARE SAYING:
Monica, Finance, 28
"I'm on Bumble but have yet to go on a date through it. I am really busy sometimes so I don't have the time to dedicate to finding matches. I'm not looking for anything too serious right now but I'm also not looking for a booty call. I'd definitely be interested in a date if a worth while match came along but a lot of times the guys don't message you back or conversation runs dry. I hate when guys have too many selfies or muscle and club shots, that's just not my type of guy"
Luke, Sales, 24
"I deleted my dating apps after only a few dates. I just didn't seem to be achieving anything. A lot of women I'd "match" with would ignore conversation so it just seemed pointless. It made me question if the women were just there as a vanity contest to see how many matches they could get rather than actually going on dates. "
Buck, Physician, 28
"I am currently on one app but have been on as many as 3 at once. I don't use the apps to look for anything serious. Of course if I met someone amazing on a dating app that would be a welcome and pleasant surprise. I've been on more than 10 dates stemming from an app, probably 15-16. I immediately swipe left when there are children that clearly bear a resemblance to the woman. Absence of any full-body photo (or at least most of it). Salty attitude in the bio - I mean come on, know how to present yourself. I look for photos that show different sides of a person and aren't just a collection of mirror selfies/dancing at a bar. Similar interests are a plus but just having a passion in general is a major attractant - even if it's something completely foreign to me. A strong bio always helps, of course. I think its a social norm now to be app dating. Most of the single people I know in my age group have at least tried them. I would definitely rather meet in person. I've soured on the apps. There's so much more to communication that you miss out on via text, so the majority of app-driven dates - at least in my experience - leave people disappointed. When you meet someone in real life you can appreciate their nuances in body language, sense of humor, etc. and decide whether there's any hope of chemistry before you ask them on a date. With the apps, all you have to go by are pictures and a two-dimensional biography, with some light banter sprinkled in between. People have always used a variety of ways to make romantic connections. I have multiple friends who are on the way to getting engaged to people they met on dating apps. But I also know married couples who met in extremely random circumstances, like they happened to be seated next to each other on a plane ride on Christmas Eve. So I would say: use dating apps, but keep your eyes open to what's around you. Chance meetings are more common than you'd think."
I want to hear your experience with app dating and any tips you may have for your fellow swipers! Comment below and let us know! If you liked what you read, share it with your friends!