Six things you're doing wrong on dating apps, and how to fix them
Now that we've got your attention, this isn't really about sex at all.
If you're using "dating apps" solely for the purpose of doing the best with two backs (or however you position yourselves), then more power to you, but this article really is more for people who are looking for dating, relationships... you know... the L word.
So if you are here looking for your significant other, I've put in A LOT of research into the dating apps, both my own and via friends, and the list of constant mistakes being made is STAGGERING.
Consider this your online, distant, anonymous love intervention ('Love Intervention' would be a great song title, by the way), so no matter if you're using Tinder, Plenty Of Fish, Bumble, Grindr, OkCupid, JDate, Love2Mingle, Happn or Clover (and I only made one of those up, can you guess which one?), these rules apply to you.
Okay, ready? Here we go.
1. "Hello, how are you?" is a perfectly acceptable way to begin a conversation
There is a great scene in the most recent series of Master Of None when Aziz goes on a number of dates via a dating app, and his opening chat up line is kind of brilliant.
Unfortunately we don't all have the originality or comic timing of Aziz Ansari (or his fellow show screenwriters), but that doesn't mean you have to go to far the other way, either.
I'll give you an example of what I mean:
The other day, I hadn't been on the apps for about a week, and I thought I'd check in to see if anyone new had messaged me. Scrolling through some of the new replies, someone new had indeed started a new conversation, and while it might be commendable to cut right to the chase, there is a lot to be said for easing some stuff into conversation.
If you're not sure what to say to get the conversation started, just a "Hello, how are you?" is perfectly acceptable. It is handy if you happen to be sharp of wit and good with words, helps you stand out from the crowd a bit in the churning, overwhelming sea of online singledom.
That does not include unprovoked pee-pee offers. Just to be clear.
2. Group shots
You want to show off that you're popular, that you've got real friends, that you're not slowly wasting away from loneliness... yeah, that is understandable, and totally a good idea.
However, don't ONLY have group shots on your profile, and force other people to go through them all and try to deduce which one of them is you. Also, it looks like you can't go anywhere alone or with just one person at a time, and that is just a weird problem to have.
"Okay, so ... is he ... which one is he?"
"He must be the one in the middle, right? He's in both of them. That must be him, right?"
"Wait, no, he's not even in this one! I'm so confused. WHO ARE YOU?!?!"
3. Attractive friends
Unless you're particularly lucky, chances are you're not the best looking person you know. Looks aren't everything, obviously, but with the Darwinian nature of dating apps, looks do count for A LOT when it comes to other people checking you out online.
This is kind of a direct follow on from the Group Shots issue, but if you do have a pic on your profile of yourself with a better looking friend, you need to get rid of that pic immediately.
Chances are it was your more aesthetically pleasing mate that got the other person's attention, and their disappointment in realising that they've matched to "the uglier one" will be matched only by the crushing reality that you are being referred to as "the uglier one".
Tough love, we know, but that's the way of it. Deal and move on.
4. Match hogs
You know who you are, and you're the worst people alive.
You set up your profile, throw yourself in to the mix, but when other people like your profile, or match your on Tinder, or try to start a conversation with you... nothing.
Why are you on there, Match Hogs? Is it purely for the ego boost of knowing somebody, somewhere, finds you attractive enough to tell you that they find you attractive, so you can continue on about your day knowing that?
Please, for the good of all humanity, don't like or match or whatever the terminology is on your app of choice another person if you have no inclination towards ever starting a conversation with them.
It is cruel and mean and pointless and you're a bad, bad person for doing it.
Just go on to Instagram and hover up the likes on there like all the other narcissists in the world, that is what it is there for!
5. Body shots
No, not the fun way of doing a tequila in a bar, the other body shots.
If you work out and are proud of your body, that's great, good for you.
Do they need to see that straight away? No. That is something they should look forward to seeing, not something they know everyone can see.
When in doubt, ask yourself, What Would Ryan Gosling Do?
Would he have a topless shot on his dating app profile? No. He doesn't show the bod to Emma Stone until she practically orders him to.
6. Most importantly, don't try to please everyone
This is something you'll really only learn through experience, but in trying to be that vanilla, appealing-to-all profile, you'll most likely pleasing nobody. Not even yourself.
If you're really into Manga or Flamenco Dancing or Unicycles, then say that. Don't hide away your love for something niche, because if you're honest about it, then chances are much better you'll find someone else who is also really into those things, and you'll find each other faster.
Yes, it is really obvious advice, but usually the most obvious advice is the one that is the most over-looked. That fan of urination from earlier might have been better served to give that info away in their profile name, so other fans of that past-time (pissed-time? Meh, that's not great, we'll come back to that one) can find them easier, and they won't have to go through other profiles offering their golden services.
Everyone is a little bit weird, and we fully suggest that if you're looking for The One, you let your freak flag fly.