How to be Your Best Dating App Self

For the generation that grew up seeing (and probably laughing at) TV ads for eHarmony and Christian Mingle, we’ve seen the online dating scene change tremendously from websites for lonely adults into iPhone apps for thirsty teenagers. But with all the buzz around Tinder and Grindr and Bumble (oh my!), it can be hard to know if you’re good at online dating. According to some college students, these are the things you should and shouldn’t do on your dating profile to send the message that you want to send to others. All names have been changed.

Pictures are good, but be careful what you’re showcasing.

First-year Michelle Olson put it simply as, “Use actually interesting pictures.” People want to see more than just selfies. This can involve travel pictures (which are a great conversation starter), cute pictures with your pets and young kids in your family (“it’s my nephew” as the caption is always a plus) and photos that showcase a healthy, active lifestyle (but not just all gym flexing pics!).

Pictures that are a turn off are things that are too political like holding a large gun, a “Make America Great Again” or Confederate flag. Additionally, “Only group pictures is suspicious,” as first-year Anna Henning stated, “Who is it? I don’t want to spend more than ten seconds figuring out who you are.” As sophomore Ryan Peterson said, “Tinder is for you, not you and your pals.”

Show others that you actually posses a personality.

It can be hard to show how wonderful and complex you are in a mere bio, but in order to do this you should include things that highlight that you’re more than a two dimensional being who enjoys to Netflix and chill; aka, show that you have a personality.

Before we get to the dos, let’s start with the don’ts. Using your bio to talk about excessive drinking or drug use makes it seem like there isn’t anything more to yourself than simply these specific habits or pleasures. Including “4/20 friendly” can be a good thing to attract others who also enjoy said activities, but can give a weird first impression to others.

Using your bio to demonstrate what you want to be associated with is important. If you’re funny, show that sense of humor. Things like “He’s the best -my mom” is a crowd pleaser. Including your favorite shows can speak a lot about your interests and who you are; Henning personally loves seeing quotes from The Office. Talking about outdoor activities and other hobbies create a complex and interesting persona that other people will genuinely want to get to know.

You’re not a cliche, so avoid them.

“Future DILF,” is overdone. Unless you’ve somehow come up with a fresh pick up line, don’t use one because they’ve all been used hundreds of times. Someone who says “not just looking for a hookup” is usually the first to ask for one, so don’t bother including it. If you are genuinely not looking for a hookup, prove that you’re looking for something special when talking with someone.

Overall, you’ll get out of a dating app what you put into it. The biggest take away is to highlight what makes you interesting and essentially what you would show to someone if you were meeting them in person for the first time. If you’re just looking for something fun and lowkey, showcase that by making your page fun and lowkey. If you’re looking for something more serious, put more the effort in to let others know that about you. And if in the end things don’t work out with Tinder, is always an option.