For several years, I wasn’t just working in the online dating industry, I was very much a part of it on a personal level.
My dating journey began on some of the more traditional sites. But after a few months, I grew fatigued. At that stage of my life, as I was growing in my professional career, it felt overwhelming to fill out those long questionnaires and peruse novel-like profiles in my spare time.
And then came the dating apps.
I eagerly jumped on what seemed like a perfect solution to the content overload I was facing before. That feeling didn’t last long. Swipe fatigue quickly set in.
Millennials spend an average of 10 hours per week on dating apps. I’ve since gotten married (my husband and I indeed met online), but I still love helping people navigate their dating journeys. When you work for a company that creates dating apps and helps people find relationships, people always want to know insider secrets to help increase their chances of success at dating in the digital age.
So, if you’re still a part of the online dating scene and want to elevate your experience, here are some tips to work into your strategy.
1. Update your profile each month.
You want to give potential dates a fresh perspective on your appearance and your life. By keeping your photos current and your profile information up to date, you’ll ensure that the person your dates meet in the real world matches who they’ve been connecting with online.
2. Vary your main profile pic.
In the marketing world, this is known as A/B testing: switch up one variable while keeping everything else the same; gather results and determine a winning formula. Since your profile picture is often the first thing people see, consider switching it up for a few days to get a feel for how many responses you get from potential dates. This will also help you get a sense for what resonates with matches: for instance, do you notice an uptick in interest with photos with your hair a certain way (e.g. pulled back vs. down), or when you’re out in nature vs. a selfie? Learn what works, and stick with it.
3. Limit your photos to 3-5, max.
Studies show that people are more judgmental on online dating than they are in person. It’s human nature. The more you share, the more open you are to judgment. Any more than a few photos actually gives potential matches more reason to say no or swipe left.
4. Share stories.
In a sea of thousands of profiles, saying that you like to cook or that you enjoy traveling won’t make you stand out. Instead, tell stories. Talk about how you make a killer taco salad or share a brief anecdote about visiting a breathtaking temple in Bali. This will add a bit more personality and color to your profile.
5. Use more than one dating app.
Apps are built for different purposes and reasons. Tinder is for fun, Hinge or eHarmony for more serious dating, and apps like Crown for a very curated set of matches. By trying different dating apps, you’ll potentially open up to a broader pool of singles and be able to determine platforms that work best for you.
6. Keep the filters (and selfies) to a minimum.
People want to see the real you, so don’t mask your face with filters. If things progress, you’ll eventually meet up, and you want what they see in person to align with the image you presented online.
As for selfies – one is okay, but more than that is overkill. Too many selfies can come across as though you don’t have friends to take pictures of you, or that you might be narcissistic. Tap someone to take some of your photos so you get better results.
7. Don’t talk politics or air dirty laundry.
It doesn’t get more controversial than talking politics in 2018. Avoid the topic on your profile unless it’s really important to you, i.e. it’s your job or you volunteer in the political sphere.
In the same vein, be careful about airing dirty laundry about previous relationships. Honesty is important, but some things are best discussed after mutual interest has been established.
If you put out negativity (e.g. “no drama queens”), that’s exactly what you’re going to attract. Instead, take on a positive tone and talk about things you do want in a partner vs. things you don’t.
8. Don’t binge on dating apps.
The quest for love shouldn’t be all-consuming. Spend a small amount of time every day so you don’t burn out. Dating apps like Meet Mindful and Crown help you spend a small, more focused amount of time every day.
9. Don’t do the back-and-forth for too long.
After a few messages back-and-forth, consider it’s time for an in-person meet-up. The more you message/text/email, the more you build up an image of who you think this person is in your mind – and the more difficult it will be for them to live up to it. Message enough to get a feel for your compatibility then set up a time to meet. Pick a public place you’re familiar with, and keep it short to reduce the pressure. You can always extend the date if it’s going well.