Dating apps such as Tinder can sometimes feel like you’re entering yourself into a lottery of love, but they needn’t. The app once sniggered at is no longer a taboo in public, and it’s common to discuss potential date-worthy options with your friends as you peruse the people your area has to offer.
The fact that Tinder ranks profiles based on general popularity means that, even if you’re looking for a very specific type of person, you’re still better off trying to appeal to as many people as possible. That means you’re more likely to appear on your ideal partner’s screen.
Whether you love or hate it, the fact is that your pictures – and especially the one you choose as your main profile photo – are what the majority of people will judge you by first. We’d all like to think that everyone reads and carefully considers the whole profile, but we know that most don’t.
Try to show off your personality in your pictures, rather than simply focusing on your best assets. If you can represent something important to you or an activity you enjoy, that’s a great way to show what you’re about. However, be careful to avoid using shots of you with other people – you don’t want hopefuls to message you, only to discover they’re interested in your friend.
Four-legged friends are a gold pass
Although it’s not a good idea to include your mates in your photos, using a snap of you with a dog definitely is. In fact, an experiment that was recently carried out by pet food company Webbox found that including an adorable pooch in your profile picture can increase your matches on Tinder by 117%, as well as boosting the messages you receive by 150%!
Of course, if you don’t have a puppy of your own then don’t let that stop you. Taking a picture of you with a friend’s pooch will be a perfect icebreaker, as the experiment saw people receive messages specifically about the dogs. It’s still a way to open a conversation with a potential date, and will make you seem more relatable and approachable.
Keep the bio brief
This is where the hard work of a good picture can be undone if you’re not careful. Remember – it’s about appealing to as many people as possible, even if that’s not what you actually want.
Therefore, resist that temptation to go on about what winds you up. Even if it’s something that most people are likely to agree with, this isn’t the place to split opinion.
It’s also crucial to keep it short. Yes, some people who are really interested in you will read it all, but your goal here is to convince the people who might be on the fence, so keep it short. You can use it to say what you’re looking for in just two or three sentences, but avoid any cheesy lines or clichés. Alternatively, just put a simple icebreaker or a joke – as long as it’s actually funny.
With that said, definitely don’t go to the other extreme and leave off the bio altogether. There are several reasons why, but people often dismiss profiles without one at all. Possibly because they might expect catfishes to be lurking. So put something.
A little more conversation
Well done, you’ve matched with someone. Now comes your real chance to make a connection with them.
Don’t rely on one-word or formulaic exchanges – it’s important to show your personality here. Look at your match’s interests and ask about them, or find out what floats their boat if they haven’t listed them. Be interested in them, as only talking about yourself isn’t attractive.
Throw in some humour too, otherwise you can run the risk of coming across a bit dry, even if you pay the bills by taming lions for a living.
Words aren’t everything
If you’re not someone who has a way with words, don’t worry – the GIF is your friend. There’s one for absolutely everything you could possibly wish to summarise into one concise moving image, from shocked owls to mess-making bin lorries.
Tinder now includes GIPHY so that you can automatically include them in your messages, rather than searching, copying and pasting them. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
Don’t stay Tinder-bound
Once you’ve got to know each other a little better over two or three days, move it to text messages, WhatsApp or similar. Think of Tinder as the virtual equivalent of meeting in a bar – if that’s the only place you ever talk, you’re flying close to the friend zone pretty quickly.
Even though you don’t have to arrange to meet straight away, swapping numbers and chatting via another method is a definite step forward.
If you want to read a little more about how Webbox’s experiment of pooches on profile pictures went, take a look at it here!