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Write A Dating App Bio That Gets You Dates

Anne asks:

I’ve been on the Bumble app and the OkCupid all for over seven months and I loathe them. All of my Bumble dates have been nightmares, and OkCupid has resulted in no dates. It’s almost all white men, with the occasional Black guy who checks the “something casual” box. Bumble and OkC makes me miss Tinder so much. I deleted Tinder last year and had a lot more positive experiences with it. I’m just at a loss for how to convey what I am seeking in my Tinder bio. Bumble and OkCupid gives me the option to check the “relationship/long term dating” box. And it also gives me the option to say I want kids someday. How would I convey that on Tinder? Thank you.

The first thing I'd suggest is to return to Tinder. If it's worked for you in the past, then it makes sense to continue using it. Contrary to popular belief, Tinder is not a "hook-up" app and more than is. Dating apps are what you make of them. Stop listening to downtrodden friends who ignored their instincts and went out with people they suspected weren't sincere only to hook-up with them and find out - surprise! - they weren't sincere.

The next thing I would impress upon you is that dating apps are not for finding relationships. They're for getting dates. That's why they're not called relationship apps.

Dates are where you peel the onion a bit and determine if you and your date have similar relationship goals. Your dating app bio is where you talk about your interests, lifestyle and what you bring to the table. You're selling yourself here, so use the real estate wisely. I'll use my bio as an example:

Trauma and PTSD recovery professional. Dog fan and pt walker. Small events biz owner (BOS & NYC.) Writer. Liberal. UES Dweller. Wine drinker. Equinox member. Interval trainer, cycler, yoga do-er. No kids, never married. Psychology podcasts are my crack.

Now, what does that tell you? My profession implies I'm compassionate and employed. Mentioning my self-owned small business implies I'm ambitious. I reveal where in Manhattan I live so people can decide if I'm geographically convenient for them. Including my love of wine lets them know I'm a social drinker. Throwing Equinox in there lets them know I can afford a luxury gym to give them an idea of my financial situation. It also makes clear I make staying in shape a priority and lead a reasonably healthy lifestyle without seeming too aggressive about it. No kids or exes means less drama. Finally, my love of psychology podcasts lets potential matches know I'm cerebral. My photos include face, social and body shots to help them determine if there's potential attraction.

You can't control who swipes right on you and who doesn't. That's why being too specific in your bio doesn't really do any good. For one, people rarely read bios until after a match has been made. Some even wait until they've set up a date. You can't be sure anybody knows what you are or are not looking for, so disclaimers and laundry lists are pretty useless. They're also counter-intuitive. Someone who presents themselves as on a mission to find a mate or have a family might actually do themselves in by being up front about that in their bio.

In fact, I would tell people to avoid any mention of what or who they're looking for in their bio. Let the reader determine if they're the right fit or not. By putting it all out there, you might actually be unknowingly turning people away who think they're not up to snuff.

What you can say is that you're a favorite aunt/uncle, come from a big family, or are close with your parents and siblings All these things let people know you're family-oriented without being all "OMIGOD PUT A BABY IN ME!"

You have to trust your instincts. If someone's bio is empty or sparsely filled or their pics are all shots of them at parties or posing provocatively or showing off their bodies in a gratuitous way, they're probably not what you're looking for. If they don't ask questions or show interest in your profile in those initial message exchanges, they're telling you they don't really care who you are and that they're just looking for a warm body. The Devil (or in this case, The Player) is in the details, so pay attention, because they will show you who they are.

I will say again that dating app "success" has nothing to do with finding The One and has everything to do with your willingness to keep going. I've made three matches this week and I've messaged all three men only for all three of them to not respond. It's hard to stick with it. I know. But you have to keep showing up. That's what makes for success. They can't find you if you're not out there, wherever "there" may be.

Good luck!

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