Twelve tips to get your dating profile more messages

May 14, 2021
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Tinder, Match, Bumble, Hinge, eHarmony…what do they all have in common?

Instead of revealing enough information about a man to show if his personality and mine will be compatible, I have no clue if a dude is a sweetheart or a serial killer — or somewhere in between.

Most of the apps make it difficult to decide whether I should swipe right or left. And that frustrates me because I’m wasting too much time and money. Time is almost as valuable as the money because if I get discouraged during the process, I just want to quit online dating altogether.

I’m not alone. Many singles have felt similar disappointment during this coronavirus mess. With a mask obscuring the bottom half of our face, including our smiles, while we’re out and about town, we’re highly unlikely to bump into a potential partner at the grocery store or bank. Even if you do, how do you flirt from a six-foot distance and shouting through a mask? I challenge anyone to attempt that. I’m lucky if I can breathe through it, much less talk and flirt.

Add the fact that many of us are working from home, and you’ll see why many people have given up on dating, at least until most people are vaccinated and life goes back to what it was before March 2020. 

Stuck at home on our laptop or smartphone, it gives us a cheap thrill to get a notification that someone saw our profile or sent us a message on Bumble or Tinder. Hey, maybe we won’t be alone next Saturday night after all. We could meet somebody for coffee and our whole world might change.

Yet the dating app world sometimes provides false hope. That’s often because some of the singles online exert precious little effort. 

Daters don’t realize that they’re selling themselves. Think of the ads on TV. You have to do more than just post a fuzzy photo in a mask and sunglasses, saying you enjoy “long walks on the beach and margaritas.” 

Doesn’t everybody like the beach and a cool drink? Guys, I have no incentive to swipe right. You sound like everyone else. I need more, damn it.

I’m not unfairly picking on men here, either. Although I never look at women’s profiles, a few guys tell me that many of them lack basic information as well. So both genders would get more messages if you read these tips and do a little more work. 

With that in mind, here are 12 easy tips about what should and shouldn’t be on your dating profile.

Keep your shirt on

Please post photos that do NOT bare your chest. Guys, women are not as visual as you are. While it’s great to show off that hot bod, most of us don’t want a gym rat who’s in love with his abs and pecs. We don’t need to see the results before we meet you. So keep your shirts on. Have a little dignity.

Remove the shades, please

Ditch the hat and sunglasses. And for Pete’s sake, ditch the mask, too. Now that we’re getting vaccinated, we can expose our whole face again! You may not think you look good with balding hair or that your eyes aren’t gorgeous, but women need some truth in advertising. You’re not doing yourself any favors by hiding half your face and head. Believe me, there are a few women out there who like bald men and smiling eyes. The eyes really are the windows to the soul.

Forget the fish pics

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a guy posing with the fish he allegedly caught. First of all, fishing is not my favorite hobby. It reminds me of a cave man who comes home with dinner for the night. Yes, I get it. You’re proud that you can provide for a lady and her kids. But all it does is make me think about having to clean that smelly, scaly fish. No, thank you.

Reserve the bathroom for showers

No more bathroom selfies, please dear God. These are so common it’s not even charming anymore. Actually, it never was charming. Surely you have friends who can snap your photo out in the sunlight.

Outside pics, especially if you’re a guy who loves to be outdoors as so many of you proclaim, provide much better lighting. In fact, many people look more attractive in good lighting. Plus that annoying light from the flash in the mirror draws my eye to it before I even glimpse your face.

Drop the group shots

Some dudes post too many group photos. Which one is you? This guessing game is not much fun. If that’s your son in the pic, I think he’s hotter, sorry to say. It’s better not to show a woman all your friends as a comparison. The biggest turn-off is pictures with one or more women in them, unless she’s your daughter. Or the photos with your kids’ faces blacked out. That will just  distract me. Keep the focus on you because you’re my potential date.

Cut and paste, cut and paste

Some people post the same photo twice or even three times. What’s the point of this, anyway? I get it if you don’t have enough good photos. We should all post at least three pictures. It only takes a few minutes to ask a friend if he’ll snap one of you outdoors. 

Put your tongue away

Ditch the weird pics of you sticking out your tongue, crossing your eyes or dressed in your Halloween costume. This is a trend lately. People seem to think that being weird is an asset. These photos make me wonder what’s wrong with you, not that you’re being playful.  

Show off your best duds

Do post pics of yourself dressed in a suit or a tux. These pics make me smile every time. ZZ Top had a good point, every woman is crazy about a sharp-dressed man. This shows you off as a man who is professional and earns a good living. In other words, you have your act together. Don’t hide your body size

Don’t hide the real you

How many times have I seen someone say he’s “a few extra pounds” when he’s really overweight or even obese? Again, truth in advertising, guys. If you feel too large, then try one of the millions of diet programs out there. On the other hand, there may be a woman out there who likes to date an overweight man. As for me, it’s a deal breaker. We all have them.

Get ready for your close-up

Don’t even bother with full body photos from Siberia. By this, I mean the camera is too far away from you. I want to see your face, first and foremost. The camera cannot register your odor, so don’t be afraid to snap a selfie outside.

That doesn’t impress me much

Vacation photos aren’t necessary. It’s wonderful that you’ve been to just about every nation on the planet but bragging about it is a turn-off. Maybe some women are impressed but for me it’s rather annoying because it reminds me how long my bucket list is and that I haven’t seen the countries I want to see yet.

Don’t lie about your lifestyle

Finally, the most important deal breaker for many of us: Not being honest about smoking or drinking. Once I met a guy who said he was a non-smoker but when he kissed me, he had clove cigarettes on his breath. That was a rude awakening.

We are blessed to live in a time when we can get medical aid to help us quit smoking. There’s the patch. Instead of lying about this filthy habit, try again to quit. It’s not impossible. I have many friends who have done it and lived to feel healthier and happier. You’ll live longer to be a pain in the butt to your kids and grandkids.

There you have it: a little advice about what to add and delete from a dating profile. This isn’t a complete list but if you follow most of this, I can assure you that you’ll receive more messages from the ladies. On Bumble, for instance, the women initiate all the messages. A guy’s goal is to get more messages, obviously. 

Unless you’re a serial dater and want to be on the apps for many years, give these tips a shot. Dating is difficult even during non-COVID times, but it’s necessary if you want to find a long-term partner and put the apps away. 

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