Like it or not, dating apps and websites seem to be the way to meet new people and potential matches these days. While I’ve seen many happy relationships and marriages begin in these modern ways, I’ve also heard all the shortcomings: âThere are too many catfishâ; âIt takes too longâ; “I’m not getting the matches I’m looking for.” You get it.
I hate to be the person telling you this, but the problem might not be the dating appâ¦ it might be you. Here are some reasons online dating isn’t “working” for you, and how to turn the tide and get started on the road to success.
Do not have a profile (or a bad profile)
There is really no point in having a dating profile if it contains little or no information about yourself. Online dating takes effort. In other words, how can you expect your dream person to just text when they don’t know anything about you and have to rely solely on photos? You will get little activity with this tactic.
Have a generic profile
After reading a lot of profiles (to put it mildly), I can tell you that almost everyone loves traveling and the outdoors. They are also all looking for a partner in crime. And, of course, they are all honest, kind and like to laugh. Unfortunately, this says very little about you to the person reading your profile. What makes you unique? Maybe it’s because you sewed your own living room curtains or won your town’s Halloween costume contest. (Of course, there’s nothing wrong with traveling and being outdoors, but get a little more specific: how do you like to spend that time outdoors? What’s your favorite place you’ve travelled?)
List all the things you are NOT looking for
Many people think that listing all the traits they aren’t looking for in a partner saves everyone time. However, it makes you look overwhelmingly negative, which is an immediate turnoff for most. Instead, present things in a positive light. Instead of saying, “I don’t want a partner who’s a lazy guy who doesn’t have a job,” try something like, “I appreciate hard work and determination, and I look for similar traits in a partner.”
Post all selfies or mirror photos
I get it, sometimes our friends and family aren’t the best photographers. However, a profile full of selfies or mirror selfies is a deterrent for a number of reasons, although not all of them are true. Selfies can feel unnatural, pointless, or give the impression that you don’t get out much. I recommend that your main photo be one that clearly shows your face (no sunglasses or masks), at least one full body photo, and a few that show your personality or the things you like to do. After all, someone is much more likely to say, “That’s such a cool photoâ¦ where did you take it?” than “Nice restrooms in the background!”
Having too many group photos
Online daters have short attention spans and play “Where’s Waldo?” can age very quickly, probably resulting in a left swipe. Many think that group photos show that you are a social person, but it also creates an unintended comparison with your friends or family members. Keep the focus on you.
Do not ask questions of the other person
There is nothing worse than receiving a message that simply says “hello”. This puts all the pressure on the other person to keep the conversation going. Instead, I always recommend starting with a question – it might be generic, but you’re more likely to get an answer if you mention something from their profile that shows you actually took a few moments to throw a question there. a look. By asking questions, the person on the other side of the conversation is much more likely to respondâ¦hopefully with a question for you.
If a chat with a match seems to be going well, it’s time to take it to the next level by setting up a phone/video or in-person meetup. You can talk about it casually by saying, “I’m enjoying our conversation so farâ¦maybe we’ll continue over coffee sometime?” I’m pretty free next week. Another option is to ask a question to answer, “It’s actually a good story, but it’s better in person.” Maybe I can tell you over a drink? It’s a little scary to make this move, but it’s better than pen pals for weeks on end with no clear intention.
Getting too sexual
Here’s the thing: don’t. Whether it’s a “joke” in your profile or trying to appear “naughty” by messaging someone, getting sexual is usually a complete disconnect. It makes you feel like you’re only interested in a connection, not a meaningful relationship.
Have bad grammar in your profile
I implore you, have a friend take a look at your profile (or run it through an online program like Grammarly) for a quick edit. While knowing “your” from “you” isn’t the end of the world, it does make you seem less intelligent than you probably are. It also gives the impression of being lazy, like you don’t take the time to think about what you write in your bio. Avoid long, drawn-out sentences, don’t use correct punctuation and messy formatting, which make your profile less appealing to the reader (or just very hard to read).
Don’t make an effort
If you’ve created a blank profile that you rarely check, update or maintain, then no, online dating won’t work for you. Write a thoughtful biography, choose some of your favorite photos, and spend some time â even if it’s 10 minutes a day â checking your app activity. If you get a message and don’t reply for three weeks, that person has probably moved on and you may have missed an opportunity.
Erika Ettin is the founder of A Little Nudge, where she helps others navigate the often daunting world of online dating. Want to get in touch with Erika? Join his newsletter, eepurl.com/dpHcH for updates and tips.
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