How To Get More Right Swipes, More Matches & Be More Successful on Dating Apps: Tips, Tricks & Advice on App Choice, Bios, Prompts, Answers, Photos & Messages
If you have spent any time on dating apps or have friends, colleagues or family members who use dating apps you should be familiar with one of the biggest frustrations: lack of matches. This is mostly an issue with men on dating apps due to gender ratios on most apps but it also has to do with the user experience on the apps themselves.
There are a variety of ways you can improve your chances for success on dating apps and I have outlined a many ways below. Focusing merely on one or two different methods is not enough. Dating apps are competitive and with endless profiles a few swipes away you need to put your best foot forward with your app choice, profile, bio, photos, prompts, answers and messages.
Self-sabotage is usually the biggest reason for lack of success on dating apps. Most people never get good feedback on their profiles from trusted sources. Some people get bad advice from pop culture articles, crowdsourced answers from Reddit etc. but most sources of these advice columns are people who struggle with dating themselves. Either they are not familiar with some or most apps, do not constantly research apps on the market nor do they talk to folks who use apps regularly both those who struggle and those who have had much success.
New Profiles, Front-loaded Matches, Regression To The Mean
Most people get a good amount of matches when they start dating apps and after a few days, usually the number dies down. Most people can’t comprehend lead scoring when it comes to date leads. Over time, fewer and fewer people will match with you because the app is looking to get your hooked early and then monetize your account down the road. Additionally, once people see your profile and provide feedback early on, there is a regression to the mean on how others perceive you.
When this happens you have to work on yourself offline and online to get more matches (photos, bios, prompts, filters, messages etc.). If you try to game the system and reset your account, you will likely get banned. Dating apps are pretty sophisticated when it comes to catching people who try to create new accounts to get more matches (it’s more than just emails and phone numbers). I am familiar with the ways apps can detect such behavior but I will not reveal it publicly to alert creeps, reward bad behavior nor people trying to game the system.
Don’t try it or else risk getting banned and self-sabotaging your dating life.
Appearance, Lifestyle & Emotional Availability
Before you start to analyze ways to improve your profile you have to look at yourself and see if you are ready, is online dating for you and ways to improve your yourself offline. Better photos, bios, app choices and messages certainly can help but offline efforts have more of an impact on your dating life than all those items listed.
Everyone can stand to improve their appearance whether is exercising, eating better, updating their bland, outdated, juvenile wardrobe, optimizing colors and styles to complement your skin tone, hair and body type, getting a new haircut or utilizing proper grooming techniques.
As people get older, some get too comfortable with their job, lifestyle, environment etc. and don’t make an effort to dress up, look good, or get fit. Online dating is competitive, there will always be someone younger, more attractive, more fit, better dressed etc. It is crucial to be ambitious, always work on yourself to put the best you possible.
Given the competition and readily available options comes with some warning. Online dating is rather anonymous in the sense that people choose to divulge only part of their lives. Using dating apps does not give a complete glimpse into someone’s life, character, intent and ambitions. Ability to read people, using good judgement, asking questions, being patient, not making excuses and having thick skin are all skills needed to be successful online.
Being physically ready is just one part of the equation when it comes to getting ready to use a dating app. Being emotionally available is also an important aspect to dating. That means being in a good place to put baggage behind you, not being defensive, and not talking bad about exes. No one is ever in a perfect place but everyone should aim to work on themselves continually. Being recently divorced may hinder ability to be vulnerable or willing to take chances. Being hurt from past relationships might require additional time to heal. Years of struggle and frustration with dating might make you too jaded to give people a chance and a clean slate.
Dating App Choice
Not all apps are the same. Apps favor some people more than others depending on age, location, gender, ethnicity, height etc. Using the app that your friend recommends or has the most users is not always the recommended choice of action. Understanding who you are and what you are looking to attract are important to figure out which app is best for you. Apps like Tinder are known for more casual hookups but in some locations it is the only option in town. Apps like Hinge and Bumble are popular for young professionals but may not be the best option for those in remote suburbs and rural areas.
Age, Location, Filters, Preferences, Deal-Breakers & Swiping Outside Your League
Even if you manage to select the best app for your lifestyle and demographics, you can still have a hard time getting matches. Using too narrow filters can limit the number of profiles you seek. Having an unrealistic view about whom you can attract relative to your age is also a common mistake people make. Focusing on people too young for you is something I see often on people’s profiles all the time.
Dating apps provide an array of preferences, filters and deal-breakers to help you narrow your search but it is a know fact people are more picky on dating apps than they would be offline. With that in mind, it is important to be honest with yourself when deciding what is a preference vs what is a deal-breaker for you. Adding 1 year to the top end of your desired age range or subtracting 1 inch from your minimum height requirement or lowering the number of advanced degrees someone can make your life much easier if you let it.
While I don’t believe in swiping outside your league is a rigid or perfect rule it should serve as a guideline for navigating dating apps. If guys focus on girls who are only 1 inch below their height and above, they might be in for a rude awakening. Similarly, if guys in their 50s only target women in their 20s and 30s, dating apps might be a significant challenge for such men.
Online Dating App Photos
Dating photos are arguably the biggest factor in online dating success and experience (aside from offline factors). Many people are too shy or embarrassed to admit they are on dating apps and because of that rarely seek out help on how to improve their profiles and photos.
Professional dating photos are not needed for success (I myself would argue they are likely to hurt you because most photographers butcher the photos making them seem fake, retouched and deceiving). Good solid photos with smiles, comfort in your own skin, approachability and uniqueness are the simple ways you can improve your photos.
Using too few photos, too many photos, lack of smiles, using dark, distant, blurry photos, relying on outdated photos that no longer reflect your appearance or cropping people out are all obvious red flags when it comes to dating apps. I wrote extensively on dating app photos here: https://eddie-hernandez.com/online-dating-profile-photos-intro/
Bios, Questions, Prompts & Answers
Bios, prompts and answers to prompts usually are ignored by most people and I see why – photos are the biggest indicators of success online. This doesn’t mean you can let this part of your profile go ignored. Incomplete bios, generic/joke prompts, lazy answers are always people measure someone’s maturity, intent, ambition and character. If you don’t think so, then try it yourself. You may be able to get likes with joke answers and you might be able to get a few matches and hookups out of them too but if you want someone of quality and substance you will need to put in the effort, show sincerity and be honest about what you want.
For more detailed examples of what you should include in your dating profile bio, check out this post I wrote: https://eddie-hernandez.com/how-to-write-an-online-dating-profile/
Likes and Messages
You can tell a lot about a person and the way they initiate the first contact with you. Likes are quick and easy. They are also lazy and effortless. Always go with a message first. I often hear people say likes get as much success or more than messages – I do not doubt this but I will counter it by saying quantity over quality and these anecdotal observations assume you are a good writer. Most people are awful at writing thoughtful, creative, funny, interesting messages.
Even if you are a good writer, taking too long to respond or not being efficient in your messages to the point that you have to go back and forth too many times can leave people annoyed and impatient. Communication skills are a highly underrated thing when it comes to dating apps. A lack of in-person feel or even audio communication leaves a lot of ambiguity through digital communication channels.
Online Dating Red Flags
The above items are ways to improve your profile but some people still manage to self-sabotage their efforts despite the advice and help I provide. An inability to know understand and analyze items in a profile is somewhat subjective and some people need to be reminded of what are some ways they manage to hurt their chances of success. So for you, here are some additional things to look out for in your dating profiles.
Online Dating Red Flags: https://eddie-hernandez.com/online-dating-red-flags/
About Eddie Hernandez
Eddie Hernandez is a professional photographer specializing in natural, candid online dating photos. Featured in the SFGate, ABC7News, East Bay Express, Salon; contributor to Good Men Project, Plenty Of Fish and Meddle. In addition to photos, he provides guidance around app choice, bio optimization, messaging techniques, wardrobe advice and date ideas. https://eddie-hernandez.com/contact/
Online Dating Safety Tips
Check out this guide on how to stay safe on dating apps: https://eddie-hernandez.com/online-dating-safety-tips/
Online Dating Etiquette
Check out this post on etiquette around apps, messaging, profiles and dates: https://eddie-hernandez.com/online-dating-etiquette/
Online Dating Resource Guide
Comprehensive resource guide for stats, studies, surveys around dating apps: https://eddie-hernandez.com/online-dating-resource-guide/
Online Dating Frequently Asked Questions (Photos, App Choice, Wardrobe, Messaging, Bios and More): https://eddie-hernandez.com/online-dating-frequently-asked-questions/
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