The old adage "You only get one chance to make a first impression" rings particularly true on the popular dating app Tinder. You log in through Facebook, select a few photos of yourself, type in a line or two about who you are, then get to matching with people in your area. You like them and they like you? Boom: you're flirting within seconds.
Here's the thing: Guys though don't really analyze your Tinder profile. On average we spend about five seconds per woman, often determining whether we would like to match with you/take you for a drink/hook up right off the bat. Here's some advice on how to get us simple-minded, ADHD-addled men to swipe right.
1. Don't post a blurry or dark picture. Is that really the best pic you have of your face? The one that's all pixely and has horrible backlighting from the club? Don't make that your initial picture. Swap it out for a full body shot or at least something that lets us see you.
2. Don't lead with that group shot of you and the girls. If a guy sees a photo of you and your friend and doesn't know which is which he's more likely to swipe left than click on the photo and do the detective work to figure out who you are. As one of my friends said of the app, "A pic with eight of her friends in it is a red flag." Why can't you just stand on your own? Also, if there are multiple photos of you and your friends the guy will hit the X button. Don't make us work to figure out what you even look like.
3. Don't list your height. I have a sinking suspicion that there are two main reasons women list their height on Tinder: they see men do it and are feeling reciprocal or they are taller than average and want to let people know. I hate the double standard here, but a man posts his height because he knows it might appeal to some women if he's tall. Many of the women I talked to post their height because they are self-conscious about it and don't want it to be an issue. Listing your height in the initial page is another red flag. You are saying "Hey just a heads up here's the first obstacle: I'm tall." Why lead with an obstacle? Why assume you being tall is an obstacle to begin with? Maybe let the flirting begin and if it's important to you, mention it right before you decide to go out with the guy.
4. Don't do deep quotes. "What does she have to prove here?" lamented one friend of mine. "Show, don't tell." If you want to list a quote that showcases your personality be picky about it; sometimes a reference to Arrested Development will bring in less douchey guys than quoting Dante. It's hard to come off deep on Tinder. Let your flirting communicate it, not your initial page.
5. Don't lead with a joke photo. Your name with an initial photo of a cat wearing a pirate hat doesn't convey to a guy that you have a sense of humor. It conveys that you feel self-conscious about even being on Tinder. If you're unsure, guys will be unsure why they should reach out to you. It's fine to include one photo with some levity, but don't lead with it.
1. Do include some opening line on your profile. It doesn't have to reveal every aspect of who you are, but if you can include one line about your interests, it gives guys an opportunity to connect with you in a genuine way. One friend of mine said of Tinder, "Men are tired of having to think of cheeky pickup lines." If you say that you like a certain television show or activity, the guy will have something to open with. Plus, it will be easier for you to determine which guys are trying to flirt with you, as opposed to delivering the same line to every woman he's matched with.
2. Do include at least one clear photo of your face. One friend said it had to be a clear body shot but I think most gentlemen just want to get a hit of your energy and who you are, and a photo of your face reveals that.
3. Do know what you're looking for. There are men on Tinder who are looking to hook up and others looking to date. If your opening image is of you doing handstands on the beach in a bikini that is more likely to indicate to a guy that you're DTF than if you were in a dress at a friend's holiday party.
4. Do include more than two photos. Tinder is a visual medium, at least until you match and start chatting. Let the guy click and see a few photos. Two or fewer photos indicates to the guy that you may not be into the Tinder thing, or worse, those are the only two photos you think you look attractive in.
5. Do be semi-active. You don't have to check your Tinder profile every hour but a guy is less likely to swipe right if he notices you haven't been on the app for a few weeks. If you have been on in the last 24 hours he knows he actually has a shot of matching with you and having a semi-normal conversation, and is more likely to click on the check button.
Even though it's Tinder, be truthful and genuine. The more straight-forward you are about what you want in your relationships the more likely you are to get it.
Lodro Rinzler is the author of "Walk Like a Buddha: Even if Your Boss Sucks, Your Ex is Torturing You, and You're Hungover Again" and the founder of the Institute for Compassionate Leadership.
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