Online dating can be a blast, but let’s be honest, it’s also really, really complicated. We’ve set our sights on helping you create a killer profile that’ll make the rest of the process a breeze. (Okay, serious creepers notwithstanding.) We tapped divine Parisienne Marina Khorosh, who runs the amazing modern gal’s guide to love, Dbag Dating, for her tips on how to win at Tinder, Bumble and the like.
Choose Your App Wisely
"In our modern world of option overload, we are bombarded by myriads of dating apps, each claiming to have configured an earth-shattering algorithm to lead you to your potential soul mate. Rather than downloading them all and quickly burning out, pick one or two based on your personality and intentions. All about those creative types? Apply to Raya—aka the holy grail of (D-list) musicians. Freaked out by potential stalkers? Go for Bumble, where women must make the first move. Guided by religion? The spiritual options are endless. Narrow down your target and proceed accordingly."
Pick A Good Lead-In
"Most guys never even look past the main picture, hence a proper lead-in is key. Optimize your chances by going for that one approachable, people-pleasing photo all your friends have signed off on. Rules of thumb: No cigarettes, no excessive pouting, no duck faces and no belfies (selfie involving your rear end)—you'll have the opportunity for all those gems later on. My own lead-in is the product of professional lighting, a Dries van Noten jacket, and three hours of my friend Photoshopping out my under-eye circles, amounting to the most presentable-looking version of myself. Pro tip: If you're on multiple apps, be careful to use the same lead-in to preserve some anonymity!"
Let Your Profile Tell A Story
"Most apps allow for about five photos, so pick strategically. The goal is to put your best foot (or angle, or outfit) forward while showing them what you're made of. The expert self-marketing gurus of the Raya app have taught me that a winning profile includes a delicate mix of the following pictures:
- The Close-Up Selfie. Repeat after me: Natural makeup, one filter max. Guys weren't born yesterday and can detect Kylie Jenner contouring and FaceTune overload a screen away. Instead, give them a clear look into your eyes, heart and soul—just kidding. But at least give them a clear look at your face!
- The Intellectual. Because you’re not just cute, you also have a brain! And hobbies. And interests. To display that cerebral weapon, showcase one pic of yourself at a museum or next to a cultural monument. It's a cheap trick, but photographing your GPA isn't exactly an option.
- The Adventurer. A picture of you in an adrenaline-fueled environment, be it mid-bungee-jump, on safari or even just on a nature hike. Not only do you look healthy and athletic, it proves you to be a life-lover who won’t kill his snowboarding joy.
- The Full Body. Anti-feminist as it sounds, one full body shot is fair—especially if you're that girl who asks guys about their height. Belfies, trendy as they are, are not mandatory.
Keep Text Short and Sweet
"This is not LinkedIn, so skip the life achievement summary. Instead, give a glimpse of your actual personality, that quality we are all oh-so-determined to be adored for. Share a few random facts about yourself that a suitor can relate to: pets, music and favorite TV shows top the list. Keep your Pinterest and artisanal ice cream obsessions to yourself, unless you're looking for a man who shares said passions. In which case, proceed to Hipsterville at your own risk."
Trust Your Gut
"Moving on to the swipe game—many girls feel like they should be going for the "good on paper" guys with Ivy League degrees and perfect stockbroker career paths. I say: Ain't nothing wrong with a bit of weird! Something about that stocky funny guy making you smile? Take a leap of faith and go for it—it worked for Charlotte York! Think of it as testing out the good old fate concept everyone is accusing dating apps of destroying."
Skip The Rules
"The one thing most guys complain about when it comes to dating apps is that girls don't show enough personality and play too many games. Be that refreshing change they all seem to be yearning for. Be fun, be curious, be foolish! (Do I sound like Steve Jobs or what?) In all seriousness, the moment you start having fun with it, great things will follow."