There was a time when I was spending hours a day on dating apps. I had recently moved to New York, and I was determined to find a new relationship to go along with my brand new life. But despite all my efforts (I was on five apps at once, y’all), I wasn’t connecting with as many people as I had hoped. Chances are, if you’ve tried online dating, you can relate to this. Sometimes it feels like you’re not matching with people on dating apps, even when you’re giving it your all. What’s going on here?
The strategy of online dating can be confusing, and part of it just comes down to luck. Some people get on apps and meet a great potential partner within the first week, while others spend months or even years trying to make a meaningful connection. And yet, according to 2019 data from Match.com, more singles met their last date online than anywhere in person (at a bar, through friends and family, or during a work or school event). Online dating is working for people, but that doesn’t mean it’s always easy. And if you’re not getting many promising matches, you might be wondering if you need a new approach.
According to a Bumble spokesperson, the app sees an average of 23 million matches per week around the world. That’s like, 0.3% of the number of human beings on earth — it’s a lot. But if none of these matches are showing up in your personal queue, there could be a number of reasons for that. The first is that your profile may not capture your individuality. “This is your opportunity to show off your amazing sense of humor and let your next potential match get to know a little bit about you,” the Bumble spokesperson tells Elite Daily. “Everyone loves a funny, unique profile.” Don’t hold back on expressing your specific quirks and interests on your profile — after all, anyone who dates you IRL will need to get on board with these qualities, too.
If your photos are blurry, or if you leave sections of your profile blank, you’re less likely to attract people to you. “Give specific examples or anecdotes that show your matches what sets you apart,” the Bumble rep explains. “If you like to cook, what’s your favorite dish to make? Have you been to a great concert or festival recently? What’s your favorite local spot on a Saturday night?”
In the age of Instagram influencers, capturing your authentic personality online isn’t easy. You may be tempted to manufacture a highlight reel to show off to potential matches. But what you lose when you do this is your real, unfiltered voice and personality. Sure, you could be limiting the pool of potentially interested parties when you make your bio super specific — and that probably feels counterproductive to your goal of meeting more people. But actually, data shows that unique bios are more attractive to people. “Show off photos that show what makes you, you,” Melissa Hobley, Global Chief Marketing Officer at OkCupid, tells Elite Daily. “This makes it much easier for people to reach out — you’re giving them an easy intro message.”
Most potential matches appreciate when they feel a connection to you, and this can only really happen when you share things you care about. Hobley also suggests keeping your bio updated and refreshing the photos every so often. “An estimated 1 in 3 dating app users don’t update their profile once they put it up — but adding new pictures increases your likes by at least two times,” she explains.
You should also make an effort to look as much like your natural self as possible. A Tinder spokesperson tells Elite Daily that hats and sunglasses are a definite no-go: “Anything that hides your face decreases your chance of a right swipe by 12%.” It also helps when you’re clearly facing forward and smiling in your photos — and when your photographs are clear and bright (portrait mode for the win!) without looking overly staged.
Whether you’re looking for a relationship or a hookup, be honest in your bio about what you want. “Your bio is a space where you can show off your personality, likes, dislikes, and most importantly set your intentions,” the Tinder rep explains. This will help you avoid matching with people who aren’t on the same page as you.
Ultimately, the best way to increase your number of matches is just by being yourself. It sounds cliché, but in reality, you want your profile to reflect your personality as much as possible. You won’t match with everyone in the universe this way, but you’ll connect with people who are intrigued by what you have to offer. And that’s truly the best way to spark a happy relationship, whether it’s a quick fling or a lifelong bond.
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