Dating apps are a ubiquitous feature of modern romantic life, but no one really gives you a rule book on how to use them properly. Users take to Tinder or Bumble with a basic idea of the app’s functionality, but no real clue about how to present themselves in the best possible light and interact meaningfully with the humans whose profiles pop up in their queues.
No wonder, then, that so many men are using Tinder, Bumble and other dating apps of choice all wrong. From being undiscerning in their right-swiping to having blank bios to being unable to take rejection on the chin, most men are stumbling through the process and failing to make it work to their advantage. It doesn’t have to be this way, though: all of the most common dating app mistakes are easy to rectify, but first, you need to understand what you’re doing wrong. So, without further ado, here are 8 ways you’re using Tinder, Bumble, etc. all wrong:
1. Right Swiping Indiscriminately
A lot of men struggle to accrue matches on dating apps, and one misguided strategy guys use to get as many matches as possible is to swipe right on users’ profiles indiscriminately. That way, at least you’re guaranteeing that if a woman has swiped right on you, you’re not “throwing away” the match by swiping left. However, this tactic doesn’t make sense if you take a longer term view of the purpose of using a dating app, which is not just to accrue matches, but to accrue matches with people you might actually want to form some kind of relationship with. It pays to be at least a little bit selective — a good rule of thumb is that, if you wouldn’t want to actually go on a date with the user, don’t swipe right.
2. Not Reading Bios
Another common dating app mistake men make is not reading the bios of the women coming up in their queues. It’s fairly common for men to swipe through a woman’s photos and make a decision on that basis, which is a mistake for at least two reasons. The first is that, put simply, personality matters, and while you can get a little bit of a glimpse of someone’s personality from their photos, their bio is really your best bet for seeing how smart, funny and thoughtful they are. The second is that, by not reading the bio, you’re depriving yourself of potential gold opening lines: asking a question about something a match has mentioned in her bio is pretty much a guaranteed way to kick off the conversation in a positive way.
3. Having A Poor Selection Of Photos
This one should be obvious, but men are surprisingly bad at selecting photos for their profiles. Sometimes they’ll include only group photos, making it impossible for users to tell which one is actually them, and other times they’ll have only photos in which they’re wearing sunglasses, which means no one can really tell what they look like. Others simply choose bad, unflattering shots. To avoid this mistake, your best bet is to upload as many photos as your dating app of choice will allow, and include a range of shots: individual and with friends; close ups of your face and full body pics; selfies and non-selfies; and photos showing you engaged in a variety of activities.
4. Having A Bad Bio, Or None At All
We know, drafting a dating app bio is hard work. You have to distill your desirability into fewer than 500 words, and hit the sweet spot between being too brief and waffling on endlessly about yourself. No wonder, then, that so many men leave the “about you” section blank or fill it with cliched one-liners (“If you don’t look like your pictures you’re buying the drinks until you do”, and so on). A good bio can be the difference between a left or right swipe, though, so you definitely need to have one. Aim for between one and three sentences that sum up your best features and convey what you’re looking for in a woman, in as witty and thoughtful a manner as you can muster.
5. Making The Conversation Sexual Way Too Early
Even if you are on Tinder, Bumble or other dating apps just to find casual hookups, not everyone is in the same boat, and you may find yourself getting unmatched or blocked if you come on too strong after getting a match. Again, this one should be obvious, but loads of women report receiving opening lines on Tinder like, “great boobs” or “are you DTF?”. Tasteless, rude messages like these fail about as spectacularly to secure their intended objective as you’d imagine, so stick with more wholesome openers: even if it does turn out that you’re both after a hookup, it’s better that that comes up in a more organic way.
6. Being Too Picky
On the other end of the spectrum from the guys who are blindly swiping right like there’s no tomorrow are the ones who are overly choosy when it comes to potential dates. These are the guys that swipe as though they’re difficult-to-please modeling scouts, with bios that read like demanding wishlists of female qualities, e.g. “You should be fit, smart and able to hold a conversation. No dog filters or mirror selfies. I prefer redheads.” The woman of your dreams may just happen to find the dog filter funny, so avoid being overly narrow in your hunt for dates and keep your mind — and options — open.
7. Letting The Conversation Lose Momentum
Even if you’ve matched with someone cute and got the ball rolling with a great opening line, it’s still easy for the conversation to lose momentum if you’re not careful. Failing to ask questions about your match or move beyond the quotidian, “so, how has your day been?” level of small talk will likely mean you end up losing her interest. Bear in mind that women tend to accrue matches more easily than men do, and have inboxes full of men sending variations of messages like, “Hey! How are you?” and “So how was your day?”, so try to stand out by being engaging, asking thoughtful questions and putting a date on the table at the right moment.
RELATED: How To Talk To Women On Tinder, Explained
8. Not Knowing When To Call It A Day
Every woman has a story about losing interest in a guy on Tinder or Bumble only to see her inbox fill up with futile attempts to re-start the conversation — and then another, and another, and, oh God, another — even when she’s long stopped replying. Pleading a series of “hey!”s into the void is not going to change her mind, so if your match has stopped replying to you, move on gracefully. You may have thought that the conversation was going well or be perplexed that she’s suddenly ghosted you, but unfortunately that’s part of dating life, and there’s nothing you can do about it except move on to the next, more enthusiastic match. Don’t waste any more of your own time.
It’s easy to make these 8 common mistakes on dating apps, and you may be feeling guilty or embarrassed about engaging in some of them yourself. Don’t worry about it too much, though: fortunately, there’s a simple fix for each one, and now that you’re aware of them, you can be confident you’ll be putting your best foot forward next time you start swiping. Steer clear of these common pitfalls, and you’ll be racking up the matches and dates in no time.