It’s a Brave New World
So I told you guys a few days ago about how I recently decided to take control of my dating life…or my non-dating life, which feels like a more accurate description of how things were going…by signing up for the dating app, Bumble. And the past month and a half of my life has been one wild ride! As I mentioned in my last post, I have never tried any form of online dating or dating app until now, so learning the ropes of this brave new world has been fun and challenging and eye-opening all at once. It has literally challenged me to my core to have to put myself out there and initiate conversations and even dates with men…which might seem silly to some of you…but for me, as someone who’s been somewhat stuck in my traditional ways for some time now, it’s been HUGE. And also scary and exhilarating and nerve-wracking and empowering. You see, that’s the big difference between Bumble and other dating apps: the woman has to make the first move. Why? You might ask. Because it’s designed to give control to the woman and allow her to pick and choose who she wants to talk to rather than be besieged by tons of unwanted advances. Basically, you swipe right on a man you’re interested in and if he swipes right on you, too, and you match – you then have 24 hours to send him a message. Once you send the message, he then has 24 hours to respond. And then hopefully the magic starts to happen. But we’ll get to that! Before you can send a message, or even really get started swiping, you have to set up your profile. And the key to success at online dating is…the profile.
Granted I’ve only been doing this a little over a month, but it didn’t take long for me to catch onto the fact that there are a few keys to a successful online dating profile. In no particular order, here are a few easy tips for making your profile stand out:
- The Bio. You have a few short sentences to tell the world who you are…make them count. It’s important to provide people with a glimpse into who you are and your personality rather than simply listing your stats like the back of a baseball card. Humor is always good. I recommend staying away from anything too heavy and serious (i.e. “I haven’t dated in two years because I’ve been mourning my divorce and am just getting back out there!”) because if you match and connect with someone, there’s always time to get into serious stuff later. I’m actually including a screenshot of my Bumble profile here so you can hopefully get some ideas for writing your own unique bio.
- Pictures: I think it’s important to stay away from all heavily filtered/professional photos. Obviously you want to put your best foot forward, but if your every photo is a glamour shot, you’re not giving people the chance to see the real you. I think it’s good to mix and match close-ups with full body shots, and to also include pics of you in action, doing things you love to do. If you have six mirror selfies, you’re not exactly offering a glimpse into who you are. I’ve even had guy friends tell me they steer clear of profiles of women with all mirror selfies because it just comes off as boring and lacking in imagination. Also, please reconsider super sexy, duck lips, bikini, or otherwise scantily-clad photos. Unless you’re just looking for a hook-up…then by all means, carry on.
- Overall, let your personality shine through your pics and your bio. There is a very limited amount of space to tell men you might want to date who you are. Put out there what you hope to attract back. If you want to attract someone who’s into the outdoors or plays or books or movies, make sure your profile reflects those interests. And above all…be yourself. Eventually you’re going to meet some of your connections in person and you want the person they meet to be as close to the profile they swiped right on as possible.
Once you’ve got your colorful, fun, authentic profile up and going…the next big step is sending that first message to the men you connect with. And that can be intimidating. Particularly if you’re like me and tend to wait on the guy to initiate. (Here’s where all the antiquated advice we’ve heard from books like “The Rules” starts to kick in. We resist moving with the times and realizing that it’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, and things have changed. But they have, in fact, changed. Whether or not we choose to adapt or let our dating life suffer because of years of bad advice we’ve been given is up to us. Much more on this later.) But you want your message to be cute and fun and something that stands out rather than just a lame “hi.” Reason being is that these men are likely getting hit with numerous messages from other women and you don’t want to get lost in the shuffle. My way of navigating this process so far has been to try and connect my first message back with something fun on his profile. (To that end, men of Bumble: START FILLING OUT YOUR BIOS!) Even if his bio is blank, you can still usually find something within his profile pics that’s conversation-worthy. And if not, you might just have to use your imagination and come up with something cute and flirty that’s not related to his profile…but as long as you stay away from the boring, unoriginal “Hi,” you’re golden. Now, all that said, you might have to warm up a bit and try and few different approaches before you find one that works. When I first started bumbling, some of my opening lines were horribly cheesy. Interestingly enough, one of the corniest lines I used on a guy actually ended up leading to a fun flirtation/something-I-don’t-really-know-how-to-categorize that’s still going on a month later…so I guess there’s an exception to every rule 🙂
I wanted to give you guys sort of a starter, crash course in Bumble 101, as I’ve had a lot of questions from people about using the app over the past couple of weeks. For those of you who still have questions…I’ll be doing a Twitter Q&A tonight at 6pm CT with my friends at Bumble and answering anything you’d like to know about the app or online dating, so join us! Just make sure you’re following me and Bumble on Twitter to follow along.
And as always…sound off in the comments below! With online dating tips, questions, feedback, or your experiences with Bumble or any other dating app. We’re all in this together, ladies! And I don’t know about you, but it helps me to hear from other people who are also venturing out into this brave new dating world.
Also, make sure you check out the new Bumble Buzz tab on my website to keep up with all my Bumble/online dating adventures!