Figuring out how to portray yourself on a dating app is hard, especially when you're trying to match with the kind of people you actually want to date. Since I need some major help on that front, I reached out to dating and relationship expert Alexis Sclamberg for tips on how to present the real you online (no compromises!) and find sweet success.
- Say exactly what you want.
Don’t beat around the bush. If you’re looking for something serious, say it. You'll attract relationship-minded people, and only scare off those who are afraid of commitment—which you’d rather find out about sooner than later. Sclamberg explains, “Avoid being generic, and make your intention clear if you want to filter faster and better.”
- Add your social media handle.
I love a good stalk, don’t you? Not only do I like to peruse my potential partner’s social media (if they use too many hashtags, it’s a hard no for me), but I like them to have access to my handles as well to get a deeper sense of what I’m about. A bio can only tell you so much.
- Ask an icebreaker question.
A clever question on your profile can help intros flow more easily between you and your matches and could also help foster intimacy quickly. But don't be boring: Something like, “Do you regret attending college, or do you think it was worth the expense?” is sure to get a meaningful convo going fast.
- Show an authentic collection of photos.
Some (or let’s face it, most) people just look at the photos on dating apps, so you gotta come correct when it comes to pics. That means no old photos or anything that’s overly filtered or edited. Sclamberg suggests including a clear body shot, a picture of your face, and an action shot of you in your element—maybe hiking or cuddling your super cute puppy. But one rule everyone should definitely follow: No pictures of kids unless they are your kids. That can get très confusing.
- Use multimedia.
Use all the elements at your disposal to convey your personality while online dating.
- Get detailed.
“Share specific interests,” Sclamberg says, like if you prefer hole-in-the-wall sushi spots to the five-star place everyone name drops. “Or replace ‘I love basketball’ with 'Big [insert your team here] fan.' Specifics make great conversation starters.” Well, fine! I guess I’ll let all the men out there know I have watched every episode in every season of one '90s vampire show, then!
- Stay positive.
“No negativity. None. Whatsoever. If you have a strong preference or opinion you want to share, frame it positively,” Sclamberg insists. Bios like “Don’t waste my time” or “Swipe left if you’re under six feet tall” are a major turn-off. Remember that many folks are looking for someone who can be a fun, productive addition to their life.
- Use filters to weed out bad matches.
Find your ideal match by filtering out any or non-negotiables. For example, I could never date someone who has a cat.
- Keep it real.
If you have short hair and bangs, don’t put up photos of yourself from several years ago when you had hair down to your lower back. (I’m guilty of this.) And when it comes to “your height, your job, your school, your interests...be real,” Sclamberg says. “If you expect him to be real with you, be real back. The best relationships, whether they're fun flings or meaningful, long-term partnerships, are based on honesty,” she explains. So in the New Year, maybe it’s time to set a resolution to update your dating profile. If you have old photos, take some new ones. Spruce up your bio and make it more specific. Perhaps 2018 will be the year we all find love. Things can only get better from here, right? RIGHT?!
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.