We’ve said it before, and we’ll continue to say it for the rest of time: When you decide to go on a dating site, your profile and what you put on it are the most important things you have to consider.
Yes, have fun with it, and don’t put too much pressure on yourself to make your dating profile ‘perfect’ because there is no such thing, but also make sure that you follow some rules and guidelines when you’re creating your profile.
Here’s the thing — people are going to make snap judgments about you based on what they see in the less than ten seconds they spend looking at your profile. And sadly, you’re not going to be everyone’s type at the end of the day. But if your profile is sloppy or not aesthetically pleasing, you might not match with the people you were meant to find on the app. And we don’t want that for you. We want you to find success on dating sites and use them with ease. We want you to have all the success stories as well as some funny and cringe stories that so often result due to dating site mishaps.
While there are a number of great things you should add to your dating site profile, there are also a number of things and elements you might want to avoid talking about when you’re making your profile. Whether you’re leaving them out for your safety, to make you more mysterious and desirable, or just because you don’t need to put your entire soul online when you’re making a dating site profile, it can be a little difficult to figure out what to keep in and what to leave out when you’re making a profile.
That’s why we’re here to help you through every step of the dating site experience. We’ve done the research so you don’t have to and here are the things you should absolutely leave out of your online dating profile.
Don’t Add Your Venmo/PayPal/Anything Associated with Your Bank Account
You would think that this is common knowledge and that only an idiot would do this.
Hi, my name is Chloe Garcia, and I’m banned for life on Tinder; I am that idiot. This is a true story, and I absolutely love telling it. A lot of dating sites have more security than you would think. Obviously, I’m happy about that, and I would rather the apps enforce safety where it doesn’t necessarily need to be enforced rather than them being lax about rules and resulting in someone getting placed in a dangerous situation.
All that being said, at one point in my life, I heard that if you put your Venmo in your Tinder bio, men would pay you just for talking to them.
I was 21 and should have known better, but I didn’t and I put my Venmo in my bio and started chatting men up. And then, one day, I logged onto Tinder and found out that my account had been permanently banned for life because I was flagged for possible prostitution.
To be fair, I did that to myself. Did I make any money? No. Was I doing anything remotely inappropriate on the app that should have gotten me flagged? No. But, I have a wonderful story to tell as a result, and I also have this cautionary tale to warn you about.
I still know of stories where people did make money off of putting their Venmo or PayPal in their bios, but I wouldn’t risk it if I were you.
That being said, I don’t know if sharing your Venmo once you’re messaging with someone will also get you banned or at least flagged, so just use precaution when you’re dealing with that topic online.
And while getting banned from Tinder wasn’t the best outcome of the situation, it also wasn’t the worst. To be fair, it was a pretty stupid move on my part, and it could have led to one of the many hackers or bots or sleazy people on the app getting my bank account information or scamming me or all sorts of other outcomes.
While it was funny in the moment and a good story to tell with my 20/20 hindsight, I’m glad I just got banned, and that’s the end of the story because it could have been a lot worse.
In general, I wouldn’t suggest putting anything to do with payments or bank accounts online in general, especially not on dating sites.
Avoid Any Personal Information
This ties in with the bank account statement. In general, you don’t know who is going to be on the apps, and you don’t know what they’re capable of. While you can add things like your social media links, talk about the college you went to, or even put where you work in your bio, that’s about as far as you should go when you’re setting up your dating profile.
Everyone who sees your profile doesn’t need to know your email, your address, or really anything that could lead to you being in a dangerous situation.
While my personal experience has proven that Tinder and most dating sites take online safety very seriously, anyone who’s ever been on the internet before knows that once you put that information out there, it’s hard to get it back. And you don’t want every creep in your town driving up to your house or even knowing where it is.
That being said, while you should avoid putting personal information in your bio, it’s okay to share your address with someone when you’re messaging them and planning a date. Personally, when I met up with people from dating sites, I would drive separately and meet in public because I trust no man, but if you want your date to pick you up at your house, you ought to be relatively safe sharing that information with them in your private messages.
Don’t be Negative
This is also a somewhat common-sense statement, but a lot of people choose to go off on their profile, and it’s uncomfortable.
We get it; dating sites are fun, but they’re also a pain. It can take a while of scrolling, swiping, messaging, ghosting, and a number of other things that can make all of the time you’re spending on dating sites result in a big goose egg. And that is incredibly frustrating. We get it, we’ve been there. But your past experiences shouldn’t have any control or dominion over your current experiences.
If you decide to put something on your dating site that talks about how trivial dating sites are or even something as simple as saying, ‘I don’t know why I’m here. Lol.’ Then you might want to rethink being on a dating site completely.
Here’s the deal: we’re not saying that everyone on every dating site wants to be on the app, and we’re definitely not saying that everyone believes in the power of the dating site or whatever. But we are saying that if you choose to talk about how little faith you have in the dating site from the get-go, you’re going to come across as a negative person, and not many people will want to swipe on that.
Instead, be hopeful and maybe put something funny or personable in your profile instead of putting down the app.
Don’t Make a List of Requirements
I think this is something that people need to hear more often. You’re not shopping for a partner when you’re on a dating site. You are looking at people who are living and breathing and have their own individual likes and dislikes. It can get really easy to almost fool yourself into believing that the people you see on dating sites aren’t real people or they’re just a means to an end for you.
And this happens to almost everyone. It’s hard to scroll through a dating site and not get either a big head about all of the options you see or not to become too particular about who you’re choosing and start making sure the people you’re swiping right on fit into some list of requirements.
While we do suggest you make a list of your non-negotiables to make your time on the dating site and your selection process easier, we do not suggest you put an extra-long list right in your profile.
Yes, this happens a lot more often than you would think. A number of dating site profiles come with a list of, ‘Don’t swipe right if you don’t love fishing,’ or ‘I only date blondes,’ or ‘If you’re not 6’2”, keep scrolling.’
You’re allowed to want what you want, and you’re also allowed to unmatch with anyone who you might realize down the line doesn’t meet all of your standards. That’s literally what the stage of messaging in dating sites is for, for you to decide if someone is the right match for you and then choose whether or not you want to proceed with the relationship.
But, keep your list of requirements to yourself, and don’t post it on your dating site profile, please. You can choose to not swipe on people you’re not attracted to so you can avoid weeding through your matches afterward, but if you lead with a list of factors surrounding why people shouldn’t swipe on you, it’s not going to be a good look for you.
Instead, have fun with the process, and who knows? You might start talking to someone who doesn’t fit into your original ‘plan’ but is still perfect for you in every way.
Don’t Add Cringey Pictures
Listen, we love a personality picture on a dating site. I swiped right on my fiancé, and he had a picture of him onstage wearing a coconut bra. Personality pictures, especially funny ones, aren’t a turn-off. In fact, we applaud them.
But there are some pictures that are notoriously infamous on dating sites and usually get an automatic left-swipe from most users.
One of those is the infamous ‘catch’ picture. These pictures are usually taken by guys, and they usually depict them holding a dead deer that they shot or a fish that they just caught. Listen, we want you to be yourself on dating sites, and we want your personality to shine. If you love fishing and hunting, then yes, add a picture of you doing that. But maybe instead of you posing with a dead animal or fish that you just killed, maybe have one of your buddies take a picture of you in your hunting gear or do a little tranquil photoshoot of you fishing or on a boat. That way, you will be the center of attention in your photo, and a dead animal won’t be hogging your spotlight.
For the most part, women don’t really want to see dead animals when they’re trying to find their future husbands or even just a match. You can still show who you are and highlight your interests, but maybe steal the spotlight in this circumstance and don’t hand it over to your latest kill.
While we’re on the topic of pictures you might want to avoid, try not to use one of your profile pictures to show off a photo of you and your ex. This is a big red flag for a lot of people, and, in general, when someone is swiping on you and trying to decide if they see a future with you, they don’t want to see your ex. If a picture with your ex is the only picture you think you look good in, ask one of your friends to take another picture of you. It’s time to move on and ditch the ex-photos.
Similarly, many people will swipe left if they see a lot of group photos, especially if it’s you with a bunch of same-gendered people. This is not because they don’t want to see that you have friends. It’s more so that they don’t want to have to figure out who you are on your dating profile, and they don’t want to have to go searching through a number of different photos. In general, people only look at each other’s profiles for less than ten seconds, so you’ll want to make a statement about who you are and establish yourself, and you’ll also want to stand out from the crowd as quickly as possible. And the best way to do that is not to put a photo of you in a group on your profile.
And the final photo you might want to avoid is a shirtless selfie. I know you’ve worked hard on your body, and you’re proud of that. That’s amazing. If you want to post a shirtless selfie on your dating site profile, we’re not going to guilt you about it. But we will caution you and say that many people decide to swipe left when they see a shirtless photo.
I do the same thing. I personally am turned off when I see someone posing in front of a mirror and taking a shirtless photo for a dating site.
Now, as with everything, there are some exceptions. My friend is a bodybuilder, so part of his job and his lifestyle requires him to be shirtless and to look a certain way. Because not a lot of people are built like him, I could easily see him adding one of these competition photos to his profile. Another one of my friends was a pageant queen, so I could see her taking some of her bikini modeling shots from the pageants and putting them to good use. Also, if you live by a beach or are a swimmer or surfer, you might want to add some personality pictures of that in, meaning you would be shirtless.
We’re just cautioning against the over-posed shirtless selfies that we often see online.
Remember That Your Dating Site Profile Isn’t Your Diary
And for our final piece of advice, we want to remind you that a lot of people are going to read your profile. This isn’t a bad thing whatsoever, but it might help you to remember what to put on your profile and what to leave off.
If you’re using a dating site to get over someone or to just let off some steam, go for it. There is no right or wrong reason why people use dating sites and there is absolutely no shame in whatever reason made you decide to download the app.
But we urge you not to use your dating site profile as a means of finding comfort, solace, or therapy online. If you’re getting on a dating site because your ex was a piece of trash, that’s great. But maybe don’t talk about them in your profile. One, that’s negative talk and a lot of people get turned off when they see that on dating sites. Two, you’re on the dating site to get over them, so you don’t need to constantly be bringing them back up and into conversations.
The same goes for any qualms you might have that you want to share online. You can share your thoughts, but we would recommend saving a lot of that information for individual messages rather than putting it all out into your dating profile.
You only have so much space and time for people to get to know you when they’re looking at your profile, so you don’t want to tell them everything and you don’t want to make your profile something akin to your personal diary.
The right person will get to know you and information about your past and other details you’d like to share with them will eventually come out, you don’t have to force it down their throats, it’s okay.