How to create the optimal online dating profile for small-town romances

Tinder. Bumble. Hinge. Match. Eharmony. OkCupid, Facebook Dating. Plenty of Fish. Christian Mingle. Swipe left. Swipe left. Swipe right. Superlike. Send a rose. Swipe left, left, left, right, left, right. Swipe, swipe, swipe.

The deliciously tedious game of online dating has had people hooked since the dawn of its existence. The availability of exhilaration at your fingertips, the detail in building your online persona, and the validation of someone giving you a sweet, sweet match. It’s a lust-hungry chase that is hard to deny.

How do you lace up your love-shoes for the chase if you live in a tiny town that loses a large portion of its singles during the summer? How do you maintain your personal “game” when the players are few and far between, you ask? You create the perfect profile. How do you create the perfect profile? Thank you for being so curious, reader. Here are the hottest tips from a professional online dater (from sitting on the couch for hours brainlessly scrolling through apps and randomly getting banned from a popular dating app):

Include pictures of yourself. Please, please include at least one picture of yourself. I know what you’re thinking… isn’t this point obvious? It should be, and it is. In almost all dating apps, it is mandatory to include at least one picture of yourself to publish the profile. Why, then, are there so many online dating accounts built solely off of group photos? No selfies, no headshots, not even an awkward photo at a downward angle. You want your date to see how attractive you are, and if they have to guess who you are, they’re going to swipe left on your profile and move right along. Upload a selfie, a headshot, an illustration of yourself. A group photo with an arrow pointing and saying “THIS IS ME I PROMISE!” is enough. Let the world see your darling smile, your sweet nose, or your cool tattoo. It doesn’t have to be “good.” It just has to be you. Pleeeeeease.

Try to eliminate any dead animals from your profile. If you’ve never used a dating app, this may sound absolutely insane. This is, however, a super common occurrence on dating apps in the Maritimes. There are pictures of dead fish, bears, coyotes, deer, you name it. I think I saw a racoon once. If you like to hunt, that’s awesome! Please tell your future Bumble match! Do not show your future Bumble match! I can guarantee you that absolutely nobody inherently consented to seeing dead animals when they were accepting the rules and conditions of the dating app at hand. 

Write a bio. It doesn’t have to be long, clever, or incredibly smart. It just has to be you. Two words, a paragraph, you name it. What do you do for a living? What’s your greatest life passion? Do you have any pets, and will you continue to love them more than the person you’ve matched with? How tall are you, because apparently, that matters? The more that is not left up to interpretation, the more people will connect with you and want to talk. Oh, and that innuendo you think will be funny in your bio? It probably isn’t funny, it’s just kind of creepy, especially to the hundreds of thousands of people on the app that are “meeting” you for the first time. Don’t do it, okay?

Don’t include pictures of other people’s children on your profile. Folks, there are a TON of parents who are putting themselves out there on dating apps. This is wonderful, and I hope that they find the love they deserve. If you want to include pictures of your little loved ones on your profile, amazing. However, if you do not have any children, and you use pictures of other people’s children to get some semblance of empathy from a bunch of strangers on the internet, should try doing anything else. I understand the appeal of having photos of you being good with kids on your profile. A family person! Good with kids equals sweet, caring, and playful! These are all things that can be explained in the bio that you may or may not have written yet. Please don’t use vulnerable people as a ploy to get you a mediocre date at a coffee shop that ends with a walk to their apartment and a completely forgettable kiss. It’s not worth it. 

Use your real age. Not catfishing someone is, literally, the barest of minimums on a dating app. If you’re 21 and your profile says you’re 27, something is very wrong. Why do you want to be older or younger than you already are? Furthemore, do you think your date will appreciate finding out that you’re 18 when they ask you to go to a bar and they think you’re 25? Avoid future problems with current solutions. Demonstrate your age accurately. It is quite literally the least you can do.

For the love of all that is Holy, just be yourself. Before you write me an angry letter, I know how hypocritical this sounds. Yes, Hannah, we now know not to catfish. Great! I know you probably know not to do that. I have rambled to you through this paper about how to present yourself and how to get the romance of your dreams. If you follow a subjective blueprint, though, are you going to be putting your true self out there? After all, all of these things are relative, and this article was written by someone who was banned from a fire-related dating app (for doing absolutely nothing, but I digress). If you are pursuing online dating to find true love, you can not hold yourself back from your raw, beautiful, undeniable truth. Our individuality makes us special. If you hold yourself to a high standard to get people to match with you, you’re going to match with people that aren’t right for you. On my dating apps I put my most absolutely truthful foot forward. Does this get me a lot of potential dates? Nope. However, does it matches me with individuals who are like-minded, passionate about what they love and ready to form a connection. Online dating has won me many relationships, romantic or otherwise, and it has taught me that if you are not going to go into it with a sense of readiness to be true to your own nature, you’re going to do yourself a disservice. Everyone is worthy of love — even if every picture of you has a dead animal in it — and everyone deserves to flaunt what they’ve got. 

Remember all of these tips, and you’ll be swiping right in no time. Happy matching, lovebirds!

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