While dating apps have become a staple of modern life over the past decade or so, they’ve always been a little hard to use. Some people treat the apps like a game, racking up first dates and quick hookups, while others are swiping in the pursuit of love and connection. It’s difficult to know what the person on the other side of that “It’s a Match!” screen wants and if it aligns with what you’re after, so most people have developed conscious and unconscious screening techniques to weed potential partners out faster.
One of the easiest ways to instantly identify someone on whom you should swipe left is noticing a dating-app cliché in their bio. Someone who has a reference to The Office or has simply jotted down they’re looking for “adventure” is an easy pass most of the time. If you don’t want to be benched before you’ve even gotten into the game, here’s how to avoid using clichés in your profile.
Take time crafting your dating profile
If you really want to use your profile to secure a mate — or at least a hookup with whom you have something in common — you have to put a little effort in. Fill out all the prompts, for instance.
Bumble shared data with Lifehacker that showed that as of February of this year, those who “make the most out of their profile” can likely see a 30% increase in matches. A representative for the app said, “It takes a lot of courage to put yourself out there when you begin your dating journey, and it’s often more comfortable to stick to popular references that a lot of people may understand — plus, people want to connect with others who share a common ground with them. But at Bumble, we recommend giving specific examples or anecdotes that show your matches what sets you apart. Your Bumble profile bio is your opportunity to show off your personality and help your potential partner get to know a bit of you.”
Ask a question in your profile that a possible match could answer or state off the bat what kinds of cooking you like to do. Putting in the effort to share details about yourself instead of dashing off a played-out old Game of Thrones quote will make you stand out.
“We don’t blame you if you’re a pop culture and film aficionado — in fact, based on those who adopted Bumble’s Interest Badges in 2021, one of the top interest categories globally was ‘Film and TV,’” added the rep. “However, rather than referencing a mainstream TV show or movie, there’s something special about referencing an indie film and matching with someone who gets it, too.”
Laurel House, relationship expert at eharmony, added, “Years ago, profiles were intended to please. They were fun and flirty and flat. They lacked depth and truth and authenticity and vulnerability. Today, people are looking for real. In order to attract real, you need to show up as real first, and that starts in your profile. Daters are now putting time and effort into their profile so that it actually gives a glimpse of who the person behind the words is. In the very short description, daters are putting more effort into illuminating who they actually are — their likes, lifestyles, life aspirations.”
Go into detail about your traits
Melissa Hobely, a dating coach and the chief marketing officer for OkCupid, said that while dating profiles have become more straightforward in recent years, there’s one thing that hasn’t changed: Clichés are still out there.
“Please try to avoid dating-profile cliché lines. I totally get why it happens — filling out your dating profile is hard. Trust me, no one knows what to say,” she said, “but after seeing thousands of profiles on OkCupid, I can tell you that clichés are lame.” She said if you use one, you’re less likely to get a right swipe or a like because the clichés are boring, tell someone nothing about you, and are predictable. They even suggest you’re lazy. Dating has definitely been modernised in the app age, but one constant that has endured for centuries is that any potential partner wants to get the impression you’ll put in some effort to woo them. If you use a tired old line, you aren’t exactly signalling that you’ll dazzle them with your first date, let alone keep up the effort once you get together.
She suggested that instead of jotting down that you’re “laid-back,” you could expand a little on that attribute. She said she saw a profile recently that said, “I used to have a high-stress job on Wall Street, realised it wasn’t making me happy and now I work full-time for a non-profit working to abolish the death penalty.” Of course, one could argue that fighting to keep incarcerated individuals alive is more stressful than working in finance, but that’s the thing: One could argue it. Like, in direct messages. “I’m laid-back” gives a potential match nothing to respond to. A detailed description of how laid-back you are, though, does.
If your profile says you are “laid-back, easy-going, and love to have fun,” she said, it’s not going to generate much interest. In the wise words of Hobely, “OK, no shit. Who isn’t?”
She said that if you’re having a hard time coming up with things to detail about yourself, fall back on a list format, which “has become kinda popular on OkCupid,” but the reason is because “it works.”
“When you list out places, shows, books, music, etc., you are being specific about things you like,” she said. “You are also giving other folks a chance to ask about it — perhaps you both love that obscure Swedish band, the Sounds.”
Stop using these clichés right now
If your profile says you’re looking for the Pam to your Jim, open your app right now. Delete that. Get rid of it. Stop it. If it says, “I’m new on here,” take that out. Do you “love to laugh?” Join the club, babe — and delete that. If your profile says you’re looking for an “adventure” or a “partner in crime,” you’d better specify what that means. A trip to a gimmicky restaurant you saw on TikTok does not an “adventure” make. Your photo shows you in a Patagonia vest layered over a button-up shirt and says you work in finance. We all know “adventure” here means, like, day-drinking on a Sunday. Enough. Just say you like to order a beer bucket to cap off the weekend. And stop listing your height and following it up with, “because that’s important, apparently.” Why do you sound so defensive? Your attitude gives off ickier vibes than your height ever could.
“Yes, please, RIP to ‘looking for a girl down for an adventure,’” Hobely said. “Is that code for ‘hookup?’ Just say that. I’d love to retire, ‘Work hard, play hard,’ and, ‘No arseholes.”
‘If you have to say this, it’s a bad start.”
If House had her way, “looking for my partner in crime” would be retired, too. “What does that even mean? Are you looking for a partner to do life with? Are you looking for a partner to have fun with? I have many clients who immediately delete people if their profile says that they are looking for a partner in crime. It’s time to be more specific because the reality is that a partner has a different meaning to everyone.”
She’s also not a fan of “looking for my other half,” which she said is “another immediate turnoff.”
“While I appreciate the sentiment — that you are looking for your ‘person’ by calling them your ‘other half’ — but are you saying that you are not whole?” she asked. “Are you communicating that without a partner, you are an incomplete person? Clarity is key, more so in this day and age than ever.”
It’s true: eharmony recently released the results of its fifth annual Happiness Index survey for the year, finding that 51% of singles are prioritising spending time by themselves post-lockdown, 55% are prioritising self-care, and 30% are prioritising saying “no” to social invites. If you want to appeal to a crop of newly-independent singles, you need to give them a reason to swipe right on you.