You Might Be Sabotaging Yourself on Dating Apps

This post originally ran in GQ. Art credit: GQ

From a single woman’s perspective, swiping right on someone who hasn’t filled out their Tinder profile is the equivalent of playing Russian roulette; there is literally a chance you will die. For women, “the worst” on a first date is always possible—I do mean death, not bad breath or a filthy apartment. The “About Me” section on your dating app profile is one of the few clues we have that you’re not a serial killer. Fill it out.

Now, there are two ideal Tinder circumstances. The first, a personal favorite, is when you see and match with someone whom you already know in real life, and have always had a crush on, but never were able to act on it. The second is when you see a photo of a person you’re attracted to, with a bio that makes you smile. The perfect bio should be light and witty: Do not use your bio to make fun of women for selfies, for enjoying astrology, or for any other reason. (I see this a lot, and I’m constantly perplexed that some men still think negging works!) Include a brief description of yourself—this can even be a collection of Emojis that you connect with. Describe how you like to spend your time, and what you’re looking for. Just put something inoffensive there.

I understand that writing a dating profile is awkward, and you may be tempted to intentionally leave your bio blank to play it cool. But dating is awkward. So is sex. So is being alive! Swimming against the awkward current by “playing it cool” only makes it worse. You might be missing out on a great relationship—one in which you both actually like one another and have hot sex—because you were playing it cool.

When you leave your profile blank, your potential matches are left to wonder who you are and what you’re hiding. What have you done in your past? Are you actually available for dating? If you don’t fill out your profile I have no way of knowing! You aren’t giving me any information to go on.

If I don’t automatically assume you are a man of unsavory secrets, I assume you’re incredibly arrogant. I assume that you think you’re so special that filling out a profile is a moot point. Perhaps you expect that women will see your face and swipe right, sucked in by your winning smile. That might work sometimes. You might even get dates, but they’ll probably be pretty lousy: You’re not matching with people based on compatibility, just on your weird Tinder photos.

Leaving your dating app bio empty also makes you look lazy. As the old adage goes: Laziness in your Tinder profile implies laziness in bed. And yes, that is how women’s minds work. So please, write a line or two about yourself so I know you’re not a lazy, self-absorbed sociopath with a secret wife.

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