Herein lies a list of feelings I have while mindlessly and aimlessly perusing the world of online dating. This is not supposed to be a list of judgements, though I suppose it is. Feel free to write me your own list of reasons why you would swipe left on my profile. I promise I can take it (probably).
Reasons why I am swiping left on your profile:
1. Your tongue is out
Dear sir, you are not a dog or a cute fifteen year old girl. There is therefore no good reason for your tongue to be so far protruding from your mouth that it is at risk of being caught in a closing door. Perhaps this is an attempt to seem fun and laid back, or to insinuate some sort of skillset that the general observer may not be aware of. Whatever the case, it’s not working. Leave that to the tweens.
2. Most of your photos are half-naked
Congratulations, now please put some clothes on. It’s freezing here and looking at you bare chest just makes me feel cold and depressed. I’m not saying no half-naked pictures, because there are very few places you can show off your hard work. But less, please. Five different angles of your surfboard abs do not tell an interesting and complex story.
3. All the dogs
I’ll admit that this does come with a hefty load of personal bias. But I’m sorry, I just don’t care about your dog. Unless I get to cuddle it and not get covered in hair, slobber or bite marks, there is no need to introduce us. If you are trying to prove that you can keep a living being alive, you’ve come to the wrong place. Lets buy a plant in three years, but for now keep the dog pictures to a minimum.
4. Gym selfies
This goes hand in hand with all those half-naked pictures we were discussing earlier. The thing is, I’m proud of you. It’s great that you are working out (or at least made it to the gym). In most cases it looks like you are getting the results you are after. It’s just that I don’t give a shit. It doesn’t take much to imagine what a person might look like when they are actually working out, and the truth is it looks a damn sight less attractive than that selfie with headphones in and a sweaty dude squatting behind you. The proof is in the pudding, pudding. There’s no need to show us how the desert was made, now get back to grunting and dropping weights.
5. Too much information
Look, I’m all about communication, but I don’t need to know that you are just an average guy who got out of a long term relationship and is looking for someone to take care of who loves adventure and exercising as much as he does but also really likes just staying at home and watching Netflix while eating pizza in bed. Just confirm you are not a murderer, and we’ll hopefully get to know the rest.
6. Not enough information
Writing a bio is actually pretty tough. Should you just stick to emojis to tell your story? Do you explain the context of every photo in your profile? Is it necessary to explain that you are mildly unavailable but attempting to date because as much as you love them it’s sometimes a bit depressing always hanging out with your couple friends? In my opinion, short and sweet is best. Anything game-changing should come out fairly quickly (I’m talking relationship or parental status), but your bio can just confirm you are not a bot. Here’s a tip – ask a question or use a prompt eg. “ask me about my secret tattoo” or “let’s talk about how climate change is affecting polar bears in Antarctica”. Well, maybe not that second one, unless you have an incredibly niche type.
7. That girl in your photo is prettier than me (and probably your girlfriend)
This has always confused me. Someone please explain why, other than being in an open relationship, a person would choose to include a photo that looks very much like a classic significant other shot? Are you trying to make me jealous? Because its not working. Cheating isn’t sexy, having to explain that it is your sister feels weird, and no explanation just makes me feel uncomfortable. Shift-command-4 that shit.
8. So much direct eye contact
Your stare is making me uncomfortable. Remember, there is an awfully fine line between the ‘come hither’ eyes and the look that says ‘there candy in the back of my nondescript white van’.
9. Not enough direct eye contact
On a serious note, there is a lot of research around the importance of eye-contact in developing intimacy and establishing a sense of trustworthiness. It’s also been proven that profiles with lead pictures with eye contact and smiling lead to more right swipes. So why then do you have glasses and a hoodie on? It’s not sexy to be completely mysterious on a dating app. Take off those polarised sunnies and smile!
10. I am afraid.
Honestly, the real reason I am probably going to swipe left? I am terrified. Terrified of being rejected, of making a fool of myself, of not being good enough, of having to take a risk, of putting myself out there in a way that feels both deeply intimate and awfully impersonal. Dating is scary, plus online dating can often feel dirty and just plain sad. I remember the first time someone suggest I try going online to meet someone. It made me feel worthless and ugly. Sometimes it still feels that way. Especially when I sit down and write out all the things I am thinking when I swipe through a pile of eligible (we hope) bachelors – imagine what they must think of me!
It’s easy to hide behind a keyboard or a cellphone and tell yourself that you are putting yourself out there. Conversely, it’s also easy to not do these things and tell yourself that you are better than that. I just don’t think there is any fully-right answer. We’re all simply making the most of this strange world we have created.
Good luck out there friends,
PS: Please know that I am aware of how deeply flawed and imperfect I am. This blog is in jest and is not intended to offend or upset anyone. We are just doing out best out here, right? On a side note, for a limited time I am offering free dating profile curation for all you beautiful eligible bachelors, so hit me up!