POV: it’s 2022. You’re here and you’re ready to date. That’s fantastic! You pull up your hottest photos, download a dating app, and…
Record scratch: let me stop you right there.
Before you go slapping together any old dating app profile, there’s some key data you should know.
Being successful on these platforms has changed quite a bit, compared to just two years ago. And yes, you’ll want those hot photos – but first, let me give you some food for thought.
Online dating is a different ballgame these days, and that’s because we, a society, are a different ballgame. How do I know? All these dating apps did surveys over the pandemic, and we’ve learned some interesting stuff. Such as this, from a 2021 Match survey:
- 2 in 3 singles want to wait until after the third date to have sex
- 27% of singles want a friends-with-benefits or casual sexual relationship
- 65% of singles want their dating partners to be vaccinated
And this, from a 2021-22 Bumble survey:
- 48% of people on the app now question what their type is
- 34% of folks on the app say that they’re more likely to go on a ‘dry date’ (alcohol-free date) now than pre-COVID
And finally, THIS, from a 2021-22 Hinge survey:
- 91 percent of users want to date someone who goes to therapy—and 89 percent of daters are more likely to agree to a second date if the person mentions therapy on the first date.
So let’s create a data-driven dating app profile, friends! And for even more dating advice, check out my interview with Logan Ury, Director of Relationship Science at Hinge.
1. Photos: Choose Wisely
Let’s start with evergreen advice about your photos because after all, they’re the first things people will notice on your profile.
- Group shots. These make it harder to pick you out of the crowd.
- Blurry shots. These look a little careless.
- All selfies. Yes, I get it – “if I can’t do group shots then what am I supposed to do??” – but trust me, too many selfies = insecure vibes. We’re going for confidence, baby! So on that note…
- Mix of selfies and “action shots,” of you doing things you enjoy. Hiking, hanging with your dog, etc. You don’t have to hire a photographer necessarily; have a friend take some nice pictures of you. (While looking like your hot self.)
- Minimize the filters / face smoothers. Keep it real! Interestingly enough, today’s daters find overly smooth skin / tons of filters a little suspicious.
- Simple backgrounds. So as not to distract from you.
2. Grammar + Spelling: Check It
I will never forget the time a girlfriend of mine handed me her phone, to show me a guy who liked her profile. And for his job, where I can only assume he meant to write “Sales” on his profile, he wrote… “Sells.”
It was an instant no. (Accompanied by some eye rolling.)
Not everyone’s a professional writer, and that’s OK! But before you publish your profile, have a friend look over your words for spelling and grammar. Typos may seem like no big deal, but can be a turn-off to many. So maximize your success, and bust out the spell check.
3. Announce Your Intentions
From all the surveys I’ve seen, 2022 will see the rise of the “intentional dater.” Meaning, folks who are up-front about what they’re looking for, right on their profile. The pandemic made us all take stock of our lives, and we realized that time is short. So the new dating mentality is, “my time is valuable, let’s not waste it.”
So: if you’re looking for a committed partnership, tell us. If you’re looking for casual sex or a friend with benefits arrangement, tell us. Sex toy sales rose astronomically over these past few years, which indicates that folks are making sexual pleasure a priority. If that’s you, and you truly are looking for a pleasure outlet, it’s alright to say so. There will be less judgment here for making your intentions clear, even if it’s: “hey, I’m really just looking for a quality sex partner, not a full relationship.”
4. …And Your Vaccination Status
As much as I would like to tell you that your vaccination is your business, the data tells us otherwise. Folks wanna know what they’re getting into, health-wise. So bottom line: if you’re vaccinated, mention it in your profile. You’ll maximize your dating options as a result.
5. Don’t Just Tell Us About Work. Tell Us About Your Self-Work
My eyes popped out, then teared up, when I saw the Hinge stat about therapy. Can you believe that 91 percent of Hinge users want to date someone who goes to therapy? And nearly as many people would agree to a second date, if you mentioned therapy on the first?
This tells us something critical: emotional intelligence is IN. Humility is IN. People are done doing emotional labor for others – we’re all tapped out. When you show up with the self-work receipts (from your therapist), it’s not only a sigh of relief – it’s a major turn-on.
I don’t know about you, but reading this data made me so hopeful about today’s dating pool. We’re growing up! And we’re getting more mature with our dating approach. So use these findings to create the dating profile of your dreams, and enjoy spending time with people who are just as quality as you are.