Who doesn’t love a quippy bio?
Alongside all the requisite dating app stock imagery (bathing suit thirst traps, dudes brandishing large fishes, etc.), our profiles do offer the opportunity to express a little depth. And for the most part, it has to do with the copy.
Realistically, when deciding who you’d actually like to leave your couch to spend time with (or rather, who you’d like to zoom date…from your couch), it’s your choice phrases that build you into a 3-dimensional character—or as much of a 3-dimensional character as one can be while peering out from the 2-D surface of a phone screen. So, what’s the secret to dating app wit?
It’s a hard question. Of course, there’s no obvious formula—no declarative recipe for cleverness. In fact, wit is often in the eyes of the beholder. But there are a number of steps you can take to ensure that your profile is not void of personality. We talked to writers, editors, and dating app connoisseurs for some tips.
Dating app profile adviceFor starters, don’t take yourself too seriously. Whether you’re writing a bio, or answering questions on Hinge, leaning too hard into earnestness likely means you’ll miss your opportunity to make a memorable first impression. Humor can make the whole act of swiping that much more fun. So, it’s not that your earnestness is a bad thing. It’s just that it can feel a bit square when it’s all that your profile says about you. Maybe save all that good stuff for the first date.
Dating app tips and tricksWhen it comes to banter, don’t sleep on opening lines. Hey, what's up may be tried and true—for the most part, it’s certainly worked. But it’s neither memorable nor surprising. And if you’re the sort of person carrying on a handful of app back-and-forths at any given time, it’s not going to skyrocket you to the top of anyone’s priority list. Ask a silly question (what’s your stance on emo-rap?), make a jovial comment (I’ve been told I resemble a young Danny DeVito), maybe even start with a ploy (so, should we meet up for some lasagna or what?).
Beyond that, often, in writing, humor comes from matters of specificity. Be it an Uncut Gems reference in your bio, or a joke about TikTok celebs captioning one of your photos, try to get a few of your interests across in any of your one-liners. Not only will you appear cultured, but odds are, your jokes will be funnier. 10 points for you.
If you’re at a loss, try to:
- Reference something hyper-specific in your romantic interest’s bio (Oh, you’re a Pisces too? Do you, like me, often spend weekends weeping in your bedroom?)
- Call out a popular meme—folks love meme banter (Have you seen the one where they make focaccia in quarantine?)
- Ask a direct, obvious question (what are you having for dinner tonight?)
- Go for a question that has absolutely no relevance to either of you (What do you think Vince Vaughn is doing right now?)
- Greet said stranger all too familiarly (Janice!!! How the hell are ya?)
Without any question prompts, Tinder forces users to express themselves through a short bio and photos alone. Humor will get you places on just about any app, but it’s especially valuable on this medium, but that’s not to say you can’t be earnest, too. Keep it short—think of your profile as your elevator pitch and get your point across in three to four lines; enough to get them interested and wanting more.
As for photos, use your best judgment: Try to use a variety that shows off the different parts of your personality, and don’t be afraid of including a meme (a good conversation starter).
The beauty of Hinge lies in its specificity. The platform’s answer prompts give you plenty of opportunities to give others potential conversation-starters—that’s why it’s important to be personal and specific (AKA, don’t make a joke about pineapple on pizza—it’s been done and done again). The two-truths-and-a-lie prompt is a great way to give potential matches something to ask you about. A tip: Make your lie something close to or the exact opposite of the truth, so you can keep the conversation going. For example, if your lie is that you can’t play any instruments, you can surprise them when you admit that you can play guitar (cue “Wonderwall.”)
Specificity is equally important when you’re matching with others. Sure, you can always just like your favorite picture of theirs, but you’re bound to get a bit more consideration if you respond to one of their prompts or start a conversation about one of their photos. Questions are always a good start.
In terms of the platform’s layout, Bumble can be considered something of a sweet spot between Hinge and Tinder. Its swiping mechanism makes it possible for users to move through fellow singles swiftly—which means that the first photo is crucial. Make sure it’s a clear photo that shows your personality (nothing too corporate, ideally). Once you get someone to pause and scroll, then you can lead them in with the details.
Don’t neglect the “About me” section—it’s where you can give potential matches a better idea about your personality and where you can share what you’re looking for. Keep it lighthearted and relatively short, and then you can use the prompts to share more specific conversation starters. When crafting your profile, try to take an outsider’s approach; read it over and think, “What would I ask this person?” If you can think of at least a few easy ways into good conversation, you’re golden. Bonus points if you link your Spotify and Instagram.
If you’re the person who has to message first, act fast—there’s nothing worse than waiting and realizing you’ve let a match expire before you even shoot your shot. If you can ask something specific, tell a joke, or make some kind of witty comment, that’s best, but if you’re truly drawing a blank, a “Hey [insert name here]! How’s it going?” is better than nothing—and it’s certainly better than just “hey.”