advice for the apps.
Dating

advice for the apps.

Published
May 30, 2020
Author
Eliza Dumais

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. 

For 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.   

When 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 Tik Tok 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?)
advice for the apps.

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