ONLINE DATING APPS/WEBSITES GENERAL FAQ'S
Q: Should I use my Linkedin headshot or other professional headshot photo for my online dating profile?
A: No, I highly urge against that. Typically headshots are overly photoshopped, are stiff and do not offer any insight into who you are or what you are about. Leave the headshots for professional situations not online dating. Same for modeling photos - viewers will think your photos are airbrushed and that you are trying to hard and won't appear as such in person.
Q: Are my photos with sunglasses on ok to use for my profile?
A: No, but if if you limit such photos to 1 only, ensure they are location appropriate i.e. beach, hiking trail etc., AND you have at least 3-4 other non-sunglass photos then you can let that slide.
Q: Are group photos ok to use? Should I use cropped photos?
A: Yes, but again only if you limit these types of photos and you label who you are (no one likes guessing). Make sure others in the photos do not make you look short (especially for men) or make you look less attractive (men and women). Crop excess space and people.
Q: What are the absolute worst types of photos to use in an online dating profile?
A: Photos with exes or people who could be mistaken as an ex, selfies unless in an epic situation i.e. celebrity or travels (not your gym, car nor bathroom), dark photos, extremely small photos, blurry photos, photos more than 2-3 years old, photos where you have changed your appearance (weight loss or gain, hair color or length, facial hair, tattoos etc.), photos with fish you caught, photos in front of your car, photos without you in them (i.e. sunset photo, street sign, meme etc.), Snapchat photos and photos of you from your neck down.
Q: What is the optimal number of photos I should use in my online dating profile?
A: Definitely at least 3-4 photos but no more than 6. Typically, the more photos you post the more harshly you will be judged i.e. you are only as good looking as your worst photo.
Q: What kind of photos should I aim to use for my online dating profile?
A: Use photos that illustrate passions and hobbies, highlight some activity that can be easily be shared with a date, photos of you smiling/laughing, photos that are not overly photo-shopped i.e. portraits, modeling photos and headshots. Photos that invite questions, comments and intrigue are best (travels to international spots, local small towns and iconic destinations work well). Also, photos that show a variety of looks are recommended (up close, full body, different types of attire i.e. casual, after-work, formal etc.).
Q: Should I look away and not smile in my photos like those articles say to do?
A: No, most of those statistics reference Tinder data (younger, more immature users). While those photos might solicit likes, matches and messages, they don't necessarily result in quality dates. Be yourself, be candid. Smile naturally, don't force it. Look at the camera, look interested. Looking away in your photos will give off the impression you might be self-absorbed, are trying to hide some facial feature or are unable to concentrate and look at a camera. Read this article for additional insight: https://blog.photofeeler.com/okcupid-is-wrong-about-smiling-eye-contact-mens-dating-profile-photos.
Q: Do you recommend I use photos of me with my kids?
A: No, ids are an inseparable part of your life but there is a time and place for that. Your profile should focus on you first and foremost but you should at least mention them in the bio/questions.
BIO / ABOUT ME SECTION
Q: Should I use a ghostwriter to write my bio and send messages to matches for me?
A: No, absolutely not. I provide clients guidelines on what to focus on and what to elaborate on in their bios but I do not write bios myself. Character and personality will be lost in translation if you hire someone to do this. Secondly, you deprive yourself of the chance to experience the exploration of getting to know someone through those messages.Read this articleon what to expect from such a service.
Q: I feel and/or look younger than my age - is it ok to shave off a few years from my actual age?
A: Absolutely not. Being truthful is important in online dating. If you lie about age right off the bat, what else might you be lying about?
Q: What words and phrases should never be used in online dating profiles?
A: Drama-free, no drama, no players, or list of adjectives to describe yourself i.e. I am sexy, fit, smart, funny, outgoing etc. Instead of listing deal-breakers, focus on things that you are attracted to, inspire you, make you curious, make you hungry etc. Guilty pleasures, random quirks and self-deprecating humor works well.
Q: What are the demographics for each online dating site and app?
A: There is no definitive answer on this but a couple surveys are about right highlighting age and gender splits: SurveyMonkey Intelligence 2016 and Bustle study 2016.
MATCHING & MESSAGING ETIQUETTE
Q: When is the best time to go online? How often should I be swiping?
A: Typically around 8pm and 11pm during the week (Monday-Thursday). Although addictive, you should limit logging on to about 2-3 times a week. Avoid logging on between Friday evenings and Sunday afternoons - take some time off to enjoy your weekend.
Q: Is there such a thing as being overly eager and aggressive when it comes to messaging and swiping?
A: Yes, absolutely. You should express excitement and enthusiasm but you should also avoid appearing overly eager slash stalker-ish or controlling. Be direct, be timely and be transparent. Do not reply to the first message in a string immediately ever time the other person initiates contact but also do not purposely make the person wait. Respond 24-48 hours within matching and reply back same day or within 24 hours for subsequent messages. Additionally it is bad etiquette to swipe right on someone you are not interested in, secondly if you do it too often the dating apps could ding you.
Q: How long does it take to get matches, receive messages and ask a person out after matching?
A: It can take weeks if not months to find quality matches through dating sites and apps. Be sure you are using the most appropriate ones based on your age and location to maximize results. As for messaging, it can take 0-3 days for most people to respond to messages. People should not be glued to apps daily (take breaks on weekends). As such, if someone does not respond to your message, move on to the next person. Do not send follow-up messages. Typically a date should be requested within 3-4 days, 5-7 days max after initial pairing.
Q: How many matches does it take to get a quality date?
A: According to the League 84. The idea is that there is no magic pill, you need to be patient, go on dates and continually work on yourself.
Q: What else is important to be successful with online dating apps and sites?
A: You need to learn to craft a good bio (no bad grammar) and you need to learn to engage in good conversation online and offline: Plenty of Fish Survey on Sought After Traits. If you cannot respond to a message right away, do not open the app. Be prompt in your replies to signify interest and be thorough and efficient in your messaging. Also be sure to select the best app for your demographics!
OTHER RESOURCES / TERMINOLOGY
Q: What are some podcasts, books and other resources I should check out?
A: Read Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari; listen to Maureen O'Connor (New York Magazine's Sex Lives); and read up on some tips on my Medium page and Good Men Project author page. Also do check out PhotoFeeler (a free crowd-sourced photo review platform with some solid advice on online profiles). Also check out Date/Able podcast.
Q: How can I tell if a user is a scammer or if a profile is fake?
A: There is no certain way to tell but Bumble is the best app for verifying users. There are several ways to investigate a profile/account which I reveal to clients directly as to not alert creepy and skeevy guy.
Q: What is hatfishing?
A: It is when a guy purposefully wears hats in his online dating photos and/or dates to conceal baldness. Guys should embrace their new look because 1) women do not want to play a guessing game (too many other men out there to swipe right on; 2) could be a sign for lack of confidence; 3) could be hiding other things in his life. Other terms to know and be slightly disgusted by.
Q: What is good first date etiquette to know about?
A: Arrive early or at least arrive before her. If running late, give a heads up and an ETA. Do not check your phone during the date. Ask questions, be interested. Do not apply excessive cologne (1-2 sprays max if any). Trim nose hairs. Brush your teeth. Always have a backup plan or two in case plan A goes awry. Make eye contact. Scope out the place before to make sure the noise levels or ok and there are no special events that day.
Lastly, online dating apps are meant to introduce people, you don't date online. Exchange a few messages and then take things offline. Dating apps and websites are not a platform where you share every detail of your life nor should should you pin all your hopes on one person after matching. That is too much pressure to put on one person.
Also, check out the Singles In America annual survey by Match.com's Chief Scientific Officer. Read this article about Tinder Tips on Man Peller by Slutever's Karley Sciortino
Contact me with how I can help you with your online dating profile.