7 Signs You’re Doing Online Dating Wrong

Let’s face it, as much as we all wish we could be cast on Matt James’ season of The Bachelor, the majority of us will have to find our post-quarantine dates the less-glamorous way: on dating apps.

Trust me. I get how frustrating online dating can be. Matching with people who can’t carry a conversation, who ghost after one date, who are outright boring, and leave you thinking “WTF?!”—it sucks. I’ve been there, and I’ve lived to tell the stories at Sunday brunch with the girls. 

If you’re nodding your head at what I’m saying, here’s the revelation: maybe it’s you that’s doing online dating wrong. 

So while your Bachelor submission is being reviewed, take the time to think about how you can get that profile snatched and make sure you’re attracting quality matches. Let’s talk about some of the red flags you’ve got on your profile without even realizing, and how we can get them cleaned up. 

1. Your Photos Don’t Reflect What You Want

 

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Let’s make that clear // by @fatcarriebradshaw, cohost of @thebetchelor

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If 75% of your dating profile photos are of you on spring break in a bikini, don’t be surprised if you’re only attracting people who are sending you fire emojis and asking if you’re DTF. 

If that’s what you’re looking for, more power to you. If it’s not, it may be time to swap out some of those photos for more everyday looks and outfits—for example, you in a cute look at a coffee shop, or you and some friends at a beer garden. Think about it this way: the guy who only has shirtless mirror pics on his profile doesn’t exactly scream “let’s share some time over a glass of wine and charcuterie, and end the night just watching Friends”… right? As much as it sucks, people definitely make snap judgments based on the photos they see. 

2. Your Profile Is Basic, Not Basic+

Basic+ means you’ve elevated basic without straying too far from it. Meaning, you’re still incorporating culturally cliche dislikes/interests/references—for example, hiking and avocado toast—but without being too unoriginal about it. So if your bio simply says “Loves The Office, brunch, and spending time with my dogs”, just know that your profile is basic AF and looks exactly like 90% of the other profiles out there. 

So how do you get from basic to basic+? Incorporate some wit and humor. 

For example, “The only thing I can guarantee is that I have better fashion sense than Dwight” or “Love language? Mine’s brunch”. Both allude to universally basic interests and references, but take them one level deeper by making them a little more interesting. By showing this little bit of personality, you’re so much more likely to stand out amongst a sea of basic, hopefully attracting someone who appreciates humor and wit. 

3. You’re Not Diversifying Your Portfolio

Remember that lesson you learned in freshman finance class about diversifying your portfolio? Finally, something from college you can use in the real world besides your beer pong skills. 

To be clear, when I say “diversify your portfolio”, I mean that you should get on different apps so that you’re exposed to more prospective matches. Casting a wider net gives you a better chance at meeting the type of person for whom you’re willing to put on real pants and leave the house.

4. You Keep Responding To “Hey”

 

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I could not be more obvious // credit/permission: @logpenn

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If someone messages you saying “hi [heart eye emoji]”, don’t waste your time replying. 

The “hey” person puts in minimal effort. It means they didn’t bother to look at your bio or photos long enough to write something witty, and they probably don’t care all that much about chatting with you. They’re likely playing dating like a numbers game, rapid-fire replying to all matches with a basic “what’s up”. 

More times than not, the “hey” person will either (a) not have the ability to carry out a conversation, or (b) eventually ghost you based on their lack of interest. Nip it in the bud, and don’t even waste your time replying. 

5. You Ignore Your Friends’ Warnings

Have you ever ordered from a restaurant after noticing they’ve averaged two stars on Yelp? No? Okay, then WTF are you doing chatting with people on dating apps that your friends have told you they’ve had bad experiences with? 

Even in big cities, it’s not unlikely that you and your friends are going to come across the same people while using the apps. I’m not saying it’s impossible for you to fall in love with or seriously date the person who left your friend waiting alone for an Uber at 1:30am…but common sense says avoid those people.

If you don’t take your friend’s advice, don’t be surprised when the person treats you in an equally sh*tty way or if your friend says “I told you so”. 

6. You Take It To Snapchat Right Away

 

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answer the question | credit/permission Twitter: akirangei

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If Snapchat was created specifically for a person, that person would be pre-Amal George Clooney. Yeah, I’m talking about the most eligible bachelor you could possibly think of at that time. 

If the person you’ve matched with asks you to transition to Snapchat (or Instagram DM, for my millennials) before you’ve even met once, they’re likely wanting to be super casual and love the fact that Snapchat means zero receipts and zero accountability. Ugh, right?

So as much as you should live your life with Amal confidence, sometimes steering clear of this type of guy or girl is just easier. The alternative, of course, is swerving their suggestion and using the “I don’t really use Snap much” excuse. Either stay on the app, or transition to a more 2020-esque George Clooney medium, like texting. 

7. You’re Playing And Tolerating The Waiting Game

 

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Well do you??? — credit/permission: @mvhir

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News flash: the waiting game (you know, waiting X amount of days to reply to a message) is as out of style as layered tanks and low-rise jeans. If you’re playing it, stop. If the person who’s messaging you is playing it, drop them. 

Even though the waiting game was instilled in us during the Blackberry days as the number one texting-your-crush tactic, it’s frankly just rude. If you notice someone playing it, use it as a signal that they’re either more interested in mind games than you or straight-up don’t know how to communicate. Either way, it’s a waste of your time and an easy red flag to spot.  

Image: Sincerely Media / Unsplash; uuppod (3) / Instagram