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Welcome to Rating Your Dating, where we rate your dating profiles to help you take your love life up a notch.
After our first first run of Rating Your Dating, AskMen got a bunch of submissions. That is so great, and we are going to move through as many of them as we can. It’s very exciting to see that there’s interest in this column, and it also means there is room to learn from juxtaposition!
This week we have Ed and Ben, who were kind enough to send their profiles for review. (Hi Ed and Ben, thanks for doing that!) These two make for nice bookends for each other, because their profiles have similar bios with one big difference. I want to focus on discussing those, but let’s look at their photos quickly first.
Ed's Tinder Profile
Ben’s Tinder Profile
Ed’s photos: 4 / 10
Ed’s photos are kind of just, like, “Hey, this is my face ¯\_(ã)_/¯.” They’re also all pretty grainy. If you have some insanely flattering photo of yourself and the quality is crap, then, fine, include it, but they shouldn’t all look like they were taken on a Motorola Razr. Anyway, even if these were a collection of high-resolution panoramas, I would still know almost nothing about Ed from looking at his photos except that he probably knows how to drive. You don’t have to be one of those photographing-every-moment-of-my-life-with-a-mirror-selfie type people like Ben, but you should use your pics to communicate something about yourself.
Ben’s photos: 9 / 10
As a set, Ben’s photos are super evocative. There’s a variety of settings, including a red carpet event, a big comfy bed with a teddy bear cameo, and a definitely real image from the hit 1965 film The Sound of Music. Almost all of the photos he’s chosen provide some kind of glimpse into his life and the sort of person he is or would like to be seen as (except maybe that selfie with mini Poland Spring bottles, but whatever, they can’t all be masterpieces).
Of course, if you can’t tell a story with your pics, you have your bio to work with. Let’s take a look at those.
Ed’s bio: “Why did you even bother?” / 10
“I make the best pb&j / Dogs rule cats drool.”
Ben’s bio: 8 / 10
“I spend too much money on SoulCycle and on whiskey.”
(At this point, I have to provide full disclosure and say, I follow Ben on Twitter, he is hilarious, and you should follow him too. If he seems like he’s “winning” this thing, well, I guess he kind of is, but really there are no winners or losers, only learners.)
Now, both of these are simple bios based in preferences, except their impact is totally different. Ben’s works to share insight into the fact that he works out, but likes to drink. How complex! Additionally, he’s making it clear he enjoys typically pretentious things, but is also hyper self-aware. Lining up SoulCycle with whiskey is inherently comical. So, he’s laying out the stuff he enjoys, while providing a taste of his disposition all in one sentence.
Despite the similarities, that is not what is happening with Ed’s bio. “Dogs rule cats drool” is an attempt at being fun and cute, except it kind of reads like something a small child would yell on the playground. And that plus “pb&”j is altogether too summer-camp for a dating app. There’s so much less content in liking dogs and being able to put peanut butter on bread. Do you see the difference? SoulCycle and whiskey are zoomed-in and specific to Ben. Everyone likes dogs, and everyone can put peanut butter on bread, except for people with deathly severe allergies to peanuts.
To be clear, your Tinder pics are the most important part of your profile. We live in a superficial world where looks matter way too much. Often, it seems like online dating takes that plague of society and makes it way too convenient, but, oh well, that’s what you sign up for with Tinder/life in this world, moving on: bios still make a difference.
It’s hard to send up a percentage, because it really depends on the overall impact of your photos. If you are Idris Elba or Chris Evans or anywhere even remotely near that level of godly hotness, you could probably write “nazis!” in your profile and still get tons of matches, because no one would even notice. However, if you are a normal, human man, the bio can be a deal-breaker. I think it’s safe to say people are looking at your photos first, and then consulting the words below them in making their final decision. So, in that tiny, little space, you need to seal the deal. In other words: please come up with something better than being able to stick a knife in a jar of peanut butter.
It really doesn’t even have to be a long thing, and Ben’s single sentence is a great example of that. If you’re going to go with likes as the way in, pick something that informs your identity and/or is unique. I know so little about Ed, it’s hard to suggest an alternative, but even those basic items could be a launching point for something better. What if we tried, “Warning: I will be texting you about cute dogs I pass on the street” or “My peanut butter and jelly sandwiches have been called ‘transcendent.’” That way, it’s not just about the things you like, but a snapshot of who you are.
In short, your bio should ever so briefly provide a look at something that makes you you. It doesn’t have to be a holistic portrait of your essence, but it should be unique, and at least kind of mean something.
Trying to succeed on Tinder or other dating apps but struggling and not sure why? Send your profile to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll let you know what you can improve on.