11 Rules to Increase Your Odds of Finding a Gem on Dating Apps

11 Rules to Increase Your Odds of Finding a Gem on Dating Apps

Hello readers. Welcome to 2017, A.K.A. the year of the dating app. Whether you’re a busy Bumbler or an OkCupid connoisseur, chances are, you’ve had your share of less than favorable experiences in the realm of dating apps.

Guy browsing dating app

I have my own reservations about dating apps. Truth be told, I’ve never been quite able to wrap my head around the concept. While it is pretty ideal that we can now find someone attractive and interesting at the swipe of a finger, a lot of the fun in dating and finding someone you’re crazy about is in the pursuit – Finding the courage to approach that sexy fella at the bar and get to know what lies behind their pretty face.

That being said, I’ve given my friends the “Why dating apps suck” spiel (more than once) only to find myself back on Bumble two months later. In my spells of deleting and re-downloading these apps, I’ve developed a set of rules to help me navigate them like a pro and steer clear of any matches who might not have the same intentions I do – to find someone I can connect with, get to know, and potentially date.

Let me preface these rules with a disclaimer: if you use dating apps strictly for hookups and aren’t interested in a long-term commitment, feel free to dismiss my advice. Hookup culture and relationship culture have totally different sets of rules and boundaries to follow.

So without further ado, here are eleven rules to increase your odds of finding a gem on dating apps:

11. Avoid Shirtless Profile Pics

Shirtless guy coming out of pool

Yes, maybe bae has a nice bod, but chances are, that will still be evident while their shirt is on. Someone parading shirtless pictures for hundreds of potential matches to see is not shy about their body, and also likely not shy about their true intentions – which is totally OK! But if you end up matching with a shirtless show dog, don’t be surprised if they’re only in it for the bare benefits.

10. Don’t Choose the Person with their Instagram Handle in their Bio

While someone freely giving out their IG bio may just want to provide a little more insight into who they are beyond a few sentences and curated photos, freely allowing strangers to peek into your life also says “I am not selective in who I show myself to and who I want to pursue.”

As I mentioned before, one of my favorite parts about dating is the pursuit. When you spot someone at a social outing who catches your eye, you have no insight into who they are beyond than their physical presence. If we treated dating apps like we treat dating in real life, we would only give others a little peak into who we are – that is until they prove themselves deserving of learning more.

You want the process of getting to know someone to be tempered and thoughtful. Wait for a match who is willing to put in the effort to know you, and simultaneously, to have you peel back their layers. Remember, your goal is not to be one of many; your goal is to be the one.

9. Say No to the Guy Who’s “In Town for the Weekend”

This rule is a no-brainer. Unless you’re looking for a one-time rendezvous, this is not likely to lead you to your dream beau. Swipe left and spare yourself of tomorrow’s hangover.

8. Swipe Left to Too Many Selfies

Guy drinking beer and taking selfie

Look – I’ll admit, I post a lot of selfies. But on my dating apps I stick to a strict rule of one selfie per profile. Why? Too many selfies gives off a few impressions: Impression number one: You don’t go out anywhere and therefore have no one to take photos of you aside from yourself. And impression number two: You somehow believe that six duck face selfies taken in your car are a really interesting and appealing representation of yourself. Let’s try a little harder, people.

7. Skip on the Guy Who Only Has Group Pics

You know who I’m talking about. This is the person who has 8 to twelve of his best bros in every picture, leaving you wondering, “Which one are you though?!?” Sure, you could swipe right and hope he’s the cute one with the facial scruff and affinity for floral tops, but how awkward will it be if you find out he’s actually one of the faces you had skipped over? This might be more of a personal preference, but since I like to be very selective with my swipes, this one is pretty much an automatic “No” for me.

6. Don’t Pursue the Guy with Bottles at the Club

Guy with sunglasses drinking at bar

Unless you’re in college or are Steve Aoki, this is definitely not the most flattering way to portray yourself on a dating app. Nothing wrong with a little partying every now and again, but aren’t we a little past the age of posting prof pics with handles of Ciroc? Admittedly, I used to do this when I was underage and getting my hands on an entire handle of vodka was like finding a hidden treasure. But at twenty-four, this just makes me shake my head. Next.

5. Don’t Date the Guy Who is Indistinguishable in Photos

I’m talking about the guy who either has only one profile picture taken from fifteen feet away or has three profile photos where he looks slightly different from the one before. Who even are you?? If you have to squint your eyes to make sure it’s even the same dude between pictures, spare yourself this mystery man and swipe left.

4. Say No to the “Entrepreneur”

Girl on Smartphone downloading a dating app

Nothing against entrepreneurs, but the term is so vague it can mean anything from “Inventor of Google” to “Self-Proclaimed Call of Duty Chief.” Before you call me an entrepreneur hater, let me provide an example of what I mean: If I started a software company or a blog (Shameless plug: GlamPiece.com), on my Bumble bio, I might say “founder of GlamPiece.com” as opposed to “Entrepreneur.” These days the term is used very loosely. If someone seems like a real gem otherwise, you can always ask the classic “So what do you do?” question to see what the term entrepreneur means to them.

3. Don’t Pick the Guy With a Girl in Every One of His Pics

Sure, that could be his sister he has his arm around. And that could be his cousin he is kissing on the cheek. But it could also be his ex, who he’s still “cool with.” To me, this just equates to baggage and unfinished business, which is no way to start a blossoming romance.

2. Spare Your Swipes

Instead of getting on your dating app of choice and swiping like a fiend on your lunch break, at a red light or on the toilet, limit yourself on the number of yeses you will swipe right on throughout the week. After finding a couple of matches you see potential in, reach out to them and see if any conversation warrants a first date. This way, you will ensure you are increasing your odds for success and giving your matches a real shot.

1. Put Your Best Foot Forward

Couple holding candles

Just like you want to find a gem, you want to show off your own sparkly and lovely qualities as well! So choose flattering and diverse photos, keep your bio honest and sweet, and invite those who are worthy of charming and pursuing you. By following these tips and tricks, you’ll be well on your way to living out a Tinderella story and finding your prince charming.


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