Dating app bios. Who needs ’em?

Writing an About Me on your dating profile or answering those pick your own adventure questions isn’t something anybody looks forward to. And chances are, unless you’re a massive narcissist, you probably don’t like doing this. It’s like writing a CV but worse because with this particular job application, you’re not trying to get someone to pay you to provide a service, you’re trying to get someone to hang out with you, for free, hopefully more than once…and enjoy it. Your work colleagues don’t have to like you, but your significant other does. 

The thing is, calling it out as dumb or stupid doesn’t help you. It actually just makes you seem as if you take yourself way too seriously and can cause you to come off as arrogant and negative. Better to just assume that everybody thinks it’s stupid and dumb but nobody like to talk about it.

When I first started online dating, I had no idea what to put in the About Me section. What was I supposed to say? Should I be writing about my life? Things that I like? Things that I don’t like? What I’m looking for? Did I even know what I was looking for? I didn’t want to sound negative or boring. I didn’t want to sound too positive and intense either. I can’t even remember what I wrote.

I almost gave up before I began. Almost. But I managed to come up with a few awkward lines, selected that I was interested in men, entered my age and selected a distance that I was happy to date within. To be honest with you, I had no idea what to choose for the distance option at first. I think I chose 100km and then slowly whittled it down, much like my will to go on.

My bios have ranged from looking for someone to raise a dog with, to looking for someone who will give me their last chicken nugget. I really like chicken nuggets. But unfortunately for me, everyone on Bumble is a fucking vegan.

Disclaimer: Vegans are really great. I really do admire you and your life choice. It is a very noble and kind way to live.

Everyone also appears to be in the gym for five or six hours a day and when they’re not, they’re out in the Grand Canyon doing some form of extreme sports, camping in Alaska, or brewing their own cider in a virgin rainforest somewhere. I think I know why you’re single, mate.

It’s important to sound interesting, but I don’t think anyone wants to sound exhausting. Most adults are VERY tired. So naturally we want a solid return on very little investment. It pays to come across as interesting, but I guess it depends on what you consider to be ‘interesting’ too. Some of the most interesting dates I have been on don’t include rock climbing in New Zealand or sailing to Santorini. They’ve been pretty low-key. They’ve usually been at dingy dive bars drinking five-dollar tins on a Tuesday night.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t sail to Santorini and if rock climbing is your thing, then you do you. Namaste, friend. I just feel like everybody is out here eating leaves and trying to find Ghandi and all I want is a New York Pizza and a beer.

Despite this, I have noticed that people have started being exceptionally picky about what they are after in terms of a potential partner too. But not me, I’d probably marry someone if they gave me a cheeseburger at this point.   

It’s Emma’s Instagram

So do bios really matter? I think they do. I usually swipe left on a guy if he doesn’t have anything written in his bio because I have to assume he is low investment and probably just trying to get laid, which is fine, it’s just not what I am looking for.

Bios create greater opportunity for more interesting and varied discussion. If I match with a guy I like to use something from his bio to start a conversation, this helps avoid the standard, Hi, How’s it going? How’s your week been? How was your weekend? type of conversations that so many people clearly abhor and want to avoid.

But when he doesn’t have anything written in his profile, tailoring opening lines becomes a little more difficult, unless I can pull something quirky from his pictures.

The profile is an opportunity to give potential partners an insight into what you’re really like and what you’re looking for. So it makes sense to be transparent, honest. However there is such a thing as being too honest or too prescriptive in your bio. If you’re too frank, or too demanding, you can actually come off as selfish, reductive and arrogant and you’ll wind up turning people off before they have even given you a chance.

These are some examples of bios I have read that have immediately prompted me to swipe left:

“Please don’t ask me about my weekend. That goes for what I’m doing on the coming (sic) or what I did on the one just gone. Just assume I spent it on the couch and loved it”

Wow, this guys sounds like a party, right? I get it. People want something special. They don’t want a run of the mill conversation opener. But the problem with the dude above is that he has started with a demand, a very specific demand, when he hasn’t in fact put anything on the table yet. He hasn’t proven himself to be anything other than ordinary, he has in fact just proven himself to be ultra-ordinary in that he has just admitted his weekend consisted of things that a lot of ordinary people pretty much do; chill on the couch. He is already being far too prescriptive, and all of this before anyone has even invested in him. It took me all of ten seconds to read his bio, swipe left and dodge that bullet.

This sort of feels like going to an improv class with actors who won’t buy into the scene: a lot of hard work! It would have been more prudent for this gent to put a positive spin on his bio by suggesting things he might like to talk about rather than what he doesn’t want to talk about.

“Likes: surfing, yoga, meditation. Dislikes: fat, ignorant or selfish”

I feel like he probably could have just swiped left on any fat chicks, right? Like, was it absolutely necessary to include this in his bio? Is he worried he might accidentally swipe right on a whale and not be able to escape? Is his name Jonah? I did swipe right on this guy in the hope of getting a match and indeed we did match. Naturally, I asked what his problem with fat chicks was and naturally, I was immediately deleted. I really like nachos, so I was probably too fat for him anyway.

“Would much rather see how you’re making the world a better place than photos of your lunch”

To this day, I have never seen anyone put a photo of their lunch on their dating profile. But part of me feels like this element would actually make online dating a hell of a lot better. I’d swipe right on a large serving of fries, no questions asked. Photos of all those sweet cheeseburgers you’ve eaten? Bring it on. An exotic cheeseboard, maybe some cured meats and a glass of dark red? Sign me up, this love is meant to be.

“Not looking for anything serious”

In the immortal words of Ariana Grande: Thank U, Next! Also, note to self: don’t wear that wedding gown you’ve been sitting on all these years to the first date.

I do think there is merit in being honest about what you want on online dating sites. But the above reads to me how it reads to every woman in the world – Hi! I would like to use you. I am utilising this statement as a disclaimer so I don’t have to take any responsibility for my behaviour.

There are women out there who are also in fact not looking for anything serious. But is anyone looking for something serious when they first meet someone? Usually I like to get to know someone before I even consider that question. But by saying you’re not looking for anything serious you are immediately revealing your level of investment in this game and instead of setting our expectations low, which is what this comment is surely intended to do, you make us question why we would waste our time with you at all.

Women aren’t just sitting around with nothing to do except wait for an offer of minimal investment, we are just as time poor as men are. Plus, half of the excitement around dating is the potential to meet someone who can actually enrich our lives, give us something to look forward to, give us a reason to wash our hair and maybe throw on a nice outfit. Someone who isn’t looking for anything too serious is not going to offer any level of enrichment. If you can’t be bothered, why should I bother? I immediately swipe left on these people.

Courting, dating, flirting, doesn’t work when people say things like, just so you know, all you can expect from me is a minimal amount of investment and probably some subpar sex. I’m not going to bother leaving the house for that. In many ways, this is a game, yes, but it isn’t Monopoly and there are no Get out of Jail Free cards.  

“No time wasters”

Are you trying to get a date or sell a car, mate?

“Tinder is pretty low on my priority list, so expect delayed responses”

I immediately swiped left so there was no need for any response, delayed or otherwise. I’d really like to know if old mate has gotten any matches with this winner of a disclaimer. I was tempted to try and match with him so I could ask why he was even on the site at all but then again, I couldn’t really wait six weeks for a response.

Again, here’s another guy indicating his level of investment before he has even had a conversation with a woman. “Tinder is pretty low on my priority list” – a.k.a. you are pretty low on my priority list so don’t expect too much. The reason Romeo and Juliet was such a hit isn’t because they died tragically at the end. It was because Romeo was a lover, his investment was high, he WANTED to woo Juliet. I’m not saying this is Shakespeare we are dealing with here but I think we can do better than expect delayed responses. You gotta want to woo, brodeos.

“Wild seeker. Man of spirit and poetry. Following a path with heart, where it leads, out there and down through the centre. Fire and wine, alive in nature, in vast open spaces. Wild surf, midnight swim, roof of canvas under skies that burn with stars. Drunk on silence and myth.”

Okay, maybe we are dealing with Shakespeare here…

“If you lack manners, swing on poles or have a drinking problem jog on (sic) the F@#k on”

Or run…whatever you prefer.

If you drink bourbon out of a can in any of your snaps, it ain’t gunna (sic) work out

Should I drink it out of the bottle or…?

I often think men don’t realise just how much they are revealing about their own character when they write their bios. Confidence is attractive, intolerance is not. Making sweeping judgements in your bio is not a great way to find a match. It just reveals you as judgemental and close-minded. Besides, your bio is YOUR bio. It’s an opportunity to talk about yourself, to sell yourself. You shouldn’t be using it to judge or shame others. Again, if this bloke doesn’t like what he sees, he can very easily swipe left. What does this comment achieve?

There are no disclaimers to avoid disasters or bad matches.

All these examples make online dating and the prospect of finding a worthy match seem pretty dire. But there is a small hope. The following are some of my favourite online dating bios so far:

“Just want to get a dog with someone then keep getting more dogs”

Um, hi, husband. This is cute. He is being funny and non-threatening while indicating a love of dogs. Every woman loves a guy who loves animals because it usually indicates that this man is gentle and kind. In one sentence, this guy had indicated that he is boyfriend material. And even if he isn’t looking for anything serious, he’s gonna get laid. In less than twenty words, he has cast his hook and he is going to get bites and he did it all with one sentence.

“Just a guy looking for a girl to have beer and pizza with”

Simple, non-threatening, indicates he actually wants to spend time with someone. Unfortunately that person wasn’t me, but simply put, he is willing to invest his time, which is more than old mate “Tinder is a low priority” can say. This guy is not trying to skip any of the stages of dating, and he’s not looking for any shortcuts. At the end of the day, he might just be looking to get laid but this bio is going to get more right swipes than the guy who doesn’t want anything too serious. Again, with one sentence this guy has achieved what many men on dating sites cannot; Humility, honesty, interest, and all with a simple, non-threatening statement.

And that’s about it so far, just two gems in the vast sea of single men that I have discovered. I’m sure there are more out there. I may never come across them but I have hope that they exist.

Not everyone is going to like you, and that’s okay. But the dating app bio is a great way to give someone a glimpse into your personality.

These have given people a glimpse into mine:

Professional French Kisser

Looking for someone to raise a dog with

Single gal looking for a pickle jar opener

I understand if you’re into extreme sports and extreme lifestyles and extreme dating but I just want to sit on the couch and eat some extreme nachos, man

Looking for beer, pizza and nice guys

I like Jessica Chastain, chicken nuggets and horror films. Indiana Jones is pretty good. Being open minded and kind is better. Looking for my density, like one George Douglas McFly

I don’t want something too serious either and I am very time poor but I am certainly looking for a little bit of effort on both mine and a potential match’s part.

I do have a certain type of look I go for in a guy but that’s for me to know and to use my own discretion with, not to spell out in my bio. Plus, half the guys I’ve dated with success have had a look that I typically wouldn’t go for. I always find that quirky, funny, non-threatening bios work better than a laundry list of what I don’t want or am not interested in. And funnily enough, being honest, humble and kind isn’t that hard if you are an honest, humble and kind person.

The bottom line is, when someone shows you who they are. Believe them.

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