College is a time when people experience a lot of “firsts” in their lives: the first college party, the first failing grade, maybe even the first time using a washing machine. For some people, college also includes their first time on a dating app.
Maybe you’ve been feeling lonely, struggling through cuffing season and yearning for someone to send the pouting eyes emoji to. So, you download the app of your choosing, but before you can start searching for the love of your life, you hit the dreaded impasse of writing the perfect bio. Here’s what to keep in mind:
Don’t get too caught up in playing it cool
The first thing to remember is that writing a bio is awkward even for seasoned users (anyone who says otherwise is lying). It’s easy to be tempted into using one lone emoji or leaving the space blank to achieve those mysterious, aloof vibes. The problem with mystery is that this is a dating app, and even though you’re already breaking the “no strangers online” rule, it’s hard not to imagine that someone with no bio might have plans to lock their matches in a basement somewhere. We’ve all binged both seasons of “You.” We know better.
It’s okay to be upfront about why you’re swiping
Everyone has their own reasons for joining dating apps, and that’s fine. Some believe their one true love must be swiping in a 15-mile radius. Others believe their one night stands are swiping in a 15-mile radius. Both of these motives are valid, but it’s important to be clear about which one fits your intentions. Even if these are strangers who you’ll never see again, a little courtesy goes a long way. Stating what you’re looking for doesn’t have to be dramatic or corny. A simple, “Swiping for fun,” or well-placed emoji can probably get the point across, but the extra seconds of typing are worth it.
Include a conversation starter
When I was a young, naive first-time swiper, I remember telling my friends that, as a rule, I didn’t respond to anyone who only said “Hey” in their first message. This rule likely sounds a little over the top, but I justified it because I knew I had ample conversation starters in my profile. Everyone has something interesting to share about themselves, whether it’s a hobby, a unique interest or a favorite TV show (just please, not “The Office”). If you don’t give your matches something to strike a conversation on in your bio, your swiping days will be a monotonous series of people sending “Hey” and “WYD” until you delete the app or you die.
Take advantage of any features the app has to make your profile more interesting
Not all dating apps are created equal, and some are better for certain types of dating than others. Apps like Bumble and Hinge both include helpful profile features if you’re really trying to get to know your matches. Profile questions, for example, are a great way to add even more conversation starters, find people with the same interests as you or showcase your sense of humor. Bumble and Hinge also make it easy to get the awkward questions like political views or even your Zodiac sign out of the way right on your profile. Many dating apps also have options to link your Spotify and Instagram accounts without sharing your username or account info. Connecting Spotify is a great option for music lovers, and adding your top Instagram photos can help show off what you like to do.
When in doubt, keep it simple
Whether you plan to get to know your matches better or forget them in a month, your bio is not the place for your life story. If you try to throw out all of your interesting quirks and funniest anecdotes right away, your matches may have nothing left to ask you once you get to the dating part. Sometimes a really clever one-liner or listing out your coffee order can paint you as every Gen Z’ers dream match who is carefree, funny and not at all complicated.