Things You May Want To Leave Out Of Your Dating App Profile

When you merge the primal need to be social with the wild west of dating apps, prepare yourself — strangers will tease, deceive, or actually deliver a real relationship. Whether you're seeking marriage, dating, hookups, or a solid friend, if you authentically curate your profile you'll probably reduce the number of lurkers and fakes you attract.


Some people are reluctant to admit that an app helped them meet their current flame. Despite the lingering stigma, Pew Research reveals that fully 44% of users say they met their long-term partner using an app. Unsurprisingly, young people embrace apps more than other age groups. About half of those surveyed under 30 said they'd used a dating app, a much higher number compared to 30% of people aged 30 to 49 and 20% of those 50 to 64.

Academic researchers Sarah Hartman-Caverly and Alex Chisholm from Pennsylvania State University analyzed a sample of 8 million dating app users and found that 10% of the profiles were fake. So, our recommendation is to present the you-iest you, the most brilliant, unicorn version of yourself as possible. Shine your light. That being said, here's what you might consider leaving out of your dating app profile.


The type of photos you shouldn't use

Even if you're young, when you use a pic of yourself from three, five, or 10 years ago, it's misleading. And the older we get, the truer this becomes. Though it's human nature to fight the aging process, resist the urge to Photoshop or use a heavily filtered selfie. When someone meets you in person, they might feel tricked and the date could turn awkward. Love and embrace yourself as you are now, and use a picture that's a maximum of a year old.


For safety, avoid using photos that you've already used on a social media platform. People can do a reverse image Google search using your dating app shots, find them elsewhere online and uncover your full name, company name, and other details you'll want to keep private. Take a cute, spontaneous selfie just for your profile.

Stay away from uploading a parade of scalding hot bikini photos without any bio. Even if you're mainly interested in hooking up, you'll want to attract a quality (and safe) person and this sends a signal that looks are your highest or only priority.

Don't put yourself, others, or the app itself down

Some daters toss out enhanced versions of themselves onto the web, but others who feel insecure about their attractiveness or value as a person may go the opposite way. This can show up as bitterness about their single status, or it can be negative self-talk disguised as self-deprecating humor. Training yourself to speak positively can improve your mental health and will also allow your positive traits to shine.


Healthy humor shows your unique take on the world, but a big dose of sarcasm or mean-spirited humor in a bite-sized dating app profile is offputting. When we're just getting to know someone and notice that they're throwing shade at the world, that may not be their real personality. They're actually revealing their insecurities and, possibly, loneliness. Don't be that girl. Process those feelings by writing them out in a journal instead, seek support, then have fun crafting your online bio.

Tech in general and dating apps in particular are here to stay. About 337 million people worldwide use them, according to Business of Apps. We can let go of making fun of apps as some lame, embarrassing last choice for meeting people — there are genuine, persistent people who've found true love.


Leave out rants about what you hate

Have you ever seen a dating app profile that features a laundry list of things the poster hates or stuff you're forbidden to do? Like "Don't even talk to me if you're not a COMPLETE AND TOTAL 10," (buddy, STOP SHOUTING, please) or "If you don't clean your bathroom, if you eat sloppily, keep moving." We might introduce these two to each other.


Perhaps these are serial daters who have experienced so much disappointment, they just can't wait to get it off their chests. They issue a heavily caffeinated warning that you better not be an exact replica of everyone who came before you.

We may all have a touch of this. As human beings, we innately have what's called a negativity bias. Positive Psychology defines a negativity bias as a strong tendency to learn from and respond to negative information more than from positive information. If you know you've got a negativity-loving trigger finger, get that journal out and write out all the traits that are deal breakers. Now, flip them around to highlight what you DO prefer. 

Avoid only listing your personality traits or things you own

There's nothing wrong with creating a quick sketch of who you are with words like "thoughtful," "funny," or "scuba-loving." But if your entire profile is a list of traits, maybe even ones you've identified accurately, you risk losing people. Why? A list doesn't create an emotional connection, and creating a genuine connection is attractive and juicy.


Similarly, if you're trying to send signals about who you are with phrases like "Mercedes-owner," "I only vacation in Bali," or "Real estate mogul who flipped 28 houses last year," you'll probably lose suitors here as well.

For a higher quality experience, whether you want a partner or a fling, use your profile to show, not tell. Instead of making lists, create a short story that demonstrates the kind of person you are. A good formula to use might be "I once [cool/supportive thing you did] and then [amazing/funny thing that resulted]!"

Don't reveal overly personal details

You're smart. You're not going to post your social security number or your bank PIN anywhere, ever. And you don't need a bunch of strangers, including the 10% who aren't legit, knowing where you work, what your last name is, or the name of your college. Instead, if you match with someone you might like, pay attention to the level of respect or urgency in their messaging. If they ask for your cell phone number right away, you don't have to give it to them.


The dawn of social media can be traced back to 1997 with the launch of a company called Six Degrees, but it really exploded after 2003 when MySpace, Facebook, and then Twitter came on the scene. Since then, social media users have become more and more comfortable with public revelations about intimate emotional and personal details.

But it's not necessarily a safe practice to automatically overshare on a dating app the way you might on social media. RAINN has some good tips about online safety, including reminders about blocking suspicious profiles and handling in-person meetings. Have fun, stay safe, and prepare yourself for what to expect when dating in 2023.