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My therapist recently described to me that she thinks of dating apps as meeting apps. When she said it, a lightbulb went off. But if I look at dating apps as simply meeting people, I have a lot of power in who I choose to continue relationships with. Once I stopped focusing on trying to please everyone I matched with on a dating app, I set some ground rules. These 20 red flags are a hard swipe left. If your partner of five years had every single one of these in their bio and you live in a happy relationship, I am so glad for you.
In our Love App-tually series, Mashable shines a light into the foggy world of online dating. Thanks to online dating, you and your soulmate could be mere swipes away from finding each other. There's just one thing standing in your way: a bio.
Before you can start scouring dating apps for love, you're tasked with writing a perfectly witty, informative, one-of-a-kind bio that will hopefully grab the attention of other users and encourage a heavy streak of right swipes. A dating app bio might not sound like a big deal, but since apps are filled with a sea of faces, your profile — the bio you craft, photos you feature, and prompts you choose to answer — is your chance to stand out and make a lasting first impression.
This may be a shock to some, but many app users rely on cheesy, tired, and predictable jokes, phrases, and references when composing their bios.
And bad dating app bios can be a major turnoff. We put a call out to online datersasking for the biggest dating app red flags.
From that, we compiled a list of 32 common profile mishaps. From writing no bio at all to including one too many shirtless photos, here's what to avoid when building your online dating persona. What are you trying trying to prove here? That you're not a parent but a baby can stand to be seen with you?
That you're capable of holding and therefore should be considered as a romantic prospect? Please stop using other people's cute babies to make yourselves look good and then clarifying they're not your babies. It's played out!
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If you want to get creative and pose next to a horse and write, "Not my horse," however, we will allow it. That's funny. As Mashable's Senior Culture Reporter Rachel Thomson explainedthis site is a serious red flag that screams, "I'll make offensive jokes and say 'ugh, chill' when you don't laugh" or "I'm emotionally unavailable. If you're on a dating app looking to form a romantic connection, one would HOPE that, at the very least, you're taking yourself and others seriously.
People who feel the need to type some version of "I'm not looking for any drama" in their dating app bios are likely no stranger to drama. Perhaps they've caused or attracted drama in the past, or perhaps this is code for "I'm going to dating you and treat you like crap, but I don't want to be called out on it.
Several people who responded to my call for red flags said they're definitely swiping left on anyone who has more than one topless or revealing profile photo. One shirtless pic? But if your profile looks like a collection of press images from Magic Mike, it's a left swipe. However, if you were in Magic Redright swipe. Men, if you sincerely love to fish, this red flag sucks for you and I'm sorry, but pay very close attention.
A Man Holding A Fish is a near-universally hated dating app photo. Unclear if you think holding a giant fish is cool, or hot, or shows that you're a talented and strong provider who's great at successfully flag a line into a body of water I have clearly never fished but it's a weird, uncomfortable trend.
It's also such a popular profile photo that it's been called out on TikTok. Fish pics are not original, and because there are plenty of other fish in the sea people will not hesitate to swipe left on you. Women, you may be able to get away with holding a fish.
A person with this in their bio likely isn't ready for mature commitment.
1. they have little information about themselves on their profile.
You want someone to have and to hold in good vibes and in bad. Thinking of listing your education as something quirky like "graduated from the school of life" or "the school of hard knocks? Women simply don't have time for this nonsense. Semi-related, if a man's bio is a straightforward list of requirements he'd like to find in a woman, such as, "I'm looking for a girl who likes to take care of herself," "Must be physically fit," or "looking for a girl who can hold a conversation" that's also a major turnoff. Another one of the most common bio red flags that popped up when researching this piece is when people write their height followed by a snarky version of "because apparently that matters.
Pay attention to these online dating red flags
Just list your freaking height! Or don't! But don't list your height and act visibly annoyed about it. Be better than that. A bio that states a love of tacos, pizza, sushi, or coffee?
Who doesn't love those things? This is your chance to be original, not say, "Hi, my name's Nicole and I, like so many others on this planet, love pizza. If you only have one photo on your dating app bio, I'm sorry, it's a left swipe. Adjacent complaints include "one far away pic and four nature pics" and "when their first pic isn't their face. Most people love a good adventure every now and then, but are you talking about jet-setting to France after work or making spontaneous snack runs at midnight?
Be specific, please. Looking for an adventure buddy is cool, but are you also looking for someone to eat chill dinners with and a partner to cuddle beside you on the couch and binge Netflix together? Like, be specific!
Online dating is a chance to weed out some of the people that might otherwise waste an evening of your life. keep an eye out for these red flags to make the most of every in-person meeting.
Are you talking about hiking? You have to recognize that this is similar to looking for an adventure partner, right? Like, what crimes are you planning to commit here? Before we take a break from profile photo red flags, we want to remind you how important it is that you choose high-quality, flattering photos that clearly show off your face and aren't hella filtered. Mirror selfies?
Photos with cutesy Snapchat filters on them? Photos that are so low-quality that they look like — as my friend so delicately put it — "they were taken on a potato or something" are also bad. If you consider yourself a sarcastic person, I fully support that.
Dating app red flags: 10 ways to tell if he’s a keeper or a creeper
I dabble in sarcasm as well, but not to the extent where I feel the need to mention it in a dating app bio. Sarcasm is not that great of a character trait when you think about it. Being witty is fun, but do you really want the first impression you make on someone to be an emphasis on your sarcastic side? Consider leaving phrases like "fluent in sarcasm" or "looking for someone who can compete with my sarcasm" out of your bio. To some they come across as another way of saying "I'm a dick to people and think it's funny.
Dating app red flags: 10 ways to tell if he’s a keeper or a creeper
Each individual answer to a dating app prompt, like the ones featured on Hinge, has its own red flag potential. But some people view the sheer act of choosing to fill out certain prompts — such as "Change my mind about Some people think this phrase is synonymous flag "I enjoying wearing a Patagonia vest on the weekdays and acting dating I'm at a college rager on the weekends.
If you have something like "Add me on Snapchat" or "DM me on Insta, I don't check red in your bio, odds are it's gonna be a left swipe. Insome find the words "moderate" or "apolitical" in bios to be a red flag. And if you proudly listen to Joe Rogan, are holding a gun in every photo, or are posing with Trump flags or MAGA hats — especially post-election — there are more than a few people who would not site a second glance before swiping left.
That said, if these are your views and they're important to you, you might as well come out and say it, so everyone knows. Sprinkling an emoji or two throughout your bio can be fun, just don't go emoji overboard. Also, if you're old enough to use a dating app you should be able to ensure your bio is typo-free.
Come on, people.
If your bio says you're an INFP personality type, congrats, but from the looks of my Twitter notifications, no one cares. It's great to include a photo or two with friends on your dating app profile, but if the same friend is in all of your photos, it's going to raise a few questions.
Is that your ex? Your adorable best friend who you're secretly in love with but don't think they like you back? We need answers.
We've talked about a few phrases you should keep out of dating app bios, but individual words can raise red flags as well. Any variations of "nothing too serious," for instance, "chill," "casual," "no strings attached," or "here to have fun" are definitely not ideal. The words "average" or "normal" in bios are also concerning, as are the words "masculine" or anyone red solely refers to women as "females. Dating app bios are part of the first impression you make on people, so try to make them positive. One popular bio red flag was including too much negativity, showing bitterness, or listing things you aren't looking for in a relationship.
People aren't into bios that mention recent break-ups or divorces or ones that have too many mentions of a dating for trust, loyalty, or honesty in a partner. If there's one thing worse than cheesy, misguided, or downright bad dating app bios, it's a profile with no bio at all. If you can't even take a few flags to craft a bio how can you be expected to put effort into a site I tend to avoid people who write "I'll finish writing this later.
They're not serious about what they're looking for and they will put you off too.