After too much experience on Tinder, I have gleaned the essence of the perfect profile—something that will increase your odds of attracting a man who is halfway decent and better than a serial killer.
If you are looking for a hookup, a shag, a “slam, bam, thank-you, man” and nothing more, then put up your sexy pics, don’t bother with a blurb, and go with God. But you’re safer meeting a dude at a dive bar in Barstow (look it up) where you can at least check out his friends and assess how he smells in person. The world can be a dangerous place, especially for us gals. There are predators around every corner, especially online. So do what you must, but watch Looking for Mr. Goodbar before you do anything.
If you are like the rest of us second-time arounders, you probably have hopes of meeting a decent guy, dating a bit, having some wild sex, then enjoying a blissful life of romance and love. This is why building your profile carries a weight equal to writing your college application essay. This could be the rest of your life!
When it comes to developing your profile, don’t rush, think about it, and create it with Tinder Loving Care.
Step 1: Select your photos
Tinder feeds off your Facebook account, so create an album only you can see. This way you can play with your photo selections and swap them in and out of your Tinder profile to keep it fresh. If you don’t Facebook, you are either out of luck, or will at the very least need to create a temporary account.
First photo: Primary photo. You have five seconds to grab his attention, ergo your primary photo is where you put your best foot forward. It is your “opening gambit.” It is the picture that flies across the Tinder screen as men frantically search for the perfect woman (aka Jessica Alba).
Your primary photo should be some sort of head shot showing your bright eyes, your sparkling smile, and the color of your hair. Your face should reasonably fill the screen so that a man will stop (!), attention captured, and explore the rest of your profile to learn more about wonderful you.
— You making duck face. (Only chicks dig chicks making duck face.)
— You making a dumb I’m-so-fun face. (If a dude wants goofy, he’ll go to Disneyland.)
— You with your tits pushed out of your dress. (You reap what you sow.)
— You and five of your BFFs. (Where’s Waldo? Swipe left!)
— You way, way, way far away on a beach or a ski slope. (He’s not looking for an ant.)
— You kissing your pet. (Especially if it’s a cat.)
Second photo: Full-body shot. I do not mean a naked-booty shot—rather, a photo that shows you from head to toe. We want him to see that you do, in fact, have legs. (And if you don’t, own it! There’s someone for everyone.)
The same goes for your weight. If there is more of you to love—so be it. A lot of dudes dig the full-figured gal—and the ones who don’t you won’t want to meet for drinks only to face their annoyance that you didn’t indicate your true weight on your profile (even if he happens to be a bald dude who wore a hat in all of his own photos). With profile pics, honesty is the best policy.
(Note: I know it’s what is in your heart and mind that matters. But given today’s culture, where photo-driven technology has made looks more valued than intellect [thank you, Kardashians], modern romance has been reduced to the superficial. Connection starts with the physical, and one can only hope to find a man with the depth to hang around long enough for it to grow into something more. Moms, raise your sons well because your daughters are the yous of the future. Woo-hoo! Dating existentialism.
Third photo: Sporty shot. Remember, these are men we’re dealing with. They want to know you live an “active lifestyle,” care about your personal appearance, and will somehow manage to never, ever age.
— You athletically eating a cheeseburger. (Doesn’t count!)
— You bench-pressing 200 pounds. (He needs to feel he can take you in a fight.)
— You zip-lining. (Nobody looks good zip-lining.)
— You in a football uniform, padded up. (You’re on the wrong site, sister.)
— You in a thong bikini, doing a handstand on the beach.
— (Again, you reap what you sow – but if you can rock one, I can’t say I blame you.)
Fourth photo: You have two choices.
1) Intellectual shot: You looking “smart”—reading a book, wearing glasses, playing the piano, contemplating the universe. If you are a teacher, a shot of you in front of your class; if you are an attorney, a shot of you in the law library; if you are a stripper, a shot of you in the law library.
2) Homemaker shot: You baking, planting, wearing an apron, painting your house, anything “Martha Stewart” because every dude wants to bone Martha Stewart.
If possible, include both choices, as men ultimately don’t know what they want.
Fifth shot: Sexy shot.
Note, I did not say “sex” shot. Remember the song “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!”? (If you don’t, you are too young to read this and should pick up a copy of Teen Vogue.) You want to capture the essence of sex. Let a dude know that underneath all your fabulousness, there is a real woman. Tits and ass do not equal desire. Tousled hair and a smile, little black dress and heels, even barefoot in a man’s shirt—a woman owning her femininity is what will grab the good ones.
When you feel sexy, you look sexy, and men like sexy.
Sixth shot: For moms (optional). If you are a single mom, you must definitely mention this in your blurb. You also have the option of putting a photo of you and your kids in your pics. This is a personal choice. If you are divorced, assume your ex will come across this photo—because I promise, he is Tindering as well. Ask yourself if this will cause unneeded stress in your already strained relationship (even though he has a photo with your kids in his profile pics).
If you decide to include a family photo, put it last. You don’t want to give the impression you are pimping your kids in order to get a date. Personally, I did include a family shot for several reasons: I think I am a good mom and am proud of this; my kids turned out great, and I am proud of them; and the photo shows we love one another. Most important, the shot was taken in southern France, so if a dude recognizes we are on the beach in Nice, he gets bonus points!
Miscellaneous photo tips:
— Don’t use photos without you in them; we’ve all seen sunsets and puppies.
— More than six shots makes you a narcissist.
— If the photo is blurry, you are hiding something.
— if the photo is over or underexposed, you are hiding something.
— Dudes don’t care about your baby picture or any picture that isn’t you now.
Step 2: Write your profile blurb
You have 200 characters to make a blazing first impression. Something is better than nothing, but less is more. Do not use deep quotes or song lyrics. Do not be too specific. Lead with what efficiently sums up the type of person you are, and list an interest that gives a dude something to connect with. Then briefly state what you are looking for in a man.
Do not leave your blurb blank. In Tinder-speak, this means you just want to get laid. Do not say you are looking to “chill and watch Netflix.” This is Tinder code for you just want to get laid. (Unless this is what you want, in which case, note the above warning and watch Looking for Mr. Goodbar again!)
Consider the following two blurbs:
“Fun-loving astrophysicist enjoys scuba diving, salsa dancing, and Fargo. Seeks honest, intelligent man for coffee, conversation, connection—and perhaps more, should the stars align (pun intended). No hookups, please.”
“IT professional, Stanford grad, sports fanatic; enjoys yoga, the outdoors, and a good Hemingway novel; vegetarian, but not overtly so; nondrinker, but cool if you do… Seeks fun and relaxed partner. Hoping for LTR but happy to date and dance. No hookups.”
(Note: LTR is a Tinder acronym—aka Tindernym—for lifetime romance.)
These blurbs have it all: personality, profession, sports, hobbies, a dash of wit, and relationship desires. These profiles will get hundreds of hits.
Now consider this blurb:
“Overwrought, unemployed single mom with deadbeat ex seeks guy to take her to dinner so she can get blindingly drunk, forget her problems, and make out in the car. No hookups. Gluten-free.”
Sadly, this profile will also get hundreds of hits.
Finally, there is this blurb:
“Happily married, gorgeous movie star with rockin’ bod, billion-dollar company, perfect baby, and the initials Jessica Alba seeks you, middle-aged man, with a paunch and midlife crisis who refuses to grow up and give any decent woman a chance because he thinks he can get me.”
This one will get millions of hits.
Let’s face it, most dudes don’t read the blurbs.
Step 3: Download the Tinder app
— Go to the app store on your cell phone.
— Find the free Tinder application.
Step 4: Move it all onto Tinder
— Open the Tinder app on your phone.
— Go to “Settings” (the gear icon).
— Once inside, tap on your photo over “View Profile.” This will show yo what your Tinder profile looks like.
— Tap “Edit Info.”
— Pull photos from Facebook, and arrange them as desired.
— Insert your blurb.
— Once completed, tap out to main menu and go to “Discovery Settings.”
— Select the parameters of your potential mate.
— Tap out, and tap on the flame.
You are ready to swipe. Get busy!
First published (edited) on ESME.com, 2016