dating

'I suck at dating profiles so I got an expert to do mine. My matches have skyrocketed.'

This article was originally published in The Lonely Girls Guide newsletter. You can subscribe right here.

I know what you’re thinking: “Wow, this girl probably has the coolest, most relatable dating profile. Oh, and she’s also really good looking.” 

I know, I know, I thought the exact same thing. However, I am sad to inform you we are both greatly mistaken. 

In fact, when it comes to my dating profile, the opposite is true. I've been online dating for a while but frequently find myself disappointed by my lack of matches and the poor quality of conversation whenever it gets that far.

Could it be something to do with my profile?

I decided to find out.

I reached out to Bumble’s APAC Communications Director and dating expert Lucille McCart, as well as award-winning sexologist Chantelle Otten, to see if they had any ideas on how I could increase the number of matches I was getting.

I was quickly humbled when they told me that yes, my profile needed work.

Luckily, they gave me some solid tips on how to revamp it, not only get more matches but also to facilitate more interesting conversations when I do get matches. 

Here are the top three things they suggested:

Upload photos of you doing something.

I always upload my best photos to my dating profile. Why wouldn’t I? They're literally the first thing people see when looking at your profile.

My method of choosing images is that I have to look sexy in them but in a way that my nana would be proud of.

The problem is, I'd always come to regret these choices whenever I was getting ready for a date. In order to look like the girl in the photos, I'd have to do hair, makeup, and find a fab outfit.

As someone who’s a frequent first-dater, doing allllll those things was really starting to take a toll on my enthusiasm for going out to meet new people. 

To my relief, Lucille and Chantelle both advised me to change up my photo game.

Instead of super glam shots, they told me to showcase photos of myself doing things I enjoy, invoking better conversations.

Hmm. I’m one of those people who likes a lot of things but doesn't like doing a lot of things. 


Just a girl doing her very legit hobbies. Image: Supplied. 

So my hobbies include wearing facemasks, reading, drinking, going to museums and gardening (kinda... more like getting my picture taken in gardens). So I popped some of those photos up. I decided against posting a photo of me exploring a cave. As you can see, I think I made the right choice. 

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Committed to the adventure. Image: Supplied. 

Either way, my sad hobby showcase actually worked! I went from always getting messages saying nothing more than "hey", to receiving questions like "which museum is that?" and "I love that author". Needless to say, the conversation game has really improved. 

Chantelle also suggested making sure I was putting up raw and real photos of myself saying, "Editing photos is the biggest no, no from me. If a photo is too edited, you really don’t know what that person actually looks like and it really masks their ability to show off their beautiful energy and authentic self."

Use positive humour.

In case you haven't already noticed, I love a bit of self-deprecating humour. My favourite profile prompt is: Old dating traditions are out, my new dating tradition is... crying. I know, I know, superior humour.  

But Lucille told me that people are more inclined to respond to positive humour on profiles, even if they enjoy self-deprecating humour in person. So I changed that prompt to My personal hell is... Telling a waiter that I have an appointment and telling a receptionist that I have a reservation. Still funny, still slightly deprecating but not as negative as my crying habits. So far I’ve gotten three "hahahas" out of it. 

Listen to Em talk about dating profiles on The Undone. Post continues below.


Disclose what you're looking for.

This is one that I’m still struggling with. Both Lucille and Chantelle told me that by disclosing on the apps what I'm looking for saves times and manages other people's expectations. 

Seeing as I don't actually know what I want when it comes to relationships, I decided to state this on my profile and it actually prompted some interesting conversations with matches. It was weirdly nice talking about our opinions about relationships and children without the fear of it insinuating something else. I would definitely recommend giving it a go. 

There are also a few things that you should avoid putting on your profile, according to the experts. The main one being your exact location, for safety reasons obviously. 

Now please join me on this revamped dating profile journey so that I’m not the one only posing in my grandparents' garden looking like I’m doing the bare-minimum (un-confirmed if true).

So far I have to say I'm seeing more matches and having better conversations. 

For more rogue dating stories or 'life in your 20s' takes from Emily Vernem, subscribe to her newsletter, or follow her on Instagram  @emilyvernem.

Feature Image: Supplied.

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