Dating apps are magical places that give you the opportunity to meet countless new people, all from the comfort of those ratty basketball shorts you’ve had since high school. If you don’t build a good profile, however, you might as well be showing up to an actual bar with said ratty basketball shorts on, trying to meet people—not a great look. Which is all to say, when you don’t put effort into your Bumble profile, you’ll get fewer matches.
Now sure, there is a limit to what any of us who aren’t, say, Michael B. Jordan can do when it comes to attracting other people. Michael B. Jordan is certainly hot enough to post one blurry photo with an incomplete bio, and do just fine. The rest of us have to make an effort. Here’s how you can help guarantee your perfect match will want to make the first move.
1. Hit us with your best shot.
Your first photo should be of just you; yes, it’s great that you have friends, but your potential match shouldn’t have to pick you out of a lineup. While it might seem like a short-cut, this solo photo can’t be a selfie. Selfies are simply too close up for anyone to get an idea of what you actually look like. Back up a bit and ask a trusted friend to take a high-quality photo of you. A good quality photo of a less attractive person beats a blurry photo of a hunk any day. Just think…none of those Instagram influencers you follow post blurry photos. Oh, and maybe put down the sunglasses.
2. Verify your profile.
Bumble lets you verify your profile so people know you aren’t trying to catfish them. Verifying your profile makes you seem safer, which, in case you’re unaware, is hotter. Risk-taking is for ziplining or eating scorpions, not Bumble matches.
3. Update your bio, but get creative.
Get clichés out of your bio. If your bio says anything about a burrito, hosts an Anchorman quote or claims that you “work hard, play hard,” you’re not going to stand out. You might as well just put the shrimp emoji in your bio and hope for the best. In fact, someone with just a shrimp emoji instead of a thoughtful bio is at the very least weird, which I can’t say for the 1,284,089th person with the bio “we can say we met at Whole Foods.” All that bio tells potential matches is that you know of a popular upscale grocery store.
Include something unique about yourself— are you an identical twin? Have you been to every baseball stadium in the country? Say that! Can’t think of anything unusual? Ask a fun question. One of my friends has “Do you make your bed every morning?” in his bio and people inevitably contact him to answer the question. You can ask anything from the bland, “What’s the last book you read?” to the funny, “What’s the worst place you’ve thrown up?” People like answering questions, and a complete bio increases your chances of matching by 13%.
One thing you shouldn’t use bio space on? Douchey dealbreakers. Use your bio to talk about you and your interests, not to insult people. Make your bio short, fun, and informative, don’t give us a five page essay on things you don’t like.
4. Use prompts to show off who you are.
Give very specific answers to prompts. What you value most in a person should not be “honesty,” even if that’s true (it’s not)—it’s too vague! Instead, say, “What I value most in a partner is a copy of Walk Hard on DVD or Blu Ray.” Super strength is not what you should pick as your superpower; be more quirky. Say, “My superpower would be never running out of Trader Joe’s Philly Cheesesteak Bao Buns.” Anything that someone might be able to connect with you over and use to start a conversation is better.
5. Add and filter by badges.
No one wants to waste their time dating people they don’t like— that’s the entire point of dating apps, in fact. So use badges to your advantage to help people you’re actually into find you. Adding badges to your profile can increase your chance of matching with someone by 55%, so go ahead and let people know you’re an Aries who loves dogs. Of course, you can—and should—be filtering too; go find your politically-liberal socially-drinking post-grad babe.
6. Integrate your Spotify.
Bumble lets you easily show off and connect over your Spotify choices. Find the other person who listened to Billie Eilish for 4,249 minutes last year! Connect over a love of BTS! Own the fact that you know every Taylor Swift song!
7. Be yourself, but fun.
One tip: don’t go for funny, go for fun. Fun is inviting; fun is a lot of friends, laughter, and tequila shots, if that’s your vibe. “Funny” photos and bios on dating apps usually fall flat or feel forced. It’s almost impossible to convey your sense of humor with a few words or photos; don’t try. Just try to seem fun. Of course, you should still be yourself. If yourself is a corny guy who loves to fish and feels so passionately about shrimp that he needs to put it in his bio, I’m not taking that away from you. I’m just suggesting that you’ll get a lot more Bumble matches if you highlight other things. Like the fun fact that your grandma was the original Gerber Baby.
On Bumble, when everyone is trying to stand out, being a fairly ordinary, kind person with a few creative answers— a nod (or two or three) to not being a robot— gives potential matches a reason to start a conversation with you.
Originally Appeared on GQ