Don’t Be a Cliché, Follow These Tinder Bio Don’ts

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Don’t Be a Cliché, Follow These Tinder Bio Don’ts

OK, it’s game time at the Tinder Bowl and you want to take home the heart-shaped trophy this year, preferably with a supermodel in the other arm. Will a cute girl who just happened to swipe right on your ordinary-looking mug – the one your mother insisted was the most beautiful in the world – suffice? If yes, then you, too, can find what you’re looking for in the digital paradise that is Tinderland. At the very least, you should be able to get a weekday afternoon coffee date.

As I discussed in my previous article on Tinder Photo Don’ts, Tinder is an easy-to-use mobile dating app with a rapidly growing user base. Unfortunately, Tinder has also also been rife with a host of issues that range from fake camgirl profiles to location-revealing security flaws. Hey, it’s Love, Digital Style. Adapt or sleep alone, right?

Last time, we tackled what not to post in your photo set (first rule: you do not post selfies; second rule: you DO NOT post selfies). Today we explore the second-most important aspect of your Tinder profile: your bio.

Underneath those all-too-critical photos of you at your finest (and rarest) hour, Tinder allots 500 characters for your life story. Here’s how not to tell it:

1) You’re So Vain. Seriously, the last thing you want to do is brag. Your accomplishments, however impressive, mean less to others than you think. If you’re worried that your photos won’t make the women of your dreams swoon at a glance, don’t overcompensate by casually mentioning your executive title at a Fortune 500 company, your second home in the Hamptons, or anything else that screams "insecure”. No matter what they’re looking for in a relationship, women see right through these boasts. Don’t make them wonder what other inadequacies you might have. And please, don’t mention that you’re in finance, period.

2) Lies, Lies. Lying: The best way to kill a relationship before it even begins.TM Much like my pleas for humility above, lying about anything from your steady job to the children you don’t have will get you nowhere in the end. What happens if you make a real connection? While you probably shouldn’t post a fact-checked timeline of your past relationships or your latest W-2 statement, you need to be honest with the details of your autobiography. This goes quadruple for height. Fudge it any more than one inch and you’re finished. They can always tell.

3) "Your" So Smart. You don’t have to master the semi-colon, but a little proofreading won’t kill you. Grammar counts in today’s rapid-texting world and most people with more than a semester of college shudder at the misuse of “your” v. “you’re”. Learn the basics and avoid this totally preventable deal-breaker.

4) I Would Die 4 U. Keep the texting shorthand to texts only, if at all. As grammar gaffes immediately turn off many eligible females, so, too, do those cutesy, single-character stand-ins for actual words.

5) . Women may use emojis in their bios. You may not. End of discussion.

6) The Great Wall Of Text. If you’re lucky enough that someone liked your photos and wants to read up on the person featured within, do not make her regret it. First, you have no business using anywhere near 500 characters. Second, if four or five lines can’t contain your bio – it really should, though –break it up as much as you can. A list of personal details may be cringe-worthy to some, but at least it’s readable.

7) Chestnuts Roasting. Avoid any phrases guaranteed to elicit eye rolls from your audience. If you say that you’re “looking for a partner in crime”, have discovered that “life is a journey” and you want “someone to share the ride”, or that you’re “new to this” and “just checking it out”, you’re doing it wrong.

8) Rhymin’ Simon. Whether it’s a quote from Keats or Kanye, leave the poets alone. Remember, they probably weren’t thinking about you when they wrote that line, so why put it in your bio? Poetry you wrote yourself – if it gets a laugh – is permitted, however.

9) I Just Need Someone To Love. It’s the golden rule of online dating: some things make better conversation topics than reading material. This is especially true of your relationship preferences, whether you’re seeking the mother of your unborn children or an “activity partner” (read: quick lay). Moreover, it can betray a tendency toward neediness or, on the other end of the spectrum, douchebaggery. Since women already know that we all fall somewhere along that scale, you’re better off discussing your hopes for a relationship (or lack thereof) in person.

10) Child Is Father To The Man. You might play video games, smoke weed, have a man-crush on Tom Brady, or know exactly what you want to be when you grow up. All fine things, just not ideal conversation starters in the digital dating arena. If you can’t make your boyish hobbies relatable to the girl who abandoned her dollhouse at age 10, don’t mention them at all.

11) Enigma Machine. The confusing quote, riddle or word-puzzle is the oddest Tinder cliché of all. If you have to explain it, the magic dies. Always go for funny ha-ha over funny strange.

12) Omniscient and Jaded Tinder Neg. You’ve swiped left and right enough to get wrist cramps, fallen asleep reading bios, seen all there is to see in the Tinderverse. You are a keen observer of human behavior and suffer no fools, especially here. Why not show all of your potential mates how edgy you are by pointing out all of their flaws in your bio? Go on, tell the women of Tinder that they should swipe left if they don’t fit your criteria, you sexy rebel! Get aggressive about your physical needs, you dreamboat! Mention how clichéd those tiger pics are, you genius! You’ll be the first to blaze this trail, right? Sigh.

What should you do instead?

Be Yourself. It’s pretty simple and it works. Keep the bio short, say something witty, and always leave them wanting more. Consider yourself lucky if they even make it to the written part in the first place. Give them another reason to swipe right.

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Joann Ward has over 30 years of experience in the dating service industry. Along with her son, CEO Steve Ward they became internationally known as the Hosts and Executive Producers of VH1 Tough Love

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