Dating apps have gradually become the go-to avenue for us to meet fellow Single Pringles. After all, there’s only so many acquaintances from uni, work, or mutual friend intros that have the potential to blossom into true love. If you’ve yet to join the ranks of #blessed Singaporeans who managed to find love online, these dating app mistakes could be the culprit.
Whether you’re a seasoned swiper, once bitten and twice shy after short-lived and dissatisfactory online dating attempts, or have never downloaded a dating app in your life, we’ve laid out a list of common no-nos – along with tips on how to rectify them for better chances of building meaningful connections and finding love your way.
We homo sapiens are visual creatures by nature, and your online first impression is made through the set of profile pictures you choose to upload. Instead of posting only your “Greatest Hits” selfies, go for a variety of face shots and full-body photos – some casual and candid, some slightly more posed and formal – to let users better envision what you look like.
Besides giving potential matches a better idea of physical elements like height and body type, using the photo aspect of your profile strategically will help equip them with more info about what you’re into, before they even read your bio.
Examples include pics of you together with your furkids, or you and your mates living it up at a music festival. In short, showcase yourself in more ways than just selfies, and give potential matches a glimpse into your life and your interests. It could be as simple as letting them know whether you’re an outdoorsy person, a foodie, so on and forth.
Pro tip: For ladies, take care not to get heavy-handed with the filters or beautifying effects in order to avoid a potential catfish scenario. And for the gents, it’s okay to be proud of your physique but one too many mirror selfies flexing your abs and biceps can come across douchey.
A quick edit helps ensure that your potential matches don’t have to waste time playing Guess Who and Where’s Waldo.
Time is money, and the people swiping through thousands of profiles on dating apps can’t afford to slowly solve the mystery behind who you are, among several group shots with no clear indication of who the profile belongs to.
If group shots are truly all you’ve ever been photographed in, the least you can do is circle your face or draw an arrow pointing to you. Basic photo-editing apps are free, and you can even draw on pics using apps you already have in your phone like WhatsApp, Telegram, and the Instagram Story function.
If you want to protect your friends and family’s privacy, you can also blur out their faces and just leave yourself as the star of the show.
At the risk of sounding like a TED Talk, everybody has something to offer. Even if you’ve been scarred by rejection or previous failed connections, you have the power to start afresh and portray your best self when meeting new people online.
It is not the duty of others to give you validation or stroke your ego, so if you put disclaimers in your bio like “I’m boring” or “I don’t deserve love”, chances are that people are gonna simply take your word for it – and move on to other dating app users who are confident of their self-worth.
As cheesy as it sounds, you can’t expect others to love you if you don’t even love yourself. And that’s fax, no printer.
The beauty of dating apps is that you get to showcase yourself to completely new people, however you desire. These new potential matches haven’t the faintest clue about your past experiences or dating app history, and they sure as heck shouldn’t be punished for negative encounters you’ve had with other people.
So saying things in your bio or even messaging new matches with aggro sentiments like “Why bother swiping and matching if you’re not gonna start the convo? Don’t waste my time.” or “I’ve seen your type before. All guys/girls are like this.” is just gonna rub people the wrong way and scare off otherwise promising matches.
We know it can be tricky to overcome, but a major dating app mistake is to carry baggage and resentment from past experiences to new people. Remember, you can’t carve out a fresh new path for yourself if you choose to wallow in the hurt and anger of the past.
In terms of dating app mistakes, this is so common and frequently done that there are probably hundreds of users out there who’d be like, “Huh, cannot meh?”. Whether you’re on the giving or receiving end, you’re probably familiar with the fact that a standalone “Hi” usually leads to nothing more than a loop of surface level niceties, before the conversation inevitably dies.
This is an obvious sign of laziness and insincerity, seeing as the “Hi” itself is probably copied and pasted to dozens of profiles in rapid succession, without even giving their profile a proper gander. Not taking initiative and relying on just two letters of the alphabet to take the conversation forward is passé.
Instead, it only takes a few seconds to pluck solid conversation starters and ice breakers based on what they’ve stated in their bio, or even from their photos. If there’s a pic of them at an overseas landmark, ask about their trip or what their favourite travel memory is. If they have cafe-hopping pics, ask for cafe recommendations. The onus of a great conversation lies on both of you.
Leave it to your mates to help capture you at your best angles
It’s common for dating app users to take a break from the app every now and then, and come back full steam ahead. We’re constantly changing as human beings, so it’s only fair that you update your profile and not sell yourself as the same person you were as – let’s say – a uni student, if you’ve already been working and adulting for many moons.
You’d be surprised, but some people even use outdated photos from years ago. We get it, sometimes we’re blessed with such a stellar photo of ourselves – looking like absolute model material – that it can be hard to let go of it or try to snap a new shot replicating its perfection.
But to prevent a potential catfish situation, make sure to snap a few new selfies or even employ the help of a friend to give you a little photoshoot.
Indeed, this is a dating app we’re talking about; not a uni essay or client email. But as they say, intelligence is very sexy, and you don’t want to blow a potential match just because there’s a spelling mistake or a careless grammatical error that makes them think you’ll sound like a goon IRL.
To make your bio appear as polished as possible to show that you’re serious about meeting someone, and to present yourself as a well-spoken individual, vet through your profile thoroughly. You can even run it through a free app like Grammarly, or have someone else give it a once-over.
After all, a fresh pair of eyes is oftentimes what it takes to pick out tiny mistakes. Especially the ones understandably made when caught up in the excitement of kickstarting one’s journey to find love online.
While it’s true that your job provides crucial context of what your daily life is about, and stating your alma mater might spark conversation with fellow alumni or those who studied the same course, avoid simply listing out your education background and career info as if you’re submitting a resume.
Make good use of the profile space to mention your interests, passions, and fun facts that make you, you. This helps to tailor your matches so that you’re attracting people who are into the same things as you, or have a complementary lifestyle.
Case in point, stating that you’re a super active individual who loves hiking and bouldering dates will help to catch the eyes of fellow fitspo peeps, while letting those who prefer nua-ing at home over Netflix know that they’d fare better with someone else more laidback.
Another plus point is that it provides adequate info for matches to slide into your inbox, ready to have a riveting convo.
Dating app mistakes aside, you’ve got to admit that the world of online dating can be draining at times. We all want to find love, but reducing humans – each with unique and vibrant personalities and stories to tell – down to just a handful of pictures and a brief bio write-up seems less than ideal.
Shaking things up in the stormy (and sometimes dodgy) world of online dating is OkCupid, which isn’t just another “match and see who’s hot” dating app. It’s the only dating app with thousands of questions that help to match you on what matters.
It’s also packed with a suite of exclusive functions that showcase the depth and heart behind each profile on your screen, paving the way for more meaningful connections from the get-go.
First off, no more wasting time looking through blank profiles or “ego stroking accounts” where people just post their pics and leave the bio empty – seeing how many “likes” they can rack up just for being hot. When it comes to who you date, you should match based on what matters – and OkCupid is the only dating app that asks.
OkCupid’s unique algorithm uses users’ responses to its iconic, in-depth questions to match users on the things they actually care about, like their beliefs, interests, and preferences. It saves everyone time and energy to establish deal-breakers right from the start, be it religious differences, openness to interracial matches, and tolerance for smoking and drinking.
Intention wise, it’s game-changing to only be presented with profiles that are aligned with what you’re searching for, from serious long-term partners to casual dating relationships, or even no-strings-attached companions.
It doesn’t stop there, because OkCupid’s algorithm is further refined to only show you the most promising profiles through a variety of free-to-use “stacks”, a.k.a. categories to break down the otherwise hundreds of thousands of potential matches:
For the first time ever, OkCupid goes local and launches 15 localised questions that mirror important existing conversations taking place right here on our Little Red Dot, increasing opportunities for compatibility matching amongst fellow locals who share similar values, goals and interests.
We’re talking questions that actually make sense to the everyday Singaporean, questions that reveal parts of your personality even before firing off the first message, and questions that’ll shine a spotlight on your profile, among others. A sneak peek of the questions include:
If you’re looking to find meaningful connections online with people that are on the same page, maybe it’s time to say “OK” to Cupid and find love, your way.
This post was brought to you by OkCupid.
Photography by Doreen Fan.
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