As Valentine’s Day approaches, some might scramble to find last-minute dates and try to avoid the dreaded idea of being alone on the romance holiday. For those who haven’t been struck by Cupid’s bow, dating apps may be the answer.
While the process of trying to encapsulate your entire personality in an appealing way with just nine photos and a few witty blurbs can be a bit dehumanizing, they are popular. According to a Pew Research survey, 48% of 18-29 year olds have used a dating app.
Although dating apps are common, they are not necessarily many college students’ preferred way to find love. For first-grader Emily Olson, dating apps don’t always seem to have what she’s looking for.
“If I could meet someone naturally, I’d rather do it,” said Olson, a 20-year-old psychology student. “I just don’t like how they’ve become more of a hookup type app than an app where I actually find people to hang out with.”
Some students said they primarily use dating apps to get attention.
Although dating apps can be a good way to connect with people you know in real life but have never given a chance romantically; like junior Evelyn Pacifici, a 21-year-old psychology student who went to high school with her boyfriend, the two only started talking when they matched on Tinder.
When a match does materialize, it is essential to communicate exactly what you are looking for. Don’t lead anyone on a dating app or hide your real reasons for being on a dating app. Senior Callie Gryzbowski said it can be upsetting to make a connection with someone only to find out you’re not looking for the same thing.
“Being upfront about what you’re looking for really helps,” said Grzybowski, a 21-year-old film and digital media specialist. “It’s frustrating when you have to try to decipher what someone wants.”
For those looking for something other than hookup on dating apps, what makes a good profile?
Students said the most important part of any profile is the first photo. A good initial photo is crucial for success on a dating app. If you want to beat fast scrolling, it’s important to start off on the right foot.
“I feel like when I’m on a dating app, I slide so fast that something has to really stand out, especially in the first photo,” freshman Ava Rohleder said.
Rohleder said seeing a clear photo of a potential partner’s face was a must for her.
“I hate it when I can’t really see the person,” said Rohleder, an 18-year-old environmental policy student. “I wouldn’t even give them the time of day.”
Many have said that a good profile requires more than just physical charm – a good personality is also needed.
There are plenty of ways to inject personality into a dating profile. Including a witty joke or tasteful meme is one way to show you have a sense of humor. responding to your audience doesn’t hurt either, according to Pacifici.
“I know every boy, at least one of his main personality traits, loves ‘The Office,'” Pacifici said. “I had a pic of Dwight with a red wig as the last pic, got a lot of responses.”
A one-line bio like “Swipe right if you wanna be my girl” is corny, according to Olson. A small line on the swipe to the right is not enough to give anyone the impression that you are an interesting person.
“The main thing is, for example, to have a broad profile that explains a lot about themselves,” Olson said.
When trying to show you have a personality, hobbies can be a good place to start. Hike, paint, travel or do whatever you like. According to Grzybowski, even niche hobbies and interests can be enough to spark interest or conversation.
While clear photos, a thoughtful biography, and a sense of humor are all important aspects of a successful profile, students said honesty and authenticity are paramount to a successful match.
“Put authentic images and if you have a funny image like this that you think is super awesome, put it up there,” Grzybowski said. “Just give a holistic view of yourself, as opposed to a perfect frame.”
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