By now, if you use dating apps, you’re probably a pro at swiping right or left. Do you swipe right just based on photos, or do you read people’s profiles, too? And what ~should~ you do? If you’re not attracted to a person through their pictures, should you still read their profile and see if anything clicks before swiping left?
“If we’re really honest with ourselves, we ALL [swipe right based on photos],” Susan Winter, relationship expert and bestselling author of Allowing Magnificence , tells Bustle. “Who’s going to date someone to whom they’re not attracted? There’s no moral judgment here. It’s just the way it is. Rationally, we know it’s about the inner qualities. But it’s the outer package that lures us in to explore the inner content.”
Kali Rogers, Founder of Blush Online Life Coaching, agrees.“When it comes to dating apps, you might as well swipe right on everyone,” Rogers tells Bustle. “Yes, everyone. Why not? The whole point is to get to know people and decide who you want to meet in person."
However, that said, if you skip over the profile, you may be missing out on some key info. After all, people aren’t always who they say they are… or, they say it, but you may not read it. “It can be so easy to just look at pictures on your dating app and swipe right,” Antonia Hall, psychologist, relationship expert, and author of The Ultimate Guide to a Multi-Orgasmic Life , tells Bustle. “You’re in a flow, and they’re so attractive. What could possibly go wrong? But you’ll actually save yourself time, frustration, and potentially disastrous messaging/dating later if you’ve taken the time to read their profile from the get-go. Otherwise, you risk missing critical information like, ‘In an open relationship. Wanna join us for some fun?’ or ‘Just out of prison. Let’s do this!’ There are a lot of very attractive, but undateable, people out there."
I hear that. I asked people whether or not they swipe right solely based on someone’s profile pictures and here’s what I discovered.
1. Shannon Ong, Founder of The Catch, 32
In the beginning, I used to swipe right solely on pictures, as it was little effort for me — and if he messages me with a great opening line, then I’m intrigued. But I found that method more disappointing, as it allowed for a lot more creep-type/lame opening lines. So my new method is, if I find them attractive, before swiping right, I read their profiles and look for these things: a) Is it not cheesy or lame and b) It’s short, simple, and there is something in that bio I am looking for in a guy.
2. Jennifer, 43
I rarely read anything — there is just too much volume, and Bumble and Tinder mostly show someone’s job and company/occupation now. I don’t read until they say "yes," as a lot don’t pick me back!
3. Daniel, 43
I always just go through and swipe right/left based on whether I find the person attractive, and then wait to see if it’s a match before getting into anything further. To me, swiping right/left is akin to making eye contact in a bar — and you can then go from there. But if there’s no "there," then there’s no point in spending a lot of time doing a close examination of her profile and scripting a thoughtful/creative/witty note, just to never hear anything back, you know?
4. Carmel, Relationship Writer, The Big Fling, 32
I always read the profiles. Everyone knows that pictures on dating apps can sometimes be misleading and, other times, can be outright deceptive. I read the profile to get a sense of the person "between the lines" — how much they write and which sections they choose to fill out. These subtleties are revealing.
5. Ryan, 34
I’m a big believer in the profile. If a girl doesn’t have anything in her bio, that knocks her down a notch. It doesn’t mean I won’t swipe right. And if it’s Bumble, I’ll be more apt to let it slide, because the onus is on her to reach out to me anyway, so that’s why I think it’s important to have a good bio for myself on that platform especially. All that said, I’m not interested in using cheesy pickup lines, so I want something in the bio to go on when it comes to conversation and seeing if we have anything remotely in common (besides both finding each other at least passably attractive, haha).
6. Ari, 24
I mainly look at the picture and swipe based on the first impression gathered from those first few seconds. If it catches my attention, I’ll swipe right. If I get a match, I will actually read the profile and see if it tickles my fancy before I engage in conversation.
7. Elizabeth, 25
When I am on a dating app, I do not swipe right or left based solely off of pictures. I read the profile, as well. For me, it’s important to read their profiles, because personality and common interests hold more weight for me than swiping right or left on the most attractive person.
8. Princess, 19
My first step is to look at a person’s pictures. Are they attractive? What kind of pictures do they have? Once I like what I see, I dive into the profile bio. Every once in a while, I like to cover the face and just read the bio and see if I still like the guy when I see his face. I am usually disappointed, so I do not do this often.
9. Whitney, 28
When I am on a dating site, I have to read the profile before I swipe. Now, an attractive face will lead me to want to read the profile, but the profile is really where I make the decision. If the profile has misspelled words, or no real info, I will send that behind to the left. I’m not saying that I need a man’s whole life story, but I do need some basic information about him beyond the questionnaire they force you to fill out to create the profile.
10. Nadia, 30
I’ll look based on the photo, and then swiping is probably 40/60 on looks/profile.
11. Kayla, 22
Honestly, I swipe right based on pictures, because I feel the need to be physically attracted to someone prior to advancing. Just like in a bar, if I’m not physically attracted to someone in person, I most likely won’t approach them. Also, dating apps are super time-consuming. If I’m constantly reading everyone’s bios, I’d be on there for hours, or even days, trying to find someone. Weeding people out based on photos is shallow, but more time-efficient. Time is money in love, right?
12. Nenad, 27
For me, the picture is the first thing that I find interesting, and if I like what I see, then I read on to find out about the person, how they write, describe themselves — as well as what they are interested in, and other things we might be compatible or opposites on. But I’ve never just gone off the picture itself.
13. McKenna, 22
I initially swipe based solely on the first photo. If he looks attractive, I will look at his profile pictures, bio, and Insta-stalk if I’m still on the fence about him — haha. I’d say I’m more selective than most when right-swiping.
14. Serena, 36
I have been on online dating for 15 years now. I recently created a blog, Where the F is Romeo?, to share absurd moments that modern Juliets like me experience online. When online dating, I always read the description. The fact that a man took the time to write a description makes me think he is making an effort — no description makes me think the person is lazy and may be looking for a superficial relationship only. Sometimes, I’m lucky and the description is smart and funny. Both are important to me when I consider a partner, and this is something that is difficult to see in pictures. Having said that, pictures are also important. Therefore, I will always swipe left if there is a good description, but no pictures.
15. David, 36
Here is my system for finding someone with a high likelihood of some actual chemistry. I use this strategy every time and have suggested it to others who want some level of genuine interaction with their matches. Step 1: Look at all photos. This is crucial, Step 2: If he/she passes the looks filter, then read the bio, Step 3: Hell ya or hell no. Decide if you like them or not right away. Taking time to convince yourself one way or the other is likely not the best move, Step 4: Take your swipe.
Images: Fotolia; Giphy