I can't pick up girls at bars. I'm horrible at it. Maybe it's the years of being a fat kid throughout college that killed my confidence, but stick me in a bar with 10 gorgeous, fun, or witty girls and I still won't be able to break away from my group of guys to talk to them. Alcohol can only do so much.
Thankfully there are ways to find a date that don't involve crowded bars and pickup lines. After unsuccessfully trying the whole reality TV thing, I've decided to give the world of online dating a try by setting up profiles on Tinder and Hinge. In the last couple of weeks, I've filtered through hundreds — if not thousands — of profiles, and I decided to share my checklist for the kind of profiles that made me want to swipe right.
1. Don't have me guess who you are in your first photo, i.e. ditch the friends shot.
If I am two or three photos deep on your profile and I can't figure out who you are, you and all your besties are going to earn a swipe to the left of my screen. Sorry I'm not sorry.
2. I really don't want to have a wedding album full of skinny arm pics.
While I get that you all think you look amazing in skinny arm photos, nothing says high maintenance to me like a profile full of skinny arm pics. I'll usually forgive one, rarely two, and if do you feel compelled to put that skinny arm pic in there, move it to the back.
3. I only want to be that close to your face for a goodbye kiss.
Nothing scares me more than when I land on a picture where you can't see someone's entire face. OK, you got a nose job for that reality TV casting call, fine. No need to make it obvious in that profile pic.
4. Do you wear sunglasses at night? I sure hope not.
I shouldn't have to awkwardly ask around the bar to figure out who you are when we meet up for drinks, but unless you plan on wearing your sunglasses over a drink, ditch them in the pictures. I want to know what you look like.
5. I want to take you out on a date, not your cat.
My brother and his girlfriend have a cat named Sox, and that's about the only feline I want to have in my life right now. Nothing screams "Future Cat Lady" like a picture of your cat in your Tinder profile.
6. So you like to party? Like you REALLY like to party?
You have five pictures with which to impress potential dates. FIVE. They should tell a story about you — what you like to do, your personality. If I see five pictures of you raging, I'm going to swipe left because, yes, I'm looking for someone to rock funky pants out for a fun night on the town, but I also want someone who is down for eating a home-cooked dinner of gluten-free mac 'n' cheese before rewatching Game of Thrones Season 1 on the couch.
7. I love an artsy girl, but I really don't want to spend all weekend in Anthropologie.
Have a cool, artsy picture that shows off your personality or fashion sense? Awesome. Give it to me — my weakness is the wide brim Coachella hat. But if your entire profile looks like it was taken with a 1970s polaroid camera, my finger is going to run to the left of the screen.
8. Are you really that lazy or boring that you left your "About" section blank?!
I'm really not a huge fan of blank About sections. It tells me one of two things. Either you can't think of anything to put there, which tells me you definitely won't be able to keep up an engaging conversation over drinks, or your friend set up your Tinder profile and the chance of moving this swipe right off Tinder and into the bar is going to be a long and painful process.
9. Do you really want me stalking you on Instagram?
First off, you can't link directly from Tinder to your Instagram profile, so good luck trying to get me to 1) Remember your Instagram handle and 2) Open up the app and search for you. Second, you are going to think I'm super creepy if I follow you on the gram or mention your photos on our first date, so what's the point in telling me your handle? There is nothing to gain from it.
10. Glam Shots by Deb is not the way to build your Tinder profile.
Tinder only pulls photos of you off Facebook. So you had that friend take a couple of professional looking photos of you, awesome... but your entire Tinder profile shouldn't look like a Miley photo shoot for W magazine.
Best of luck, fellow bachelors and bachelorettes!
Images: J.J. O'Brian