11 Things You, A Man, Should Not Write in a Dating App Bio
Surveying the played-out, cliché and straight-up cringeworthy
Don’t take this personally, but your dating app bio could probably use some work.
I tend to take a lot of pride in my own dating app bios, which in recent years have included standout lines like: “The last 22-year-old you’ll fuck before you decide to settle down with a mature, sophisticated 26-year-old,” “More issues than Esquire magazine,” and of course, “I’m sorry but my circumstances have changed and I can no longer afford to date men for free,” which ultimately got me banned from Tinder, and was worth it.
However, while I like to consider myself something of an expert in these matters — in college I majored in English with a minor in Tinder — I’m afraid I can’t be of much help when it comes to telling you what you should write in your bio. This is because I am a weird person with weird taste in men, which means I am most easily wooed by dating app bios that contain a baffling, absurd and/or sardonic one-liner, and absolutely nothing else. You, on the other hand, might be someone looking to attract a normal woman with fewer issues than Esquire magazine, which means I’m probably not the best person to tell you what to write in your bio. What I can tell you, however, is what not to include.
Over the near-decade since dating apps went mainstream, we’ve developed a lot of bad habits, many of which we’ve inexplicably given overwhelmingly stupid names. Many of these bad behaviors play out elsewhere on the app — in the poorly taken selfies or distracting group pics you choose to include in your profile, or the cliché ice-breaker you message each and every match — but plenty of notable offenders could be lurking right in your bio itself.
This might not be your fault, especially if you are relatively new to dating apps. Those of you who haven’t idled away the last five years of your life blindly swiping right or left on potential romantic partners like someone cleaning out their closet and deciding what to keep and what to Marie Kondo may not be aware of how dated, cliché, offensive or simply boring your go-to bio choices may be.
But whether you’re on Hinge, Tinder, Bumble, The League, OkCupid or really any other online dating platform that leaves you at liberty to craft your own bio, there are plenty of cross-platform dating-app phrases that everyone is simply tired of seeing. So take it from me, a person whose dating app bios are so good Tinder got jealous and banned me: these are the words, phrases, and sometimes just general ideas you should leave out of your dating app bios.
1. “Fluent in Sarcasm”
Or literally any mention of sarcasm at all, to be honest. People love to claim to be sarcastic because they think it makes them sound smart and a little edgy. It doesn’t. It just makes you sound like everyone else. Also, claiming to be sarcastic doesn’t actually mean that you are sarcastic. If you’re really so fluent in sarcasm, why not just write something sarcastic? Unfortunately, sarcasm is more difficult to execute well than the amount of self-proclaimed sarcasm experts on dating apps may lead you to believe, and people often confuse sarcasm with just being mean. Fun fact: this is especially true of people who feel the need to advertise their sarcastic ways. So if you really think sarcasm is so integral to your personality that you need to address it in your dating-app bio, you might just be mean. Just a heads up.
2. “Alpha Male”
I hesitate to give you this information, because the phrase “alpha male” is one of the most glaring red flags a dating-app bio can contain to alert a woman that the man behind that profile is most likely a raging misogynist who has internalized far more than his share of toxic masculinity. This is an important thing for a woman to know as early as possible, so I don’t want to tip all the “alpha males” off and make it harder for women to identify you.
But just in case some of you are actual, well-meaning men who weren’t aware of the negative, men’s-rights-activisty connotations this phrase carries, here’s a simple test to determine whether or not you should leave “alpha male” in your bio:
You just read the phrase, “raging misogynist who has internalized far more than his share of toxic masculinity.” Which of the following most closely matches your response?
A. Oh no, that’s not at all what I was trying to convey by including the phrase “alpha male” in my bio. I guess I should take some time to reflect on the ways in which internalized societal messaging may have colored my views on masculinity.
B. Idiot snowflake man-hating feminist [expletive].
If you picked A, feel free to take “alpha male” out of your bio. If you picked B, please leave it in.
Everyone always wants to talk about their love for “adventures” and/or their desire to find someone to go on “adventures” with. This is vague and overplayed. What is an adventure? What are you talking about? Are we going skydiving? Extreme couponing? Robbing a bank? Be more specific. Or really, be more honest. You don’t want to go on an “adventure.” You want to go on a few dates that are decent enough that you both agree to just keep doing that until you either get married or one of you stops responding to the other one’s texts.
The only people legally allowed to use the word “wanderlust” are girls under the age of 15, and even then, they should be deeply ashamed of having done so within no more than three years. If you are not a girl under the age of 15, do not put the word “wanderlust” in your dating-app bio. If you are a girl under 15, you are not supposed to be on dating apps yet.
5. “Proud Dog Dad”
I, very specifically, do not want to hear about your dog. This is because I do not like dogs. If you have a dog, you should try to keep this information away from me for as long as possible. But while I may be an outlier in my heartless dog antipathy, most people on dating apps, even those who enjoy dogs, don’t want to hear about your dog either. It’s boring. If you want to have some pictures of you and your dog to woo all the dog lovers, fine. But nobody cares how proud you are to be a “dog dad.” I would, however, be somewhat more intrigued by a self-proclaimed “ashamed dog dad,” so if that’s you, DM for my number.
6. “Partner in Crime”
7. “Looking for the Pam to my Jim”
Or any other references to The Office. Trust me on this one. Being really into The Office has been played out for so long that even being really into The Office ironically is played out. Again, I hesitate to give you this information because any mention of The Office is such a handy warning sign that the person who wrote that profile is the most basic kind of human being, but there, now you know. Take this gift and go try to become more interesting.
8. “Please believe in the Oxford comma.”
Some news: Thinking the Oxford comma is a sign of intellectual superiority is actually, in itself, a sign of intellectual inferiority. Pass it on.
Related: Avoid various other forms of faux-grammarian soapboxing as well, e.g., “Please know the difference between they’re, their and there,” or “Please know the difference between your and you’re.” If you’re trying to play the condescending intellectual superior card, at least pick a loftier perch than third-grade grammar from which to cast judgment upon the uneducated masses. Maybe try: “Please know the difference between postmodernism and poststructuralism.”
9. Pizza, tacos, sushi or really any kind of food.
Food, particularly extremely common, almost universally enjoyed food, is one of the most boring, played out things you could mention in your bio. Unless you are literally a chef or you want to talk about some kind of obscure food like your love for Eastern European Borscht, just don’t.
Contrary to popular belief, dating apps are not based entirely on looks. You could have the face of a Greek god and a body carved out of Renaissance marble, but good looks will only get you so far when you’re competing against an entire internet’s worth of comparably attractive men. (Not to mention, having extremely attractive photos and no bio is generally seen as a pretty glaring catfish red flag.) The biggest issue with having no bio is that it calls your very existence/status as a real person into question, but it also robs you of a crucial opportunity to 1. stand out from the pack, and 2. give potential matches a little more information on which to base their ultimate left- or right-swiped judgment. We don’t need your life story, but even but even a line or two (that doesn’t include any of the above clichés, please) can help matches get a better idea of what kind of person you are, and potentially sway a would-be left-swiper in your favor.
11. “I’m sorry but my circumstances have changed and I can no longer afford to date men for free.”
This is actually an excellent dating app bio. Unfortunately, it will get you banned from Tinder.
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