Don’t Use These Terms in Your Dating Profile

Is anyone actually swiping right on “gym rats”?

Woman with red nails looking at man on an online dating app on her mobile phone
We get it, you love dogs
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Those who consistently strike out on dating apps might have noticed a few articles floating around that suggest certain bios are more likely to induce a right-swipe. After a set of “researchers” from dating app supposedly studied the behavior of “16,000 eligible singles” on Tinder, some folks are now claiming terms like “dog,” “carnivore” and “gym rat” are proven online aphrodisiacs. But even if one could find the study referenced here — which, after several simple Google searches, one cannot — it doesn’t take an expert to know that self-referential use of the words “carnivore” and “gym rat” veer dangerously close to left-swipe territory.  

No shade to — which appears to have been launched in 2019 to connect members of the Albanian diaspora around the world — but these so-called findings reek of pseudoscience, and not just because there doesn’t appear to be a real study anywhere to back them up. Let’s take the term “carnivore,” for instance. It’s not just vegans who might roll their eyes at someone who unironically describes themself the way biologists describe a great white shark or a tyrannosaurus rex. “Carnivore” has more than borderline predatory undertones and risks the user coming off as an unadventurous eater who’s also maybe a little tone deaf about climate issues. Plus, who doesn’t want a partner who knows how to massage their kale? 

As for the gym rats out there, this phrase doesn’t belong in a bio. Someone who invests in their own wellbeing and takes good care of their body is attractive, no doubt. But someone whose entire personality revolves around their protein powder? Red flag.

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Anyone who’s spent time swiping knows there’s no shortage of cringey profiles. Over the years, the most common dating app turn-offs have even developed cult personalities of their own: somewhere in heaven right now, a Snapchat filter girlie and a fish-pic zaddy are sharing a booth at a California Pizza Kitchen and bonding over their shared love of golden retrievers and espresso martinis.

But as it turns out, there are plenty of real studies out there that have attempted to understand what works and what doesn’t on dating apps, and one found that users were attracted to profiles with creative bios that relied less on clichés. And yet, somehow, the written bio remains a confounding mystery for so many who insist on using the space to profess their love for the world’s least controversial delights, like tacos and dogs. Your love of beer-battered fish drizzled in spicy chipotle mayo doesn’t make you interesting. It only makes you right.

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