Why Women Don't Swipe Right

Typically, when I go on, as my manager likes to call them – “the apps,” I swipe in every which direction because I want to be reassured that men I find attractive also find me attractive. That’s all I want. Then come the conversation starters: “Hi, Melissa! How are you today?”; “What music do you listen to?”; “Tell me about your family.”; “What’s your favorite color?” This is why I don’t date. I don’t like having the same conversations over and over again with different people. I hate small talk. I hate the basics. And then these guys want to meet in-person. I could potentially get a free dinner out of this, sure (an exercise my bestie Cynthia immorally suggests I abuse), but this means I have to throw on a bra and put on some make-up when I’d rather not do either of these things. I could meet you after work when I still have both these things on, but I’m drained after a long day, and I just don’t want to deal with the egregious chatter. The effort, oh god, the effort. Almost every guy I’ve ever dated I’ve dated because I was tricked into it. We’d start off discussing things related to work, news, politics, life, philosophy, poetry, etc. Small talk is more third-date material. This is why I prefer to meet people IRL – you don’t have to stick to a societal script. Anyway, a few years back, a man I met through work (not at work, through work…he was covering the same story at a competing station) and I started a fling. It was great. And because it was casual, we also happened to find each other’s active profiles on “the apps” while we were quasi-dating. Keep in mind, he’s a seriously hot guy with everything one could ever want in life, by everyone’s standards, but when we laughed about stumbling across our profiles, he nervously asked me how he could improve his Tinder and Bumble pages. As a real, live female girl, he wanted my opinion. As a highly analytical human being, I refrained from giving it to him. I didn’t want to hurt his feelings, but I most certainly did have A LOT to say on the matter. I think it’s safe to finally share some of these tips. I may not speak for all women, but I know I speak for a lot of them. Whatever a woman’s reason for going on “the apps,” as a man, you still want the same outcome – for her to swipe right. I am floored by how often I see, in my opinion, common mistakes guys make with their profiles. As with pageantry (see the Pageant Bug), in our fast-paced world, you only have seconds to make an impression. And it’s my responsibility to assume the worst – I just don’t have time to learn if you’re the best because you didn’t accomplish that during my quick scroll of your page. So here’s what I, and others, think when we come across your profile:

1.) If all of your photos show you smiling with no teeth, I will assume you have no teeth.

2.) If all of your photos show you wearing sunglasses, I will assume you have no eyes.

3.) If all your photos are of you shirtless, I will assume you have no clothes.

4.) If all of your photos are of groups of people (or even just you with someone else), I will not spend my precious time trying to figure out which person you are. My detective skills are better suited for figuring out how to configure my new countertop microwave.

5.) If all of your photos show you by yourself and not in a group, I will assume you hate people or don’t have friends. Or you’re really conceited.

6.)  If all your photos are headshots, I will assume you are an actor or you don’t like the way the rest of your body looks for whatever reason. Please include a full-body photo with people or objects in the photo so I can see you to scale.

7.) If you have photos with a friend, make sure you are the hotter friend. Subconsciously, I will wonder why I am considering you when I could be dating your hot friend.

8.) If you answer one of those cute, “get-to-know-me” profile questions with a female’s name, ordinary or famous, I will assume somewhere down the road in our potential relationship, you will be more than comfortable consciously or subconsciously putting me into a jealous rage. And I just don’t need that toxicity in my life.

9.) If you have photos of just you and multiple women or just you and one woman, I will assume you are a player or not over your ex, respectively.

10.) If you have a photo – just you and a girl – she better be your sister. And you better say that on your profile. And she better be your sister (yes, one of my exes, before we dated, unsolicited, told me the girl in his FB profile photo was his sister…he turned out to be an only child, and he certainly acts like it). Sisters are great. And I like guys who love their sisters. This (usually) means they know how to respect and treat women well.

11.) If you make a general, mean comment on your profile about a potential match such as “Don’t bother swiping right if you aren’t ‘x’”, even if I happen to fit whatever arbitrary criterion you placed there, I don’t want to date anyone with such arrogance and first-class negativity. Not to mention, you are probably making insecure women feel worse about themselves if they don’t fit your standards. And by the way, it’s not like you’re Prince Charming or anything so maybe you should consider the parameters you’re putting out there.

12.) Similarly, if you make a self-deprecating or negative comments such as “We both know you’re not going to swipe right” or “You and I both know we’re not going to find our soulmates on this thing. Who are you kidding?”, I will help you with your little self-fulfilling prophecy because, again, I don’t need that kind of negativity in my life.

13.) If you have a child in one of more of your photos, you better explain if it is a friend’s kid, a niece, a nephew, a son, or a daughter…or a random child you borrowed from the park. I should get to decide if I want to date someone who is currently childless but good with kids, an uncle, has a child, or is a potential kidnapper.

So here’s an ideal profile, in my opinion:

1.)  You smiling with teeth.
2.)  You by yourself.
3.)  Close-up.
4.)  Full-body shot.
5.)  You with a group.
6.)  You doing what you love (not who you love, and in which case, why tf are you on these dating apps, anyway?).
7.)  One shirtless/sunglasses or shirtless with sunglass pic. If you really want.

Happy swiping!

*Special thanks to Nasim, Kristen, and Holly for your contributions to this piece!