This article isn’t to say that guys don’t have their own red flags when it comes to dating app profiles. How do I know? About two years ago on the world famous JTrain Podcast, I started doing dating app makeovers. It was supposed to be a fun gag until I received about 500 profiles that were all making very similar mistakes.
For guys, it was always that they were having too much fun. It was like they made a profile to join some fraternity. They’d be chugging beers and flexing while shirtless next to a drugged lion. Their bios were some cheesy line you’ve seen stolen from The Fat Jewish (which he also stole). The pictures always needed to be toned down and the bios needed to be more self-aware (every girl reading is currently nodding while rolling their eyes at the most recent guy they met on Bumble and blew and never heard from again).
The issue with the female profiles were that they never seemed fun enough. And based on the problem I just explained about male dating app profiles, this makes sense. You’re looking at all these pictures of cocky shirtless foaming-at-the-mouth animals and as an act of protection you write out rules like “No hook ups!” and “No pen pals.” So a lot of the profiles end up sounding like contracts before ever meeting or speaking. They’d say who they were and what they were looking for as if anyone would actually do that if they got approached at a bar. And since guys don’t see what other guy profiles look like, these contracts felt a little like someone who was absolving themselves of any responsibility if this yet-to-happen relationship went south. As you’ll see from the “red flags” below, a lot of them hinge on this premise of protection which, again, I understand. But how much would you want to meet the guy whose bio said, “I know we’ve matched but easy there, I ain’t going down on you yet?”
“Not Here To Hook Up”
We know. We’re pretty sure you don’t go anywhere to just hook up. That girl on the subway we tried to make eye contact with didn’t go to work to hook up. That girl at the gym we asked about wasn’t there to hook up. That woman with the child at the park we said “Nice BabyBjörn” to wasn’t looking to hook up. Any time a random guy speaks to you it’s because of this screwed up dream that it will result in a hookup. So writing “Not here to hook up” kind of ruins the fun of the one place this dream could actually come true. The illusion is ruined. I’m not saying this means you have to hook up, but please stop writing that. It’s like a guy writing, “Not here to sit on the couch on Sunday nights because I kind of feel bloated after the weekend and I like being alone.” I don’t see him going on many dates.
Where’s Waldo Pictures
WE CAN’T FIND YOU! You have friends. We get it. And we like seeing that you have friends, but that’s not why we downloaded the app (*looks down at penis*). We get that you needed the picture with all of your friends in front of the spray painted mural of the feminist slogan in the non-gentrified section of town while doing the Spice Girls poses. I agree, you do look hot in the picture with your friends where you’re all laughing at brunch. Thank God someone caught that totally off-the-cuff moment. But PLEASE, have the first couple pictures be just you. That would save us all a lot of time. When you have to look at someone else and ask, “Which one is she? And why are they all laughing in every picture?” Every guys assumes you have something to hide.
“Passionate About Travel”
Are you passionate about travel or do you just like not working like the rest of us? I never get why travel is put in the same sentence as how much you love your family and friends. That isn’t worth the same amount. As if you met a guy and he gets along with everyone you love and they love him too but he just isn’t into Mykonos. Would you dump him? How sane would that sound? “Hey dad, I know you love Ben but we had to end it. He just wouldn’t spend five grand to take a picture with a cool Snapchat filter. If you need me, I’ll be receiving endless dick pics on Tinder! Hopefully one of them loves traveling.”
“Fluent In Sarcasm”
To guys, this reads as, “I’m an asshole but my friends are afraid to say something about it.”
I get that times are weird. I mean, you may have just worn a vagina on your head to make a point. But allow me to get a bit political in a space where I’ve written about licking butts. Maybe “All Blank Voters swipe left” is part of the issue. Maybe the lack of reasonable debate and conversation with the opposite party without resorting to name calling is what’s missing. And maybe, there’s a guy who has parents who voted for someone you don’t agree with. Maybe he sees your your side on a lot of issues but sees your “All Blank Voters swipe left” and thinks you might not be up for a reasonable and thoughtful conversation where you both can learn from one another. Maybe most of us are all more in the middle on this stuff than the talk on the internet represents. Maybe this guy you could have met but didn’t would have licked your butt.
We just need you to be a little reasonable about your dog. Here’s a little secret, single girls having a dog isn’t really a good thing to most guys. You basically bought a boyfriend who will kiss you whenever you want and won’t ever disagree with you or tire of you. We can’t ever be the dog.
BUT, if you’re going to have a dog and you’re calling yourself its mom then we know we’re in for a lot of really dumb fights. All of a sudden it’s Mother’s Day and you’re not coming to my family’s brunch because you didn’t get tagged in a post. Then I have to explain to my mom (an actual mom) that you’re upset about not getting the credit for all that you do for “our Snickers.”
“The One Playing With The Dog”
It’s not that this isn’t cute or a funny line but, like a lot of lines on dating apps, it announces who you are without having to be that person. We get it. You’re fun and can ignore a whole party for a dog. I’ve also seen this line so many times and I’ve been to parties so it doesn’t really ring true. There aren’t more girls circled around the dog than there are circled around the vodka and club soda in the kitchen.
“Wanderer” And “Adventurer”
I put these two together because we literally have no idea what you’re talking about. All the girls talking about “Wandering around the city” sound like they’re blind. And please just answer me one thing, what’s your idea of an adventure? Is it to be kidnapped? Do you want to go on a safari? Or do you want to get drunk at brunch, go take a nap together, then go out that night and decide to come home early to have sex? If it’s the brunch one, most guys want that too and your efforts at sounding like you live a more interesting life by using different words are becoming confusing.
“Good Vibes Only” “No Drama” “Not Looking For Pen Pals”
This is why you can message over the app. To find out if this person you found attractive enough to swipe right can be a good fit. Lines like these seem to absolve the person of any responsibility if the conversation sucks. Two people can be attracted to one another and have nothing else in common. This is how a lot of one night stands happen at bars. You meet, you fuck, and you wake up in the morning and she says something like, “The struggle is real!!!” And you decide to never speak to this person again.
The Negative Nancy
You see a lot of bios that are commentaries on the current dating culture. They’ll write something like, “My weekend was great! Let’s move on.” Or, “Ask me about my weekend and we can never speak again.” Or, “You call THAT a dick?!” And it’s all just a little too cool for school. Putting yourself out there sucks and the dating apps can feel like you’re on a carousel of the same conversations and dates. But, and I’m being optimistic, those similar conversations are supposed to happen to have the one that isn’t so regular shine through. There’s a lot wrong on these apps but there’s been a lot wrong with dating since women with opinions got burned at the stake for being witches. If you want to complain, just write about it for Betches in an article that’s way too long.