People Who Have Actually Found Their "Perfect Match" On A Dating App Are Sharing Their Best Tips For Doing Exactly That

    "Using this method, I went on a ton of first dates, three-second dates, and one third date. That last person and I have now been together for almost five years."

    Nowadays, dating is not as straightforward as it maybe once was. Creating accounts on dating apps to swipe endlessly in the hopes of finding your ideal match can be a daunting task. And the concept of deciding if you want to potentially date or hook up with someone just by looking at a few pictures and reading a short bio on them is nerve-wracking AF.

    someone scrolling through a dating app

    How you decide to meet a potential partner is totally up to you, but the reality is — whether we like it or not — today's dating culture revolves around meeting someone on an app. According to a 2019 survey, 30% of US adults said they have tried using a dating site or app to meet people. Nearly half of those people who took part in the survey were between the ages of 18 and 29.

    To figure out if there's a better way to navigate the system, I turned to people who have found success in it. I asked members of the BuzzFeed Community who found exactly what they were looking for on dating apps — as well as several dating and relationship experts in the field — to share their best tips and tricks for finding connection.

    The experts are:

    • Wendy Sterling, CPCC, ACC, CDS, divorce and relationship coach

    • Aditi Paul, Ph.D., professor and online dating researcher at Pace University

    • Austin KevitchLox Club co-founder

    • Jessica Jefferson, LMFT, PMH-C MA & MS, licensed marriage and family therapist 

    Jenni Skyler, Ph.D., certified sex therapist 

    • Shan Boodram, Bumble's sex and relationships expert

    Here's some advice on how to make your profile stand out, how to maneuver a flirty app conversation (it's not easy!), and several other useful habits and hacks that can help lead you to better matches over time.

    For your dating profile:

    1. "In your dating profile bio, be as detailed as possible. Instead of saying you love to travel, state specific places you have visited. Or perhaps you love international food — share the exact dish that is your favorite."

    an up-close shot of a dating app

    2. "When filling out my bio, I always included enough info about things I liked (hobbies and whatnot) so that there’s something to comment on or talk about. I also posted pics of myself both dressed up and natural so the other person knew what was up. When looking at others who didn’t have a bio or much info, it was an immediate left. If they only had one or two photos, it was a left."


    3. "Think of all your dating app profiles as your 'brand' — and keep them consistent throughout. Jana Hocking on her podcast Kinda Sorta Dating mentioned how she matched with her partner on several platforms before they finally decided to get together. With the way online dating app usage is increasing, this might happen to you, too. If a potential match sees you on Hinge and then again on Bumble and sees completely different versions of you, it might confuse them. So keep it consistent and keep it authentic."

    4. "If you’re really looking to meet someone, take it seriously. Choose pictures that show your personality, and use all the available picture spaces to share pics of yourself — not your dog, not a sunset, not pizza. Choose prompts that will give you something to talk about, not just one-word or jokey answers."


    5. "Your bio is the best place to tell a person what you are looking for in a potential partner. The best way to do that is to paint a picture of what you are looking for in a partner and how you wish to integrate them into your life — which is a good place to let a person know what type of relationship or 'situationship' you are seeking."

    two women hugging and laughing together

    6. "I never included strong opinions on my profile — such as politics or religion. I'd rather save those conversations for later."


    7. "I sometimes list activities I want to do with matches — like dancing, seasonal activities, watching movies — so it gives people a chance to message me and maybe say, 'We should go dancing sometime!' or ask 'What movies do you like?'"

    8. "For the apps that require prompts, use them to state the best qualities about yourself. For example, a common Hinge prompt is 'My zombie apocalypse plan is...' use this opportunity to talk about your best qualities whether that is being resourceful, creative, organized, or patient. This prompt also allows you to speak to how your plan can incorporate a partner who matches those qualities and can maybe add things that you are lacking. Think outside the box and use the prompts to your advantage."

    Jessica Jefferson, LMFT, PMH-C MA & MS, licensed marriage and family therapist 

    9. "Don't put your social media handles in your dating app profile. There are a lot of creepy people out there that will find you, especially if you didn't match with them. Cyber stalking is a real thing that could lead to them finding you in person."


    10. "The details in your prompts or bio are where your personality and weird quirks shine. "Don’t just write 'I like sushi' in your bio. Give detail about your go-to order at your favorite sushi spot."

    Austin Kevitch, Lox Club co-founder 

    11. "Take your sunglasses OFF in the pictures! Women like to see eyes."


    12. "I never put up flattering pics or me wearing makeup. And I always put full-body pictures, standing, sitting, from the side so men could see what I really look like, not some filtered version of myself. Without fail, every single guy I met up with said I looked way better in person."


    13. "Make yourself approachable. If you only have pictures where you are jet-setting across the world or doing extreme sports, it may be intimidating to possible matches. If people can easily imagine joining you in your pictures, you will be better off than communicating that you have a high barrier to entry to be in your elite circle."

    an airplane landing on a runway at sunset

    14. "I posted less-than-good pictures of myself so I wouldn't get anyone wildly superficial."


    15. "When it comes to photos, candid ones feel more authentic. Who doesn’t love a good personality pic? Add a photo that has a good story behind it, or shows you in your element. Not every photo has to be you being hot in different locations."

    Austin Kevitch, Lox Club co-founder 

    16. "Ask for honest feedback from friends. Sometimes we don't have the eyes to see what isn't working. Others can illuminate aspects of your profile that just don't strike the right chord."

    three female friends smiling and looking at a phone together

    For interacting with matches on a dating app:

    17. "Compliments are also a fantastic flirting classic, but you don’t need to only compliment a person on their looks. If you’ve discussed their favorite music artists, tell them how impressed you are with their taste in music. If you’ve matched with someone and they’ve included a photo of themselves rock climbing, compliment them on their bravery or sense of adventure."

    Shan Boodram, certified sex educator, dating coach, and relationship expert

    18. "Even if the person says they are open to hookups, it is best to leave the hookup conversation to at least your second in-person meeting, or after they bring it up."


    19. "Don’t spend a ton of time talking on the app — get out on a date if you feel like there’s interest instead of prolonging talking on the app. Additionally, I brought up my non-negotiables on our first date because I didn’t want to waste his time or mine. I was very clear I wasn’t looking for something casual."

    20. "Never comment on a woman's looks. It is more effective in getting her attention if you comment on the color of her dress or ask if that Caribbean picture was taken on a certain island. She knows you were looking at her boobs in that bathing suit, but you're pretending like you were looking elsewhere."


    21. "A good thing about online text-based conversations is that it is socially acceptable to be more direct, blunt, and risqué in texting compared to face-to-face communication. Also, online text-based communication allows us to use different techniques to compensate for the lack of non-verbal communication through the use of emojis, GIFs, and memes. So use all of these to your advantage!"

    a man smiling at his phone while standing outside

    22. "I went out with anyone who asked who didn't set off my ~creep meter~ and who seemed vaguely interesting. I brought up myself a lot on each date and tried to focus on just meeting a new person rather than interviewing them. I also made a couple of notes after each date so I could remember who was who. I went on a ton of first dates, three-second dates, and one third date. That last person and I have now been together for almost five years, and I've never been so happy."

    23. "I treated it like a part-time job and took it seriously. I devoted an hour a night to swiping and messaging. You can't do it casually or on a whim and expect success. It's a lot of work! I was on Hinge and Bumble only. I didn't mess around or play any games by making sure the people I actually met in person were serious candidates. After my marriage fell apart in 2020, I knew what I wanted and was very upfront with that. If I got matched and started a convo, usually during that initial conversation, I'd ask the heavy hitters — job situation, living situation, and if they wanted kids or not. Was it a lot to ask right away? Yep. But was it critical in avoiding wasting their time and mine? Yep. I started dating in March 2021 and I met my current partner at the end of May 2021."

    "We're moving in together in April 2022. From the start, we had both been VERY clear about what we wanted and needed in a relationship and so, by the time we had our first few dates, we could tell there was something there. Things progressed so naturally and fairly easily from there and we're both very excited for the next chapter in our lives."


    24. "Don’t go for the pickup line with women if you’re looking for a real relationship. Make a genuine comment or express legitimate curiosity about their job, interests, or school. lt’s a sign of maturity and an indication you’re looking for something deeper. I got ignored dozens of times making cheesy and superficial comments. I asked one woman what she was getting her masters in, and 8.5 years later we’ve been happily married for three of them.


    a woman holding a coffee mug smiling at the person across from her

    25. "Keep your dealbreakers in mind while looking but open your mind to other possibilities. I swiped 'no' on my now-boyfriend on every app because he has the same name as my dad. But when he finally reached out first on Hinge, I realized he is my soulmate!"


    26. "I met my amazing husband six years ago on Bumble. My best advice is to 100% trust your intuition. When you are using a dating app, you don’t have physical cues to read to help you decide if this is a good person, or if you even like them. If anything feels slightly off or like a red flag, unmatch them. Women are so often conditioned to be polite and give everyone a chance, but if someone is giving you bad vibes, there is a reason, and you don’t need to waste time trying to prove yourself wrong. When I matched with my husband, I could just tell there was something different about our conversation and I had really good vibes about him. Trust yourself. When you find the right person, you’ll know!"

    a man laying on a couch typing on his smartphone

    27. "If you match with someone, ask questions! Choose something on their profile that stood out to you and ask an intentional question about it."

    Shan Boodram, certified sex educator, dating coach, and relationship expert

    28. "After years of swiping, I met the love of my life! We’ve been together for five years and married for almost three. My best advice is to be open to chatting with anyone you even THINK has potential. Don’t lower your standards, but don’t be overly picky either. Focus on what’s really important. So he’s got a beard and you don’t like facial hair? So he’s not 6 feet tall? So he’s holding a fish in one of his pictures? Trivial things like that shouldn’t be dealbreakers. It’s a numbers game. At first, I was a little disappointed that my now-husband didn’t write much in his bio and didn’t always use the best grammar and spelling. But he was funny and cute and he turned out to be THE ONE. Don’t lose hope!"

    What advice do you have for using dating apps? Share in the comments!