What are people actually looking for when it comes to finding love? How should you build your dating profile? And are you unintentionally coming across a little ‘beige?’ We have the ultimate guide for setting yourself up for dating success this summer – from perfect icebreakers, profile tips and what NOT to do (be a beige flag!), we have an expert’s guide to finding whatever love you’re looking for.
Capsule x Bumble
As a 33-year-old single gal, Auckland woman Samantha is gearing up for her first single summer in seven years. It’s time for fun, for flirting, for frivolity – but as she admits to Capsule, she doesn’t know where to start when it comes to putting herself out there on apps.
“I’ve never used a dating app before, which sounds a bit ridiculous being the age I am, but I was in a relationship for so long,” she tells. “But I know it’s time to see what else is out there for me and I’m excited, but I need to know what do to. How many photos do I put up? How deep do I go in the bio? And if going by the photos I’ve seen of Kiwi men, do I need to be holding a fish?”
It’s a situation so many wāhine find themselves in – and even if you have used apps like Bumble before, getting back on the horse is a vibe in itself. We spoke to Bumble’s APAC Communications Director, Lucille McCart, for her best do’s and don’ts of app life.
(And no, you don’t need to be holding a fish. No one needs to be holding a fish.)
How to Build the Perfect Profile
Kia ora, Lucille! If you were talking to someone who had never used Bumble before, how would you say I would get started?
The starting point is of course setting up your profile, but before you do that it is important to take some time to think about what you’re hoping to get out of the experience.
For the casual daters:
If you just want to go on a few dates to see what’s out there, then a fun and flirty profile is the way to go. This could be reflected in your choice of photos and the type of Profile Prompts you use – these are small bits of info you can add to your profile like “two truths and a lie” or “my most useless skill is…”.
For the love seekers:
Then you might take your profile in a different direction by sharing more about yourself and what you are looking for. You might add the ‘relationship’ badge and use your bio space to write something more thoughtful and personal about your attractions and what you want in a romantic connection.
Importantly, if you’re new to Bumble, don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Dating and meeting new people is supposed to be fun but it is easy to overthink it and then it becomes stressful!
SO, how many photos should I share and what type of pics?
Ok, there are a few things that you should definitely try and avoid –
- Too many group photos so that your match can’t tell which one you are
- Grainy or blurry photos
- Wearing sunglasses in all your shots
- Anything that has a heavy Instagram filter
- Spend hours poring over photos to find the ‘perfect’ ones.
- Make sure the first photo is just you and that you can see your whole, unfiltered face. Your sultry selfies might get all the likes on Instagram, but here is where you want to connect with people so…
- Add 3-6 photos – our research shows that people who have this amount get more matches than people who use less than three photos
- Use your photos to show off your personality and your interests to your potential matches – like travel, pets, sports, or doing something you enjoy like cooking or art. They serve as conversation starters!
How detailed should my bio be?
A strong bio will do wonders for your dating profile. It’s the launch pad for great conversation, and the easiest way to help your potential match understand what you’re all about. Keep it positive and humorous and you can’t go wrong. Some tips:
- Focus on what you are looking for rather than what you aren’t. For example ‘looking for something meaningful’ will be better understood than ‘if you aren’t looking for commitment, keep swiping’. Being open about what you’re looking for will save you time, as you are less likely to be matched with people who don’t align with what you want.
- Include details that can help your potential matches understand what you might have in common – like taste in music, passion for travel or a favourite movie. If you find it really hard to talk about yourself, it can be a fun idea to ask a trusted friend to write one for you.
You can also use the Badges tool to easily communicate facts about yourself like your height, star sign, if you have pets, political leanings, and what kind of relationship you are looking for. The more information on your profile, the easier the conversations will flow.
A key difference with Bumble is that once there is a match, then the woman is the one to start the chat. Any good icebreaker suggestions?
Being funny is always great, but if that doesn’t come naturally to you or you feel really stuck, anything that’s personal to your match works well. For example, if they’ve said in their bio they’re a huge fan of a TV show that you also love, talk about that. If they have pictures of them on a hike and you love hiking, talk about that.
The most important thing is just to get going – and all of our research and data tell us that anything is better than “hey”. Send them your grocery list before you send them that. If their profile doesn’t give you much to go on, my favourite go-to opening line is “what’s your favourite Arnott’s biscuit?”. The answer will tell you what you need to know!
What Are People ACTUALLY Looking For on Dating Apps?
So now you have your profile sorted, what are Kiwi singles REALLY looking for in a partner and how can you ensure that an initial spark turns into something more? Research from Bumble’s Modern Romance report reckons that singles in Aotearoa rank emotional intelligence and personal morals above physical looks. Some stats for you:
● 40% of Kiwi singles ranked emotional intelligence as the most attractive trait in someone they are dating
● Over two-thirds of Kiwi singles (35%) ranked personal morals or beliefs as the most attractive trait in someone they are dating, while only one fifth (20%) ranked physical looks as the top trait
● When asked what is most important in the early stages of dating, almost two thirds of Kiwi singles (62%) said that it was someone who takes initiative when texting and starting conversations. This ranked significantly higher than texting back quickly (11%), being decisive on date locations (11%) and being on-time to dates (16%)
TL/DR: People want real.
The Beige Brigade – What is a Beige Flag? The New Dating Trend That Could Ruin Your Love Life (& One Woman’s Profile Makeover – How Changing a Few Key Things Helped Me Find Love)
There are SO many new dating terms – red flags, cuffing, breadcrumbing, oh my! – but one you might not have heard of is a BEIGE flag.
Fresh off TikTok (of course), beige flags on a dating app is when you reckon someone hasn’t put that much effort into their dating profile, so you’ll instantly swipe left, or the conversation that follows will be boring because you have very little to go on.
They offer up meaningless information on their profile that doesn’t give a hint as to who they are, suggesting the person and their conversations could be dry and unsuccessful. Beige flags range from someone who asks the question ‘should pineapple belong on pizza?’ to mentioning how much they love their doggo.
“Beige Flags are highly subjective, so it really depends on what a person finds interesting or not,” Lucille says. “All of that being said, my advice would be to go in with an open mind and make sure you aren’t settling for matches that you don’t think match your vibe.”
But on the other hand, are you in danger of dismissing someone, especially a guy, too soon? Says Lucille, “Bumble’s Romance Gap report, conducted earlier this year, found that 36% of Aussie men feel like they are expected to avoid caring too much or showing too much emotion, and it’s possible this leads to them holding back from putting much effort into their dating profile.
“My advice to people who are looking to date men would be to keep this in mind that they may struggle to be vulnerable. So try to look out for signs where they are showing hints of their personality – maybe they have linked their Spotify and you can see you have the same taste in music, or they have a photo in your favourite restaurant.”
And if you’re worried that your own profile might be a little beige, what’s the best way to remedy that?
I WAS the Beige Flag
It was a question Christchurch woman Tamzyn, 29, asked herself when she found her Bumble matches drying up.
“I just blamed the fact that I was in Christchurch for a while, to be honest!” she laughs. “But then I took a look at my profile with a different lens, and I realised I was one giant, walking beige flag.
“I didn’t have anything about myself on there really, apart from my age. There was nowhere for a conversation to go – the only interests I had listed were socialising, Modern Family and dogs. I don’t even have a dog!
“My photos were straight from my Instagram account and they were more, er, sexy than approachable, and they had a few filters on them. Also, my first photo was me and two of my mates at the races, so it was impossible to tell who I was.”
After giving her dating profile a makeover – a simple, unedited smiling selfie took pride of place at the beginning of her photo reel, more interests and a description of what she was looking for in her ideal partner, Tamzyn is now happily dating her girlfriend after meeting on Bumble last year.
“We had an instant connection – I put on the profile that I loved cooking, so we started talking about all the things we love to make. It was the perfect foundation for the first date!”
50 Shades of Beige
But, there is another side to the coin.
“It’s important to remember that what one person considers beige, might not be what you consider beige,” tells Lucille. “Spend time building out your dating profile. Make sure you use a variety of photos (again, not all group shots), make use of the Interest Badges and Profile Prompts and be clear about what you are looking for, not what you’re NOT looking for.
“Try to steer clear of anything your match is likely to have seen a thousand times before – for example, “my go-to pizza delivery order is XYZ, tell me yours” is much more engaging than just “pineapple doesn’t belong on pizza”. Remember to be playful, and be positive.
Again, I think we can all agree that we’re done with pineapple pizza chat, team.
Bumble, the women-first dating and social networking app, was founded by CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd in 2014. Bumble connects people across dating (Bumble Date), friendship (Bumble BFF) and professional networking (Bumble Bizz). Bumble is built on the importance of equitable relationships and how crucial they are to a healthy, happy life. They’ve built their platform around kindness, respect, and equality – and their community plays an important part in that. Bumble holds its users accountable for their actions and strives to provide them with an experience free from hate, aggression, or bullying. Bumble is free and widely available in the Apple App Store, Google Play Store and the web.