It only took three swipes on Bumble to land him on a profile page with the line: “I’m an open book, just ask.”
This is possibly the least surprising lead I’ve ever written for an article. If you have spent any time on application, you’ve probably noticed that there is a sameness of language that permeates many bios. There are phrases that come up over and over again: “Just say hi.” “Too many office citations.” “Smooth sarcasm.”
In the back of my mind, meaningless conspiracy theories are stored away like that one can of French green beans you’re never in the mood for. And that’s where I imagine a global meeting of online dating where it’s been decided that the only way to deal with height-related queries with a smirk is to write them in.”[Height] because apparently it matters.”
I brought up this topic at dinner with friends a few weeks ago, and one of them admitted that he had that exact sentence about height in his Tinder bio. Feeling that this might be the first step towards solving the mystery, I asked where he got it. He said a friend told him to put it on his resume. And when I got him to ask his friend where he would When the friend heard this, he wasn’t sure and thought that maybe there was no point of origin, but rather that the whole thing was convergent evolution.
A search of Google results from past years also failed to find the first golden example of the term.
So there probably was no meeting, or at least I wasn’t invited. However, the same language occurs across genders and, according to my international colleagues, across bodies of water that used to be much more effective barriers to the spread of trends.
It’s true that writing dating app profiles can be challenging. You’re trying to figure out how to distill your personality—all those intangible qualities that might make someone like you—into a few hundred characters. All the while you’re trying to find a certain economy, relying on details that signal something deeper about your lifestyle.
So after chatting with friends, co-workers and strangers on the internet, I’m here to offer you the Love Sync Guide to the most annoying online dating phrases.
Fluent in sarcasm
It’s quite possible that “sarcasm” has become shorthand for a sense of humor. But ask yourself: What’s so appealing about constantly saying things you don’t mean? And in that tone.
I’m an open book, just ask
While it’s positive to signal an openness to share about yourself with a potential match, this phrase is most often a lazy-sounding stand-in for writing a resume. Remember, the point of a resume is to help others see if they want to talk to you. Don’t invite them on a fishing trip in the hope that you’ll both enjoy Norwegian slow TV.
[Height] because apparently it matters
Am I going to go ahead and blame society’s gender and height issues on the patriarchy? Of course. Meanwhile, adding this to your resume is like giving yourself a little (unnecessary) swing in future matches who may not really care how tall you are.
A string of emoticons
While it may seem cute to fill your resume with emoticons representing activities and interests you like—a beer glass, a dog, a person doing yoga—it’s better to stick to words and sentences that actually illustrate your personality. Although many have tried, football is not a personality in itself. Also, please don’t let your potential matches decode your emoticons as hieroglyphs. The words fit. Use them.
I answer wrong
Maybe you should work on this skill given how most of these sites work.
Please be interesting
The implication here is this you they are amazingly interesting. Or at least interesting enough to pass judgment on others. But unless you’re tumbling off the top of Mount Everest with your best friend, a dancing bear, you’re probably like most people on Application — a person who works, pays the bills, and has some hope that enough moves will yield what you’re looking for.
Looking for a partner in crime
Better get a ’66 Thunderbird we can drive off a cliff.
I’m not looking for a friend
It’s true that if you’re talking to online daters, there’s a common problem with chats that go on too long without either party moving to meet in person. But preemptively chastising wannabe matches is repulsive. Instead, maybe make more of an effort to steer the conversation toward making plans, or better yet, ask.
Here for a good time not long
If nothing else, at least you have an overview of what you’re looking for. And hey, unless someone else out there is also looking for the whole white picket fence deal, it might not matter that you’re not Shakespeare. But consider again that even if you’re trying to lock down Friday night and nothing else, there are still plenty of profiles competing against yours with the same pronunciation.
Too many office citations
It is entirely reasonable to think that common interests will attract a potential match. But here’s the thing: Pick an interest that’s more unique to you than, say, liking one of the most popular TV shows in recent memory. (Neilsen found that The Office was the most-watched show on Netflix in 2018.) At some point, maybe liking The Office meant being the kind of person who likes humor, pranks, and heart-wrenching will-they-won’t-they romantic tension. These days, it just means you like popular shows. That’s like hoping someone likes you because you’re a big fan of french fries. Like puppies and sunshine, these are not controversial interests.
Also, ask yourself: Are you really quoting that much from The Office? How much is “too much?” Does it border on annoying?
Remember, a quote from The Office is not a personality.
Looking for Jim my Pam (or vice versa)
On the one hand, this could be a super-cheap line to have on your resume—making it clear you’re looking for something serious while also giving a nod to a bit of pop culture you enjoy. But to refer to the entry above, IT IS AN OFFICE. It’s not unique. It might be better to choose characters from a show, movie, or book that are more unusual (but not so obscure that no one will know what you’re talking about). OR you can ditch the cliche altogether and write something else.
If my dog doesn’t like you, it won’t work
Pet owners can get pretty wrapped up in their furry friends. First, I basically turned over the entire guest bathroom of my apartment to my cat, Salsa. However, if you talk to dating coaches, they generally advise you to avoid using negative language in your profile. Just think: You haven’t even met yet and you’re already setting a condition for how the relationship will fail. But at least you’ll have your dog to cuddle!
I’m only here for the dog photos
Honestly, I have no idea what this is trying to convey other than a sense of humor? Or the ability to copy and paste on a mobile device?
I just moved here, show me!
Being new in town is definitely an important detail to disclose. It might lead to some initial conversation about what prompted the move, or even chatting about the places you’ve lived. The “show me around” part leaves the other person with those vague thoughts of “why?” and “Thrlist sure has several articles about it.”
I have it together. You should too.
They should? It’s good for you that you know what you want, but maybe you’re less harsh about it? YUCK.
General references for fun and laughter
File it under “non-controversial interests” again. You know what would be interesting? A person who hates to laugh. Show me the person. i have questions
Just say hello
CNET’s Love Syncs is an online dating board. If you have a question about finding love through the app, please send it to [email protected] for review.