Tinder has essentially put a singles bar in your pocket. And while that might sound good at first, for us hetero guys, that’s not entirely a good thing.
Having access to seemingly countless women looking for “love” (or anything else…) should make meeting someone easier, but it’s also raised the competitive stakes. Now you have to outshine every dude with a smartphone if you want to make a good impression.
While I can’t offer a secret formula for getting more matches, I can provide you with some scientifically-backed tips to help you improve your profile.
Here are eight ways guys can use science to make the perfect Tinder profile.
1. Wear red in your pictures.
If you’re trying to score more right-swipes, paying attention to the color of your clothes can be a major help.
Research indicates that when women across the globe are asked to look at pictures of men, they’re more likely to be attracted to a man if he’s wearing red.
This makes sense, right? Red is an aggressive color. It draws our attention. It displays confidence.
And while we’re on the topic of your wardrobe…
2. Focus on clothes that fit well.
When it comes to making a good impression with your attire, visiting the tailor may be the key to your success.
In a study designed to determine how clothing choices affect our snap judgments of people, researchers presented participants with a picture of a man for just three seconds, then asked them to judge what kind of person he is.
Some people saw a picture of a man in a tailored suit, while others saw a man sporting a similar-looking suit that, while more expensive, wasn’t a custom fit.
Turns out, the expensive suit didn’t help much. The guy in tailored clothes was generally rated as more confident and successful than his counterpart.
Researchers also pixelated the faces of the men to ensure that how handsome they were had no effect on the outcome of the study.
Again, people came to these judgments after viewing the images for a mere three seconds.
Women aren’t typically spending a long time analyzing your profile on Tinder. That first visual impression can make all the difference.
3. Groom yourself.
Wearing the right clothes won’t land you too many dates if your grooming habits resemble those of a college freshman.
Looking to determine which physical features are most important in regards to attractiveness, researchers had 117 college students look at pictures of 76 men and women, ranking their looks.
The results of the study showed that the most important factors in looking good are the ones that show a willingness to take care of yourself.
Quality haircut. Proper posture. Again, decent clothes.
In other words, women on Tinder probably don’t need you to look like DiCaprio, but they don’t want you to look like DiCaprio in “The Revenant.”
4. Get a dog, and post pictures of yourself with that dog.
That dude you know, the one who clearly adopted a dog purely to help pick up women? He knew what he was doing.
In a survey of online daters, women were twice as likely as men to report finding a potential date attractive because he had a pet in his pictures.
Another study involved asking women to read descriptions of men, some of whom were made to sound like devoted, long-term partners, with others made to come across as short-term, no-strings-attached types.
Also, some of the descriptions mentioned that the guy owned a dog. Some did not.
Generally, the women ranked the no-strings-attached dudes as less attractive. Unless, that is, there was mention of a dog, in which case, those negative qualities suddenly weren’t so noticeable.
Though, in all fairness, if you’re getting a dog purely to boost your online dating success, you’re probably not ready for the responsibility of owning a pet/moving out of your parents’ basement.
5. Stop smiling.
Proving what angst-ridden undergrad art students have always hoped, a study out of the University of British Columbia has revealed that women find brooding men to be much hotter than those who look happy and cheerful.
More than 1,000 participants were asked to view hundreds of pictures of men and women, ranking their attractiveness.
Women rated guys who looked unhappy, with their eyes averted, as the most sexually attractive.
Men who appeared prideful came in second, while happy dudes ranked last.
Guess they’re not so happy anymore.
6. Keep it simple.
While using the written portion of your profile to show off your poetic talent may seem like a reasonable way to make the Tinder experience just a little bit classier, the truth is, it could turn people off.
In a study based on 86 major papers on attraction, researchers learned that you’ll come across as more desirable if you stick to using simple, friendly language in your profile.
As it turns out, when it comes to online dating, people care less about how impressive you are, and more about how likeable you are.
Trying to pen a profile worthy of Faulkner won’t make you likeable. It’ll just confuse people.
7. Put other women in your pictures.
So, this one seems to conflict with every single thing any woman has ever told me, but I’m not running for president, so I won’t argue with science.
In the study mentioned above, the team also found out that having some pictures in which you’re surrounded by other women (especially if they’re smiling at you) is a good way of boosting your attractiveness.
This does not mean you should Photoshop yourself in the company of several eager supermodels. Though I’m sure some of you will try that anyway.
8. Be real.
Further results from the study also prove that playing up your lifestyle, accomplishments and dating goals in your profile won’t help you out in the long run.
The most successful profiles tend to actually be the ones that are honest. This doesn’t mean revealing all your flaws, but it does mean claiming you’re an “ambitious entrepreneur” looking for “a dream life with a dream woman” won’t work well if you’re actually an unemployed dude looking for a hookup.
Damn, is my last piece of advice really as unoriginal as “be yourself”?
Were our moms right all along?