When I first made a Tinder account (what feels like a million years ago), I had no idea what to expect. I didn't know there were hard and fast rules for dating apps, let alone have an understanding of how to craft the perfect profile. Now, I'm practically an expert. I know what kinds of photos you should and shouldn't post, at least according to the general consensus. But in the wise words of Charli XCX, "I just wanna break the rules." If you're a rebel like me, consider these three Tinder photo rules you should break. After all, isn't dating supposed to be fun?
Rule #1: Photos should be of just you.
We all know the struggle of trying to figure out which guy in the frat house photo is the one whose profile you’re looking at. It's true that on dating apps, most people will swipe left rather than take the time to pick you out from your friends. If you want to include one picture of you and a few other people, though, that's fine!
"If you have a good group shot mixed in where the single is clearly identifiable and there are good solo shots rounding out the profile, then a quality group pic can be incorporated," says dating coach and online dating expert Meredith Golden of SpoonmeetSpoon. As long as you can still be seen clearly, there's no harm in showing off your social side.
Rule #2: You should always be facing the camera.
Another rule people stick to says that your profile should consist of clear, focused images of you smiling. Action shots are normally frowned upon, because the subject (you) probably isn't looking at the camera. But again, as long as you round out your profile with more traditional pictures, an action shot can actually help you get more matches.
"An action shot provides a springboard for interesting conversation," says Golden. A picture that shows you surfing, playing an instrument, dancing, or otherwise engaged in an activity you're passionate about may lead someone with similar interests to swipe right.
Rule #3: Stick to close-up pictures.
Of course you want to show off your beautiful face, but do vary your camera angles and resist the urge to crop. As tempting as it may be to include only headshot-style photos from the waist up, potential matches really want to see all of you. Physical attraction is important, and knowing someone's body type can be a deciding factor. You might be losing right swipes simply because you think you're following the rules. Remember that the goal is to include photos that mirror what you look like IRL.
There are some rules, though, that are there for a reason. These two laws of Tinder should be strictly enforced.
Rule #1: No hats or glasses.
This one comes down to science. A study conducted by Tinder found that wearing glasses can reduce your chances of a right swipe by 12 percent. This includes prescription glasses as well as shades. "We need to know what we’re swiping on," says Golden. "Hat and sunglasses yield quickest route to swipe left." They say the eyes are the windows to the soul, so don't pull down the shades.
Rule #2: Don't include pictures with your ex.
Why you would even do this in the first place is a mystery to me. You're on this app to meet someone new, so using photos from relationships past seems a little weird. If you look fantastic in the picture and still want to use it, crop your ex out. If you can, though, just use a different picture. A photo with your ex is obvious to potential matches, even if you don't think so.
At the end of the day, these rules aren't set in stone. Ultimately, you want your profile to include pictures that show off both your personality and your physical appearance. If you're not sure which photos to choose, think about the kind of matches they will attract, and go from there.
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