Life Advice



Erika Ettin: Do dating apps work?

Erika Ettin, Tribune News Service on

Published in Dating Advice

A question I get all the time, from clients and strangers alike, is “Do dating apps work?”

Here’s the thing: Any app can be efficient or successful, depending on what you put out there and how proactive you are in the process. If you put up six mediocre pictures and no writeup and expect to attract quality people, you’ll be sorely disappointed.

Dating apps *are* an effective tool in meeting someone (notice that I didn’t say “finding a relationship,” since that’s solely based on the two people involved). But, there are a few rules of thumb you should abide by to give yourself the best chance:

Let’s talk about photos:

Make the first picture a clear shot of your face. People just want to see who is going to show up on the date. Nothing more, nothing less.

Include a full-body shot. Provide people with a sense of what you look like so they don’t have to invent it.


Be by yourself in the shot. Trust me here. It's important for the viewer to know which person you are in the photos. Don’t worry that someone wonders whether you have friends. First, no one is thinking about it, and second, what if they find your friend cuter than you?

Have one photo of yourself doing something interesting. Most people have no idea what to write in the initial message, so give them some “message bait.”

Less is more. Four great photos will always win over six or more mediocre photos. People will, unfortunately, look for the one they don’t like and decide not to swipe right because of it.

As for the profile itself, on apps like Bumble and Hinge, write something short, sweet, and quirky. Here are three examples:


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