Welcome to CNET’s Love Syncs
, where we answer your questions about online dating. I’m Erin Carson, staff reporter, resident young-enough person, refrigerdating correspondent, curator of odd stuff on the internet, most likely to leave you on “read.”
This week: Getting your profile to reflect what you’re looking for. Plus, surprising rage at Chex Mix. It’s all here!
Q: “How do I, on an app, make it clear I’m not here to hook up?”
A: Dating apps can offer a veritable smorgasbord of romantic options. But much like a bag of Chex Mix, you might not want everything on offer. (I will burn you, mini bagel chips.)
One easy answer to this question is that some services, like OkCupid, Bumble, Hinge and others, actually let you specify what you’re looking for, whether it’s hookups, long term/short term dating, marriage, something casual, or even that you don’t know. Not just that, but you might be able to filter out, for example, anyone who’s not looking for “a relationship.”
You’re also sending a certain message about what you’re looking for based on how you present your profile. If you’ve taken the time to write a bio, answer questions, upload some decent photos, etc., then you’re communicating that you’re serious…. Or at least more serious than a profile with one photo of a shirtless dude at the gym, cut off at the neck. CONGRATS ON BEING RIPPED, STEVE.
Don’t forget this business about profiles works both ways. You can also take into consideration how serious and thought-out someone else’s profile is before you swipe on them or message them.
Now, there are folks who will explicitly write in their bios a line like “Not looking for hookups,” “Or swipe left if you’re looking for a hookup.” You could do that. But dating coaches will often discourage you from adding negative language to your bio when there are more positive ways to frame why you’re there. And that applies to more than just what you’re seeking. Maybe don’t include a sentence like “DON’T BOTHER IF YOU DON’T LOVE CHINCHILLAS” for reasons I shouldn’t have to explain further.
There’s also the argument that certain apps are more geared for relationships than hookups — part of that, undoubtedly is marketing. You’re bound to find a bit of everything everywhere. Don’t discard an app because it’s got a certain reputation (like Tinder for hookups, or Hinge for relationships), but do keep in mind you might be more likely to bump into a different set of expectations there.
All that said, you might still run into someone whose intentions don’t match yours. That can happen in the offline world too. So, do your best to be clear, straight forward and don’t worry about leaving behind those mini bagel chips.
Read more: Best dating sites of 2019
This is an advice column focusing on online dating. If you’ve got a question about finding love via app, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration.