They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but it’s 2020 and things have changed a lot since the phrase was coined! If you’re using dating apps, you have no other option but to swipe through some dodgy pics and lame bios that say “I’m worth getting to know.”
You might also find out some basic information—he’s a chef, 5’9” (which really means he’s 5’7”) or she’s a Scorpio (oh oh, will she be the jealous type?) There might be some classic headshots and lifestyle images that catch your eye, or some seedy selfies and muscle photos.
With such little information and images, you need to make a decision whether or not you’re going to go on a date with someone. With one swipe, you can literally change your destiny.
What if you judge them too harshly and miss your chance of being with someone you can have that dream relationship with? What if you miss early signs of a narcissist who causes drama in misery once the honeymoon phase is over?
There’s also the risk of accidentally swiping left on someone you actually like, because you found yourself in the grips of a swiping frenzy, going “Swipe left, swipe right, swipe left.”
The first step? Slow down! Borrow cues from your yoga instructor—take in a few deep breaths, stretch out and do something else for a while until you regroup and refocus.
Limit your swiping time each day and break out your “swipe sessions.” This encourages you to really think about who you’re swiping yes or no to. It prevents you from getting bogged down by seeing too many profiles. These simple shifts will make you become a more conscious swiper.
Decide that you’re going to take your search seriously and treat it as you would treat any other important project in your life. Just as how you carefully read a job description before applying, you should read and analyze a matches profile to see if they’re a good fit.
Once you’re clear-sighted, you’re ready to hop on the dating bandwagon. Asking these three questions will help you lookout for clues about those matches you’re attracted to at first glance. You’ll be surprised how much people can reveal about themselves, even if they don’t intend to!
Attraction happens on a subconscious level in ways we’re often unaware of. It’s a complex process taking place behind the scenes. That’s why it’s important to know why you like a person. It’s okay to simply say “I think she’s cute!” or “I like his style!” Perhaps it’s the way his chestnut brown hair falls on his face or the strawberry red lipstick that brightens her smile. Maybe something jumped out in their profile bio. They seem detail-oriented, well-spoken, funny or share common interests with you. Or do they just come across as a friendly and approachable person you’d actually want to have coffee or grab a beer with? What’s important is that you acknowledge what’s drawing you in. Being intentional with each swipe makes you confident in your choices and increases your chance of finding the right person for you.
Yes, it’s shallow to judge a person by their photo but there’s a reason why photo-based dating apps have become so popular, we love doing it! We’re wired to judge whether or not we’re attracted to someone at first glance. But photos can do a lot more for us if we know how to decode them and look past the glamor shots (made with the magic of good angles, strategic lighting and Photoshop) and clever poses.
First, if something offends you about someone’s photos such as lewd gestures, racist costumes or if alcohol, drugs and guns feature prominently, you can let this person go right away.
Second look at what they’re wearing—is she wearing a lot of skimpy and revealing outfits? What could that reveal about her intentions? Is he wearing suits in most of his photos? What does that reveal about his tastes and how he likes to present himself to the world? Any tattoos, piercings or accessories that stand out?
Third, look at their poses and what they’re doing. Lots of outdoor activities most likely speak to a more outdoorsy type. Several pictures with friends and family reveal that relationships are important to them and a social and outgoing personality.
Fourth, observe their poses and gestures. Are there more pictures of them smiling or are they serious and sultry? Are they sitting down or active? Do they look comfortable or awkward?
Fifth, look at the environment they’re in. Are they in their bathroom or dressing area taking selfie shots? Are they inside a well-designed studio with carefully designed aesthetics? Maybe they have travel photos of them in exotic places or everyday shots of them pumping iron in the gym.
We’ve all heard a lot about those happy couples who said they “just knew” right away when they met someone special. That’s because they listened to their gut instinct—a powerful tool in relationships. It’s that strange feeling you can’t quite put your finger on. It could be a voice in your head. Butterflies in your tummy and feelings of nervousness. A knot in your stomach. Whatever it is, listen to it. If something doesn’t feel right, trust your judgement. But if you sense good vibes from the person, go ahead and swipe right.