Welcome to a weekly life and relationships column by Iris Owen, aka Nectarine Girl – the reigning queen of Depop, fame-hungry wordsmith, and author of the wackiest newsletter in London, Nectarine News.
If only making a dating app profile was as easy as “I’m Iris, 24. Love to sing and always up for a laugh.” But it’s not. It’s like going fishing and finding out you are the bait. Luckily for you, I am great at this sort of thing and am here to help.
Let’s begin with the photos. A common trick I see boys do is to post a ton of photos with an adorable puppy. It’s rarely their dog, but sure enough, I always go “awwwwww”. I’d go for a balanced blend of modest and devastatingly sexy when it comes to your photo selection. Draw them in with a sultry look and close the deal with your grinning face crossing the finish line of a half marathon (NB: the “half” is the modest part). You also want an equal mix of selfies to pictures people took of you. Personally, I chose a picture of me taking out the bins. Stay humble.
When I first went about setting up my Hinge profile, I really thought that glamorising your life was the norm and everything had to be exotic and extravagant. Then I answered the prompt “My Most Irrational Fear” with “JCloths”, and my popularity went through the roof. The boys loved it. I came to find a date and discovered an entire community!
In fact, going super niche will always work in your favour. It may deter the 99%, but if it’s true love you’re looking for, don’t you want that winning one?
A good friend of mine (not me, I swear) has a deep obsession with Shrove Tuesday. They chose the prompt “I’ll fall for you if…” and wrote “You understand and share my passion for Pancake Day.” Well, they found that fellow enthusiast and now have one night of the year covered.
I put on my profile that a typical Sunday is spent watching hours of Wife Swap UK. A potential suitor replied saying he hated reality TV and thought it was the bane of our society. Probably not the love of my life.
You can’t talk about dating apps without mentioning algorithms. Now, I can spell “algorithms” but I don’t really know what they are. What I do know is that they cannot be perfect because everyone blames them for everything. My friend Freya was having no luck with the London crowd, went to Sheffield for a long weekend and suddenly her phone was popping off. What’s that all about? The algorithm? Or was she just a big fish in a small pond? Now, after this huge ego boosting trip, Freya has been considering a move up North.
A colleague of mine used a brilliant strategy when he began his search for a partner. He decided to give the more popular apps a miss and instead targeted match.com. His reasoning behind going for a slightly outdated site was he would be the best of the bunch, leaving the competition to fight it out on the crowded platforms. He is still single, but I thought I would share his thought process nonetheless.
At the end of the day, keep it real. Try to be exactly and utterly you. They will adore you and there will be no shocks or horrors when it comes to that face-to-face meet. No one will pull out a damp JCloth and blow their nose on it.