Experts reveal what NOT to do on dating apps

The dating app mistakes YOU’VE been making: Experts reveal how to make your profile stand out, including ditching ‘cringey’ mirror selfies and updating your profile once a month

  • Experts shared their top tips for successfully finding a partner on dating apps 
  • Sanjay Panchal of Elate, warned against using filtered photos and group shots
  • Naomi Walkland of Bumble, advised focusing on positive traits and hobbies 

Many singletons turn to dating apps and websites as a way of finding a match, but experts believe too many are doing it wrong. 

Experts from leading dating services and apps including Bumble, OkCupid and Badoo, revealed the common mistakes people make, including choosing a group photo as their first profile snap and writing about what they don’t want in a partner, rather than what they are looking for. 

The experts also encouraged dating app users to spend time on the biography section of the profile, which is often overlooked. 

Here, the tips and tricks everyone needs to know…   

Experts from leading dating services and apps including Bumble, OkCupid and Badoo, revealed the common mistakes people make. Stock image 


Sanjay Panchal, founder of dating app Elate, said photos shouldn’t be overly filtered and need to have been taken at least within the last two years.

He said: ‘One of the biggest complaints is dates not looking like their profile.

‘Always use recent photos (from the last two years), have a mix of full length and close up shots and avoid things like sunglasses, as they get fewer likes. Don’t have any good photos? Go out and get some.


Melissa Hobley, chief marketing officer of OkCupid, said: ‘If you’re a lover of dogs and spot a potential match is posing with their furry friend, you might be more inclined to match with them, right?  

‘In fact, we found that 88 per cent of daters on OkCupid think photos with pets make great profile pictures.’

‘You may look cooler with sunglasses or cuter with that Snapchat filter, but they don’t show your face clearly and always get fewer likes.’ 

Commenting on mirror selfies, he added: ‘They’re boring and cringey and you miss out on a great opportunity to use your photos to show off your personality or passions.’  


Sanjay continued: ‘This is the second biggest complaint with photos. It’s nice to show you have friends but keep group shots to a minimum and never use them for the first two photos.

‘You want your date to be able to easily pick you out of a crowd when you meet so always include a mix of close-up and full-length shots to give a good idea of what you look like.’

The dating expert also advised against snaps with an ex or anyone who could be mistaken for an ex, because it gives the impression that you’re not ready to date yet.

Sanjay Panchal who is the founder of Elate, said your profile shouldn’t just be about who you want but also give reasons why someone should want to choose you (file image)


Singletons should also spend plenty of time making their profile as full as possible, to increase the chance of matching with someone who you have something in common with.


A spokesperson for dating website, warned against putting personal contact information on your profile, saying: ‘Your top priority when talking to strangers online is safety. Never post your personal contact information publicly and only share it to people whom you trust on private messages. 

‘There are people who will always try to scam you online, and dating sites are no exception. Have fun and be merry, but always think of online dating safety.’

‘The more you add to your dating app, the better,’ Melissa said. ‘It allows you to match with people who care about the same things you do. And no matter what that is, it’s ok! If you’re not looking for a partner to have children with, share that, it’s ok.’ 

Sanjay added: ‘Most dating apps are designed to sign you up as quickly as possible so people end up writing short, boring or cliched bios. Spend a bit more time on it and write something that stands out, you’ll get better quality matches.’

Melissa said dating profiles should be updated at least once a month, even if it is not a complete overhaul. 


Naomi Walkland, Head of UK and Ireland Bumble, said: ‘When setting up your dating profile, it’s best to focus on what you want instead of what you don’t want. Including positive traits and details or photos of your hobbies and interests will make it easier to open conversations.

‘If words fail you, we’ve recently added emoji reactions so you can share an immediate response to someone’s great photo or an appreciation for their sense of humour.’ 

Agreeing, Elate’s Sanjay added: ‘Negativity isn’t attractive. If you make your profile a list of things you don’t like to avoid getting matches you don’t want, you’ll scare off more than you expect. Better to be positive and talk about what you do like to find matches with the same passions.’ 

Sanjay warned the biography area of your profile should never be left blank because it can prevent you from matching with people who have similar passions and limit the subjects matches may suggest to talk about.  

‘It’s tempting to just write what you’re looking for to avoid timewasters. However, if there’s nothing about who you are then you’ll only get superficial matches and it will make starting conversations much harder. 

‘Women are massively outnumbered on most dating apps so it might be tempting to just make your bio about who you want. However, your profile should be about who you are to give people a reason to match with you too,’ he said. 


Natasha Briefel, UK Brand Marketing Director at Badoo UK, said: ‘Lots of people would say they have a ‘type’ when it comes to dating. Certain people can only date someone shorter than them, or someone with blonde hair, or with tattoos.

However, when it comes to online dating, consider expanding your horizons beyond whatever your particular type is. This will allow you to meet new, different types of people, which will teach you more about yourself and what you want,’ said Natasha.

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