We Asked Men About Their Weird Dating App Bios, From Fish Photos To Height
If you’re single, it’s hard to imagine meeting someone without using a dating app these days.
Since the launch of Tinder in 2012, social networking dating apps have slowly become the norm. Somewhere in 2013, all our bios were along the lines of “willing to lie about how we met” because the shame of meeting on a dating app felt all too real. Now, in 2020, if you see someone’s bio state this (trust me, they still do), it’s hard not to roll your eyes and tell them to grow up.
For every dating app romance, there’s a red flag. I just made this statistic up, but I’m standing by it.
If you’ve spent some, uh, years on dating apps, it’s hard to not notice the patterns of the people you’re swiping. As a cishet woman who has dated cishet men, it’s easy to tick off the commonalities of their bios. Height listed? Tick. Grainy group shot where you can’t figure out which one they are? Tick. Some reference to “not looking for drama”? Tick. Some absolutely wild analogy like, “I like my women how I like my coffee… without another man’s dick in it”? Um, tick, and a hard left swipe.
Now, in all fairness, every time I’ve made a “Why do men put their heights in bios” joke, I’ve had a straight male friend reach out to me and explain that it’s because a lot of women ask them for their height as though it’s a prerequisite before meeting for a date. Maybe it’s a tall woman who doesn’t want to date a short man, maybe some people are just height-ist, I don’t know. But the common consensus has been that they’re all just dishing out the info before it’s inevitably asked of them.
tinder when I try to set my height above 5’11” https://t.co/Fe0xeKttW3
— taylor huff (@taylorhuff96) November 7, 2020
After three years of on-and-off swiping, I finally decided I wanted to talk to some straight men. While I’m still not convinced I want to date them, it was time to ask them about some of the stereotypes we see on their profiles, and WHY they do all these things.
We chatted to cishet men about their dating app bios and their own dating pet peeves.
(For this article I talked to men ranging in age from 20-something to 30-something. We won’t be using their names in this article.)
On dating bio stereotypes.
On why men list their heights:
“To be honest, I don’t get it, I had a girl mention it to me once and I just kinda ran with it,” one guy said, leaving it, quite simply at that. Another one expressed his own exasperation at the ‘height thing’ as he deemed it. “Guys seem to think that girls think that if a guy is tall then he’s big everywhere, therefore making him more attractive and sexy. I’m 6’3 but I don’t say that because I honestly don’t think it’s necessary or relevant.”
Guys on tinder love putting "I'm *insert height* apparently that matters" on their bio
Women's equivalent is probably their star sign lol
— tanz (@_Txnz) November 8, 2020
Another gent gave a little more insight into the workings behind the male brain. “It’s mostly tall guys flexing, but I’d say it’s also partly in response to a subset of taller women who are particular about wanting to only date guys taller than themselves,” he said. “I’d guess ~20 percent of women list their height, and it usually means they’re after guys who are taller than them.”
On those goddamn fishing photos:
All the men we interviewed for this piece promised they do NOT use fishing photos on their dating app bios. “I haven’t done this myself but I’d say it’s a more subtle opportunity to get your rig out, relative to the more obviously showy gym selfie. It also shows an outdoorsy side, I guess,” one man said.
“Guys like fishing and they don’t have the intelligence to realise that most girls don’t care about fishing. It’s trying to prove dominance, the bigger the fish etc.,” another one answered.
Maybe if I dress up as a fish for Halloween a man on Bumble will want to hold me
— C. Rose🥀 (@chelmerr) October 26, 2020
Why some men upload pics of their cars:
While most of the men we interviewed alluded to being absolutely “baffled” by the choice to upload a photo of your car, the man who offered some more insight into the fish photos thought a similar logic was probably at play here.
“Kind of the same thing as the fishing photos, the better the car, the better the guy apparently,” he explained. “Have you got a 2005 Toyota Corolla? Then apparently you stand no chance on dating apps. 2018 Ford Mustang? Apparently a chick magnet. I hate car guys, for the record.”
And why men all of a sudden seem to love bouldering:
“Wait, we are meant to like bouldering?” one man asked. “To be fair, in lockdown I’d like anything where I can leave my house!”
On common dating app behaviours.
On using the term banter:
“It had a moment in 2015/16 but I cringe now when I see this,” one man said. “I hate banter almost as much as I hate the term banter, I think it’s useless and it’s hard to tell if someone is joking or not over text. I’d rather just be blunt,” another replied.
“Like, how hard is it to say, can have a quality conversation?” one asked.
On whether they expect women to meet up with them ASAP:
“Speaking from experience, no,” one man said. “I find that conversations that can even go all night most of the time don’t end up in anything. I don’t know if it’s because meeting people off Tinder or whatever is nerve-racking, but I don’t expect it. Sometimes it’ll just be sending a few pics late at night and I never speak to them or they never speak to me again.”
“Absolutely not,” another guy stated. “Unless they are super long and detailed messages I feel you should both want to get a feel for people, but I do feel like women often end up dropping off the conversation after a couple of days, regardless of quality, so it’s a balancing act. ”
On moving the conversation from an app to another form of messaging because it’s “easier”:
“I’ve done this in the past because I think it helps heighten a feeling of familiarity – when you’re texting/DM’ing you’re using platforms that you use with people you know and it feels less like you’re interacting with an amorphous stranger from a dating app,” one guy explained. “As well as helping to get to know the other person better I think it helps verify that I’m not a creep, which is a whole other factor that women regrettably have to consider much more than men. When these apps first started they were all pretty buggy and often didn’t load messages properly, so I feel like it was genuinely easier to text outside the app back then. I don’t know if calling it ‘easier’ holds as much weight now.”
“I prefer to have all of my conversations in the same place, I find it easier not having to constantly switch between apps,” another man said. “It also helps to see if they are real or not instead of having some bots going ‘free sex, click link’ etc.”
“I generally move off as I find the notifications unreliable, though often in conjunction with meeting up,” one man explained. “In lockdown, it’s been more common to do that as well, as I feel it’s just a better messaging experience and gives you more things you can do.”
On the whole pineapple on pizza thing:
“Straight women do this too! A lot! I do not care at all. It’s actually such a bummer to see an otherwise promising profile brought down by the most redundant personality differentiator of the last decade,” one guy stated.
Another man gave zero fucks about this debate taking over the (singles) nation. “I don’t have to eat it, so why does it matter?!” he said.
pineapple on pizza and coriander, the hallmark shit topics of discussion of a shitty tinder date
— Cook Suck (@CookSuck) March 28, 2017
And on their own pet peeves from using dating apps.
Now, it’s not fair if we bag out their bios without asking straight men themselves what they hate seeing on apps when they’re on the hunt for a romantic partner.
“Clichés like the ‘pineapple on pizza’, ‘willing to lie about how we met’, ‘looking for my partner in crime’ etc.,” one guy said. “And people calling themselves an ‘extroverted introvert’ or ‘introverted extrovert’ as a point of difference – introversion/extroversion is a spectrum that the vast majority of people fall in the middle of. It’s amazing how many people think they’re special or interesting because they are ‘sometimes the life of the party but other times like to be left alone’ – congratulations on being a human being! Also, Myer-Brigg results,” he concluded.
It took a total of 2 days having tinder reinstalled on my phone to reacquire my immense hatred for zodiac signs and myer-briggs types
— Matthew 지훈 Pellegrino (@Compotatoser) December 7, 2017
“People just dropping off a conversation, or not giving any real details when you enquire about them, people who have no bios. People who, on apps such as Hinge which give you prompts, still write one-word answers,” another man said.
Let’s be real: Are we all ever going to understand each other? Definitely not. But at least now we have some context to the defensive height listing thing. And we can all agree, it’s time to drop ‘banter’ for good.