Student Life

Online Dating: Students Flag Do’s and Dont’s

Sam Webster, a 20-year-old junior at Loyola, called her current boyfriend a “one in a million” find. When adventuring through Hinge — a popular dating app — she was fortunate enough to come across his profile. 

Despite her luck on the app, she said disrespectful people can overrun the apps and create a toxic atmosphere for true love seekers. She said if a prospective match called others derogatory terms, she wasn’t interested.

“If they put in their bio, ‘If you’re fat don’t swipe’ it makes me not want to swipe,” Webster said.

Even with each dating apps’ different algorithms, red flags remain riddled in the profiles of prospective matches. Loyola students spoke candidly about common phrases, photos and trends they see as red flags when looking for a date.

Students, when using Tinder and Bumble, said when a profile came off as “insecure,” they were more likely to swipe left.

Claire Calhoun, a 20-year-old junior, said people who are hung up on height preferences, cover their faces, use filters, and have only group photos scream insecurity to her. 

“All the pictures with them in a group show that they’re insecure because they have all their friends and you have to guess,” Calhoun said.

“It isn’t super appealing to have a dead animal in the picture with you.”

Keira Williams, Loyola sophomore

Sophomore Keira Williams, 19, brought up this phenomenon as well. Both girls use Bumble and Tinder, and Williams said she turned away from profiles only featuring group photos.

“If [the photo is] a group of guys you can almost always guess it’s the ugliest one,” Williams said. “It’s a red flag because they are trying to trick you — and it didn’t work.”

Another common red flag was fish pictures. Although a funny meme, Calhoun said posing with fish should stay in the camera roll.

“It isn’t super appealing to have a dead animal in the picture with you,” Calhoun said. “It makes you look more unattractive.”

Williams, who said she grew up in a middle-of-nowhere town — full of men in pickup trucks speaking with a country twang — said fishing photos exemplify a lifestyle she knows all too well, and disdains.

“They think it’s a personality trait that they can fish,” Williams said. “I grew up in an all-white town and they were very country and I just don’t like country guys.”

Webster said conservative political views are automatic turn-offs for her and political strife plagues the dating community.

But for 21-year-old Daniel Velarde, the same strict scrutiny with politics is a swipe in the wrong direction. Although using Tinder was something of a relic from his first two years in college, Velarde, a self-identifying Democrat, said it’s one thing if a person shares their political stance to other users, but when anger is put behind their words, it’s unappealing. 

“If [the photo is] a group of photos you can almost always guess it’s the ugliest one.”

Claire Calhoun, Loyola junior

“It’s one thing if they say they’re, for example, a Democrat but if they’re like ‘F— you, you’re a Republican I’ll hate you,’ then they probably aren’t open-minded,” Velarde said.

Calhoun and Webster said coming off as disrespectful is unexceptable. Listing out desired traits or being overly sexual is an automatic no for Calhoun and Webster.

While red flags run rampant on dating apps, students mentioned some endearing attributes they look for in a dating profile, such as photos of pets, travel photos, bios with similar interests and a profile that speaks to the user’s character. 

Velarde desired a dating app that provided a long-term and mature partner, and he said Hinge supplied him with more viable profiles for that wish. He capitalized on his fondness of music, and said seeing a repertoire of music festivals and concerts on someone’s profile always entices him to reach out to the person.

“I love concerts and music festivals so if they have pictures of them at Lollapalooza I see that and I’m like OK this person is pretty interesting,” Velarde said.

Williams said awkwardness and ego can get in the way of a person staying true to oneself and showing their vibrant colors.

“If the pictures are a good representation of your personality and how you look,” Williams said. “You don’t have to be awkward over text. This is your time to shine.”

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