Beautiful couple having coffee on a date
Image: Shutterstock/Eviled

There are so many dating apps out there, yet dating is still as complicated as ever. In fact, online dating is a lot harder than we realized. There are so many factors you have to take into consideration: Does your selfie show off your best features? Will your bio come across as funny or bland? Who’s going to message who first?

Most dating apps put a lot of focus on your profile picture and mini bio, which means that first impressions are crucial. You only have ten seconds to catch someone’s attention before they swipe right. So how do you make sure that you’re putting the best version of yourself online without trying too hard?

A good profile picture is everything.
If you’re stuck trying to choose the right profile picture, keep this checklist in mind. Is it a recent picture? Is the shot of your entire face? Does your pose look natural?

If you answered yes to all of those questions, then post away! Remember, nothing comes off as disingenuous as a staged or super old photo.

Think about what you want to say in your bio.
The key to crafting a bio that will really get you noticed is having a conversation starter. This can come in the form of a quirky or hilarious line about who you are or what you’re looking for. Not only does this let your potential match know that you are outgoing, it shows that you have a sense of humor and don’t take yourself too seriously.

If you like someone, message him first!
Some of my best conversations and better matches have happened when I messaged a guy I was interested in first. According to this study by OKCupid, women who messaged first were more likely to get a date. Messaging him first shows that you are very confident and know what you’re looking for. Trust us, it’ll score you extra brownie points.

Reference his profile in your message.
Regardless of who messaged who first, you should always point out specific things that you read in his profile. This is a great way to either start the conversation or keep it going. It’ll also make him feel like you swiped right on more than just his picture.

A guy once wrote me a short, creative poem about my username because I mentioned that I loved puns. That being said, keep your message limited to a few sentences.

If you’re on Tinder, use the “Super Like” feature wisely.
Using a Super Like on someone sends the message that you’re really interested in them. Unless you are paying for the app, you only get one Super Like per day, which is why you should always make it count.

Beware of the grammar police.
Before you send your message, make sure that it doesn’t have any typos. Call me crazy but nothing is a bigger turn off than a message you have to spend ten minutes deciphering.

Let your conversation flow naturally.
Don’t try to force conversation by sounding like someone other than yourself. Believe it or not, using slang or emojis will actually make you seem more approachable and down to earth. Just be weary of using too much slang.