Kissing The Fishes

man kissing lake trout

There are millions and millions of people using online dating apps these days. The growth numbers in the online dating space are staggering. According to a new report, eMarketer estimates 25.1 million users will use a dating app at least monthly, a 5.3% increase from the amount of users in 2018. By name alone, many of us are familiar with them, from Tinder to Match, and everything betwixt and between. When you’ve exhausted the bar scene, and find out grocery shopping for a date is probably not the best way to go (“is this cantaloupe ripe?” is probably a poor conversation starter), many of us turn to creating a profile about ourselves on our dating app of choice. We go fishing. And what we sometimes see is not just hilarious but an absolute swipe left. After researching this with friends and girlfriends, trading stories about profiles gone wrong, there seems to be a common theme: people have trouble understanding what makes an attractive profile.

It might seem obvious to you that the simplest and cleanest way to create a dating profile is to show a recent and clear picture of yourself, fill in your profile and interests, and be honest.

But for some reason so many men, we will talk about women in a minute, seem to think their best look, the one that women want to see the most, is of them kissing fish. Doesn’t seem to matter the species of fish. I’ve seen men kissing mackerels, trout, sturgeon, pike, and salmon. I have also seen them posing with something they killed in the bush, deer, elk, moose. And then there are the mirror selfies missing anything above the neck. And then there are the mirrored sunglasses! Nothing says get to know me as well as a pair of mirrored aviator glasses. Call me old fashioned, but I still like to see a person’s eyes.

For the ladies out there, believe me, no man wants to see a profile picture with you and your ex boyfriend or husband in the picture. If you try to crop out your former lover, or tear the photo down the centre, make sure you don’t leave a portion of head or shoulder to show you really had that picture taken with someone you broke up with (bad look); you might have loved how you looked in that photo five years ago, but it really says you don’t care enough to take a new one. No one wants to feel like they might be the next cropped victim. Also, though you might be the life of the party and like to let your hair down, primary photos of you swilling chardonnay or beers might not attract the best candidate. It’s a decent guess. And the number of bathroom mirror selfies and sunglasses…women!…don’t get me started!

The mass of terrible profiles makes me really wonder what people think they’re doing? Attracting the right partner obviously means putting effort in. If you love fishing and hunting, that’s great, it just might be something to put in your bio, or discuss at a first date. If you love partying and chardonnay and aviator sunglasses, maybe make that part of your first date instead of your introduction. The common theme to all this is that women and men are sharing without understanding their audience and who they want to attract. Men, do you want to attract a fishing buddy, or do you want to attract that special someone? They might be one and the same, but I’d say you are probably attracting your fishin’ buddies to the fish photo and not your potential life partner.

This brings me to recruiting, profiles and resumes. While I don’t see the same free-wheeling attitudes and images in recruiting, I do see people being careless with their profile. Spelling mistakes, no photo, a laissez-faire attitude in email, in person or on the phone. If you really care about finding a match, you need to try harder, put your best self forward, and don’t limit your potential by assuming what you like or think is important, or even what you think might be funny, will resonate with someone else. Put yourself in the shoes of your potential date or your potential recruiter. Be as attractive as possible. You will expand your pool of potential matches and land the catch you want.

There’s a match for everyone in life and work. Just put the fish away.

If you like this, sign up for more career content, tools and advice on living your largest, most passionate and fulfilling life right here.