The 3 dating app mistakes of people trying to find love again, according to a matchmaker who found the ‘love of her life’ on Bumble post-divorce

Dating after divorce can feel like landing on Mars, especially if you’re navigating the modern world of dating apps that maybe didn’t exist when you last dated.

Just ask Amy Nobile, who entered the dating scene in 2017 after divorcing from her husband of 20 years. Chatting up strangers and trying to get her friends to set her up in New York City’s wild west dating scene went nowhere, so she turned to dating apps. After making plenty of profile mistakes and dating three to four times a day, three to four days a week, she says she finally met her now husband—“the love of her life”—on Bumble. It inspired her to start her own business, Love, Amy, where she helps clients find love on the apps.

The 54-year-old, who is on track to reach $1 million in revenue by the end of the year per documents reviewed by Fortune, works with everyone from millennials to divorcees. While that ratio flip-flops, she estimates that 60% of her current client base falls into the latter camp.

As someone who consistently works with this demographic, and who has been in their shoes herself, Nobile knows what makes a profile sing for those looking for a second shot at love. For Fortune, she highlights the most common mistakes divorcees make on the apps and a few guiding principles they can abide by.

Mistake #1: Including too many photos with kids

“I encourage people to state they have kids and whether they’re open to more, don’t hide that,” says the mother of two. But don’t include more than one photo with your children. “It’s just a little weird and a turn off.”

The rest of your photos should showcase your personality and interests, she says. The first one should be a headshot, preferably outside. “You should definitely be laughing or smiling. Your eyes should be kind of wide open and sparkly,” she says. “It should be that shot that your best friend looks at and says, ‘That’s so you.’”

The second picture should be a full-length shot showing your body, whether it’s from a wedding or at a sporting event—”but nothing overly sexy,” Nobile adds. She advises against gym selfies, fish pics, or “ego” photos in front of a luxury car, boat, or plane.

Mistake #2: Trying to appeal to everyone

While Nobile sees this mistake with many clients, she says it’s more common among the divorced crowd. “We haven’t been in the dating world for a minute and we’re nervous we’re not going to get a big response,” she says. “So we’re trying to appeal to everybody, kind of watering down the profile with general things like I love travel and meditating, etc.”

But the goal, Nobile asserts, is not to get hundreds of likes. “You actually want less people to like you, and I know that is counterintuitive but you want to be so specific that it’s actually a deterrent for people who aren’t right for you.”

Mistake #3: Being too afraid to write what you’re looking for

If you want a relationship or if you want to get married again, Nobile recommends writing that in your profile. If you just want to have fun, that’s okay—but don’t portray yourself differently.

“You should be light and fun and earnest, but people don’t know which prompts to use or they don’t write enough,” she says, suggesting that you should use the two truths and a lie, key to my heart, and my simple pleasures prompts—and be very specific.

Before even getting on the apps, she says you need to first do some introspection and figure out what you do want and who you are now. That might involve some journaling and brainstorming with yourself—think about how you want to be treated, how you want to feel in the partnership, and even if you want monogamy. “You’re different now post divorce, so you have to do a little bit of soul searching,” she adds. 

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Courtesy of Amy Nobile

Don’t give up

It’s important for everyone to grasp a few principles before going on dating apps to avoid any misperceptions, Nobile says:

  • It’s a “side hustle” that involves an hour of time a day. Nobile suggests paying for the premium subscriptions of Hinge and Bumble so you can say hi to 20 people a day on each app.
  • Be patient and don’t take it personally if you’re shown people you feel aren’t a fit. “You’re looking for a unicorn and it’s going to take a bit.”
  • Expect to be ghosted. “You have to expect constant micro rejections, that’s just the world of online dating.”
  • You can’t trust your instincts. “There’s a misperception that we’ll know based on a few crappy pictures and a very drab profile whether this person is going to be a good match for us, and we really can’t tell.” If someone checks just a few boxes, say hi.

Nobile also insists upon a safety check—get the person’s last name so you can Google them before giving out your number. And keep the first date “short, sweet, convenient, low stakes” with a 45-minute early drink or coffee. But most of all, stay optimistic.

“It takes commitment, you are going to get out what you put in,” Nobile says. “You want to have a fun, playful kind of mindset.”

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