When you’re dating with the intention of meeting a partner, it’s likely you’ll want to find a compatible match. In fact, over 60% of respondents to Bumble’s latest sex and intimacy survey in the U.S. are trying to find a partner who’s the best fit for them. But how can you actually tell if someone is or isn’t a good match? We talked to experts to find out.
Focus on what their pictures are saying
So often we focus on what a person looks like in their photos instead of what they’re doing in them. While attraction is certainly a big deciding factor, when it comes to compatibility, you want to go a little deeper than that.
“Lifestyle is important,” says relationship expert Susan Winter. “If someone has photos of themselves climbing mountains on their profile and you’re more of a hang-on-the-couch person, they may not be your match.” That might seem obvious, but often we’re attracted to the idea of someone who has an exciting photo, rather than thinking about how that type of lifestyle will mesh with ours in the real world.
Winter suggests really getting to the core of what your version of happiness is. Think about what your life consists of and what kind of life you’d want a potential partner to lead. Ask yourself questions like, “what’s my day-to-day like?” and “what activities bring me the most joy?” Viewing someone’s profile through your lifestyle lens will help you decide who may, or may not, be the best fit.
Pay attention to their prompts
It can be easy to write someone off for not providing your ideal answer to a Profile Prompt, like why they’re a great plus one. But instead of seeking out the best answer, therapist Jennifer Teplin, founder of Manhattan Wellness, suggests looking for authenticity and vulnerability. “Ideally, your most compatible match is going to be someone who is willing to be genuine and lets you take a peek into their character or sense of humor,” she says. Besides, a perfectly crafted answer rarely shows someone’s personality. So, reflect on your feelings here. Do you appreciate their approach, or are their answers starkly different than yours would be? If you’re even a little interested find more information, it’s ok to differ, as long as it’s not over fundamental values. Try matching and having a dialogue with the person before deciding if you two are a fit.
Make use of Bumble’s features
The Basic Info and My Interests sections of Bumble are there for a reason. They allow you to see how someone’s values align with yours, including political leaning, vaccination status, religion, and other details can be important factors when gple, you’re a non-smoker and know off the bat that you don’t be compatible with someone who smokes, that’s okay! (You can even use Bumble’s Advanced Filters to only see other daters who match your preferences.)
But as long as your core values match, Teplin recommends remaining open-minded to other preferences. “Sometimes opposites attract,” she says. “A lot of the time, people are fabulous but have one or two quirky preferences, like we all do.” So, if someone’s a huge fan of fantasy and you’re not at all, don’t write them off immediately. Know what you are and aren’t willing to compromise on, and go from there.
Ask the right questions
We’ve all been caught up in a chat that only consists of witty banter. But if you’re really looking for someone who’s a good fit, you might want to switch up the conversation. Start out by asking your match questions that will allow you to learn about them. Since you’ve done the preliminary research from their photos and thought about the kind of lifestyle you’re looking for, this one will be easy.
Dr. Megan Fleming, sex and relationship therapist, suggests asking hypotheticals, like how they’d spend their Saturday afternoon or what they’d do on a day off from work. “You’re really trying to get a sense of what’s important to them and how they spend their time,” she explains. “That’s going to be the thing that gives you a good sense of your compatibility.”
Remember, not everything they say needs to directly parallel what you’d say. But an answer that makes you feel seen, interested, or excited can lead you down the right path towards a compatible match.
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