A picture may be worth a thousand words, but some dating ads featured on the Personals Instagram account garner over a thousand likes ... even without photos. Personals is the brainchild of its creator, Kelly Rakowski, who began posting old-school style newspaper ‘Personal ads’ on her lesbian culture Instagram @h_e_r_s_t_o_r_y. When the content became so popular that it overtook that account, Rakowski created an account specifically for the ads to run on, while simultaneously raising money through Kickstarter to build an app for it (which Rakowski confirmed to Personal Space that it successfully met the goal of raising $40,000 by July 13th).
Until the app is ready, users can submit their ads to Rakowski, who shares some of them on the Instagram account and then tags the author’s personal handle. That way, those interested can directly contact the author of the ad, and the conversation goes directly from there.
The account already boasts nearly 40,000 users from all over the world, and it created a thriving community that is actively supportive of its members. Each ad feels genuine and honest in a way that many dating profiles aren't. Those who participate show no fear of being themselves by providing authenticity and raw vulnerability in their writing, which no selfie could ever portray.
Personals caters to LBTQIA+ non-binary, gender non-conforming people, but its concept could really make waves in any online dating community. And while Rakowski admits she doesn't think her idea will change the landscape of other dating apps, there is definitely a chance. Setting the focus on personality and interests ahead of physical attributes could certainly spark interest for those in any community who are serious about finding a compatible partner and not just a hook-up.
Personal Space talked to Julie Spira, the CEO of Cyber-Dating Expert, to learn how to look beyond dating site pictures to discover the most meaningful connection and compatibility, even if the apps you're using still feature photos prominently.
Talk on the Phone Before Meeting
When it comes to finding love on a dating app, it’s best to reveal your personality and communication style on your profile, including your sense of humor. In some cases, you may match with someone who doesn't have much written on theirs. Spira explains that it can be “challenging to see a three-dimensional view on a two-dimensional dating profile.”
Either way, Spira recommends hopping on the phone before meeting in real life. Having a conversation before the date can uncover personality that a photo cannot. If the phone call goes well, there is a better chance the date will too. According to Spira, simply listening to their voice will be a good start.
Make Your Agenda Clear
Another tip Spira mentions is keeping your intentions clear in your bio. If you are looking for a long term relationship (LTR), make that known. It’s ok to include that in your bio, because that can eliminate the wrong types from swiping right, which will ultimately be a good thing. Also, if you are looking for a commitment, Spira advises to steer clear of someone who mentions sex front and center in their profile, or at the beginning of the conversation. They will likely not be on the same page for a monogamous relationship.
Focus on Personality
Choosing to swipe for someone whose bio interests you more than their picture may not be a setback in the chemistry department. Sometimes, intelligence can be sexually arousing (sapiosexual), even if the person isn't your typical physical type. Spira explains that finding someone with whom you have instant sexual chemistry does happens, but it is no guarantee that the person is the right match for you. For that reason, Spira encourages dating someone you find intriguing, whether or not they are physically your type, because if you find them interesting to talk to, they will become more attractive.
Ultimately, analyzing someone’s bio that reflects their personality to measure overall compatibility will pay off far more than picking someone based on their profile picture. Spira concludes, “a pretty or handsome face, without a great personality or conversation, will not result in a meaningful relationship.”
Personal Space is Bravo's home for all things "relationships," from romance to friendships to family to co-workers. Ready for a commitment? Then Like us on Facebook to stay connected to our daily updates.