Profiling dating app profiles – and a tribute to ABBA

Mel W takes us on a magical mystery tour of the world of online dating - with a side of ABBA. Stock photo.

Online dating profiles are a law unto themselves. Thankfully, Mel W is an expert in said law and is here to guide us through – with a complementary side of ABBA.

Back in 2019, I wrote a little book. It contained a chapter on the different types of profiles a person can have. It’s now 2022. Guess what? I’ve decided I must write an article about a kind of profile I find most interesting. Wait for it, drum roll … the dating app profile! While I’ve noticed a remarkable improvement in men’s online behaviour of late, I can confidently say not much has changed when it comes to the contents of their dating profiles. Mamma Mia!

With my current favourite soundtrack playing in the background, the music of ABBA (they’re back, OK?) let me take you on an all-stations tour of what I like to call Dating App Profile Valley (AKA DAP Valley). All aboard!

‘Mamma Mia’, not much has changed in terms of men’s dating profiles, laments Mel W. Video: ABBA/YouTube.

First stop: sitting duck looking for luck

If he’s sitting down in every pic, you can’t help but wonder if he’s vertically challenged. I have had men lie about their height. Ludicrous, right? Men can’t hide their height unless they turn up wearing stilts and bellbottom pants to hide them! I get the feeling this guy is sitting around hoping profile shoppers will ‘Take A Chance On Me’.

Don’t fall for the guy hoping someone will ‘Take a Chance on Me’. Video: ABBA/YouTube.

Next stop: fine shine

Is he wearing a cap/hat/beanie or has he cropped his photos from the eyebrows up in every pic? He might be going bald, is bald or has bad hair days every day. Gentlemen, take note: Be loud. Be proud. Let your bald head shine online like a ‘Super Trouper’ feeling like a number one.

Bald guys, be a ‘Super Trouper’ and embrace the dome. Video: ABBA/YouTube.

Station closed for deep cleaning: Mostco Costco

Woah! Every picture is blurry or of poor quality. As a mother of two, I can’t help but think that means he’s lazy. On the other hand, he could be a cheapskate or perhaps his phone is older than a car with no seatbelts. If you intend to sing ‘I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do’, I suggest you get ready to have your gorgeous wedding reception in a Costco car park. And be prepared for dirty plates in the sink and dirty clothes on the floor forever! 

Exercise caution before you sing ‘I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do’. Video: ABBA/YouTube.

Next stop: Meat Market Square

In this case, there are no words on his profile except his name, age, height and – if you’re lucky – a suburb. Photos of his muscular body at the gym or shirtless poses featuring bulging muscles are plastered everywhere. It screams, ‘All show, no go beyond one date.’ And be warned: you might receive an uninvited penis pic. If he’s ‘polite’, it will start with an eggplant emoji, then a devil emoji, then a water drops emoji, then – BOOM! A penis pic! If you go for this guy, guess what? ‘The Winner Takes It All’. You’ll be left wondering why you’re being ghosted after a tango between the sheets. All you’ll have left are photos to delete or put in your phone’s hidden gallery.

When it comes to dating profiles, ‘The Winner Takes It All’. Video: ABBA/YouTube.

Station closed for investigation

Damn, he keeps hiding his face in every pic! Does anyone have the number for Crime Stoppers? ‘Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!’ comes to mind, as there’s not a soul out there, no one to hear your prayer …

‘Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight): the online dating theme song? Video: ABBA/YouTube.

Next stop: homecoming king

Look at him all ripped, standing around with all his mates shirtless on boats or the beach. He wants you to see he that has friends and is popular. The only problem is, you have to work out whose profile it is. There are no photos of him alone. The pics are so ‘influencer-worthy’ … all I can say is ‘Knowing Me, Knowing You’ we won’t last and breaking up won’t be hard to do.

‘Knowing Me, Knowing You’ this ain’t gonna last, writes Mel W. Video: ABBA/YouTube.

Next stop: meh 

On his profile, he declares he is looking for his princess. Approach with a NASA spacesuit on to protect you from the stifling atmosphere. While he says he wants to pamper you, your fate will be pampering his ego and making sure you never outshine him in anything. Be sure your confidence doesn’t impact on his while you sing ‘Wa-Wa-Wa-Wa-Waterloo’.

Be careful you don’t meet your ‘Waterloo’ online. Video: ABBA/YouTube.

Next stop: joker valley

He’s sitting in a big office, posing, or is leaning on a very expensive European car and all the doors are closed. This could mean … His CEO took a lunch break and he stopped off, while delivering the mail, to take a quick selfie. Or perhaps he was walking past a nice car and put his scooter or skateboard to the side of the path as he spotted a good photo opportunity to lure the gold diggers. He wants you to think he has ‘Money, Money, Money’ and lives in a rich man’s world.

‘Money, Money, Money’, it’s a rich man’s world. Video: ABBA/YouTube.

Next stop: Copperfield County

He’s surrounded by hot, scantily clad women in every pic. Yep, he’s like that magician dude David Copperfield, desperately trying to create the illusion he gets all the hotties and if he talks to you, then blimey girlfriend, you should be singing ‘Voulez-Vous’. Ain’t no big decision (aha). You know what to do (aha). Bear in mind there could be some big shortcomings. You might be more entertained standing in front of the mirror at home with a glass of wine, having a conversation with yourself.

‘Voulez-Vous’. Well, would you? Video: ABBA/YouTube.

Last stop: gangster’s paradise

He’s wearing sunglasses inside a club posing like a gangster. I don’t think anything needs to be said here. I’m too scared to give this one any further thought! Oh, and there isn’t really an ABBA song to go with it …

In summary

Dating app profiles are about first impressions. It’s best to see yourself as your own campaign and marketing manager. 

In my case, my photos need to show I take pride in how I appear and my bio needs to showcase my intelligence, wit and time-poor life. My next step is to upload pictures where I’m dressed nicely, trying to look comfortably hot, as opposed to hot like a cheap chilli sauce full of preservatives that leaves you on the toilet with regrets.

Please don’t judge. As I said, I’m my campaign and marketing manager – having the time of my life, digging the ‘Dancing Queen’.

Everyone loves a ‘Dancing Queen’. Video: ABBA/YouTube.

Mel W is a Sydney-based writer. She is the author of The Single Mother Trying Not to F*ck Up Life and host of the podcast The Single Mother’s Guide to the Galaxy. Her website is located at