APE stories are not stories about apes. Read my Tinder bio advice for details.

APE stories, write an awesome dating app bio

Tinder bios are hard for guys to write and Tinder bio advice can be contradictory. In a bio you want to seem fun, interesting and like you’ve got your life in order. Give her something that excites, sparks the imagination and makes her interested to find out more.

And yet, there are so many ways to do this badly. It’s a real minefield and I’ve already written a post showing 20 mistakes to avoid in a bio. You have to walk a line somewhere between boring and wanker, without ending up as either. There are so many fads in bios that have just come and gone, and I think using any of them makes you look like you have no imagination. Girls have seen them a thousand times. These include all emoji bios, flags for the places you’ve been or languages you speak, the “Own house, own car, own teeth” thing (where on earth did own teeth come from as a thing!?!?!?). You’ve already seen the things that you should avoid in a bio, so lets concentrate here on a way to write a good one.

If all those fads don’t work, where can we get some inspiration for leaving a good impression? There is a field that has been doing this for years, and they have developed really effective strategies. This is the field of recruitment coaching.

The CAR story

If you have ever done any coaching on how to get a job, you’ll have heard of the CAR story. It’s a way to appeal to a person, show off your skills, and leave a lasting impression. You can see, there are a lot of similarities to what we want to achieve with our dating app bio.

CAR stands for Challenge, Action, Result, and here’s how you use it. Let’s say you are going for a job managing a company web page. You could say “I have used WordPress”; but literally anyone can say that – it’s really easy for that to be a massive overexaggeration, or a plain old lie. Instead, you could say “I worked for a company who had a difficult to manage and maintain web page platform (challenge). I chose to replace it with WordPress over Joomla and Square Space because it provided a great balance of flexibility and ease of use. I migrated the old site and user accounts over, and linked in our payment system (action). The result was that we had significantly less downtime and we only needed one staff member to keep up to occasional maintenance, freeing up staff to do other things (result).”

This template works in all fields. Let’s try accounting  – difficult client, with complex finances (challenge), organised specific one-to-one meetings and used <insert accountancy best practice here> (action), the client was so pleased they recommended our service to a number of others and we gained 5 high value clients from this work (result). Or car bodywork – accident damaged classic, techniques you used to fix it, car went on to win prizes at car shows.

These CAR stories are longer than a 3 word “I know this” sentence; but they actually convince the employer that you know your stuff. They stick much better, because they are stories not statements. All the time you are telling them the story, they are imagining you doing this stuff. Once they start imaging, you have them hooked.

APE stories – my Tinder bio advice

We can’t use CAR stories directly in our bio, the focus on previous experience doesn’t really work. We do want to make use of the story idea though, these make her imagine you as a great guy doing fun stuff. So let’s try to adapt this into some other format. I’m gonna call them APE stories: Ambition, Progress, Exception/Encompassing. As well as changing the content a bit, we need to make them super short and snappy. Just a couple of lines for a bio is plenty. Here’s how we break it down.

First state some ambition that you have, could be anything from winning the local chess championship to sailing round the world, this shows you have drive and want to do fun stuff. It almost doesn’t matter if it’s cool. Just the fact that you have ambitions is cool.

Second state your progress. This is something you have actually already done to move towards your ambition. It shows that you are actually serious and it’s not all in your head. It means she can imagine you doing some fun stuff and can ask you about it when she chats.

The last thing it to provide a way for her to imagine being involved. This could be an exclusion, i.e. something you do that she might be involved in when you’re not achieving your ambition. Or it could be encompassing, i.e. involving here into your ambition. It might be that you want to appeal to girls who aren’t into chess, so you want to mention that, when you’re not playing chess, you want a dog walking partner. Or you might ask her where you’ll go on the sailing trip to encompass her into the story.

You can also try generating some ridiculous APE stories to make her laugh.

APE story examples

Here are some examples I just made up:

Boring Tinder bio version: love eating out and eating in.

APE story version: Aiming to try every oriental restaurant in central London (ambition). My fave so far is Sichuan Kitchen (progress). If you know somewhere better, try and convince me (encompassing). 

Boring Tinder bio version: Outdoorsy but also like quiet nights in.

APE story version: Everest base camp next year (ambition) – just back from Kilimanjaro and keeping active in the mountains this summer (progress). Netfix and IPAs with mates the rest of the time (exception). Active and lazy partners in crime welcome. .

Boring Tinder bio version: Looks like it’s Netflix during lockdown.

APE story version: Avengers marathon during lockdown (ambition). Currently on the one where Thor gets fat – gotta love fat Thor! (progress) What are your recommendation for next? (encompassing)

Boring (creepy) Tinder bio version: You saw my tiddlywink pic, why don’t you come tiddle my wink?

APE story version: Accidentally entered the tiddlywink world championship when drunk, but now aiming to win (ambition). Been practicing tiddling my wink, but my boss keeps telling me off for doing it in the office on my lunch break (progress). Bit annoying, cos I’m certain Doris tiddlywinks in a meeting room with the blinds down all the time and nobody says anything. Looking for an accomplished wink tiddler to show me the best techniques (encompassing).

Why we use APE stories for our bio

The cool thing about all these bios is that they don’t look like they came from a can. You don’t read any of them and think, that has clearly been modified from a template on the web.

All these stories give some insight into you without you ever having to say “I am…”. Even if she’s not into the activity you mention, she has something interesting to ask you about. She will also see you have drive – i.e. you don’t wake up in the morning and wonder if you really need to wear clean underwear today, cos you have no idea if there is any point. Even if your ambition is just to nail a box set or movie series, at least she knows you don’t just watch whatever junk is on until 1am every night.  

The important thing here, is that when she is imagining you, it is as someone who does stuff, not as someone who drifts through life just trying to work out how to impress girls. Of course there is one catch – to pull this off, you have to be someone who does stuff and not someone who drifts through life just trying to work out how to impress girls. So if you can’t think of anything to put in an APE story – put down your phone, work out what makes you tick, go do it, then come back write one. You will find that the more interesting you actually are, the better you’ll do on dating apps.

There are, of course many other ways to write a great bio. This is just one way that might give you inspiration. What do you think of this tinder bio advice, do you think APE stories are a good idea? Have you found another way to write a great bio? If so drop a comment below, follow the blog to keep up to date with new posts and share so that others can benefit too.

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