Jessie Lewthwaite has dating app recommendations for those lucky enough to be ‘new in town.’

Im lying on my couch, phone in hand, gin in the other, scrolling lazily through a dating app.

I have my video game paused in the background as I actually take time to read girls’ profiles, being only one gin-deep. 


Considering how long Ive lived in Auckland and how many other queer women I know, the app is a catalogue of familiar faces. My ex, my exs ex, my friends’ exes, the girl my ex warned me about, the girl I warned my ex about, etc. 

There really arent that many queer women in Auckland, and when a new one comes on the market and the little new here” banner is on their profile, an overwhelming amount of attention can come their way. 

A friend of mine who is quite introverted had the experience of downloading an app, setting up a profile, swiping for a bit, and then going to bed. She woke up to over 50 matches and DMs. Preferring to die alone rather than deal with that amount of admin, she deleted the app immediately. 

But my story has a happier ending, despite the odds and my ADHD that makes remembering to reply to messages impossible; I do, in fact, now have a girlfriend that I met through a dating app!

So, basically, Im an expert! And considering this new-found expertise, I will now share my favourite green flag on a profile, the red flags to avoid, and what I consider the worst beige flags. 

The biggest green flag on any profile is a dog. Queer women, take your profile pic with a dog – any dog. Borrow someone else’s dog. It doesnt matter. Queer women love dogs. Find one and get that pic. However, if you do borrow someone elses dog and dont disclaimer that in your profile, that’s a red flag. Dont make a girl think you could show up to your date in the park with a dog that doesnt exist. That is basically catfishing (dogfishing?).

Personally, Im not a massive picture person. I always forget to take a group pic or a cute selfie whenever my girl or my friends are out and looking hot. So when I decided to get on dating apps, I did have to get my friends to take some pictures of me. Is it kinda cringe to have to hand over your phone and ask for a pic? Yes. But the alternative is my biggest red flag: old and/or bad pictures. 

We are visual people. We eat with our eyes, and if you are serving me a blurry selfie from a Hamilton nightclub in 2016, my appetite is gone. I understand that every recent picture is with your ex, and cropping them out feels wrong. Just go to dinner with friends and let them bully you a bit so you can get some cute pics. Its worth it, I promise. 

If your profile reads,I love to travel,” delete those words right now. This is the beigest flag of all time. This is so beige, David Seymour wants to colour match it for his new office. I distinctly remember a profile that read, Love to travel with good food and good friends.” Cool, so you are a human person – great job. Maybe this is a me thing, but I have never met a person who says, I hate travel, and if I do travel, I want the food to be awful and to be surrounded by people I hate.” 

Dating apps do suck, but there is hope! I see dog-inclusive dates in your future. Now go delete love to travel” from your profile.