Adventures in Dating: Creating a Profile And Trying Not to Just Prove Your Awesomeness

Early April, 2015 – Harlem, NY

As we’ve discussed, I had no interest in dating in New York (or at all, really).  I had no actionable crushes, and because every guy I’d ever dated was a friend/acquaintance, a date with someone new seemed nerve-wracking and entirely unappealing.  I’m not sure why I had so little interest in dating, or why online dating seemed so daunting.  After all, some of my closest friends have met their wonderful husbands online.  Other’s experience seemed to indicate that online dating might not be terrible, but if you’re like me, sometimes you might ignore logic and evidence and just listen to how you feel.  This can be ill-advised at times and can also drive your rational friends/math-teacher brother a little crazy.

So once I decided to challenge my negative feelings towards dating, Tinder seemed like the simplest option. (If you’re unfamiliar, Tinder is a new-ish app that serves up brief profiles for snap yay/nay judgments. Upon viewing a brief profile and a few pictures, if you and the other person are mutually interested, you “match” and can now communicate. And then obviously, you’ll have sincere, thought-provoking dialogue that undoubtedly culminates in dates, pursuit, love, marriage, eternal bliss, etc.)

But before I could meet Mr. Right/Right Now/I’ll Just Be Happy If You’re Not Creepy, I need a profile. Thankfully, Tinder only requires you to pick up to six photos and write up to 500 characters of a self-promotional autobiographical blurb.

Normally I’d be painstaking, as my direct marketing background assures me that EVERY profile element – from photo sequence to emoji usage – has potential to impact response.  But, since all I want is to challenge my dating discomfort by talking with/meeting a couple of guys, my perfectionism and over-thinking tendencies are conveniently curbed. There’s no need to write the next Great American Tinder profile here.

So, here’s how that profile took shape:

-Photos: I don’t want to pick only the really good pictures for Tinder or else if/when we meet in person, I’ve set a pretty high bar for looking awesome.  I’ll already be nervous to meet any of these guys, so why add the nervousness about not looking as cute as some carefully selected photos with just the right hair/makeup/outfit/lighting/filter/scenery etc. etc.? So I pick a few cute-ish pictures, and then throw in one with me in my Seahawks jersey where if you look closely, it kind of looks like I have a few extra chins.  I figure as long as I only show up to a date with one chin, I’m ahead of the game.

I also decide against what seem like my more ‘stereotypical dating profile’ pictures (travel abroad/kayaking/running through fields with flowers in my hair, etc.) because what are the chances NYC Tinder Guy would actually experience that Megan in real life?  Slim to none.  As my Economics professor used to say, under-promise and over-deliver.

-Copy:  The strategy here is to to meet guys I might actually ENJOY, so mathematically, the goal with our copy is to attract:

All Tinder Guys – (Guys I have nothing in common with) – (Guys only looking for, you know) = Reasonable Guys to Date

Step 1: Explain who I am/what I’m looking for: West Coast girl on hiatus from corporate life to explore the road less traveled.  NYC until May & hoping to meet a few genuine, witty & contemplative people here.

(Include Robert Frost reference just in case guy picks up on it and is skyrocketed to #1 priority status. No one mentions the reference, even though both my future favorite guys were one-time poets. Riddle me that.)

Step 2:  Self-disclose slightly so guys: a) know if we share interests, b) have starting point for interesting Tinder conversations and c) get some potential date ideas if they go that route.

WA/OR/CA. Pizza, burritos, coffee.  Entrepreneurship/nonprofits/social innovation.  Wandering around NYC…

Step 3: Include self-disclosing sass to reveal personality since being vanilla is just not as fun:

And if you don’t recycle, we probably won’t be friends. 🙂

But seriously, that might be a deal-breaker. It’s really not that hard!


And that’s it – look at us go! Sixty minutes earlier I was the anti-dater, but suddenly, I’m all Tindered up and ready to face potential awkwardness head-on.

Now comes the part where we start making snap judgments about perfect strangers… 

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