I’VE HIRED what you might call a “Tinder consultant.” Her name’s Jenny and she’s taking me on pro bono, A) because she’s a good friend and B) (I think) because she gets satisfaction at helping a guy out who hasn’t had a girlfriend in a long time. The best thing about Jenny is she’s honest. She tells me what she thinks and doesn’t get riled at my “Christ alive’s” and “Are you kidding me’s” each time she explains why, for example, a profile picture is unacceptable.
“Mark, I know you’re trying to be funny in your pictures,” she says, “But you look like you have some sort of handicap.”
At first I resisted her advice but then adopted an “I’m putty in your hands” attitude and expect my Tinder escapades will prosper because of it. I’ve still only had a couple matches. I’ve had zero conversations and zero dates. The problem is usually when I match with a girl I look more closely at her pictures and by picture four or five realize she’s actually somewhat of a goblin. This is of course exactly what I’m trying to avoid with my own pictures, and one of the reasons having Jenny’s so wonderful. I have no idea how girls perceive me. For example, I put up one picture of me at a dinner in Argentina to show “social value,” but Jenny said it just made me look like a nerd who’s trying to show off his study abroad friends.
The truth will set you free.
In order to create more matches I’ve also expanded my criteria for what makes a girl acceptable. Basically, if I’m not actively repulsed, I swipe right. I never read the profiles, because if she’s cute I’ll go on a date, and if she’s not, I won’t. This is superficial, but it’s also how it works. You don’t approach a girl who looks like gollum on the off chance she shares your affinity for introspective Norwegian novelists. You approach her because looking at her makes your heart rate increase.
The best part about having a consultant is garnering a more honest appraisal of myself. I thought my profile was hilarious but feared Jenny would find it stupid. To my relief, when I sent it over to her, she responded, “Good.” Which is great, because in the world of online dating, “good” is “great.” Or at least it’s not “terrible,” which sets you apart from 90% of the online dating community. That’s what I’m hoping for, now that I have a Tinder consultant. If good means “dateable” (and I think it does), then I’m just one swipe away from romance.
If you missed “Tinder pt. 1” click here.