In my last post, I talked about how I was taking control of my romantic fate, jumping in the pool and exploring my options by setting my sites on dating MULTIPLE people in order to compare and contrast them just as the “experts” suggest. I was going to find my match and have fun doing it by playing the game and being the cool girl running around LA like a “Sex in The City” pick-up artist. I was going to transition into this role, because I thought that since I knew, or at least THOUGHT I knew, what I was getting myself into, I was going to be able to detach myself just enough to have fun before sinking in too deep. All this with my mind reeling and my mouth shouting, “If they call, great!” “ If they call last minute, let’s meet for drinks!” “If they didn’t call at all, who cares!!” I was going to do this and I was not going to let my emotions get the best of me. Cool girls rule with their heads and not just their hearts. Don’t they?
I sadly thought I could be her, so I did this by telling everyone, including myself that this was the new me.
But it wasn’t me. This whole thing wasn’t me, but remember, I’m still at the beginning of this. I still thought I could be the girl holding the card instead of the girl being forced to fold. I was dating!
I’m sure you’re asking, Why Tinder? Why did I, a relatively non-casual person at least when it comes to dating pick the most casual option if I was genuinely interested in meeting someone real? Why not one of the more serious (?!) online sites that rely on more than a few photos and a sentence of shmutz that people rarely read? How was I supposed to “get serious” in this kind of environment?
The truth is – Even though I did want to meet someone, I wasn’t ready to put in the work required to be seriously strategic about it, nor was I ready to drill down on all the things that make me tick, that make me happy, that make me ME for the sake of satisfying an algorithm that could potentially lead me Mr. Right. Did I really want to answer 500 questions and have my friends vet my profile? I didn’t want to put that much work into this even though I did want to meet a great guy. For some reason, I had hopes that somehow “Fortune was going to favor the lazy.” (If you’re interested in learning how somehow hacked the code of online dating by putting in some serious work, I highly recommend watching the TED conference with Amy Webb. FYI – She’s Married!)
In saying that, I felt the only way to accomplish my need to (try) to meet and date more people was to dip my toes into the most casual option with the possibility of upgrading to another later. Again, I’m still at the start of this and at the beginning of this story. I just downloaded the app and was looking forward to the prospect of chatting it up with hundreds of bachelors within a five mile radius. (This is LA, ok?) I was queuing them up, making it happen, and brag’in to my gay’s and gf’s about being a “playa”.
Like everything, I soon learned that there are do’s and don’t, mostly involving what pictures to use. Of all the dating apps, Tinder is what some call the most ‘image focused,’ while others would say the most shallow, so I knew that I had to put some thought into what I was posting in order to maximize my changes of getting right-swipped. The unofficial picture rules? No group shots, no photoshopping yourself beyond recognition and no photos older than 2 years old. If you have a daredevil streak or you’re a business person who was a daredevil for a day, certainly post photos of you cuddling with tigers or bungee jumping?! (Get real people!)
So with my photos carefully selected sans tiger/bikini shots, because I wanted to attract not detract, I finished it up by adding a witty tagline tooting my inner bookworm and love for live music who’s willing to learn how to surf from a sweet, fun teacher.
Photo Credit: Found card on the streets of LA – Taken by Me