Tinder and Bumble Redux

blog pix Tinder redux

When you’re not having great luck with online dating, redoing your profile can help your “personal marketing” efforts. I’ve been in rewrite mode a number of times over the – insert sigh – years, but lately I’ve been suffering from online dating burnout and my profiles are gathering dust. The good news? Something inspired me recently to redo my Tinder and Bumble profiles.

I’ll explain while we enjoy a generous helping of vegan pumpkin panna cotta– a delicious dessert you could make for Thanksgiving. I used coconut milk and simmered it for 5 minutes after it boiled.

Tinder was not my first choice for a dating app. I waited until its reputation as a vehicle for hook-ups faded and it became just another way to meet people. I was, however, an early adopter of Bumble, which hands the power of first contact to women.

My profiles on these two apps are almost identical and I’ve had some luck with matching and dating but now I’m in a dry spell.

Dating inspiration came during a recent visit with my daughter who I will call Ms. D for daughter. Ms. D casually mentioned she joined Tinder. A gorgeous 31-year-old, she has good luck meeting men in real life. She’s not a fan of social media and until signing up for Tinder, had no interest in online dating. So I was surprised she had downloaded the app, particularly since she has been dating someone.

However, I’m used to Ms. D suddenly springing things on me (“Hey Mom, I might go to Thailand or the Bahamas this winter.) And she explained that the guy she has been seeing is not long-term potential.  Perhaps her biological clock is ticking? I kept my mouth shut. I was curious about her profile. I knew her pictures would be enough to match a good number of Tinderfellas but I wondered what she wrote.

She offered to show me her profile. It’s perfect.  As a writer who agonizes over every word and punctuation mark, I sometimes get caught up in making my profiles so clever and cleanly written that I lose what’s really important – ensuring that my unique personality comes through. In four short sentences, Ms. D’s profile captures her individuality and even highlights known “guy attracting elements” such as baking skill.

Sorry, I can’t share what she wrote. But I can tell you that I was inspired to throw out my old profile and pen a fresh one. I chose very specific interests to highlight and ditched the “creative headline” which had not brought me Mr. Right. I posted the profile on both Tinder and Bumble. I wondered if I would get more matches. And something interesting happened. A guy I kept passing without contact on Match and OurTime said yes to me on Tinder.  He’d never reached out on either of these more traditional sites.  I was thrilled. But my joy was short-lived.  A short time later, he unmatched me.  Was the initial match accidental? Did he finally notice my age? One never knows with the online dating world.  As my mood plummeted, I decided to tweak my profile again. I realized it was still too “produced.” So I upped the quirkiness factor.

Will this new profile be my ticket to a relationship? As a 60 something singleton, I can’t expect the same response from Tinder men that my daughter received.  In her first 24 hours on Tinder, she matched with about the same number of men I matched with in all of 2017.  But I’m not looking for quantity at this point. Just one good one.

Until next time, happy dating or not dating.

XXXOOO

Nadia

 

 

 

A Case of Mistaken Identity

Dating Profile Mistaken Identity

A funny thing happened on the way to meeting Mr. Possible Right.  I unintentionally crushed on someone else in Mr. Possible’s Tinder profile.  How did this happen? Men, pay attention, and learn some best practices for dating photos.

It was a good beginning. Mr. Possible super-liked me and made the first text move. There was nothing extraordinary in his opening but no red flags either. He wanted to know where I lived, a fair question given the number of geographic mismatches one encounters on dating apps.

As I reviewed his profile, I had to quell my overly suspicious mind, a side effect of being online too long and encountering too many guys who misrepresent themselves.  So what if he went to a relatively obscure university in New Zealand. Perhaps he’s from Middle Earth. I decided to continue communication and hope for the best. After all, I liked what he wrote in his profile and judged him attractive, although I wasn’t sure how recent his photos were.

We volleyed briefly about our respective locations and heights. As a tall woman, I always ask a man his height.

In the spirit of starting a new topic of conversation, I asked Mr. Possible to write a caption for any of his photos. He responded by captioning all of them and then (bonus points) asked about mine.

I read the captions and wondered about Mr. Possible’s use of “me” rather than “my” in captions mentioning his grandson.  Perhaps he was from New Zealand, Australia, or the UK.

Grandson1

As I went back and forth between the captions and the photos, I suddenly realized that Mr. Possible was not who I thought he was. I really did LOL (a rare use of this hated acronym).

Read my response to find out what happened.

Well, this is pretty funny.  Apparently I’ve been crushing on your grandson. Only one man’s face is visible in the first picture and since your profile has 3 photos of the same man, I assumed this man was you.  You have to appreciate that men put photos from just about every stage of life on Tinder – from babyhood on up – and often do not post current photos. And they often misrepresent their age.  Perhaps you can post another full body shot of you.  As for me, the 2nd photo is from the…(redacted in the interest of anonymity).

As I wrote my reply to Mr. Possible, I considered that he might take offense at my response.  But in typical Nadia fashion, I decided to forge ahead anyway.  I couldn’t help myself and I wrote the truth. I thought he was the younger guy.  There was apparently only one visible image of the real Mr. Possible, a head and shoulder shot of a white-haired guy (not nearly as cute as his grandson).  And the real Mr. Possible looked much older than his stated age of 59. His grandson could easily be 59.

As expected, the next time I opened Tinder I found that Mr. Possible had unmatched me.

Just to calm down any readers who might be leaping to the wrong conclusion. I don’t care to date someone two or three decades younger than me (although men do it all the time).  I would and have gone out with men who are 10-12 years younger, but I’m not looking for someone’s grandson.

I don’t think Mr. Possible was deliberately trying to misrepresent himself. I think he was clueless about dating profile photos.

For all the Mr. Possibles who could use a refresher on dating profile photos, here are some best practices:

*Make sure you are the only person in your main profile photo and clearly caption photos with other people.

*Don’t include photos with members of the opposite sex – unless they are relatives – and then, clearly state their relationship to you.

*It goes without saying, though I’m saying it: No photos of you and your recently caught fish, freshly killed deer, or your gun collection.

*To ensure that your photos work on a dating site, view your profile as it appears online AND on your phone. Not all photo formats and sizes work on apps and mobile sites.  If your photo does not comply with the app’s requirements, your head may be inadvertently cropped out (as it was in Mr. Possible’s primary photo, leaving only his grandson visible).

And, gentlemen, if you’re going to post a photo with a younger, hotter man who happens to be your grandson, at least provide a caption.

Until next time, happy dating or not dating.

XXXOOO

Nadia

Resources:

Get A Professional Photo

Online Dating Photo Shoot

To PDA or Not

blog pix pda

Today’s topic: Public displays of affection (PDA): Yes or No? And what does it mean if you do or don’t like PDA? Can a disagreement about this behavior be a deal breaker?

Lots of questions to chew on while we chew on a delightful dish of baked feta and greens with lemony yogurt.

Let’s define PDA as showing physical affection to a romantic partner in the form of kissing, hugging, caressing, back rubs, or holding hands.

In this post, I won’t be discussing having sex on the beach, in an airplane, or a public bathroom. That’s a topic for another day – or maybe not.

I’ve encountered all degrees of PDA-friendly guys – both in terms of their real life behavior and what they mention in their online dating profiles.

blox pix pda 2

For some guys, a woman’s rejection of PDAs is a deal breaker. I don’t think about this characteristic when I review my checklist of desired attributes in a mate and I wonder if other women include “Enjoys PDA” on their must have list.

It may not be a deal breaker for me but I admit to indulging in PDA, reluctantly or enthusiastically – depending on the situation.

I have experienced a greater degree of PDA behavior early in the dating process. I may not be ready to go to a guy’s home or invite him to mine but I might want to kiss and hug him.

A PDA pet peeve: it bugs me when guys pick the most public spot to engage in PDA. I’d rather be discreet – an unlit bench in a park or a quiet spot in the parking garage as he walks you to your car. However some guys decide that standing by the door of a restaurant is the ideal spot for extensive kissing as customers enter and exit the establishment. Still others like long form smooching near the busy parking machine and elevator. Oy! Not my cup of tea and yet if the guy’s a good kisser, I might put up with it briefly.

What about parks? A guy I was dating engaged me in PDA in all corners of a public park’s extensive garden. We tried to find big trees and dense foliage to hide behind. It was fun and had an element of “danger” in that we could be discovered.

Sometimes when I am kissing a guy in a more public setting, a person walking by will say, “Get a room.” It is always said with a smile and laughter, perhaps because the commenter engages in similar behavior.

People have different standards and levels of comfort with PDA. I wouldn’t want to offend anyone and go into a more circumspect mode when children are around.   I have noticed more public making out in foreign cosmopolitan cities, e.g., Barcelona, Venice. When traveling, it’s always a good idea to check the local customs regarding showing affection, greetings, and non-romantic touching such as handshakes. It could save you embarrassment and even jail time.

So why do people engage in PDA? I view it as a spontaneous need to show affection to a partner. In some cases, the couple has nowhere private to go. However, research has identified other factors in play. One study of college students (admittedly I’m light years from that age group) found motivations included enhancing image; inciting jealousy or envy; proving a relationship; and for women, sexually arousing men.

So, the whole PDA thing can be a sticky wicket. If you and your partner disagree about PDA, you’ll need to come to a comfortable resolution. And when you’re having that talk, it’s worth checking in about what I call pDA for Private Displays of Affection, which are so important to the health of a relationship.

Until next week, happy dating or not dating.

XXXOOO

Nadia

Reading for Extra Credit:

Reasons small public displays of affection mean a lot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Catchy Tune and Musings on Keeping Relationships Fresh

pina colada pix

Too many guys have dating profiles that are predictable, uninspired, and sometimes just blank. So it’s always a pleasure when a guy’s profile is a little bit different and even better when it slyly reveals something and/or gets you thinking about relationships.

Join me in a delightful Caribbean black bean dish that I made the other night while we discuss.

Mr. K’s profile on Plenty of Fish referred to the piña colada song.

pina colada pix 2

At first, I wasn’t sure what to make of his opener. It had been awhile since I’d heard that song. A quick trip to YouTube pulled up Rupert Holmes singing Escape, which is the name of “the piña colada song.” Watch the performance or read the lyrics to get the most out of this post.

You’ll find that Escape is about a couple that is a little bit tired of each other. Thanks to the personals column (remember those), they rediscover each other and learn they like some of the same things – including piña coladas and getting caught in the rain.

I imagined that Mr. K appreciated the nuances of the lyrics – that you don’t know everything about your partner and if things start to get stale you need to find a way to discover hidden shared passions that might restore the passion in your relationship.

Of course Mr. K may have simply liked the song’s melody and needed an opening line for his profile.

I often think about the unknown aspects of a partner’s thoughts and personality, whether I’m reminiscing about the end of my marriage or the relationships that came after. I recall several “aha” moments when verbal or body language clues showed me what was really going on in a partner’s head.

I’m okay with the realization that you cannot know absolutely everything about someone nor can they know all about you. With a bit of luck, you’ll know the most important things and you will feel secure in a partner’s love.

Related to the issue of knowing your partner (as much as possible) and feeling love and security is finding a way to keep things fresh. As the Escape lyrics say, long-term relationships can start to feel “Like a worn-out recording of a favorite song.”

The challenge to maintaining desire in a committed relationship, according to couples therapist and relationship expert Esther Perel, is reconciling security, predictability, safety, and permanence with the human need for mystery, adventure, novelty and the unknown.

Which brings us back to the personals ad scenario in the piña colada song. In lieu of placing an ad or signing up for a dating site, you might need to have an adventure with your partner or simply observe this person in his or her element.

As Perel says, “Because sometimes, as Proust says, mystery is not about traveling to new places, but it’s about looking with new eyes. And so, when I see my partner on his own or her own, doing something in which they are enveloped, I look at this person and I momentarily get a shift in perception, and I stay open to the mysteries that are living right next to me.”

Until next week, happy dating or not dating.

XXXOOO

Nadia

Resources:

Desire in Long Term Relationships

Esther Perel

Unlocking Erotic Intelligence

Fresh Eyes, Andy Grammer

Update your Profile: It’s Dating Sunday

blog pix 2 dating sunday

It’s Dating Sunday – the busiest dating day of the year, according to Match.com. And after a barrage of news articles and announcements about this holy day, I decided it’s time to rework my profile.

Let’s warm up with some perfect potato soup while we discuss.

Even if you’re a writer by trade, composing a dating profile can be difficult. It’s hard to know how potential matches will perceive your version of yourself. That’s one of the reasons frequent updates and rewrites are a good idea. A new version just might resonate with The One. And even good profiles and good photos start to look stale after awhile – particularly to the online regulars you keep seeing.

When revising your profile, there are certain principles to keep in mind. I’ve covered these in previous posts.

Every writer needs an editor: People tend to gloss over their own mistakes and it’s hard to be objective when you have birthed a baby profile. You wrote it so it must be lovable.

Distance can help keep you objective. I don’t mean you should read your profile from across the room but give it a few days or at least a few hours to reread and see if anything strikes you as off. It’s likely that a profile written a year ago will make you cringe. When I rewrote my last profile (sadly almost a year ago), I thought it was my best effort yet.

But when I reread it yesterday, I was more critical of what I once thought was charming prose. My red pencil was itching to strike out whole sections. I may have been influenced by a chapter on dating profiles in a compelling, hysterically funny, and painfully true memoir by Stella Grey (pseudonym) called Mid-Life Ex-Wife: A Diary of Divorce, Online Dating, and Second Chances .

Grey’s chapter, Trying to Write the Right Profile, offers readers a look at her original profile with comments written after she reread it months later. When I read this chapter, I realized that my latest and best profile with many activities and interests described might be overwhelming for some men. Not that I want to hide my uniqueness or interests – but sometimes less is more.

This brings me to my latest profile epiphany: Approach dating profile rewrites the same way travel writers tell you to pack for a holiday. Pack your suitcase and then take out at least half of the clothes. So write or rewrite your profile and then cut it down by 50 percent – or 70 percent if you’re prolific.

Another tip: A recent Zoosk analysis found daters who mention being a vegetarian or vegan get more messages than other members. So I added pesco-vegetarianism back to my profile, after previously deleting it an effort to refresh.

As I’m writing this post, I get a message from Match about Dating Sunday.

blog pix dating sunday

It can take several hours or more for a dating site to review your updated profile and make it publicly visible, so don’t waste any time. You want to be “fresh” for the peak dating moment at 8:55 p.m. Eastern. Good luck to us all.

Until next week, happy dating or not dating.

XXXOOO

Nadia

 

 

 

 

 

Failure to Proofread and other Assorted Men’s Dating Profile Mistakes

blog pix main nov 26

Suffering from the post holiday, ate too much, relatives are gone and feeling lonely blues? Perhaps you need a laugh. There’s a wealth of comedy material available in men’s dating profiles and messages.

Join me in some raw carrot sticks (no recipe today, we have over indulged)…while I share some winners from my files, annotated of course.

A conundrum: Would a non-Jew be keeping kosher? Just saying…

Nov 26 4

I hadn’t really thought of Belgiun (sic) chocolates as one of my dating requirements…perhaps I need to rethink my criteria.

Nov 26 6

A different type of sugar-themed profile (sigh):

Nov 26 7

Love that he has a dog named Fred but I wonder about a guy who kicks up his “heals” and is in the hostility business…

Nov 26 8a

I guess I wouldn’t need my passport if I ended up with this man:

Nov 26 9

We won’t be meeting so no need to worry about crime….

nov 26 1

Huh?

Nov 26 woman like simple

I blame myself for this response. I asked him about the bad boy reference in his profile:

Nov 26 2

Tweet me your funny or eyebrow-raising profile examples!

Until next week, happy dating or not dating.

XXXOOO

Nadia

My Brain on Line

question mark

Wouldn’t you love to know what a guy is thinking when he views you on a dating site or app — particularly after you’ve sent him a message and he doesn’t respond but keeps coming back to take a look?

What is going on? Does he not like the carefully thought out question or comment you may have sent? Or are you just not his type? Then, why the view? To tease or boost your ego?

You can’t make sense out of a lot of what happens online.  And there’s usually no point in trying to figure it out.

I may not be able to read the minds of my matches and translate them for you …but I can share what I think when I swipe or read someone’s profile.

Join me in some sweet corn polenta with roasted tomatoes and avocado while I convey my thought process during recent reviews of dating profiles.

In some cases, I’m deciding whether to begin or continue corresponding with a man who has contacted or viewed me or to be proactive and reach out to a promising match. To protect the usually guilty, screen names have not been revealed. And despite my best effort, I sometimes can’t help but wonder what a guy is thinking.

Match #1:

Hmmmm, way out of my league. Kind of cute in a grandfatherly way but I’m just not into history or politics to the degree that he seems to want. Why does his profile read like half of a resume…but the other half is nice?

Continuing with the negative, he comes across as arrogant since he mentions how smart he is in an indirect/direct way. I don’t like braggarts or egomaniacs.

Sounds like he enjoys a nice lifestyle but that’s not enough. I guess some women would go for him but I can’t force myself to like someone for his great house or wealth. Plus, he seems to be perfect in everything! Give me a little humility please.  I’ll just have to pass.

Match #2:

He sent such a lovely note…oh, no, he’s 80. That must be a decades old profile photo. Sorry…no.  Kind of cool that he’s still trying at 80. Just saying.

Match #3:

Cute even if balding., tall enough, nice profile for Bumble…similar interests…Yes, I will swipe right.  Sad that he’s swiping from the airport-wonder if he lives here or is just passing through.

Match #4:

Another Bumbler. He looks active from his photos but there’s no written profile. Without a profile, I swipe left unless a guy knocks my socks—and various other things – off.

Match #5:

Another airport swiper on Bumble.  What gives? Are flights cancelled on this beautiful day?  One pix and his face is not visible. No profile.  Swiping left.

Match #6:

Damn- 6’5” on OurTime and a nice, profile with heart. Some of the same interests…a little younger.  All good. I’m writing to this one and suggesting we meet for a glass of wine.  Update: he responds, we exchange messages, and talk on the phone.  Not the best pre-meeting phone call I’ve ever had but willing to meet him to see if there’s chemistry.  However, haven’t heard from him in 2 days. This one bites the dust.  And it bites.

Matches #7 and #8:

Both Mr. A and Mr. B on Zoosk have one extreme close up head shot each and no other pictures. Mr. B also has travel and nature photos, which I find annoying unless the man in question appears in the photos.

I ask both for more photos. I explain to Mr. A that I have been “burned” before by guys with limited pictures who are deliberately hiding their true appearance (makes no sense to me as the gig is up if we meet).

Mr. A understands, explains that he is not photogenic and writes that he will try to look for more pictures.  Mr. B says he realizes he has loaded lots of travel photos and not enough of him. He adds that he’s in a work crunch but promises to load more.

Neither A nor B adds any pictures but both keep viewing me.  Have they misrepresented themselves? Lazy? Perhaps both are just “not into me” enough to put in the effort?

Match #9:

Nice looking and tall: check.  Intelligent: check. Well written profile that gives a sense of the man: check.  Retired and active, a volunteer, athletic, shared interests: check.  Looks good!  Oh, no, where is Mechanicsburg?  Pennsylvania? Sigh. Too far away.

Lightning round:

Conservative. No. No. No.

Ten years older than his pictures.  No.

Separated.  No.

A foot shorter than me.  No.

He’s my age and has two children under 10. No. No. No.

He is recently widowed.  No.

Profiles and pictures do not a person make…but sometimes, that’s all we have as the first decision point in the marathon of romance.

Until next week, happy dating or not dating.

XXXOOO

Nadia