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

The Letdown

Blog post couple running

I’m in a bit of a letdown mode right now after a much-anticipated first date that fizzled.

Have a slice of chocolate cake with me. Nutrition can be damned today since I need some chocodorphins (endorphins created by chocolate).

It’s not that the date was terrible but the meeting revealed a lack of truth in advertising.

I matched with Mr. J on Tinder. He had zero profile information but a nice face. In one of his pictures, he sat in front of a microphone. It appeared he was a newscaster or radio personality. This was one reason I didn’t feel it was essential to talk to him on the phone before meeting. I assumed he did not have a voice like Truman Capote though there are some annoying “radio voices” out there.

He started our conversation with “Hi.” I had little to go on so I asked him whether he was a radio newscaster or played one on TV. The texting took off from there and didn’t stop until we met 24 hours later. It turns out he is in radio though not in my hometown so I had not heard him on air.

We acquired a brief sense of each other: marital history, Pandora stations we listen to, and what we like to do in our free time. I also learned that this was his first day on Tinder. Many men say, “I just joined.” But I believed Mr. J. He’d been divorced awhile and done online dating but hadn’t joined what he thought was a hook-up APP. I assured him it didn’t have to be and when he asked, “What’s a nice girl like you doing on Tinder?” I pointed out that my profile specified I was not looking for a hookup.

We flirted, one of my favorite aspects of dating. And, there were no dick pix! Plus Mr. J was polite. After the first few texts, he said he was about to sit down to dinner with his son and asked if he could text me later. I almost fainted. Most men just stop mid-text with no warning and no (or a sorry) explanation if they resumed the chat.

After Mr. J’s dinner, he jumped back online and we texted and flirted until my fingers started to cramp up. The interlude ended with a plan to meet for a drink the next evening.

Before we said good night, Mr. J said he felt butterflies as a result of our virtual encounter. I acknowledged having them too. You know the kind of butterflies – good ones that mean you’re excited about someone.

The next day I was an energizer bunny. I decided to take advantage of that electrical buzz that comes from an anticipated first date and clean my house from top to bottom. That’s what awesome texting chemistry can do for you.

I didn’t have time to get a mani-pedi but I dressed carefully and — even though I’m a half-inch taller than Mr. J — decided to wear heels.

I got to the restaurant bar first. I only had a 10-minute drive; he had 60 minutes. I ordered a glass of wine, which did wonders for my first date nerves. There was a cute younger guy sitting at the bar alone but I deliberately did not make eye contact since I was waiting for someone.

Mr. J arrived. Oh. A quick once-over revealed a very unfit, overweight man. Nice face but not my physical type. Hopes dashed. This is a deal breaker for me. I’m fine with a little belly and I don’t seek perfection but when a man has truly let himself go, I just can’t be attracted.

I spend a considerable time working out at the gym, swimming, walking, and eating healthy (aside from the occasional chocolate cake lapse-see above) so I need someone who’s on that same page and whose appearance reflects that.

So, like so many of life’s disappointments, you just have to muddle through. We had a nice hour-long chat but there was no flirting. When I returned from a restroom break, Mr. J said he should probably head back home.

Later that evening, he texted me to say he arrived safely. Then he wrote, “I have this feeling you did not feel a spark.” “Sadly, that is true,” I replied. “I wish it were otherwise because I think you’re a great guy.” He thanked me and wished me luck. Polite to the end!

The next morning I was a used up energizer bunny – woefully in need of a charge. That’s what the rollercoaster dating life can do to you. I made a sign and put it on my desk:

Blog pix Ask for recent full body pix

 

 

It’s been a couple of days and I’m back to my upbeat self – helped by a couple of irons in the fire.

Until next week, happy dating or not dating. Or, as a new friend says, “happy solo honoring time.”

XXXOOO

Nadia

 

Dating Roundup: Safety, Security, and Truth in Advertising

blog post woman on phone

It’s time to revisit safety, security, and fabricated profiles in online dating. It’s an ever-present topic for me as I sift through profiles and interact with matches. When I started online dating, I spent a lot more time vetting matches. I still vet them but I’ve become pretty good at recognizing the scammers so I often don’t need to go through all of the investigative hoops such as doing Google image searches. Along the way, I found some shortcuts and tips.

Pass the salmon burgers with sweet pickle relish while I discuss the issue and the shortcuts. Warning: parts of today’s chat get a bit geeky.

Coffee Meets Bagel recently sent me a good reminder about online safety with a list of common scammer behaviors and profile characteristics:

-Profession in the military or engineering, works out of the country

-Recently widowed with children

-Overly complimentary with flowery, romantic language right off the bat

-Poor English and grammar, but high level of education (Master’s, Ph.D., etc.)

-Quick to get you off the app and into email/some other messaging app, but not text (they don’t have a working cell phone).

I disagree about the texting. I find scammers will sometimes text but rarely will they speak on the phone to you.

One of my go-to security checks is the Google image search mentioned above. This tool searches the web for photos that match the one you’re checking out. So, for example, you can see if a person in another geographic location has the same photo. Sometimes you will find that the photo is of a celebrity in another country.

I’m often using dating apps on my phone or tablet rather than my laptop. I wondered if there is a way to do an image search on these devices.

Mobile Image Search Tools

Of course, consult Google whenever you have a question. Not only are there reverse image apps, but there are a couple of other tricks. A PC Magazine article about image searching from a cell phone identified one strategy: using CTRLQ, a so-called Google Image search “wrapper.” Created by Amit Agarwal, this website tool can be used to search images on mobile devices.

To search an image from a dating app, you must first save it.

How do you save those Tinder and other app profile pictures? Take a screenshot of the image. On an iPhone or iPad, simultaneously press and hold the sleep/wake button on the top or side of your device while also pressing and holding the home button. You’ll hear the click of the camera. Your saved image will be in the camera roll. You can then select that image when using an image search app (see below), CTRLQ, or the desktop version of Google (another way to do an image search on your phone). Try it; it’s an easy process.

If you have an Android phone, you can use a similar technique to save images. Digital Trends reviewed screen shot techniques for a variety of Android devices.

Image Search Phone Apps

If you have an iPhone, type “image search” in Apps and you’ll encounter a number of tools. I downloaded Veracity and found it to be seamless. I’m not aware of any Android image search apps but CTRLQ should work on these mobile devices.

Non-Geek Tips

Safety is not always the issue with false profiles. Sometimes it’s a matter of misrepresentation. For example, how many men have you dated who have obviously lied about age and height?

One possible clue that a man has lied about his age: he is willing to date women 5 + years older. An older age preference doesn’t necessarily mean a man is 5 years older than he says, but look at his picture and see if that could be the case.

Age fabrication may not bother you. However, some of my friends say, “Well, what else is he lying about?” I tend to be forgiving if there is only a couple of years difference…but a bigger lie is more troubling and a likely deal breaker.

Another quick way to check out a new match is to search his screen name. You may find his alias on other dating, sex, and general sites. You can learn a lot from this easy sleuthing.

An Almost Meet Cute

Enough about online issues! I’m still working on meeting men in real life.

I had a brief almost meet cute Friday night. Walking up a long subway escalator after a night of jazz at Westminster Church, a man was about to pass me on the left. “Wanna race?” he asked. I quickly looked at him (age appropriate, too short but nice face), smiled, and went into high gear escalator racing. He laughed and said, “I didn’t think you would.” “I’m very competitive,” I said as I gave him a run for his money (placing first in the Olympic sport of escalator racing). Several children trailed Mr. Racer. Grandkids? His kids? You never know. And I was with friends, so the exchange ended there.

Just another almost meet cute in DC. I’ve got a million of them…. some day, one has got to fully develop.

Until next week, happy dating or not dating.

XXXOOO

Nadia