Sunday is Valentine's Day, a minor liturgical celebration of a Christian martyr that has, in contemporary American society, taken the form of pressurized and compulsory Romance. What this means for couples: You must ritualistically spend money on each other. What this means for singles: You must find someone with whom to ritualistically spend money, in order to foment Romance, or at least the physical proxy thereof — sexytime.
But how to find someone, anyone? Well, apps, of course! And the best app for finding a partner in a pinch is Tinder. As anyone who has taken part can tell you, Tinder can be used very well, and Tinder can be used very poorly (and not just to convince people to Feel the Bern). The structure of Tinder — both users have to swipe right to be matched — is ingenious, but it also makes it very difficult to know what you're doing wrong: You never hear from the (many) people who reject you.
So we asked Greg Schwartz, the creator of Make Online Dating Fun, to explain the traits of a good Tinder profile. Then we asked him to evaluate the Tinder profiles of five single users and help them figure out what they could do to improve their chances of finding a match by Sunday. Here's what he told us:
At the most basic, photos have three purposes: 1) to create a spark; 2) to show you're physically attractive; 3) to show you're interesting. Your first photo also needs to compel the viewer to look at your other photos and profile.
Meanwhile, the purposes of a profile are 1) show, not tell, your attractive qualities; 2) provide things for people to write messages about. #1 is more important for straight men, because straight women are more inclined to swipe right and respond to messages. #2 is more important for straight women, because when they give straight men interesting things to write about, those men write more interesting messages. Gay men and lesbians should focus on #1 if they primarily send messages and #2 if they primarily receive. That said, everyone benefits from doing both.
Now on to the profiles!
Lincoln, 24, Interested in Men
Christina, 25, Interested in Men
Lauren, 26, Interested in Women
Stephanie, 26, Interested in Men
Srivatsa, 29, Interested in Women
Joe Bernstein is a senior technology reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. Bernstein reports on and writes about the gaming industry and web culture.
Contact Joseph Bernstein at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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