Dating App Help (Hell)

Solo – The Single Person’s Guide to a Remarkable Life | Jessalyn Dean |

While many listeners of the Solo podcasts are “No Way” Solos who are not interested in dating (for now or forever), the “Just May” and “New Way” Solos are often navigating the dating apps in search of love or lust. Peter McGraw and Jessalyn Dean talk about best practices for online dating–from figuring out your goals to how to pick the best pictures. They finish the episode by doing a dating profile audit for two online daters.

Listen to Episode #204 here


Dating App Help (Hell)

I’m happy to have a friend and previous guest back in the Solo studio. You may recognize her from the Aromanticism episode or the extremely popular Relationship Design episode. Welcome back, Jessalyn Dean.

It’s good to be back.

I get a lot of feedback about what a good dynamic we have.

I’ve read that.

Yeah, there’s no pressure. It can only go down.

Luckily, we’ve had this conversation before. We’re familiar with each other’s pulls and pushes on the Topic.

I met Jessalyn as a member of the Solo Club in the barely existing now app Clubhouse. We met in a room.

You were hosting a room. You can get on stage. That doesn’t mean anything to anyone who hasn’t used the app, but you raise your hand and say you’d like to say something. The host, likely Peter, can welcome you on stage, and I said some smart things.

This is a social audio app. It’s live. There’s no video, only sound, which is where I shine.

The other platforms yanked the idea from Clubhouse. Clubhouse couldn’t react quickly enough to regain their dominance. X, formerly known as Twitter, has Spaces, which was born from the idea of Clubhouse.

My absolute favorite room to do was a dating profile audit room, in which Jessalyn was a star, as well as our mutual friend, Mark Hamlin.

Shout out to Mark.

He couldn’t be here. I’ll pour one out for him. He’s not in Denver at the moment. It was the three of us who would lead those rooms. We’d have some other people. People would send us images of their dating profiles. We would try to help them improve, give feedback, and help try to punch them up and give them feedback on their pictures. If you stick to the end, we have two of these. We’re going to try to recreate the magic.

These rooms were so popular that people would come back that had been audited in a previous room to have us have another look. They had done the work to take on the feedback we’d given them. My favorite part was when we had to repeat or a return person who said, “Have another look. I listened to what you said. I want round two.”

When I tell people that we used to do this room, they automatically think of a critique as roasting. It was never a roasting. This won’t be a roasting. It’s always about actionable feedback and never making fun of or teasing. That was also what made our rooms popular. Nobody would feel ashamed of any of the feedback.

Who doesn’t like a good makeover? I love the idea that people get to reinvent themselves. One of the things that stood out from these rooms was when you would interact with this person. They were often an interesting person. They had pleasant personalities and were kind. We could probe who they were and what they did. That allowed us sometimes to punch up, especially copy the bios that were there.

We would always learn something from talking to them, and we might do this here. We would go to their other social channel.

No, you would do this.

I would go to their Instagram and give them feedback on a photo that I liked better. I’m like, “Third row down on your Instagram. That photo is killer. You need to be using that. I looked at your Instagram. I feel like I know something about you that’s not coming through on your profile. Here’s how you might adopt the text or the photos to pull out that interesting part of you on your profile that others will be attracted to.”

You were good at that. We’re going to do this, but we’re going to spend time talking about online dating and dating apps in particular. It’s not going to be the audits. Anybody who has spent any time on the apps, as they’re called, often knows how badly people approach this process. Our desire is to help people, should they want to do this, to do it better.

A lot of people who read this blog are not interested in dating. They have no interest in the apps. They might find this a little bit fun to read, at least a little glimpse into another world. Let’s bring people up to speed on what has happened in this world of online dating. In the last several years, from the early days of Match.com, which was internet computer-based and web-based, to now, apps that are on your phone.

I will also be backing up a second, even though a lot of people in the Solo community are not interested in dating. If they’ve read our episodes before, they know that you and I are.

I’m an 80% new way. I’m in a no-way mode now.

I am, too. I’ve barely opened my dating apps while I’m here in Denver. That’s beside the point. A small crash course in dating apps in the last several years. Several years ago, dating apps were web-based. The key factor that’s important to know is that you could spend time looking at someone’s profile, which also meant you had a lot of time to get someone’s attention with your profile. You could search for matches, browse them, close your computer, come back the next day, find the same matches again, look at their profiles, and decide to message them. There was a barrier to interacting with a potential match.

You could enter different search criteria to see who popped up.

You are filtering the age, weight, height, and interests.

Can I tell you a quick story?


I had a woman. This was several years ago. The first dating app I ever got on was Match.com. I got a message one day from this woman who lived in Boston. She sent me this nice note. She said, “I entered the criteria for the perfect man for me. You were the only one who popped up.”

I’m not shocked by this.

On the one hand, it’s incredibly complimentary. On the other hand, it is weird. That ended up the world’s not random. The fact that I was, in her eyes, a good match wasn’t surprising. She ended up being a fellow academic in an adjacent field. I ended up meeting her in a friendly way at a conference a few years later.

You both have something more in common, in addition to being the perfect match for her.

You can’t do that now. Why?

I’ll explain why, and I have a short story. The short story only makes sense once I explain it. Apps nowadays could be Tinder, Hinge, Bumble, and Grindr. Plenty of Fish and Match still exist, but at least amongst our age group, those tend not to be popular. They’re app-based. They’re on your phone. The key point is that you typically can’t search for anybody. You get proposed matches based on algorithms that you can’t see. They’re not transparent to you. The app suggests people who might be a good match for you. You have a moment to assess that profile. You swipe left if you don’t like them, and you swipe right if you do like them. Only if that other person also swipes right, and you become a match, and you can now message each other.

You have some limited criteria you can put in small filters, but not to the degree that you could before. You could put in some stuff about age, religion, and some other things. Some of it is more preference-based. They’re not always hard stops. You could say, “I favor someone who’s a non-smoker.” I have this on Bumble when I’m on there that if it says you want kids, I might have that as a low preference because I don’t want to waste anyone’s time with that by getting excited about myself and finding out I have a vasectomy.

The filters only adjust the algorithm of who is presented to you. You can’t search and find the person. That’s the key point. In these apps, I can’t search for my ideal match. In your situation, the story you described wouldn’t happen now because you only get presented with matches based on the algorithm. You can’t search for them. That means you can’t revisit someone’s profile. Once you’ve swiped right or left, it’s gone. You’ll never see it again unless they also swipe right on you, and you can commence messaging.

The important point is not only do people gain an impression within a short amount of time and have to make a decision if do they want to swipe right or left in a short window, but that means that how we craft our profiles, we only have a short moment to catch their attention as a potential match. This is the short story.

When I lived in Denver many years ago, I was on Plenty of Fish and Match.com. Back then, you could search for someone, favorite them, and continually revisit their profile. The quantity of men to women on these platforms is high, which means even if you’re an average, mediocre woman, you’re going to get a lot of messages and attention. I would get a lot of messages from people. I didn’t have time to write rejection letters to all of them, but because they could DM me, my inbox would fill up.

When I would go out with friends, I would get recognized. It got aggressive and uncomfortable. I was at a bar one night with my friend. We were talking about a two-foot distance between us. A man stepped right in between us, face to face with me, and said, “I know you. I wrote you on some dating app, and you never wrote back to me. Nice to meet you.” I much prefer, even with its downsides, the swiping situation because someone can’t sit and study my profile, run into me in public, and recognize me.

I wear this Stetson Open Road hat when I’m out in public. Denver is small enough that I have had a couple of instances where I matched with someone. They said, “I’ve seen you before. You go to this café.” It’s because of the hat.  

We’ll come back to that later. My head is shaved. I know people can’t see me now, but as a woman with her head shaved, I don’t blend in well.

There’s this research on thin slicing. People make a big impression from a small amount of information. A good place to put a pin in with regard to this change is that you only get one chance, and people often go through this quickly. Lead with your best stuff. The journalistic term is don’t bury the lead.

The call to action should be the first sentence.

There should be a lot that pops out there. Let’s talk about the benefits of online dating. We’ll have to address the challenges in part because the challenges are related to how people go about doing this and trying to do it well. I don’t have that many benefits written down. The big one is you get a chance to interact with people who you would never meet in real life. I have matched with people. I’ve had relationships with people. There’s a close to zero chance that our lives would’ve ever overlapped because we live in different neighborhoods, we have different lifestyles, and we do different types of work. It’s a great thing that you get a chance to.

There’s enough sorting that you can better find those people online and try to avoid the types of people that would never like you, and you would never like them in the sense. This idea of trying to find someone who has similar goals, interests, lifestyle, and age range could be orientation, sexual or relationship proclivities, especially on the app that you choose. This idea that you can sort and reach people that you would never run into is the biggest promise that online dating has.

The second one, because I fully agree with the first one, especially as a person who works from home, some days I have to find an excuse to leave my house. I’m even less likely to encounter people. The second benefit is when you travel a lot, as I do, it’s nice to meet people that might be in the city. You can change your location.

This is a feature we didn’t mention earlier. I could be going to London, and I can change my app to look for people in London a few days before I get there. If I’m only in London for three days, I can have scoped out some interesting people to meet. On the first night I’m there, I can say, “Would you like to get a drink?”

When you travel a lot, it’s nice to queue up a few interesting people when you’re only there for three days. I’ve met some amazingly interesting people who may or may not turn into a romantic or sexual date while I’m traveling, which is also another good point for people who are reading this that might say, “I don’t date.” You can meet interesting people and become friends with them and not feel obligated that it has to be what you think of as a romantic or sexual relationship.

The last part about the sorting is some people have kinks. Some people have a particular type of person they like. The sorting that you can do increases the probability that you find those people because sometimes those kinks are like people aren’t wearing a shirt that says, “I’m into Shabari.” These apps allow people to find one another and subcultures.

They otherwise would not have found each other. I’ll shout out to the app for that. It’s called Feeld.

If there were an app that I would want to sponsor the show, it would be Feeld.

I would support that.

How would you describe Feeld as being different than Tinder, Bumble, and Hinge? Those are the big three of the swiping types.

What it has in common is it is a swiping app. It fits in the description I mentioned earlier, but it gives you features to filter based on some more kink-related items or non-traditional views of relationships. I’m a non-monogamous person. Even if I don’t have the kinks that I’m looking for, I can at least filter and locate someone who’s okay with or interested in being non-monogamous. You can add filters for those features. You can also list those things on your profile.

It’s a welcoming environment of not people who are experienced with those things, but people who might want to try them but would have no other way of knowing that they could broach that topic with someone. You might say, “I’m interested in these things. I’ve never done them. I would be interested to try them with somebody.” None of the other apps give you the indicators, toggles, or filters to do those things.

There are a lot more identity-related things that you could say you’re a romantic person. You could say you’re pansexual, demisexual, heteroflexible, or bisexual. There’s more openness about people’s orientation.

For someone who says, “That’s a little bit out there for me. I don’t think I have kinks. I don’t relate to any of those words that Peter and Jessalyn mentioned.” Feeld can be nice for meeting someone that you know is open-minded.

It’s sex-positive, often.

They think about relationships differently than the standard template.

It’s the new way app. It’s the solo poly crowd, the poly crowd, the E&M crowd, and the folks who are like, “I want to explore my sensuality. I’m interested in friends with benefits.” They have a lot of space to write out. People will often present thoughtful presentations about who they are, what they want, and where they’re at. They’re often expressing openness to a variety of situations.

I had a relationship with a woman. All she wrote was looking for friends with benefits minus the friends, which I thought was funny. When we met, I said, “Can we have a conversation?” She paused and took a beat. She’s like, “I could do that.” We had a casual relationship that was fun. She was an incredible conversationalist, and certainly not the person I would’ve met in real life. I was certainly not the person she would want as her romantic full-time partner. We had this wonderful thing for a while. It was mature, fun, open, and practiced relationship design or intimacy design. If I had sussed that out on one of the other apps, I don’t know if that would’ve happened.

The default to use words that we’ve used in other episodes, people that go to Feeld are people that have seen the societal template for dating and relationships and said, “That’s not it.” You don’t need to have a particular thing you’re looking for. You know that the template is not it. If you’re on a Bumble, Tinder, or Hinge, those are going to tend to be people who are looking for the template. Typically, monogamy.

Some of these apps, and it is Hinge and Tinder, but don’t quote me on that, have started adding a feature in the, “What am I looking for?” You can indicate monogamy or non-monogamy. They’re getting the sense from the popularity of Feeld that more people are looking outside the template. I am seeing them picking up on that.

These apps have different identities. Tinder tends to have a little bit more of a casual hookup, a culture associated with it. It’s a little messier. I don’t bother with it. I have had it for years.

I use it less because people primarily put a few photos and write nothing about themselves, and we match. I’m like, “I wrote a bunch about myself, and you wrote nothing. You have to start the conversation because I’ve got nothing to go on.”

Hinge tends to be the most relationship escalator-focused of them. Bumble sits in between Tinder and Hinge. I’m seeking generalities. Different countries and different cities have different norms associated with them. Let’s talk about some of the challenges.

I see you have a long list of bullets.

One of the challenges for a lot of singles who are interested in dating, whether pursuing casual or more traditional, consistent romantic relationships, especially if you’re interested in the escalator, is that it feels like the only game in town. It feels hard to avoid them. In that way, that makes the challenges more challenging because sometimes, you feel like you’re not choosing to do it. You’re feeling like, “If I want to have a sex life and a dating life and I want to find a partner, I have to be here because this is where it feels like everybody is.”

There’s more perception to reality. If you’re going to forego the apps, there’s a lot of real-life stuff that you have to commit to. You have to start asking people to set you up, going to parties, and flirting with people. I had an episode about flirting. You’re going to think about hiring a matchmaker. There’s a lot heavier in-person and often financial time and financial investment, a lot more in real-life risk and rejection that comes with foregoing the apps. In that way, because many people are there and they are easy, it feels like it’s hard to avoid them.

In my experience, several years ago, they were not as predominant. If I was in a bar and I dated heterosexually, let’s say there was a man in the bar. If he was interested in me, his only opportunity was to come up and talk to me.

He has one shot. If you leave the bar, he’ll regret it for the rest of his life. He’ll never get to meet that shaved-headed woman.

These days, people who are less confident, let’s go with a man who’s less confident, a bit shy, or not in the mood. He’s in a funk. He’s less likely to approach me and try to chat me up or ask me out because, in his mind, he knows, “If I miss that one, there’s plenty more on Tinder and Bumble.”

He knows that the people on the apps want to meet someone.

I might have a boyfriend.

You’re out to have a drink and want a quiet night. You’re in a funk, and you want to have a break.

With my shaved head, people will typically assume I have a girlfriend, which is a limiting factor for me. I am a heterosexual woman with her head shaved. A lot of people don’t approach me to hit on me when I’m out in public because they don’t want that awkwardness of hitting on a woman. I’m like, “Sorry, I’m into women.” For me, that’s a little bit of a benefit to have these dating apps because I present myself as a heterosexual person. I’m matched with men that are interested in someone like me.

Another challenge of them, and you already alluded to this, is there’s this skew. We’re talking heterosexually here.

It’s because you and I both are that.

This issue is this gender skew. There’s a quality skew. I’m going to attempt to articulate this, and please try to fix it. The first one is, regardless of app, overwhelmingly men. I read that 90% of the heterosexual population on Tinder are men. I can say that it’s high also on Feeld. I know this because when I was there, I regularly gave my criteria, and it said, “No humans available.” You’ve run out like that. I’ve run out, and that happens regularly. The heterosexual women or bisexual women on there never have that problem. I have certainly matched and dated women on Feeld. They said to me, “Within three days of signing up for it, I had 800 likes or pings.”

I have a graveyard of 16,000 likes on Feeld. I can’t see them. If I paid for the premium, I could. There are people that have liked me. It teases you to say, “Here’s how many people have liked you. Pay for a premium to see who they are.” I’m thinking, “No, thank you. I’m not about to dip my eyes into the graveyard of 16,000 likes.”

That creates this uncomfortable dynamic where women get a lot of attention. The problem is that most of that attention is unwanted. That is most of those men who are pinging, swiping, or sending likes that the app has and the woman is not interested in. The good news about these apps is they are dual opt-in. I have spoken to women who say, “Every time I swipe right, I match.”

That happens to me in Germany.

You’re big in Germany. These are attractive women who are interesting and have great profiles. They say, “Every time.” That means that, overwhelmingly, they’re getting a lot of attention. As a heterosexual man, there’s a world of haves and have-nots. There are a lot of men who have no interest at all. I cite this in my book.

There was a College of London study that looked at the data. I don’t have it right here in front of me, but it’s like, “The average man has to swipe 100 times to get one match. Of those matches, only 1 in 6 turns into a meeting. Of every meeting, only 1 in 5 turns into something sexual, romantic.” That’s average. That means that there are some men who never match or almost never match. If they do, they never meet. If they meet, they never get past the first date. My heart goes out to them. They could do some things that would improve their chances. When I start men’s school and start doing some makeovers and coaching, maybe they could become more appealing.

I can be a guest lecturer in that school. We can do some audits.

We want to reinvent them first, then do the audit.

We need to come up with a curriculum.

The other side of it is that, while most men are “unappealing or less appealing,” there is a group of men, and I don’t like this term, but it gets thrown a lot on the internet. It is the high-value men. These are men who are successful, fit, educated, normal, or whatever the criteria you want to use for this, those men do okay. They do get matches and have dates. They are able to have sexual or romantic relationships.

If you’re a woman, that’s the man that you’re interested in, but there’s a lot of competition for them. It creates this weird world where you’re sifting through a lot of men who aren’t that appealing. You feel like you have lots of opportunities because you match a lot or you have 16,000 legacy likes and pings. When you do match with one of these dudes, you can’t sit around and hope that he puts on a full-court press. In some ways, he has opportunities. It’s this weird world of haves and have-nots with this weird gender ratio where, for some people, the apps work well for them, and for some people, it’s agonizing because of the demographics.

From the woman’s side, because there will always be some less appealing types of women, what I’m about to explain certainly doesn’t happen to me as a medium appealing woman. Imagine you’re one of these men who have to spend a few minutes evaluating a profile. If you like it, you swipe right. Statistically speaking, none of them are probably going to be a match. The question becomes, is it worth it to review the profile if they’re never going to like me?

What some men will do is swipe right on every single profile. Once they hit a match, they evaluate the woman’s profile. We’re saying this from a woman from a heterosexual perspective. This is interesting because what sometimes can happen is a woman will swipe right on a guy, she’ll see the match show up in her little queue of new matches, and it disappears. You’re like, what happened?

He’ll unmatch because he looks at the profile. That’s awful.

He swiped right before he looked at it. He went and looked at it and unmatched you. That hurts a bit. It sucks. I get why men do that.

I don’t do that. I find myself heavily debating a yes or no thing because I don’t want to be the person who moonwalks out of a match in the sense. This takes time. The expected value of any one swipe can be low. They bing, and they check in the next day.

These apps have picked up on this behavior. They have what’s called swipe throttle. If you’re swiping right too much, the app stops you and says, “You’re frozen for 24 hours. After 24 hours, you can swipe again.” I say this as a person who’s been throttled before because if you’ve ever been to Copenhagen, Denmark, there are a lot of right swipes there. Within three hours, I’ve been throttled because there are a lot of hotties.

It’s a shame we couldn’t get the then of Germany and Copenhagen for you. It’d be an easy process.

I promise I’m not a robot. There are a lot of hotties here.

That is a big one. It could be a fraught endeavor. It can feel like a big waste of time. You can get excited about matching, and nothing ever happens. Here’s another one. I talk about customer lifetime value. One of the things that businesses want to do is they don’t want to sell you one cappuccino. They want to sell you 365 cappuccinos. They want to be your regular café every day. There’s a cost of acquisition for customers. The best way to make their business work is to have people come back. If I get on Feeld and there is no one that I can match with because there’s no one available, I’m not paying for the upgrade and pings.

These apps are built on a freemium model. The average person who’s on the app doesn’t pay anything. A small number of people pay for upgrades and sometimes like these specials. On Feeld, you can pay for $2 a ping. It’s a special thing. On Hinge, it’s called a flower or a rose. You give people a rose. There’s now a new thing on Bumble, which is you can give someone a compliment. You pay extra for that.

The business model is to have a big marketplace and a small 5% of your users. You make all your money off them, but you need to have enough inventory, to be blunt, to keep these apps dying out if there are not enough people on them. In some ways, the apps aren’t made to create happy couples who get off the apps.

There’s an incentive for you not to couple up because you continue being a paid customer.

They don’t make money when you have sex, get engaged, or get off the app. They make money when you buy a ping, flower, or upgrade. In some ways, the nature of the business model is not designed as a conflict of interest. That’s a challenge because if someone wanted to create the perfect app, it wouldn’t look like these do. Should I keep going?

I’ll throw in one. Maybe it’s on your list, but it fits into what we’ve already said. It does take energy to do online dating apps. You are putting thought into your profile, but also chatting with people. It feels like you’re constantly having the same message over and over again. You’re becoming creative with your first message. How do you say something other than hi or something witty? It’s exhausting.

I’m here in Denver. I’ve barely opened the apps because I’m exhausted. I don’t have the energy to be witty and explain my background for the hundred thousandth time. I wouldn’t say that’s necessarily any different than being in a bar. You’re going to have the same conversations in a bar, but doing it on your phone is a lot less fun. When you’re in a bar, you feel warm, and there’s flirting involved. It’s like, “This person is attracted to me. They came and chatted to me.” You have the energy to have that conversation. When it’s your phone in front of you, you’re like, “I’m exhausted by trying to have this conversation.

You’re already using your phone for all these other things. This came up in the Solo Book Club episode on breaking up with your phone. I don’t have the apps on my phone. I have an iPad. If I want to do online dating, I have to fire up the iPad. Otherwise, it’s tempting. That brings me to one of the challenges, which is that there are people who use the apps for fun. They use it to pass the time. They use it as a way to boost their self-esteem. It’s like glorified Instagram. You’re like, “Look at me. Tell me I’m special and pretty. I’m handsome.” They don’t have any interest in going any further than that.

Those are the matches that I match with them. They swiped right on me. I write them something very clever, and they never respond.

It feels nice to be loved. That’s a nice, easy way. There’s no risk anymore. The last thing is there’s a bit of navigating because not everyone has the same goals. Some people are looking for love, lust, and attention. How do you suss out that you might be on the same page with them? You have a lot of disappointment because you get excited about someone. It doesn’t go anywhere because they’re not there. The other thing that’s annoying is some people aren’t articulating what they want.

On that point, some people are better in person. That’s a challenge. There are people who hate texting. They can’t adequately flirt over text. Things can be misread. They can’t be sarcastic. Sarcasm is a big danger. A downside of online dating apps is that people who are better in person don’t thrive.

I have a saying, “If you’re going to do something, you might do it.” Let’s get into a little bit of advice and experience. Let’s start with planning your approach. Let’s imagine someone’s going to reboot their approach. After reading this, they still want to get on the app.

It’s because we sold it well.

They’re like, “It’s the only game in town. Let me give this a whirl. It’s working out for Jessalyn. I’m not sure about Peter.” Planning your approach, where would you start in terms of you’re in it? You’re like, “I’m going to give this a whirl.”

The first step is deciding what you want out of this. Before I explain that, you’re not going to write this on your profile. This is purely the perspective of what I hope to get out of it.

This is the difference between strategy and tactics. What is your strategy? What you do with the app is your tactic.

If I’m a business and I write down my strategy, I don’t go to social media and say, “This is my strategy.” The actual execution of it is completely different. We start with, what do you want to get out of it? There’s no wrong answer. All that is my statement across all of the dating situations that what you want. There are wrong answers in how you execute, but there are no wrong answers in what you want. If you don’t want children or you don’t want to be married, there’s nothing wrong with that. If you do want children or you do want to be married, there’s nothing wrong with that.

If you want friends with benefits, minus the friends, there is nothing wrong with that.

Be clear with yourself upfront because it decides what your tactics are from that point forward.

That means know yourself. It may be a range of things. We have this tendency in a world built for two and a particular type of two to ride the escalator that a lot of people default into, like, “That’s the thing. That’s the eventual goal.” There’s nothing wrong with having that goal, but you could have that goal, but for someone else, you might be like, “In the meantime, I want to have a fun date on a Friday night. I want to have a casual relationship. If I met the right person, I would want friends with benefits.” Know that it could be, “I want this one thing, or I want this menu of things.” That is all your strategy.

What I want is the Venn diagram where my wants and needs intersect with the wants and needs of someone else, which means there’s an endless possibility of how that can manifest itself. If the other person wants friends with benefits, that’s fine for me. If they want to be married, that does not intersect with any of my wants and needs. Therefore, we would not be compatible. I have lots of wants and needs around physical touch, time spent together, and intellectual conversation. Where we overlap is my strategy, but I don’t have that exact phrase written on my profiles.

Some of this is an act of discovery. You have limited real estate on these things.

You do have a certain number of characters. If you’re reading this and you’re not sure what you want, you could read the Relationship Design episode and maybe get some good ideas.

Keep your expectations reasonable. Know this is a tool. It’s an imperfect tool. It may work well for you. It may agree with you. It may be a little bit of a slog. You’re going to have some good days and bad days. Know there is no panacea when it comes to overcoming the challenges of sex and romance in the contemporary world.

There is no wasted time. Go in with a positive attitude that any date, even if it doesn’t lead to a second date, is a good outcome because you’ll learn something more about yourself and what you want and what you don’t want. Every date is another addition to your toolkit. I can easily say that now, but in my twenties, I didn’t think that. If I went on a lot of dates and they didn’t lead to the relationship escalator that I wanted in my twenties, it felt like, “What a waste. I have to start all over again.” I look back in my twenties. I want to pat her on the back and say, “You get to decide how you react and feel about this. If you come with a more positive outlook on it, it’s a lot more fun.”

I’m going to echo that and say, “Try to have fun.” Part of the reason people date is because they’re looking to enhance their lives. They’re looking to have fun, new experiences, sensual touch sex in their life, laugh, and learn. This presents the possibility. No one wants to go out with someone who’s sitting there with their arms crossed, sizing you up and judging you.

They want to go out, have a good time, and have a pleasant experience. You’re trying to create a situation that’s mutually appealing. If you can approach it with a little bit of fun, enjoyment, and open-mindedness, it’s going to give you the best chance because the “high-value people” have lots of opportunities. They’re the people you’re on the lookout for that. That person who’s a good match, clicks with. If you don’t present your best self or at least a good self, at least a fun self, why would that person want to see you again? They’re not going to be able to see through the wall that you’ve set up.

This leads down a different road. I’ll make this brief, but this factors into what you choose to do on your dates. Don’t be lazy and go with the easiest all the time. You want to meet at the bar and have a drink. Unless that is what you do in your spare time, if you go on a date and do it, you’re not going to be your true, fun self because this isn’t what you otherwise would’ve been doing.

Whenever anyone asks me on a date, they’re like, “Do you want to meet at the bar for a drink?” I feel a bit like, “Not really.” That’s not otherwise what I would’ve been doing. I would be out hiking, going to the theater, and going to the museum. That’s where I want to have my dates because that’s where I’m going to be having fun. Therefore, that’s where my personality and interesting things about me will come out.

The choice of meeting is a difficult one. I have certainly come across matches that are like, and people say it in their profile, no coffee or drink dates, dinner only. Guess who gets a swipe left?


I do the swiping left. I was like, “Let’s slow down. I’m not taking you out to dinner when I don’t know you.” That’s too much of a commitment in an investment.

I’m trapped with you, even if I don’t like you. I have to finish that meal.

I also feel like you might care more about my wallet than my personality. Maybe I’m misinterpreting that. If I said, “Let’s go to the museum,” the person would be happy to do it. When it’s articulated like that, it’s like this person is looking for a particular style of experience, and I’m not going. I’m going to disappoint them.

I’m going to disappoint them on the dinner date because I cut my food weirdly. I don’t want that being held against me.

You want to like you first before they see you eat.

My weird pterodactyl claw with my knife

Let’s get into the tactics. Where do you want to go with the tactic? You have figured out what you want and how you’re going to approach this, and now you’re going to execute. One of the ones is picking the right app or apps given your interest.

Picking the right app is certainly point number one. Point number two is recognizing that we are a society of people who care about what we look like. You need to think about your profile in two separate ways: how you appear in your photos and what you say and write about yourself on your profile.

The order is photo’s most important. The bio is the second most important, but nearly as important because the person that you are going to want to match with and spend time with is the person who’s going to read your bio and be thoughtful about deciding whether you’re a good match or not. I always say this, “The bio often tells you way more about the person than the photos do.”

The photos are the entry gates. If I look through photos and I can’t tell what you look like, no amount of great profile text is going to get me to swipe right.

What are they hiding if they can’t give me a normal picture of themself? Let’s hit a few of the don’ts and do’s about photos.

There are many bullets. You saw the bullets start forming in my brain. Don’t post many group photos. We don’t want to have to figure out which one you are. You’ve got our attention for a limited amount of time.

Your group photo should never be number one.

Number one means it’s the first photo that appears when you come up in my swiping queue. If you don’t get my attention with that photo, it’s likely that I will swipe left. I need to be intrigued by the first one to click in and see more. No group photos on the first one. Yes. The first one is your power move. We’ll get into the do’s in a moment. Let’s go with the don’ts.

One group photo is fine. We’re not saying don’t, but more than one is not great. Don’t overly post photos where it’s not clear what you look like. Even though I do want to see photos of you in hobbies and activities, if you’re far away in all the photos and I can’t see your face, that’s not great either. I don’t love this one, but I know that it’s an important one. If you’re a woman, and this is from a heterosexual perspective, don’t post many photos with other men who could be potentially more attractive than the person who’s looking at the profile.

Vice versa, if you’re a man, many photos of attractive women can turn people off. A lot of times, as a woman, we might compare ourselves to the women in the photos and say, “That’s the woman he dates. She’s way hotter than me. I don’t have a chance.” That might not be everyone’s perspective, but it is a reality that people look at the attractiveness of the other people in the photos. It can impact their left or right swipe. Remove that as a factor.

I appreciate you saying that. I wouldn’t have thought of that.

Some other don’ts are wearing a hat in every photo.

Some people love a bald head, and some people don’t, but they’re going to find out whether it’s bald or not. You might as well show them which one it is.

There are some other obvious don’ts. Don’t use photos that are twenty years old.

Don’t use photos that don’t represent what you look like.

If you still look like you did several years ago, that’s fantastic, and I’d like to date you. You must not age. Aging is a great thing. Making sure there are clear photos of what you look like is important. This is a funny one. I’m not going to say I personally relate to this one but don’t use a whole bunch of selfies in the bathroom, the bathroom mirror, or the mirror is dirty. Ask a friend to take some nice photos of you. We’ll get this into the dos.

The reason this is a don’t is people do judge other people on how well they take photos. I’ve heard this more often than I expected, especially in an Instagram world. If your partner is crummy at taking photos, that can be a turnoff for people, or it could be a turn-on when you have good photos. They’re like, “They understand what a good photo looks like. They have some artistic quality to them.” I know that mixes up a few concepts, but look at the quality of your photos and don’t post bad-quality photos. If you don’t have good ones, ask a friend to take some of you.

Pay a professional. It’s worth the investment to take the time to do it right. I’ll add a couple don’ts. There’s an overarching one. Don’t hide who you are. If you have wrinkles, you have wrinkles. Don’t overly filter your photos. I come across photos where I’m like, “I’m not sure this is a human being.” It’s an automatic left swipe.

Have a picture that includes your body. You may not feel completely great about how you look, but that’s how you look. I have a buddy of mine. He goes, “I don’t care how pretty the face is. If there’s not a body shot, I swipe left.” Swiping left means you’re not interested. He does it as a principle. It’s about confidence and authenticity.

Take flattering photos of how you look. Wear good clothes that look right on you, fit you, and are the right colors. Your photos should represent who you are in the best possible way. When they see you, they are like, “Good.” They’re not chewing their nails, wondering what’s going to show up on their date. What else?

My opinion of dating profiles is we like to lead with the positive. Rather than focusing on the don’ts, we can jump straight to the dos.

Let’s talk about this. We have to jump into this.

Some of them are the obvious inverse of some of the ones that we said. The number one do is to put your best photo first. It needs to be you and clear. It should be your face, not your body, turned away from hiking. That’s typical in Colorado.

In Colorado, holding a fish is now a don’t. I have a friend. She matches with a dude who’s holding a fish. She would ask him what the size of his trouser trout is. She’s like, “That’s a big trout in your hand. How big are your trouser’s trout?”

I can use this as my measurement mechanism, which is awkward. Get rid of the fish photos. Photos with animals are a plus if they’re not dead in your hands. Lead with your best, and it needs to include your face. Be clear. Artistic photos and photos that show your hobbies are fine. We want to see your interests because we want to know that you’re a dynamic person. The quantity shouldn’t overwhelm that we walk away, going, “I still don’t know what they look like.” The do is showing us your interests. Usually, there’s a maximum of ten photos on a profile.

Four or five is the norm.

If all of them are often the distance hiking, I’m swiping left. Even though I love hiking, I still don’t know what you look like. If every photo is a selfie, I know what you look like, but I don’t know that you have any interests outside of taking selfies in your bathroom. The dynamic here is we want to see your face, body, hobbies, and interests. That’s a big do.

There should be no surprises when you meet someone. Putting your best foot forward without surprising anyone is the overarching heuristic I would suggest. I live in Colorado. They’ll often be a picture of someone. The next picture is them on their bike, running and doing something outdoors, like climbing. I go, “Lovely person. I’m not the right match. I’m too indoorsy for this. I’ll go on hikes, but I’m not climbing up this sheer wall of ice with you.

If you do those things, but your partner doesn’t need to do those things, have 1 or 2 of those. Don’t have the full suite of stuff. If you’re like, “I like biking alone. I have my friends for bouldering. I’m going to do my triathlons. You can go off and do other things.” If you’re looking for a fellow triathlete, you’re doing us a favor by showing off all those things, as long as you have something where someone goes, “I can tell who and what you look like.”

I have a short story. Peter let me audit his profile once. I remember a piece of feedback I gave you.

I don’t remember this.

Peter’s profile is full of photos that meet a lot of the things we’ve talked about. It’s clear what he looks like. There are body photos and up close photos. He’s smiling. I can see his hobbies.

Smiling is an important one.

They’re not photoshopped. That’s great. Peter is a well-dressed man. There were no photos of him looking relaxed and curled up on a couch in his pajamas. You looked on point in every photo that I found intimidating. I thought, “Am I going to have to get dressed up every time I see Peter? Am I ever going to be able to show up in my sweatpants? He’s almost too fancy.”

I do remember you telling me this now.

It’s possible that the answer is you always need to be presentable and always wear makeup. That could be it. You need to look at it from that lens and say, “Is the story I’m telling one of I’m a fun person, but I also like to relax, do a little homebody, or watch a movie?” If you don’t do that and you’re always out running marathons, perfect. All your photos can be of you running marathons. I found that intimidating from someone who might say, “I don’t know that Peter kicks back and throws on some pajama pants.”

I have since changed that. I have a new photo that I got in New York City that I need to add. It’s me at a telephone booth in casual clothing. It’s a fun photo because whoever talks on a phone in a telephone booth, I took it at the MoMA, or it was taken of me at the MoMA by my friend. I’m going to add that one because it’s a playful, fun, different type of photo. I’m in Chinos in a bomber jacket. It’s a relaxed look.

The variety of photos here is what’s important. You want to think through, “I’m presenting my appearance, but I’m also presenting my hobbies, not just my hobbies. Do I relax? What does relaxing look like?” Think about all the angles.

I have noticed there’s a generational effect. Younger generations are better at this because they’re a little more tuned into Instagram. They’re taking more photos. A lot of women my age, I’ve noticed, don’t always have the full range of stuff because they’re not living that life as much. It means finding a fun friend, doing a photo shoot, and having a good time doing it.

Even though we’re going to do two audits here of people that we know, ask a friend to audit your profile, put it in front of your friend, and say, “Tell me what you think. Give me honest feedback.” They know you. They can say, “You’re fun at this, but that doesn’t come across in your profile.”

Let’s talk bios. Keep it positive.

Always positive, with a few exceptions.

What are the exceptions?

I always lead with positivity. It’s at the top, but I might have 1 or 2 things at the bottom. If I see it on someone’s profile, 1 or 2 negative phrasings, I’m not turned off by that. It shouldn’t be the lead. My negatives are playfully written into my profile. I say, “Here’s what I have to offer. Here’s what you have to offer. You love hiking. You’re not an alcoholic.” It playfully fits in it, but the alternative is when people lead with the negatives at the top. I’m sure you’ve seen this. Don’t do this. If you voted for this politician, swipe left. It’s the first thing starting with negative. Ninety-five of texts should be positive, and 1 or 2 nos or dealbreakers.

What you want, and that will tell people what you don’t want.

It is negative to say what I don’t want, but it’s not clear what you want.

This is not easy to do. People aren’t always good at talking about themselves and articulating what they want. Ask for what you want, but you know, you are also selling yourself. At the same time, you’re telling people what you want. You should also be telling them what you offer. Sometimes, it’s a show, don’t tell.

I did a mushroom trip about dating apps because I was trying to find them frustrating and distracting. Rather than coming out of the trip, being like, “I’m going to throw this iPad into the ocean. I’m done with this.” I was like, “No. Peter. If you’re going to do this, you need to do it better than you’re doing it now.” With a lens of fun and playfulness, I redid my profile. I used to have a thing about your profession or your job.

I had something about the humor research lab because I thought that would be interesting. I changed it to semi-retired from online dating. People comment on that. It’s fun, playful, and not too serious. Some of it is what you offer. I like to talk about the types of dates that I like to go on. I’ve talked about this previously. I call it the oasis experience. I’m trying to create an oasis in my life with me and a partner where we’re escaping the real world. We’re eating good food and having fun. Sometimes, I’ll describe what a date looks like.

Those are awesome. I love seeing those. I also have that on my profile. I was like, “What are we doing? We’re off in the Alps doing blah, blah.” It’s almost like a little storytelling. It’s fun and light, but it also describes what an ideal date looks like for me.

Let’s get dressed up and be teased and pleased at a burlesque show. You’re like, “If you hate burlesque, and you don’t like getting dressed up ever, and you don’t like being teased and pleased, I am not the right person for you.”

In this first line or two in some apps, when the card comes up, the potential match comes up. You’ve got a picture and the first line of text. You have an opportunity to catch someone’s attention with that first line. You’ve got this lighthearted little funny joke. That catches people’s attention because it’s on the first card they see. There is an opportunity there. Mine that, I get lots of chuckles out of, says, “Wish.com Charlize Theron.” With my shaved head, I’m saying, “I’m the discount version.” I get a lot of chuckles out of that. People can see it. In that first moment, I have to grab their attention.

The other thing about these things is that some of the apps have prompts, which I love because they’re almost a setup to a joke. One of them was when Bumble was something I say too often or my favorite saying.

It’s two truths and a lie.

That’s a great one to set up. I rely on my mom’s old sayings. One, be careful what you wish for. Two, beggars can’t be choosers. Three, Tupac was assassinated. It gets a chuckle. It’s funny. It takes a little bit of work and playfulness. Have some help if you’re not good at it. It should always represent you. If you’re not overly salacious, don’t put something in there that’s salacious. If you’re more prudish, stick to your prudishness. There should be no surprises where someone is expecting a standup comic to show up. You sit there and go, “What do you do for work?”

I hate that question, which leads me to a great point. You don’t need to say anything about your work on your profile. A lot of times, people feel they need to. I prefer to think of the text through the lens of what you are passionate about. If that’s your work, it’s great. Passion can mean, “I’m passionate about music, spending time with my friends, and going to museums.’ That sounds a bit like hobbies.”

Passion can also mean I’m passionate about the world and gaining more financial literacy. I’m passionate about women’s rights. You don’t have to talk about your work. Think of it through the lens of passion. What are you passionate about? What’s important to you? You’ll come up with a lot more creative answers than, “Here’s my profession. Here’s my job title.”

Who you are, what you like, what you can offer is like a little bit of a story. I talk about dates because I’m looking for dates versus forever because I’m a new way, no way type. I’m not looking for the escalator. The other thing is, if you do a nice job with your profile, not only are you more appealing, but when you start interacting, your potential partner or match has something to build on.

It’s the prompt for the message rather than, hi. I see something on a profile. I can pick up on it. I can respond to a joke. The photos are nice, but they don’t get a conversation started. It’s the text that gets the conversation started.

I talk about listening to vinyl on mine. I had a match say, “What type of record player do you have?” I was like, “That is interesting.” I ended up taking a picture of my record set up and sending it to them as part of it. I asked them, “What’s your favorite record?” We’re off to the races.

It’s a do and a don’t. It’s a nice way to segue here. You don’t need to say everything. There are some things that people feel they need to disclose on their profile. You don’t because there are certain things that could be a turnoff to someone.

What’s an example of this?

You and I have talked about this before. My profile doesn’t say I’m an aromantic and a relationship anarchist who’s never going to be married. Those are words that people don’t know or understand. They’re not going to go to Google. They’re like, “That sounds weird.” They might swipe left. When in reality, it’s not that complicated. I’m a normal person. I might meet up with somebody on the first and second dates. When I think that it’s necessary to broach that topic, we can talk about my sweaty palms and my non-monogamous lifestyle.

I don’t need to put that on my profile because it confuses people. It’s not that I’m lying or disclosing it. It’s not the right moment. If you are somebody who might want to be married and you write on your profile, “I’m looking to be married soon,” people might go, “That feels a bit aggressive.” They swipe left. People are like, “I want to go on a date. I’m not trying to plan my marriage.” This goes back to our first point. Where do you start? It’s your objective. If your objective is to get married in the next year, that’s great, but don’t write it on your profile.

There’s a way to say what you want, which is dating with intention. It is a nice way to say, “I’m looking for something.” I like it when someone says, “Looking for my last first date.” That’s a fun way to say that. It means I’m not a good match for you. You’re giving me a lot of information in a positive way to present that desire.

An alternative that you and I have frowned upon is when people say, “I don’t want any time wasters.” It’s negative. Phrase it as a positive. What do you want? I will also say it’s okay to write, “I want to be married within one year,” as long as you recognize that a lot of people are going to swipe left on that.

Even some people who you might be married to at the end of a year, that’s right.

People can be scared off by it. They could have been a possible person that you would be married to within one year. You can use that text on your profile. You need to recognize that a lot of people will swipe left.

If the word waste is in a bio, take it out. This is a pet peeve of mine. This is the way I say it. If there’s anything about wasting my time, I will do you the favor of never wasting your time by swiping left on me every time.

It doesn’t even matter if I agree with what you wrote.

I understand the feeling of having had your time wasted. I had a bad date. I was matched with this woman who is interesting. She has cute photos. She’s a single mom. She’s in her late 40s, doing cool work in the cannabis space. She showed up 30 minutes late for a drink. I was like, “Okay.”

You’re better than me. I would’ve left in ten minutes unless I’d heard from them.

I did hear, but I heard ten minutes before that she was going to be late. It was going to be 10 minutes late, it was 20 minutes late, and it was 30 minutes late. The conversation was fine. I didn’t get asked one question the entire time. I carried the whole thing. It was a lovely conversation. She was delightful. I’m walking home and get a phone call from her. I’m like, “That’s strange.” I walked her to the parking garage that she had parked in, and I was walking home.

I got a phone call from her, and she said, “I didn’t bring my wallet with me. I can’t get out of the parking garage. Can you come back here and pay for my parking?” I was like, “Of course.” She can’t get out. It was easy. At the end of that date, it felt like it was a bit of a waste of time. I get it. You’re frustrated. It wasn’t the right night for us. It didn’t click that night. On a different night, it could have clicked, but it didn’t.

There were two and a half things that felt off about making a first impression. You have a lot of these situations where people ghost you. They don’t show up. They’re not who they say they are. You go out on a few dates, and they reveal something that should have been revealed early. You’re like, “This person wasted my time.” The problem is telling someone not to waste your time. Never get them to not waste your time.

No person has ever read, “Swipe left if you waste my time and gone.” I’m a time waster. I’m going to swipe left.

I want to save this person from that.

She’s talking exactly to me. No one does that. All it does is project negativity to the people who might otherwise have been a good match.

No offense to someone who has had that listening and hearing that in their profile because I understand the intention and frustration. The problem is it’s not doing you any good.

It adds no value. It turns off people.

It subtracts value because it turns off the people who you want to appeal to.

I was going to say that this is a funny-related one, and maybe this typically ends up as a point for women, but I’m curious if you see it in the other direction. If I see a profile that says, “No drama,” I swipe left.

I haven’t had this experience, but the person who says no drama, there’s going to be drama.

They’re usually the ones creating.

I haven’t personally had that experience, but that no drama also correlates with a bunch of other things in a profile that makes it unappealing.

It correlates to the point we made, which is if you, Peter, wrote, “no drama,” and I, Jessalyn, came across your profile and read that, there’s no world where I read that and say, “I create a lot of drama.” I’ll swipe up. Nobody does that. All it does is project negativity.

You want to draw the right people in. It is the way you want to think about that. Ask for what you want. Project your appeal. If you are overly negative in your profile, why should I assume you’re going to be anything but overly negative? I read one, and at the bottom of it, after all this, don’t do this, the person says, “I swear I’m not this bitchy in real life.” I was like, “That may be so, and that helps. At least you have recognized that you’re creating some negativity.”

Most people won’t have reached that far in your profile to ever read it.

Let’s assume you have your profile set up, and it’s banging. It’s good. You have clear photos. It’s fun. Jessalyn passes it with flying colors. It matches your personality. It tells a story. It has some promise. It has a boundary as you need it. You’re like, “I’m going to start the process of matching or not matching with people.” What advice do you have?

Don’t swipe right on everyone, and look at the profile after.

That’s low-integrity behavior.

This comes to the negativity thing. Sometimes, I’ll see on profiles that people will say, “I don’t write first. You are going to need to write me.” It’s because a lot of men or the other direction have written to people and they never write back. They feel like their time is being wasted by writing thoughtful messages they’ve given up. They say, “You’re going to have to write me first.”

If you want the match, find something interesting to say more than hi. Pick up something interesting from their profile. You’re like, “I see in your photo that you love this. I see from your text that you do this. I’d love to know more about that.” Write the message. Don’t get into this battle of who writes first because you’ll get a stalemate.

That’s not fun. This is supposed to be fun. It’s not the way that you want to make a first impression on someone that you potentially want to have sex with. The laziness of introductory messages is shocking to me. When a woman says anything except hey or hi or puts a GIF that says hey or hi in there, I’m immediately turned on. That’s how special it feels.

It doesn’t even have to be much. It’s a few extra characters to type out and a few extra moments, but it is the best strategy if you want to be enticing because it says, “I care. I like you, and I’m interested. I looked in red.” I say something like, “Lovely to connect. We match. That’s great. I’m happy about that.” I try to pick something about their profile. Worst case, I try to suss out what part of Denver they live in. I say, “What neighborhood are you in?”

I like to ask a question because if the person doesn’t answer a simple question, it’s an attention game for them. It’s not a matching or meeting game for them. What I’m trying to do is move that person to behavior and to a decision point as quickly as possible because I want to find out, “Are you looking for the like, or are you looking to meet?”

I tend to write first a lot, but I don’t do this for weeks, months, and years and go, “I’m tired of always writing first. I’m going to stop writing first, and they have to write me first.” If we both swiped right, we’re interested. There could be the people that wanted the attention. Write the message.

If you’re going to do something, do it right. That means that your opener should not be bad.

I use Tinder a lot less these days because I feel like no one writes any text on their profile. I don’t have much to grab onto to start the conversation. I do like Hinge and Bumble because of the prompts. If you’re out of ideas, a good one is to say why you swiped right on their profile. What did you like? What was the thing that got you over the line to hit the right button?

Who doesn’t like an authentic compliment?

It doesn’t matter if someone says, “Your beautiful blue eyes were what got me to hit that swipe button.” That’s a lovely compliment.

Sometimes, I’ll, in a jokey way, say, “I like your face. Blue is your color.”

I hope that that dog in that photo is yours because that’s why I swipe right.

It’s positive. It takes time. The expected value goes way up. I’m going to add one about choosing because we talked about this. I have a rule. Don’t swipe while horny.

Is that like, don’t shop when hungry?

It’s famous in behavioral science circles. It’s a study by Ari Lowenstein, where they had this was young men who were making attitude judgments about how they would behave dating sexually. There were two conditions. There was a normal condition and a sexually aroused condition. They had these young men watching pornography and answering these questions.

When these men were highly aroused because they were watching pornography, their willingness to cross boundaries, be more risk-taking, and be much more prurient went way up. If you’re a man, you didn’t need to run that study. We already knew this. I’m not a woman. I don’t know. A lot of women also understand that experience. It’s easier to swipe right when you’re in that aroused state. When you’re later evaluating your match, and you’re not in that aroused state, there’s a mismatch.

I would say it slightly different. It’s okay to swipe when you’re horny. Don’t message when you’re horny. You might end up messaging something that’s a bit beyond. You’re setting an expectation with that person about what you want that might not be genuine, like, “I was a little horny when I said that, but I’m a little bit more vanilla than what I led you to believe.”

That’s fair. This is a minor point, but I’m saying that if you’re turned up, maybe not. What else do you have?

I say we get into some profiles.

I tend to think about a lot of things in life, like a game. I had this episode about dancing with bulls. How do you take something mundane or stressful and turn it into an engaging endeavor? I feel like the dating apps are perfect for that metaphor. There’s this bull. How are you going to engage with it with style and substance? How are you going to have the panache as well as the proficiency?

The dating apps are a great case study. If you’re going to do this, do it well. The better you do it, the more likely it is going to help you achieve your outcome, goal, and strategy to meet interesting people. I have a bunch of friends who I met on dating apps. We went out on a date or two. It wasn’t there, but they were a great person. I invite them to a game night. They came to a solo salon, and now I have a friend.

I’ve heard this frequently, but I’m thinking of a recent example. A friend of mine in Berlin went on a date with a guy. He was a little bit different than she thought that he was going to be. Within the first ten minutes, she said to him, “I want to be clear. I don’t think this is a click, but I have a friend that would be perfect for you.” She’s setting up her date with her other friend, and they’re excited to go out together. That’s a great outcome. She played Mega Wing Woman. That’s

Challenges and headaches are worse when you don’t have a strategy, and you do a poor job executing your tactics. Let’s start with my person. We’ll call her Sarah. She is on Hinge. She had said to me that she had been off it for a while, but she’s now more open to having a partner than she was before, but with enough independence to live separately as a companion. I would call her a new way solo. She’s looking for a regular thing, but she doesn’t want to live with her partner.

She is on Hinge. She’s 35 years old. We’ll start with her photos because that’s where we start. Let’s try to describe her photos. We’re not going to post her photos anywhere. She has six photos. They’re all with her in it and no group. Sarah is pretty. She has a pretty face and a great smile. Three of those photos show that smile. They’re her first three photos. Kudos to her.

I would like the third, where she’s not wearing sunglasses. I would make that her first one because, her first one, she has sunglasses on. That one doesn’t get my attention. The third one, where I can see her eyes, is a shoulder zoom-in photo that’s great for your first one. There are no sunglasses or hats. I can see your eyes and her smile. I would swap the third one for the first one.

That is a banging photo. She’s got a great smile. Her eyes look great. She has this cute haircut.

I’d swipe right on that.

It’s a perfect photo for her to have as number one. The one that she has a nice view of her smile, but she has these big sunglasses in it.

I’m not sure what she looks like.

I would swap that one out, in part because we already know she has an amazing smile.

It doesn’t add much value. She could swap it out for a hobby photo because what we see in these photos, I would say two of them are above the waist what-do-I-look-like photos. There’s one where she’s sitting in her garden. That tells me she likes plants and gardening. There’s another one where she’s sitting outside the Louvre in France. That tells me she travels and she likes museums.

There’s one where she’s hugging a tree. I’m not quite, and another is where she’s sitting in front of a monument of some kind. It’s telling me she travels. In the one that’s her profile picture, she’s wearing sunglasses. It doesn’t add anything. It doesn’t tell me about a hobby. She could swap that out for something else. What would you swap it out for? What photo do you think is missing?

I always want to reflect on what you said. She has 6, and 3 are no-brainers to me. The one that you described, the five are making at first, and the one of her in her garden. It’s a full-body shot. She looks cute and has a girl-next-door feel to it. It’s not a sexy photo.

It’s like a nice body language.

It’s a nourishing photo. I was like, “This is a warm person. This is a gentle person.” The one in front of the Louvre has to be the case because it’s a show, don’t tell photo. Those are three good ones. I don’t know her well enough, but I get the sense from her photos that she cares about nature. The tree photo is a little bit of a weird one.

I’d get rid of that one. Three out of six have plants in them.

You could double down on the gardening if that’s an important thing. An outdoorsy photo would be a nice one that fits her. If this is her sixth-best photo, she should do a photo shoot because she’s attractive. You could tell that she has an interesting life, and she could highlight that.

When I see these photos, I don’t immediately cringe and say, “She’s got to rework a lot of these.” I’m neutral. You could punch these up a bit, but I don’t see the glaring negatives in here, other than the one she’s chosen for her profile. There are no blurriness or poorly executed photos. There are no big group photos. I’m personally not a fan of photos with children in them for various reasons. There are no photos of children. At least blur out their faces if they are in the photos. She doesn’t have any of the big negatives. If she kept these photos but did the swap of the profile, I’d be okay with it.

I would do the pretty one, the wholesome garden one, the Louvre and the other three with the classes left as the last one. None of them are bad, but three of them could stand a little punching up.

It depends on what it is you want to convey. It’s possible that she is into some sport and we don’t know that. We don’t see that.

If she does get dressed up, a picture in a cocktail dress or at some event would be fun. We know she goes to museums. I agree with that. If you have a pet or something like that, show the pet. If you have a cat, show the cat. If you have a dog, show the dog.

People love pet photos, not dead fish photos.

I would give it a solid B plus. It’s off to the races with Sarah. I’m surprised by the number of vitals and virtues and vices. This is Hinge. Some of this stuff is used in the algorithm. I’m going to hit a few of these things. Her vitals have her name and her gender. Some of these are visible, and some of them are hidden. It has her age, height, location, ethnicity, children, and family plans. She says she doesn’t want children.

The context is important here. She hasn’t written in her bio, I don’t want children, which goes to a negative rather than a positive. It’s vital. It’s okay to fill in the vitals because they’re a little more subtle. They don’t feel like this aggressive. I chose to talk about myself in the negative moment. They don’t want children, and smoking is simply a gentle vital, and that’s okay.

This is the vices. She says that she drinks. She doesn’t smoke. She has marijuana and drugs hidden. I drink and I don’t smoke. It depends on where you are in the country. The marijuana one is an interesting one. People find it a big positive, especially if they don’t drink. There’s this term, California sober. They don’t drink, but they use cannabis. For some people, marijuana use is a hard no for their partner. Others are like, “It’s fine as long as you’re not Cheech and Chong in it all the time.

It’s funny you say that. If I see on someone’s profile under the subtle vitals that they smoke marijuana or they occasionally smoke it, I do not. If I see in their vitals that they do or occasionally do, I’m not fazed by that. I could swipe right if, otherwise, all other signs point to a yes. When someone writes in their profile 420 Friendly, the first thing that comes to my mind is Cheech and Chong in it. I swipe left. I can’t get over the visual. It is put in my head. It’s like a weird bro. I can’t do it.

I don’t have that same perspective on it, in part because I almost never drink, and I’m more of a cannabis user now. One of my go-to lines when I ask someone to meet, I say, “Meet for coffee, cocktails, or cannabis?”

All of the options are fine.

I sometimes get a clear, “Let’s meet for coffee.” Sometimes, I get all of the above. It’s a fun little alliteration. I’m happy to do all of those things. It gives someone some choice. If someone writes back, “I only do dinner,” I’m not the right man for you.

You’re not writing, “Do you want to get high?” That’s what I think of when I see 420 Friendly. That’s a me thing.

Meeting someone for cannabis is, can be a little bit awkward. There’s not a great way to go about doing it. I like putting it out there as a possibility.

It’s fun. It’s playful.

Virtues says she works in pediatrics. She’s a cardiovascular research coordinator. She went to school in Yukon. She does not have her religious beliefs or education level. She has her hometown. She doesn’t have her politics. She doesn’t have her dating intentions set.

It is fine. She’s left it open. There are these prompts on Hinge, which I like. I’ll read out her three prompts here. We’ll see what this tells us about her. The prompt is I’m the type of texter who, and she responds, is grammatically correct. That tells me something about her. Her second one, my love language, is space. Her third prompt, when I need advice, I go to Reddit. That also tells me something about her.

I give these prompts a B.


It’s because they’re good. My love language space is the best one because it’s fun and playful knowing what we know about her, that she’s a new way and doesn’t want to live with her partner.

It gives that without being overly aggressive.

The Reddit thing is a fun one. It’s cheeky. If you’re a Redditor, it’s appealing. The types of texts are grammatically correct. That also says something like, if you feel like you get these formal text messages from her, you know that’s the way she approaches this medium. There’s an opportunity here to shine.

There’s something missing. They’re good, but I don’t quite know her.

I’m missing the story. I haven’t workshopped the copy on any of these kinds of things.

Peter likes to rewrite the text.

Sometimes, I go off when we are doing this.

He disappears for twenty minutes.

I’m the type of texter who could be having an incredible day exploring the Grand Canyon and having the time of my life. Someone writes me, “How are you doing?” I’ll write back, “Great.”

That tells me something.

I’m the type of texter who uses texts to make plans so we can have a fun, flirty conversation.

I’m the type of texter who you won’t hear from me for 24 hours because I’m up hiking in the mountains with no reception. If I’m Peter, I disappeared into the desert to do some drugs, and it’ll be 48 hours, business days.

Tell a story and have some fun. There’s an opportunity to punch these up a little bit and give you a little bit of sense that I’m more than a pretty face and a wholesome being who cares about nature.

Even though I don’t love leading with professions, her profession is interesting and fascinating. There’s a way to insert that somewhere in a prompt or a box for about me text. I know that about her, but it doesn’t come out as like, “She’s passionate about this thing.” It’s not coming out in the other sections of her profile. It gets lost.

There’s something fun to be done with the cardiovascular research coordinator.

It’s something playful.

It’s like, “Don’t worry. I won’t break your heart.” There’s something fun to be done with a play on words.

It’s a missed opportunity. My profile says it’s that ideal date description, where I’m saying, “Where are we? What are we doing? You’re packing your bags because we’re going hiking in the Swiss Alps. Anything is possible when we don’t want to procreate.” There’s a little playful word story. It says, “I’m not having children.

It sets a boundary. You’re doing the person a favor and you’re entertaining them along the way.

It’s not a necessary one, but if you’re strong about that thing and you want to make it more obvious, put it in a playful way.

There are lots of these different types of prompts you can go through and pick.

You can choose different ones. I like the two truths and a lie, and my mom’s favorite thing about me is.

I remembered the other one that I had was what my friends said about me or what friends would say about me.

Ask a friend. What would they say?

I have one that said I had a friend say that I remind them of Frank Moody. If you don’t know that reference, they intended it to be a backhanded compliment, but I took it as a front-handed compliment. For people who don’t know Frank Moody, he’s a character in a show called Californication. He’s a writer and not for everyone. He’s charming and charismatic, but he also annoys and offends people.

I like that because your friends say that Peter’s not for everybody.

That’s why I thought of Frank Moody. I took a poetic license with it. It was a friend who said it, but I had dated this person briefly. She said to me, “You remind me of Frank Moody.” She didn’t mean it in a complimentary way. I was like, “Thank you.” Look for the angles that those prompts can provide. There is nothing wrong with workshopping these with your creative, witty friends as long as what is said in there is authentic and portrays who you are. I got a kick out of Ike when someone had something they wrote, “It’s fine if you’re vegetarian, but that’s a huge MISSTAK.” I was tickled by that wordplay, and I was like, “That’s a great one.”

Sometimes, it’s the clever things that tip someone over the edge. If you’re trying to come up with your first message, say why you swiped. I loved that. It made me giggle, whatever it was.

I would say something like, “Let’s make some mistakes.” I got Sarah, and you got a friend of yours. Who is this friend?

It’s a friend of mine. I’m going to call him John. He is 41 years old. He lives in Kansas City. He’s single. He has sent us his Tinder profile. We’ll describe his photos and go through the text on his profile. He lists his profession as a drone pilot, video editor, and photographer. It already caught my attention. Drone pilot sounds pretty cool. He maxed out the use of the photos.

He’s got a lot of photos. He’s a good-looking man.

His profile picture, immediate swipe. It is a chest and above, squared up, looking straight at the camera, piercing us with his lovely eyes. It’s clear what he looks like. There’s no AI Photoshop here. That’s a great profile picture.

He’s got long hair and brown hair. He’s got a little bit of facial hair. You could tell he fit in that first photo.

I love the first line of his profile, the one where you get that little teaser line. It says, “Jim Morrison and Kurt Russell had a baby.”

What’s behind him in this photo is a bookshelf with some books and plants.

That’s his home.

You could get that sense.

He’s got some good style. You noticed it.

I’m not sure he needs a lot of punching up. This is a good start.

I’m going to go on to the next photos. The next photo is him crouching down in front of a yellow building, like a door, an architecture thing. He’s wearing sunglasses. Seems a bit to tell me, “I’m an artistic guy.” It doesn’t add too much of a hobby.

It’s not a negative, but it doesn’t add a lot.

The third one is a group photo. It’s him and five other people. They’re on a raft on a river. They’re whitewater rafting. I can tell which one he is, maybe because I know him. This is a nice photo because it shows his outdoor interests. I’m okay with this being a single group photo. It’s showing me an interest in outdoor hobbies.

The next photo has the same background as his profile picture. He’s playing guitar. He’s looking down pensive. He looks like a musician. I don’t think this shows us anything about his body or his face, but it shows a hobby. He’s a musician. For the next one, I’ll interested in your reaction. This is a gym selfie, the shirtless photo in the mirror.

He’s fit. He’s 41. Most men who are 41 in Kansas City are not as lean and muscular as he is.

You have to be careful with the topless photos.

It makes me cringe.

That’s why I wanted to ask you. I’m okay with one, but it’s a risk.

It’s a bold move. The thing about it is that he doesn’t need it. In some ways, if you have a body like that, you can slowly play it. When you take your shirt off for the first time with someone in Kansas City, they’re like, “Ooh, la la.” I’ve never put a shirtless selfie in my photos, no matter how fit I feel or look. There’s a personal prerogative there.

It’s a risk. I’m a person who’s like, one is okay. Any more than that is a turnoff.

He has another photo at the beach. He’s sitting down in the water. You could tell he has a nice V shape in that photo.

There are other opportunities to show your fitness that aren’t a selfie in a mirror, like, “Here’s a photo of me running on the beach. Here’s me playing basketball with my friends.”

In his first photo, where he’s looking at the camera, you can already tell his face.

You could already tell because he is wearing a fitted shirt, and he’s got buff arms. We already got it. This one’s a risk.

If I had to choose, I’d say cut it.

I’m neutral on it.

Is it saying that you’re a little too vain?

The next one is him at a beach. There are two children in the photo, but we are looking at his back and the backs of the two children. I’m okay with this photo that he has two children. These are them. He’s divorced. If you have children in the photo, I prefer their faces to be blurred out. We’re looking at the backs of their heads, so this is okay. It shows, “I’ve got kids.”

I date women who have children. I’m not interested in ever co-parenting those children. I’m good about talking about that. If four of the five photos feature the children, I’m not going to swipe left because that’s on display for a reason. These kids are dominant. It’s a subtle way of saying, “I want someone who likes kids. I want someone who also has kids.”

To clarify, would you swipe left, or you would not?

I would swipe left if four out of five are featuring the kids prominently. Good for you if that’s what you want to say.

Be aware that’s what it’s saying. That’s what we’re here to do.

One photo with kids doesn’t say that. It says, “I’ve got kids.” I’m going to add one thing. If you don’t have kids, don’t put a picture of you with a kid and write in your bio, “The kid is my nephew.”

Tell me why that.

There are some people who want a child-free life. Because the photos are dominant, they might see you with the kid and go.

They want them.

They think you have the kid. Most people, overwhelmingly, when the kids are in the photo, they’re their kids. Every often, there’s a proud auntie.  

You’ve got a moment to catch their attention, and they might not read your text. It’s a risk putting a picture of a child because someone might swipe left.

If you want a child-free life or you’re comfortable with a child-free life, you want to date someone who wants that.

Sometimes, when we give this feedback to people, they’ll say, “I like that photo. It’s a great photo of me.” I get that, but crop it or blur out that piece. What you’re saying is, “I want you to see this component.” Otherwise, have your friend take some nice new photos of you. His next photo is artistic and cute to me. It gives me a bit of vulnerability. It’s a shoulders up. It’s a specific headshot. He’s wearing a beanie. He’s standing in a blossom tree, wearing cool sunglasses, and looking off in the distance. It’s an artistic photo.

I have an issue with this photo.

Tell me.

I feel like there’s already one that does that better. There’s something going on with this leaf that makes it look like he has a weird ear.

He looks like an elf.

It’s distracting to me.

It’s a nice photo. I’d put it on my Instagram, but I agree. You could leave it off the dating profile.

Here’s the thing. His stuff is good. By the time you’ve looked at the third photo, you’re like, “Let’s go.” He has another artistic photo that I prefer. It’s a picture of him with the guitar. There’s this sunburst over his left shoulder. If you want to do something fun and artistic, that one is better. You can see he’s got this bulging bicep.

I’m selling John. Ladies, give me a call if you’re in Kansas City.

I’m glad I don’t have to compete against this guy in Denver.

His next photo is a second group photo. It’s him in a bar with some friends. One of them is gripping his hands. He’s screaming at the camera and roaring like a rock star. It shows a fun environment and attitude to me. I don’t love multiple group photos. Because he’s maxed out his photos, I’m okay with there being a second photo. If he only had three pictures and two were a group photo, I’d say, “No.” I’m okay with a second group photo because he’s got seven others.

I say yes. I’d make this the last one. I would crop it a little better because there’s a lot of empty space above their heads. I would make it pop more.

We’re looking for improvements here.

This is good work. The biggest thing is the gym shirtless selfie.

In the last photo you already described, there’s a sunbeam, a guitar, and a muscle. What his photos do is show what he looks like, his hobbies, and his interests. He shows his artistic capabilities. He shows he has some friends. There’s a passion in that scream at the camera. He looks like a fun guy to go out with, even if I didn’t click from a romantic or sexual perspective.

Let’s go to the text. I already gave one little hint there with that leading line that he had. Before I read out the text, I privately asked him what he was looking for. I like this because it gives us a bit of context of what he wants, and it’s back to our earlier point. What your strategy is isn’t necessarily how you write it in the profile. He is looking for a long-term person. If he had his absolute dream woman, she would be a creative partner, an artist or musician, or something similar, physically active, healthy, fit, and empathetic. She’s liberal AF. She has great taste in music. She’s a little bit witchy, and she has tattoos.

He’s looking for himself with female genitalia.

Isn’t that what we all do?

I no longer look for that, but I feel like that’s what he is.

We’re going to read the text. His first line, like Jim Morrison and Kurt Russell, had a baby. Traits: Enneagram 1, ENFP, Leo, spiritual, environmentalist, and believes in science. The next section is doing stuff: Nature walks, drawing, guitar, and first Friday. I think that’s a Kansas City thing.

It’s like an art walk.

Musical, gym, and local music. The next section is music. He’s going to list a bunch of bands. King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, Black Angels, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Frankie and the Witch Fingers. The last section: Still a kid at heart, with two of my own awesome co-parenting relationships with their mom.

That’s great. It tells a story. If you’re a woman, you’re like, “This guy seems great. He’s good-looking, but he’s not the right man for me.”

He’s got some things here that I don’t know what they are, but the woman who does is who he wants to attract. I might be intimidated by how artsy he is because I’m not as artsy as him. That’s what he wants. He would want someone like me to possibly swipe left because I don’t meet that criteria he has to find this creative, artistic, witchy woman.

Let’s be honest. He’s the one doing a lot of the picking in this situation because he’s got a high probability of matching with the type of lady he’s looking for.

You’ve got good prospects. John.

He has a pain point because he’s online dating as a single dad. He’s putting his best foot forward. What he writes here doesn’t conflict with what he wrote to you privately. There’s not a bait and switch.

He’s got these three prompts. There might be some feedback here. The first prompt is the hottest thing you can do, and he responds, not be conservative or anti-vax. Sorry, plenty of Chad’s driving forward compensators in the C if that’s your type.

People who are reading now are like, “No, you have to leave with the positive.” The hottest thing you can do is be a witchy woman who’s into art.

That’s what you should write.

He should take what he texted you, sort and put it there. It’s Kansas City. It’s a purplish place. There are Conservative and Liberal folks. It’s not like you’re living in a village where everybody’s left of center. I get that idea. The hottest thing you can do is be the hot thing for him, not the opposite.

If it’s important that an anti-vaxxer doesn’t swipe right on you, these apps still have subtle statistics. There’s one for vaccinated or not. You can write vaccinated there. If an anti-vax person comes upon it and sees it, they’re going to swipe left. I would put something positive here as a missed opportunity.

There’s this joke about the current thing. There’s always, like, whether it be this war or this thing, the vax stuff was the current thing several years ago. In some ways, it doesn’t even feel fresh. That’s the first real feedback.

The next one is, my favorite playlist is called, and he responds, the universal language. An ever-evolving personal narrative in the structure of a story, intro, rising actions, climax, falling actions, and resolution. I don’t know what that means, but it sounds cool. Whoever knows what it means is going to love that.

I feel the same way. I feel like it’s an abstract, and there could be a place for fun. He has enough fun with his lead.

He’s caught some fish.

I have to trust that he knows what he’s doing with that because that’s not speaking to me.

I am captured enough by what’s earlier in his text. I would swipe right even if I read that and went, “I don’t know what the heck that meant. I could breeze over that.”

That would be a wonderful opener for him. What comes to mind is something like we share a love of climaxes. That might be too much, but you know what I mean.

It’s the third one. Message me if you also love, he responds ambition, passion, empathy, artists, musicians, spooky stuff, and environmentalists.

There’s an opportunity to make this pop. I would use the rule of three. The rule of three is A, A, B. Two things that are each other and something that feels surprising. Would you like to meet for coffee, cocktails, or cannabis? The third thing stands out as weird. I’m spitballing here. I would say, “Message me if you also love.”

I would do artists because he has artists and musicians. That’s redundant because a musician is an artist. I would say something. Ambition, passion, and empathy, I would pick one of those. Ambition and passion are similar. Off the top, I would say empathy artists and spooky stuff. There’s a whole bunch of people who are into horror. He’s into the witchy stuff. That’s coded language for witchy stuff. I would do A, A, B, and the spooky stuff would be the B.

I agree with this because it’s otherwise repetitive in some of the text that’s earlier in, which is about me. I would even go so far as to choose a different prompt because I haven’t learned something new that I didn’t learn under the doing stuff and the traits.

He says traits.

Spiritual, environmentalists, and believe in science. His stuff is music, nature walks, and drawing. He captured it. I’d find a new prompt.

Overall, this is an A. It’s designed especially to draw in the type of person he’s looking for because he has a clear strategy.

I’m reflecting on the entirety of the profile. He’s separated or divorced. I can’t recall. Father of two children. He has clarified. He does have a wonderful co-parent. That is true. This runs the risk of he’s 41. He’s lighthearted, adventurous, artistic, and passionate. Someone who wants to “settle down” might see his profile and say, “This doesn’t look like a guy that wants to settle down. He’s a kid at heart.” What would you suggest would strengthen that component to say he does want a long-term partner?

I would say, “Jim Morrison, Kurt Russell, and Barack Obama had a baby.” I’m joking. I’ll give you my example of this. I sometimes read a dating profile. Yours might feel that way, where I get exhausted reading the profile.

I’m an exhausting person.

I would be like, “I don’t want to be going 1,000 miles an hour on planes all the time, hiking, building stuff, this and that. Can we have a quiet night?” It’s almost over the top.

I don’t know if I get to relax with this person. It’s the earlier point about, “Where’s the pajama pants?”

That’s not the problem that he has, but yours is the worry that he feels a little too Peter Pan-ish. The two kids and good co-parenting with a parent help a lot about that.

He might have to think about that one on his own. Our feedback is clear on what the potential risk is.

Here’s my sense. His challenge is that he lives in Kansas City. My guess is that’s where his child’s mother lives. They are going to be in Kansas City until the kids are eighteen, unless they both can agree on some other place. He’s a fish out of water in that town. In Austin, his dating life’s a lot easier.

He can use a prompt as a way to reduce the Peter Pan vibe. It might be something in a prompt. The Peter Pan thing is a higher risk in Kansas City. If you were in Austin or San Francisco, the giving off of a Peter Pan vibe is less of a risk.

These are minor.

Even though we found two profiles that didn’t have extraordinary no-nos in them, our conversation around why we like the pieces illustrates what someone would be looking for in their own profile to say, “I didn’t pick up on the good bits. I need to find the good bits.” Talking about what we like about these profiles also lends itself to our position, which is to always lead with the good things and not focus on what’s wrong with the profile. We’ve got a lot of good examples about what we like in these profiles.

Let’s be honest. The person who has a trash profile is probably not giving it to us. I’m happy with having done this. Thank you to readers who have bared with us. I recognize they can’t see the photos, and they can’t get the full experience. If you turned off the blog because of this, you got most of the good stuff, the valuable insights. The last thing I’ll say is if you don’t want to do this, don’t do it.

Shut down your profile.

It’s not for everyone. Don’t be afraid to take a break from it. These things can be lumpy. I’m getting woo-woo in the sense that there are better times to be dating than other times. Whether it be in your own personal life and energy level, there are times of the year that are more amenable when people are more open to meeting folks. Cuffing season can feel real.

Be easy on yourself and try to be easy on other people. Most people out there do have good intentions. Life is difficult. They’re getting beaten up and beaten down by the bad behavior. This is something that you and I talk a lot about. It’s a dating pool. In the same way that you don’t poop in the pool and ruin the day for everyone, don’t poop in the dating pool and make it bad for the person after you because a lot of the bad behavior is people responding to other bad behavior.

Swipe left if this or no drama response to other bad behavior.

That’s a response to people who’ve had a lot of bad drama in their life. I do this when I travel. All of us on the plane are all on the same team here. We’re not in competition. We’re all trying to get to the same place. What can we do to make it a little easier for that person next to us, behind us, or in front of us? Dating is a lot like that. Jessalyn, this was good. We broke a record. This is the longest episode ever. If you have feedback and thoughts, please sign up at PeterMcGraw.org/Solo. Join the Solo community. It’s been active.

I can barely keep up.

There are wonderful people there. There’s a channel for episode discussions, and people weigh in. It’s often fun to hear their perspectives and especially hear things that we missed and overlooked. I look forward to hearing your feedback. Cheers.



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About Jessalyn Dean

Solo – The Single Person’s Guide to a Remarkable Life | Jessalyn Dean | Dating AppJessalyn Dean is a financial literacy and tax consultant currently based in Milan Italy with her two cats though is frequently on the move as a self-proclaimed “serial migrant”. She spent her teenage years and 20’s searching for “the one” only to realise once she found him that it wasn’t what she was meant for. Jessalyn got off the relationship escalator in 2017 and now designs her relationships using autonomy as a compass and removing hierarchy from all of her relationships. She is currently working towards early retirement and traveling full-time as a solo nomad. In her free time, she coaches friends on doing the same.