For Dating Phase 3, I took a different approach and relied heavily on intuition.

My [exhaustive] selection criteria:

I was now more experienced and could easily spot douchebaggery. I swiped left 90% of the time. I had to be attracted to him, sure, but I also swiped left on plenty of attractive dudes. I had to be drawn to what he wrote in his profile, or drawn to the twinkle in his eye or to his bright smile. If I sensed anything fishy, I swiped left. Yes, I realize that’s not very scientific… but I did mostly rely on my gut instinct.

I was looking at guys in the 32-52 age range. An interesting observation is that I was most attracted to the guys in their late 30s/early 40s.

I swiped right if:

  • I was attracted to him
  • I wanted to get to know him
  • He seemed genuine
  • I could get a sense of his personality
  • Bonus: Photo of him with his mom or sister(s)

I swiped left if I saw:

  • Poor grammar
  • Excessive emoticon use
  • Typos or misspellings
  • “Open relationship” or “non-monogamous”
  • Anything derogatory about having kids
  • Frequent business travel
  • Nothing written at all
  • Only or mostly group photos
  • Only selfies
  • Only wearing sunglasses
  • Endless travel photos (ok, you like traveling – I get it)
  • Photos taken with a car or motorcycle
  • Hand gestures of any kind (especially flipping off the camera – are we 17?!)
  • Angry/brooding/bored/neutral facial expressions (smile, for hell’s sake!)

Yes, 90% of profiles I saw included the above qualities. I was stunned and bewildered by the sheer amount of unflattering photos I saw or poorly written profiles I read. Proofreading goes a long way. Careful photo selection goes a long way. They were supposed to be putting their best foot forward, after all. If that was their best, I wasn’t interested.

An easy rule of thumb for the singles out there with a dating profile: Keep it simple. Include a couple face photos and a couple full-body photos, in different locations/lighting and in different angles or positions. And write something in your profile. It’s not rocket science.

Once I weeded out the riff-raff, my dating strategy was pretty straight-forward. Once we matched, we had to have conversation that flowed easily and he had to suggest meeting up soon into the conversation. If he started talking about sex, I immediately unmatched him.

It went well. I had 3 dates, including the date I already highlighted with Jon. Spoiler alert: One was G-rated and the other was PG-13.

Another post will follow.