My filter settings are pretty generous—if you have a compatibility rating of higher than 70 percent, are of at least “average” attractiveness, and send more than a three-word message—“Hey” and “Yo girl” are not acceptable—your message will make it to me.
(Filters are common—especially for women, who often receive a high number of lewd or casual messages from spam profiles, and generic messages from men who send the same note to a swath of profiles.) Of the 708 messages I received over the next fourteen months, 530 ended up in the filtered inbox, which left me with about one message of decent-or-above quality a day.
I’m also a musician (some of my work is available on i Tunes); a dancer; and a volunteer with various sports organizations.
At first glance, my resumé and accomplishments may loom large, but I had thought that my well-roundedness would be an asset, or at least of interest, to the sort of man I was seeking. I posted a link to my profile on Bunz Dating Zone, a Toronto Facebook group, asking for honest feedback.
I would take the time to read a guy’s profile and then mention common interests or things I found interesting, posing an easy question for him at the end—but I still received few responses.
Of the messages that did make it to my inbox, many were from men who were not a good match for me.
This trickle continued for the next year and two months, averaging two messages a day.
One man called the post “incredible,” noting that he was himself a former “serial online dater [who] really longed for this kind of vulnerability, authenticity and depth.” At the time, he was in a relationship, but he also commented, “You sound like you’re intelligent, fun and genuinely have your shit together.” Nonetheless, I hired a professional photographer and tried out different variations on my profile text.I mentioned my penchant for ’60s soul, ’90s hip hop, indie rock, and the writing of Kurt Vonnegut—and alluded to my fondness for the board game Settlers of Catan to attract hot nerds.That first night, after crafting what I thought was a suitably witty, cool, and interesting profile, I let the site’s algorithms work their magic.Even when you decide to answer, many users will not respond, having lost interest or been tempted by one of the site’s many other profiles.
Some people disappear after a few exchanges—sometimes even after you’ve made plans to meet.The last includes more substantial personal profiles.