Q: What is the optimal number of photos to use in a dating profile?
A: Definitely at least 3-4 photos but no more than 6. Typically, the more photos you post the more harshly you will be judged i.e. you are only as good looking as your worst photo.
Q: Should I look away and not smile in my photos?
A: No! While those photos might solicit likes, they don't necessarily result in quality dates. Be yourself, be candid. Smile naturally, don't force it. Look at the camera, look interested not self-absorbed nor shy. Read this for additional insight. For advice on photos, check out this photo intro.
BIO / ABOUT ME SECTION
Q: Should I use a ghostwriter to write my bio and send messages for me?
A: No! I provide clients guidelines on what to focus on in their bios but I do not write bios myself. Character and personality will be lost in translation if you hire someone to do this. Secondly, you deprive yourself of the chance to experience the exploration of getting to know someone through those messages.
Q: I feel and look younger than my age - is it ok to lie about my age?
A: No! Being truthful is important in online dating. If you lie about age right off the bat, what else might you be lying about?
Q: What should I write in the bio section of my online dating profile?
A: Talk about your passions, quirks, random obsessions, curiosities, guilty pleasures, where you were born and raised, what you like to do for fun, what you would do if you won the lottery, what you do for a living, where you traveled last or are going next.
Q: What are the demographics for each online dating site and app?
A: There is no definitive answer on this but a couple surveys are about right highlighting age and gender splits: SurveyMonkey Intelligence 2016. During/after our photo session, I will provide specific guidance on what I recommend for you based on age, location etc.
Q: Do you have any thoughts on whether I should use Match.com or tips on how to set up an account there?
A: Match.com Tips
MATCHING & MESSAGING ETIQUETTE
Q: When is the best time to go online? How often should I be swiping?
A: Typically ~8pm-11pm during the week (Sunday-Thursday). Limit logging on to ~2-3x a week. Avoid logging on Friday evenings through Sunday afternoons - take time off to enjoy the weekend. If you over-swipe on apps like Tinder, it can hurt your ELO score. Only swipe right on people you are genuinely interested in.
Q: Is there such a thing as being overly eager and aggressive when it comes to messaging and swiping?
A: Yes, you should express excitement but avoid appearing stalker-ish. Be direct, timely and transparent. Do not reply immediately but also do not make the person wait. Respond 1-3 days after matching and reply within 24 hours for subsequent messages. It is bad etiquette to swipe right on someone you are not interested in. In fact if you don't respond or message people you match with it can hurt your ELO score. More info: Super-Swipes
Q: What is the best way to start a conversation after matching with someone?
A: Conversation Starters
Q: What are some podcasts, books and resources I should check out?
A: Read Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari; Maureen O'Connor (New York Magazine's Sex Lives Podcast). Also check out PhotoFeeler (a free crowd-sourced photo review platform with helpful articles). Great Economist article on dating trends. Also check out DatingAdvice for additional advice and local experts.
Q: How can I tell if a user is a scammer or if a profile is fake?
A: There is no certain way to tell but Bumble is the best app for verifying users. There are several ways to investigate a profile/account which I reveal to clients directly. With that said, an important life skill is the ability to analyze photos, profiles, messages in the digital in order to have success with online dating.
Q: What is hatfishing?
A: It is when a guy purposely wears hats to conceal baldness. Guys should embrace their new look because 1) women do not want to play a guessing game; 2) could be a sign for lack of confidence; 3) could be hiding other things in his life.
Q: What is an ELO score?
A: ELO score is a 'desirability' score Tinder's algorithm uses to rank users. Higher score, more visible your profile is to others. Improve your ELO score with photos.
Q: What is the single best piece of advice you have for someone?
A: This is a piece of advice I received from my professor (Dean Ellis) from USC on the last class of the semester in 2003 - "Never turn down an invitation from someone to grab a drink, meet up for coffee, go out to a new class - you never know you will meet: a business partner, friend or significant other."
Lastly, online dating apps are meant to introduce people - you don't date online. Exchange a few messages and then take things offline. Dating apps are not a platform where you share every detail of your life nor should you pin all your hopes on one person (too much pressure to put on one person). Check out the Singles In America Survey