Online Dating: 3 Tips for Success

smoke art hearts online dating
Written by Raquel Cool

The world of online dating can be time consuming and frustrating. Here are three hacks from people who went above and beyond to improve their chances.

aNewDomain — I recently hung out with a friend I hadn’t seen for a while. He’s a 28-year-old attorney and regular OKCupid user. Let’s call him Michael. Michael has dating profile copywriting down to an art — he spends a couple of hours each week on the dating site submitting romantic queries and responding to witty replies.

This grunt work may sound tedious, but it’s also very effective.

After Michael summarized the gist of his online dating life — a boring date here, a hookup there — I said, “So basically, at any given moment, you have a rolodex of five to eight people in a 50-mile radius who are casually sleeping with you.”

Michael rolled his eyes at me. “It’s not a rolodex. It’s a smartphone.”

Several eons ago, “I’m meeting someone from the Internet” meant you were likely having coffee with a roofie-wielding serial rapist. Today, people use dating apps like Tinder, which aggregate romantic prospects using user-generated data and GPS-data tracking, every single day.

In the age of the smartphone, it only seems logical that dating would also be wrapped into our world of digital convenience.

You know what else is convenient? Hiring someone else to do the things you don’t feel like doing. Or adding shortcuts to your life that will provide better results with less work. Here are a few lifehacks from people who have gone the extra mile to streamline their online dating.

1. Hack digital dating platforms for maximum results

Yeah, this is actually a thing. Last year, a math genius went through extensive measures to hack OkCupid in order to find true love. He mined the website for user data in order to automate his statistical likelihood of finding his soulmate. (It worked, he’s now engaged.)

online dating i saw you on tinderIn the same vein, Yuri de Souza, a software developer, hacked Tinder to optimize his results via reverse engineering and automating his swipes. Here’s a geeky breakdown of how he did it.

There’s even a strangely adorable robot named Tinder-O-Matic that will automatically “like” every prospect on Tinder. At a rate of 10,000 unconditional likes per 12 hours, you can maximize your return on mutual matches.

Or, you know, you could just swipe left and right manually. Like, with your hands and stuff. The way most people do it.

2. Create a poor man’s dating concierge service

Back in 2009, Tim Ferriss infamously outsourced his dating life as a “social experiment.” He created a project on Elance — an online outsourcing platform for hiring freelancers — that sought assistance with the recruitment of 20-minute coffee dates.

Speaking on stage at an event, Ferriss said:

online dating chai tea latteIt was very professionally done. I was living in San Jose — nicknamed Man Jose, for good reasons at the time — and I posted a project on Elance which was setting coffee dates for me, in an online calendar. I recruited half a dozen teams around the world, India, Philippines, and a team of Americans in Jamaica working for $4 an hour. They all had a spec sheet — this is tremendously offensive to some people, please have a sense of humor — with links to girls’ profiles I found attractive, and others, not so much. It was very specific.”

While Ferriss doesn’t necessarily condone hiring a virtual assistant to shotgun-blast mass messages to your ideal type, it worked out for him. One date ended up developing into a long-term relationship.

3. Hire a writer to spruce up your lame dating profile

Melinda McIntire is a relationship blogger and freelance online dating profile editor. She writes:

Your online dating profile is just like a resume. And just like a resume, to maximize the best options, you should have an expert review your personal dating resume to secure that date and eventual relationship.”

McIntire — who met her romantic partner on OkCupid — is among the dozens of freelancers on Fiverr who will critique, write and rewrite your dating profile for hire. It’s a surprisingly affordable service that will run you little more than five dollars on Fiverr.

“Most people are not specific enough. It feels very generic and not genuine,” said McIntire in an interview with HTC. “For example, a ‘sense of adventure’ means many things. It’s all about telling your story. At the very least, get basics like spelling and grammar down!”

If the Terrible OkCupid Messages on Tumblr are evidence, this is not an embarrassing service. But it for sure is an inevitable one.

For aNewDomain, I’m Raquel Cool.

Ed: The original version of this article ran on aNewDomain’s BreakingModern. Read it here

Images: Smoke Art – Hearts by MattysFlicks via Flickr; “i saw you on tinder” by Denis Bocquet via Flickr; Chai Tea Latte by Bea Represa via Flickr