My Married Friend Analyzed My Online Dating Profile. She Said I Looked Too Smart.

I recently met a new friend at my yoga course, and we instantly clicked. We waffled on about life, culture, and naturally, dating.

See, she’s married, and after finding out I was single, she made it her mission to play matchmaker. There’s something about coupled folks wanting to live vicariously through you when you’re a free spirit full of possibilities.

As someone who doesn’t actively think about or make dating a priority, I appreciated the push from her. Every time we’d be out and about, whether at a cafe or market, she’d size men up for me, tapping me on the shoulder whenever there was a viable specimen around.

We were ambling around one night when she asked to see my Tinder. We started browsing other profiles on there, and she provided such a detailed analysis and commentary on what the pictures and profiles of guys said about them.

“He took this in front of the hotel sign because he wants you to know he has money.”

“This mirror self shows the bathroom is pretty clean so he probably went alone on this trip; if he went with a girl, there would be makeup products all over the counter.”

Of course, all of this was half-joking, but I was curious to see how she’d analyze my profile.

Hey, can you analyze my profile? I’m really curious to see what you think

And so she did.

My profile

For those of you curious, my profile has four photos of me in New York and Philly (some alone, some with friends) and reads as follows:

Your local plastic straw (and bag) police
Houseplants hate me
Can’t follow recipes
🗣️ 🇺🇸🇲🇽🇫🇷

And before I jump into what she said, for context, we’re on an island in the south of Thailand, so the crowd here is mostly digital nomads that hail from all over.

My friend’s analysis

These were some of the things she said about my profile:

  • You look too confident in your photos, men will get intimidated by you. Also, why do you write so much in your bio? No one reads that, they just look at photos.

  • You look too smart and educated. You have white friends in your photos. Also, if you speak many languages, it means you’re smart and men don’t like that. They’re threatened.

  • All your photos are not from here, which means you’re able to travel and you look rich. That means that men will think they have to take you on a fancy date and they won’t want to do that (unless they’re old and have money)

  • You need to add some bikini photos, men want something quick and easy and you look too difficult right now.

I was honestly a little taken aback by her analysis, even if was half-rooted in humor. I was simply portraying my real self and interests and didn’t consider how it could be interpreted by someone swiping around on the other side.

Being in a place with people from all over the world, I thought the languages would be a helpful point of connection. And my most recent photos are from the US, hence why those photos are there. Thus, I was surprised that I came off as too intimidating, smart, and rich.

The push to present a different image of myself

Obviously, her analysis is location and context-dependent. I doubt (or at least hope) that the same profile would be less “intimidating” and more normal abroad.

At the end of the night, she was pushing me to add more revealing photos to my profile so I would be more approachable. I let the idea sit with me for a bit and revisited my initial purpose of having a profile in the first place.

We all have different versions of ourselves and we present a different version outward depending on the context and what’s relevant. I realized that I wasn’t looking for superficial connections or quick attention. If I was going to meet up with someone, I wanted us to be on the same wavelength.

Staying true to yourself

I decided I wasn’t going to portray myself in a way that didn’t make me feel comfortable in the situation. I wasn’t willing to do something that could potentially make others feel more comfortable at the expense of my own.

And I think that goes in every situation, not just on a dating app. Whether you’re meeting a new colleague or giving a presentation, presenting a version of yourself that isn’t true might help the situation at hand, but it’s not who you are and is going to cause problems down the road.

Whatever version of yourself you portray, everyone will have their own conceptions and draw their own conclusions. But you can’t go along worrying how others see you — you gotta stay true to yourself and live your truth as much as you can.

About my friend — she did come back the next day and apologize for pushing me to add more beach photos. She said it was her conception of the situation and she was sorry to push her ideologies and views onto mine, and she was happy I was confident in who I was.

And indeed, I am happy where I am right now.

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