Dating in NYC?
October 12, 2015 8:13 PM   Subscribe

No, seriously, why am I having zero luck? I ended a long-term relationship in June. I'm still getting over it, but I want to get back on that damn horse. I moved to NYC for grad school in August, and I have had zero (literally, 0) luck with men since the breakup.

Relevant details about myself: cis, hetero woman of color in my mid- to late-20s. I'm a bit overweight, but not obese. I don't like intense physical activity (as in, I like taking walks and helping out at a farm, but I don't like going to the gym or for a run.) My clothes and grooming and hygiene are fine, I promise. I can spell and write and all of those things perfectly well.

I like drinking as much as the next 20-something, though I'm not looking to get wasted every weekend. I like social justice things and the kind of mainstream nerdy things that are all the rage right now (like Doctor Who). I'm well-traveled, intellectual, and interesting, and I can hold my own in conversations. I have my own shit, but I can handle it and am not a total mess, after a lot of work to get there. I'm really not a bad catch, all things considered. (I am purposely complimenting myself here, partly because women don't compliment themselves enough; I don't actually say these things to people or think that I'm better than them.)

I've very successfully online dated (OKC) in the past, but the last time I did so I was 24, dating in the San Francisco. This time around, I tried 'em all: OKC, Hinge, Tinder, Bumble, Coffee Meets Bagel -- and zero. I'm totally fine messaging dudes first, but I got no (again, 0) responses over about a month's time, and zero (0! still!) first messages that were anything more than the usual "hey baby." In fact, I just deactivated all of the profiles because the lack of response was so depressing.

My online dating profiles, while perhaps not AMAZING SPARKLY WONDER, were good -- not that different in tone from previous profiles I've used with success. I do have some minimum requirements in dudes I will consider, but I don't think they're crazy outrageous: college degree, not actively sexist/racist/homophobic/etc., able to spell and hold an interesting conversation, things like that. If I were getting lots of messages and rejecting them, I might consider that my standards are too high -- but that isn't happening.

In terms of meeting people IRL, my degree program is mostly women, who are fab but unfortunately not people I'm interested in dating, and it feels like most of the dudes are already taken. I'm not particularly enthusiastic about picking up guys at bars (does that even really happen still?), because I'm not the kind of white, fit, skinny woman that it seems most men at bars are looking for. (No bitterness, just observations.) I'm happy to partake in community events, participate in student groups, etc. for my own edification, but again...not a ton of men in the activities I like, which are mostly social justice-y.

At this point, I'm trying to convince myself I'm fine with a "stop looking, and love will find you" kind of attitude, but...uh, is it so much to ask to get laid and/or have a nice date with a nice man?

Help me! Where, OH WHERE, are all the dudes I want to date?
posted by Ragini to Human Relations (47 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
 
I know you said you deactivated but what's on your profiles? What are you doing in your pics, what is your tinder blurb etc?

In terms of irl I think you just need to give it a little more time.
posted by zutalors! at 8:26 PM on October 12, 2015


It's pretty common for people to post a link to the OKC profile here and ask for specific feedback on what might be throwing people off, so that's one option if you want more info on what might be happening there. I'm wondering if you include those criteria for men you list in your profile or if those are just a mental checklist. Even though they're totally reasonable, if you mention them in your profile, they might come across as kind of odd.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:28 PM on October 12, 2015


Okay, alright, I realize that this question is maybe a little silly without a profile link, so here is my OKC, reactivated just for all you lovely folk. Assume that my Tinder/Bumble/etc profiles are similar in tone, but of course in the allotted 300 characters or whatever. I would love to focus more on the big picture things and less on the minutia of my actual profile, unless there is something horribly egregious I'm doing.
posted by Ragini at 8:46 PM on October 12, 2015


Your pics are lovely and the profile is fun so it's not that. I'd put the tea picture earlier.

Maybe if you do just want a casual hook up you might mention that (though people can be gross about it)
posted by zutalors! at 8:53 PM on October 12, 2015


Re the issue of your standards.

Are you listing on your profile "Must have college degree, etc" or is that the criteria upon which you'll answer a message?

If the former, I'm pretty sure the #1 turnoff for people doing online dating is preachy/judgy stuff in your profile. And it will turn off exactly the kind of person you want to attract: well-meaning nice educated people who are fun to be around. Meanwhile the illiterate dumbasses just send two-word messages to every woman they think are hot.

If the latter, while I don't know if you're being too picky, you might want to remember that a message and a profile do not a person make. Someone who puts the wrong version of "their" in a message might be a really intelligent and sensitive person who you would click really well with. I think it's completely OK to be looking for a certain educational threshold (and you absolutely should be able to find plenty of nice college educated men in NYC), but on the other hand, one thing I've learned in my 30s is that the person you expect is not necessarily the person you're going to end up with. I've dated at least one guy who was not a college graduate, and he was absolutely smart, well-spoken, great dinner conversation, knew the difference between to/too/two, etc. I've dated people who didn't have the kind of career I saw myself paired up with, here in L.A. men who don't have cars (huge local social marker), etc. and I ended up having great relationships with these people. In my 20s I hung out with a lot of artists and discovered that a SHOCKING number of amazing brilliant people who you would be lucky to end up with who just aren't real verbal/literate in the sense of like grammar nazi, well-read, good speller, etc. Because they are visual, and their sense of aesthetics is the most important thing.

So, yeah, you might be too picky. Especially if you're getting lots of messages and turning them down because they don't look great on paper, or if you're straight up telling people not to message you if X, Y, or Z.

On a slightly different tack, I feel like early 20s is not really the prime online dating age, especially among people who are still in school and have the ability to meet people to date IRL. I got the most online dating attention in my late 20s, when it gets a lot harder to meet people. You may have better luck meeting people through a shared hobby or the like.
posted by Sara C. at 8:53 PM on October 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's not you, it's just that there are too many women in NYC for the number of straight men. (Men are outnumbered 2 to 1 or 3 to 1, I forget which.) You might consider reading the book Datenomics, in it the author describes the weird effects on dating that a skewed sex ratio has.
posted by Lycaste at 8:54 PM on October 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


Last update, and then I will BUTT OUT, promise.

I am not getting a lot (any, in fact) messages that are more than the practically spam "hey baby" type things, so I am not in fact rejecting real prospects, and I wouldn't reject someone based on a minor typo anyway ("can spell" = can get through an understandable sentence). I am also not actually specifying any criteria in my profile. I understand the negative ramifications and general jerkitude of doing so.

I am also turning 27 in less than a week , just to clear up any misconceptions about my current age.
posted by Ragini at 9:05 PM on October 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


You look super cute and have a nice profile! I agree with Lycaste above that it's likely a numbers issue rather than something you're doing "wrong." Perhaps I'd ramp up your chances to meet guys in person, like by doing activities you enjoy and have a higher percentage of male participants. Of course, keep doing what you love and ignore that tip if you're not interested.
posted by smorgasbord at 9:10 PM on October 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Play around with taking out "Indian" in the details because guys might not be putting it in their search. Maybe just pick Asian, it's broader (I am Indian American and we are awesome, I'm not telling you to hide anything about that).
posted by zutalors! at 9:12 PM on October 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Would you do stuff like trivia nights? Lots of guys there in your age range.
posted by zutalors! at 9:17 PM on October 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


I combed through your profile looking for fatal flaws, but I actually think that on the whole there isn't anything wrong with the substance of it. It is the structure that is holding it back. You launched immediately into just listing stuff- rather than crafting something that reads more like a one way conversation. It immediately had the feeling of being generic and run-of-the-mill to me, rather than feeling original and special (of course that is probably not the case for the person in reality!). I think you need to rewrite the self summary to be less a listing of your interests/hobbies/commentary and more of a developed, thoughtful self introduction that sounds like your own voice and words. You can mention some interests and thoughts about things, but make it feel like you are talking right there to someone to get their attention. These online profiles are always structured with lots of boxes to fill in lists of all sorts for the rest of the profile so that an interested person can pour through and find common ground- but that kind of listing of 'stuff' doesn't really initially generate the interest; it is your self summary and pictures that do. You want a guy to see the picture, read the summary, and then look up and think, "Ok! Now I like what this woman is all about! Time to investigate a little more..."
posted by incolorinred at 9:19 PM on October 12, 2015 [11 favorites]


I think you're cute and come across well. I agree with the commenter who said you need to move the "drink tea" pic up.

I think you should remove the "thoughtful on a beach" pic. You are barely visible in it.
posted by jayder at 9:22 PM on October 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Have you been to the Way Station in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn? I just checked it out for an article, and the article is in part about how I personally do not want to go to a Doctor Who-themed nerd bar that's more like a community living room because I hate people and gatherings and groups and fellow-feeling and camaraderie, but MAN if you want to meet other nerds with diverse preferences that is a great place to start.

Your profile is perfectly lovely and if you put even an ounce more effort into moving things around you will have put 300% more effort into it than most New York men put into their profiles (which is not to say you shouldn't, just... be aware of the effort differential). You probably just need a little patience, and some good keywords to search for. I don't know about Bumble etc., but on OkCupid their stupid algorithms control who sees you and who you see -- searching can subvert that.

I'm very much not the New York guy's dream (fat, weird hair, feminist, doesn't have time for bullshit) and I got ignored by most of the guys I messaged when I was on OkC. But the one who wrote back was a fucking WINNER, and frankly I'm relieved I spent the rest of my time on making new New York friends instead of eating awkward dinners. If dudes are going to ignore you for stuff like "doesn't like running enough" or "isn't white" it's a huge mitzvah that they're ignoring you now instead of taking you on miserable outings. The guys who do write back will be better.

But try the Way Station. I'd totally go on the pull there if I weren't such a fucking curmudgeon.
posted by babelfish at 9:46 PM on October 12, 2015 [13 favorites]


I have been to the way station and had no idea it was dr who themed but so has Sara c and she can probably tell you how that is.

There are men there though yea. If you really want to know where to go to just pick up guys it's Murray hill or financial district bars.
posted by zutalors! at 9:51 PM on October 12, 2015


Adorable profile, they're all morons!

I would move the tea picture to first place or see if you could replace the first (dressed up!) picture with a selfie? I'm the same shape as you and I feel like a neckline like the one you're wearing in 'dressed up' ends up 'chopping up' in photos, although it looks darling in real life.
posted by The Noble Goofy Elk at 9:55 PM on October 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


To babelfish's point, pretty much the only time I've ever been picked up in a bar (by a really cute and funny and smart guy!) was at The Way Station.
posted by Sara C. at 10:03 PM on October 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


not a ton of men in the activities I like

Team (coed) sports (fun, non-competitive stuff like baseball or volleyball)
posted by cotton dress sock at 10:07 PM on October 12, 2015


I don't really think it's the profile. Plus, I like your personality. You sound funny. SO I don't think it's the "boring lady who cooks oatmeal at home" issue.

Is Tinder and Hinge really not as active as OkCupid? I think OkCupid's usage base is not as active, and I don't get a lot of messages on there but a ton on those other apps. Use the tea picture one :) I also know with Tinder and Hinge you get what you put into it, and the more you swipe right or match the more likely you will get matches.

I would try some new things in real life too and joining new activities and things to broaden your social circle a bit. Or mention casually to your friends that you would like to date some more - blind dates can be fun!
posted by pando11 at 10:22 PM on October 12, 2015


For summer 2016. obviously :/ [sorry]. 2nd anything loose involving games, pub quiz would be great. Whatever the problem is, it's not you.
posted by cotton dress sock at 10:23 PM on October 12, 2015


I love the tone of the paragraph here where you're purposefully complimenting yourself; it's confident without being arrogant and makes you sound like a terrific person, flaws and all. Could you rewrite your self-summary to be a bit more like that... lead with a confident summary of who and how you are overall, then get into the details like your love of food blogs afterward (this quality delights me, actually, and if you were queer and in my city I'd give you a look for that alone ;)).

Another thought: you list some pretty specific things in your interests... could you restructure a bit to foreground more common ones, situate them within broader categories, or create a balance between the general and the specific? For example, I have no idea what the Gilmore Guys podcast is (should I check it out?). Are you interested in podcasts more generally and would you be interested in hearing about the ones that I, Available Guy, enjoy? We're more likely to hit it off over a conversation about podcasts (general) than about a specific podcast, at least at first. This makes your interests into entry points, with the specifics adding character.

I agree with the others here about the tea photo, too.
posted by bibliotropic at 10:38 PM on October 12, 2015 [5 favorites]


Look, I don't know. But I have a friend in almost the exact same boat - a few years older - and she has had the exact same experience as you. She's very very similiar to you, including being a woman of colour, into nerdy mainstream stuff, well-travelled etc etc. She had been using OKC and messaging dudes and getting no responses. I can't tell you why, which is also why I can't explain why it's happening to you - but you're not alone. I think your profile is really funny and cute and I don't think there's really much to change there that would suddenly milkshake all the guys to your yard.

On the flipside, there was my friend on OKC who was again - all of the above, except she was white and petite. She was inundated with messages to the point that she could barely keep up. Being a WOC myself, I don't want to admit that race/colour that might be the reason why, but it's hard not to think that given this experience.

Have you considered a friends-based meetup site as an alternative to just meeting people and then going from there? There's also a ton of nerdy location-centric groups on FB that might be what you're looking for as well (these groups seem to have replaced forums as the place to hang out online, i've met some really cool people in the short time I've been using them). Good luck.
posted by liquorice at 12:02 AM on October 13, 2015 [15 favorites]


As a matter of fact, if we can trust the OKC blog, low message response rates from men who were messaged by women were only a problem for Black women, not WOC generally. I don't know if we can generalize from that to interest in others generally, but there you have it.

You've got good pictures, a good profile writeup... yeah, sorry, no obvious red flags.

Dating is just hard. And it's hard to isolate the one variable that is causing it; life is just so random. I can tell you, as a straight man in NYC (who supposedly benefits from this purported awesome ratio in the city) on dating sites, women are hardly raining down on me. Maybe once in a blue moon I'll get a message I'm moderately enthusiastic about. The rest is not terribly distinguishable from spam. Everyone in my grad program is married/taken as well. All this is a roundabout way of saying, if you find the answer to the dating puzzle, please tell the rest of us.
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 3:14 AM on October 13, 2015


Your profile looks cute, though I agree that maybe a short intro paragraph would help your case ("Active and friendly Bay area transplant seeking someone with whom to explore NYC and watch Doctor Who. When I'm not in class or studying, I love reading food blogs and drinking tea ...") The line about being closer to Lorelai's age is cute but you don't have to make yourself sound old. And I think the suggestion to switch from Indian to Asian is a good idea, if you're comfortable with that.

Also, I don't know jack about online dating but are you reaching out to guys yourself? A friend likes to tell the story about how he and his wife met online and she reached out to him. Good luck - I know it's frustrating but give it time.
posted by kat518 at 3:34 AM on October 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


Your user name combines a synonym for crazy and an animal that has no popular association with affection, grace or femininity. Might want to change it.

Be more specific about your career and your current grad program and your aspirations. Accomplishment and ambition are attractive and you don't support any inference on those points.

Increase your age range. Cutting out guys in their 30s is eliminating the vast majority of your good prospects.

Drop the politics. NYC women being liberal goes without saying, and saying it makes you seem either boring or doctrinaire. Boring is to be avoided for obvious reasons. Doctrinaire because most successful men in NYC are quietly well to the right of the local politically correct line (although usually moderate in absolute terms) and don't want to feel that polite disagreement would be a source of conflict.

The textual emphasis on food and media consumption and geek code words, and your beach photo being alone and in street clothes makes you seem at best uninterested in and at worst hostile to sports, fitness and the outdoors. That puts you out of contention for 90% of NYC guys for an LTR. Men in New York as a rule love their sports / outdoor activities -- very much including most geeky guys even if their favored activities are more like biking and rock climbing rather than golf or the Hamptons. There isn't a guy I know who doesn't organize most of his weekends and vacations around them, and his weekdays too if and when in season and available in Manhattan or Brooklyn.
posted by MattD at 4:42 AM on October 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Single female New Yorker on OKC here to say that it isn't necessarily a race thing - I'm lily-white and I'm having the exact same luck. The last guy with an OKC profile that I hooked up with, I met through other means and only found out later on that he was even on there. (Full disclosure, though - I'm in my 40's.) And guys almost never respond to me when I message them first - although, one who did was the guy I ended up dating all last winter and gushing about here under the nickname "object d'schmoop".

It isn't you, though. You may be more like me - where it's a case of quality rather than quantity (meaning: vanishingly few guys respond, and you like very few of the ones that respond to you, but the guys who DO answer or the ones you DO like are fucking amazing).
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:46 AM on October 13, 2015


http://jonathansoma.com/singles/

Have you seen the above map? It may help explain some of the differences between your success rate in NYC vs SF. I wouldn't give up, but it may help you to be less hard on yourself. You are fine, it might just take more time to connect on the East coast.
posted by chuke at 4:53 AM on October 13, 2015


Rework your profile to say more about your personality and what it would be like to be in a relationship with you than lists of things you like. What's your average weekend? Favorite vacation? How would your friends describe you to a guy?

Yeah there are regional preferences for less nerdy, more sports oriented people, but there's also millions of guys in the area, and you only need a few. I wouldn't worry about that.
posted by hyperion at 7:05 AM on October 13, 2015


It's not you.

It's the city, and it's the age.

Men in their 20s in New York City are basically garbage. (Skill level: I have dated and married men in New York City for more than two decades, so I have lived "Rent," "Girls" and "Sex and the City.")

Insult to injury? Even most of those totally awful guys your age are in long-term relationships with amazing women. It also doesn't get that much better as you age!

It's horrific and sad but it's real.

The good news is, you shouldn't feel crazy, or rejected, or unworthy or anything.

There are people out there to date. Who would be thrilled to date you. So where are they? Well, they're working all night, or they're on some horrible outdoors excursion, or they're locked up in a game shop planning D&D campaigns, or somewhere inaccessible.

So the best thing you can do is put yourself out there in groups where there are actually people YOU might meet that YOU might like. Whether that's yoga, or volunteering, or cooking class, or reading groups, or what have you. That's literally it. People meet at work in New York, or through work friends. But also people date the people who are around those relationships as well: friends of friends, acquaintances of coworkers, etc. The more I observe actual couples, the fewer long-term (or medium-term!) relationships I see among people who met online. Honestly Tinder and the like don't even seem that useful for quick sex once you're older than 24.

Go forth and live! You could tinker with your profiles as long as you like, but honestly it won't matter much, you're already great.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 7:11 AM on October 13, 2015 [5 favorites]


I am not getting a lot (any, in fact) messages that are more than the practically spam "hey baby" type things, so I am not in fact rejecting real prospects, and I wouldn't reject someone based on a minor typo anyway ("can spell" = can get through an understandable sentence).

Here's what jumps out at me about this comment: are you messaging men? I live in NYC, and am currently married to a woman I met on OKC four years ago. She messaged me first and, frankly, had she not, I'm not sure I would have ever messaged her.

Look, men in online dating get far fewer messages than women. The upside to all of those annoying "hey baby" messages, for you, is that if you send a reasonably thought-out message to a man, your odds of a response are pretty damn good. Even - or especially - for thoughtful dudes who spend time crafting messages, because crafting a decent message takes some time and we want to maximize our odds of success. So if nothing in a profile jumps out at us, we probably won't write a message, even if a woman looks cute and seems like a mostly cool person. But, if a woman is cute and seems like a mostly cool person and messages us, we'll probably respond, even if we're lukewarm on the profile.

Basically, if you want to get dates with the kind of men you probably want to get dates with, you either need to have a kickass profile to get their attention, or have an OK profile and prioritize sending men messages. The bar for your profile is lower if you send the first message. I don't mean to sound harsh but that's how it is.
posted by breakin' the law at 7:55 AM on October 13, 2015 [4 favorites]


Two pieces of advice...

1. You've got to regularly and consistently make tweaks to your profile on these sites. That way you show up more often in people's feeds and are just shown around more. The more active you are, the more "promoted" you are.

2. My sister, who is super unconventional in body-type and life and other stuff, started responding to and reaching out to guys on Tinder that didn't meet her typical "standards" and lo and behold she's found someone she's having a good time with. The online world is soooo weird and it's really hard to present your true self so I think it pays off to take a few risks on people who don't necessarily meet all your criteria and see what happens.
posted by brookeb at 8:01 AM on October 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


You are super cute!! And I think you might have more luck if you messaged interesting people first, rather than waiting for them to find you in the crowd (I had no idea the ratio in New York was like that--sheesh!). This might be a good time to employ the "What would a dude do?" principle, rather than doing what you normally do. IME when I act like a "dude," it gives me permission (I know this is messed up, but it's a process!) to be more assertive and give fewer shits about whether I am heard or rejected. It works at the office, and it works in dating.
posted by witchen at 8:05 AM on October 13, 2015


Ugh please don't pretend not to be nerdy or foodie or bookish, or change your username to represent "grace" and "femininity." Not if that's not you. It sounds like you do not want to date an i-Banker who's secretly a conservative and PLAYS HARD BRAH in the Hamptons, so who cares if that guy will or won't message you? Consider your profile an excellent filter, filtering out That Guy.

NYC dating is hard on us non-model ladies. Not impossible, just hard. There are fewer guys and a lot of the ones that DO exist are just awful humans. The worst. I lived there for 5 years and did not get laid even once, I think I went on 2 dates total. Both of those dudes were absolutely terrible and one of them turned out to be already secretly dating my roommate. By comparison, once I left NYC the longest I've ever been single was one year, and that was an on-purpose hiatus.

All this to say: you're not doing anything wrong, and you're not doing anything that's a turn-off in general (except, again, to the kind of guy you'd never in a million years want to date anyway). But the calculus where you're living is different. Get out amongst your people as much as possible, and have lots of patience. And don't let the bastards grind you down.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 8:27 AM on October 13, 2015 [21 favorites]


30 is a tight cutoff for a woman who is 27 in a week who is interested in men. Expand your age range to at least 32, probably higher. Men in their 30s are better anyway.

I think your profile is mostly great and I think you should otherwise just be patient.

Well maybe one suggestion..."food blogs, fancy food, gazpacho, miso tahini, almond butter, gin, avocados, chardonnay, Seamless, tea, gin and tonic"...that's a lot of food references for one online dating profile and I might consider cutting down on them if I were you? I don't feel that strongly about it though.

Also, try not to worry about it too much. I know that's the stupidest conceivable advice but it's also good advice.
posted by Kwine at 8:38 AM on October 13, 2015 [5 favorites]


I mean I can't say that I'm successful in dating in NYC I guess since I don't have a long term relationship, but I've dated a ton and don't have much trouble meeting people/getting messages/responses to messages. I'm in my 30s, a cis woman, and Indian American and it was worse when I was younger, so I'm going against all the other wisdom here.

Here's what I do that I think is good:

- I never talk about how hard it is or men have their choice because numbers or anything. It perpetuates this idea that men can treat women as disposable, which means men do it more and women take it more.

- I do not have a "type" though I do not tend to connect well with people over five years older or younger than me.

- I spend a lot of time focusing on fitness. I'm normal BMI but the fitter I am the better I feel about myself which makes people/men more interested and also I feel confident blah blah

- I have a really wide range of interests from sports to digital culture to country music to politics to tv to dance to meditation and I love talking to people who have a deeper level of knowledge on any topic than I do. I do this to build friendships as well as relationships.

-I go to everything all the time - meetups, sports things, parties where I know almost no one except for one person. I do this to build friendships as well as relationships.

- I'm smart and like to talk about smart things but am wary/gentle about challenging or debating men on a lot of topics. I know that sounds super shitty and it's hard to really explain in this bullet point, but once I stopped taking men at face value that they really want a woman who says everything she thinks the moment she thinks it, I had better luck. I know that sounds shitty. Sorry.

- I invest a lot of my time into trying to find someone. I know you're supposed to live life and not worry but I frankly think that's kind of useless advice. I consider time and energy I put into dating as part of living my life - I won't have the life I want if I don't do it.

It's supposed to be "easy" and "you just know" but it has not been that for me, i don't know if because of statistics or what but if anything I wish I had never believed that it came down to anything but constantly meeting people and refining what you want and what you can compromise on and to approach things in a, well, less than romantic way I guess.

One thing I'm not doing is wondering why people don't contact me and ask me out because they are doing so, and often, and I honestly think it's just because I've put in the hours and hours of practice and am becoming expert level. You're at beginner level, keep working and refining.
posted by zutalors! at 9:37 AM on October 13, 2015 [5 favorites]


As a guy who once upon a time would have been squarely in your demographic, I'd say that incolorred captures my reaction. After I read your profile, I didn't feel like I knew much about you in anything more than the most abstract and list-oriented sense - and like some of the others, there were a bunch of things I didn't recognize at all, and had no context to decide if they'd be worth learning more about. Which is really selling yourself short!
posted by canine epigram at 3:09 PM on October 13, 2015


I agree that getting a little more depth into your profile could help. What are you going to grad school in? How do you feel about it? I personally am a sucker for profiles that are smart, thoughtful and funny, which I think you've mostly got but are holding back a little.

On a more superficial note, I think including a full body shot is important. The tree pic shows you're slimmer than the other photos would imply, but its kind of poorly lit. (Agree that the tea shot is a great photo, though.)

Do you really help out on a farm? That's something that would intrigue me, and a good hook for men to use in responses.

Finally, please please don't change your ethnicity listing (except maybe to clear it altogether). Do you really want to date someone who filters by race?
posted by serathen at 6:13 PM on October 13, 2015


As the person who suggested removing Indian, all I meant was that people forget to include it in their search because there are not a lot of us. It's not the same thing as filtering out. It's something I've played with and it makes a difference in who finds you, it has nothing to do with filtering out or in. It's just about the search mechanism
posted by zutalors! at 7:23 PM on October 13, 2015


Well maybe one suggestion..."food blogs, fancy food, gazpacho, miso tahini, almond butter, gin, avocados, chardonnay, Seamless, tea, gin and tonic"...that's a lot of food references for one online dating profile and I might consider cutting down on them if I were you? I don't feel that strongly about it though.

For what it is worth, this jumped out for me as well -- not in a negative way, but just something I noticed. (If this is communicating something important to you and is key to attracting the person you want to meet, then it is a strength, obviously.)
posted by Dip Flash at 8:00 PM on October 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh, also, can't believe no one mentioned this but go to NYC MeFi IRL meetups if you're not doing that.
posted by zutalors! at 8:20 PM on October 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Y'all are great. I have lots of things to think about -- the primary one being "chill out, it's not just you," but also specific profile changes. Best answers are going to things that resonated specifically, but everyone was very helpful.

Also, thanks for the reminder about The Way Station; I'd read about it a while ago and then promptly forgot. It's a bit of a schlep from Wash Heights, but I think I'll check it out soon.

I'll leave my profile public for another day or so and then hide it again. I haven't yet changed anything, in the interest of avoiding confusion all around.
posted by Ragini at 8:50 PM on October 13, 2015


Men in New York as a rule love their sports / outdoor activities -- very much including most geeky guys even if their favored activities are more like biking and rock climbing rather than golf or the Hamptons. There isn't a guy I know who doesn't organize most of his weekends and vacations around them, and his weekdays too if and when in season and available in Manhattan or Brooklyn.

. I know plenty of man-geeks/non geeks who don't "organize most of their weekends and vacations around sports/outdoor activities".

I know plenty of men that would slap someone who would claim to be a New Yorker and say with a straight face "Men in New York as a rule love their sports". HAHAHAHAHAHAH.

Source: lived in NYC from his mid twenties to mid forties.
posted by lalochezia at 5:06 AM on October 14, 2015 [8 favorites]


To redirect from some of these points from Matt (whch I missed above):

Drop the politics. NYC women being liberal goes without saying, and saying it makes you seem either boring or doctrinaire. Boring is to be avoided for obvious reasons. Doctrinaire because most successful men in NYC are quietly well to the right of the local politically correct line (although usually moderate in absolute terms) and don't want to feel that polite disagreement would be a source of conflict.

It is actually not necessarily the case that "NYC women being liberal goes without saying". Moreover, I imagine that politics is something you enjoy discussing now and then, yes? If so, it certainly makes sense to mention your political views in your profile so you don't have a potential situation like this:

"Wow, awesome, a chick that likes talking politics."
"Yep, that's me."
"Great - not everyone appreciates Trump's plans to reform the system."
"Wait - what?"

Men in New York as a rule love their sports / outdoor activities -- very much including most geeky guys even if their favored activities are more like biking and rock climbing rather than golf or the Hamptons. There isn't a guy I know who doesn't organize most of his weekends and vacations around them, and his weekdays too if and when in season and available in Manhattan or Brooklyn.

As a counterpoint - my entire lifetime dating career has been conducted in New York City (with one single exception), and there isn't a guy I've dated who did organize his weekends around sports. Unless you want to count the guy who went in on a package deal for season tickets to the Yankees for a year, and they spent every game in the nosebleed seats trying to think up witty insults for the other teams, or the guy who tries to hike twice a year. Okay, well, there was the guy who does a lot of kayaking, but I met him while kayaking my own self, not via OKCupid.

The point being: there are plenty of NYC guys who are not "as a rule" into sports, and it also doesn't "go without saying" that you would be liberal. So you don't need to pretend to be into sports, and you shouldn't hide stuff about you that you think is important, just to get a guy. And moreover, why would you want to?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:03 AM on October 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


I spent 19 months on OKC in NYC and I'm sorry to tell you, it's awful. But in month 19 I met the best man I've ever known. I got fed up and deactivated so many times but I'm so glad I persevered.
- Changing pictures around and changing your profile a little really does help. It does cause you to show up in searches more often.
- Send a lot of messages. My boyfriend got so many messages he didn't really get around to sending any, so if I hadn't sent mine, he probably wouldn't have met me.
- Stick with it even though it's awful.

I can't resist responding to MattD:

Your user name combines a synonym for crazy and an animal that has no popular association with affection, grace or femininity. Might want to change it.
This sounds like a message I received from a misogynist on OKC. Honestly this made me laugh out loud.

Drop the politics. NYC women being liberal goes without saying, and saying it makes you seem either boring or doctrinaire. Boring is to be avoided for obvious reasons. Doctrinaire because most successful men in NYC are quietly well to the right of the local politically correct line (although usually moderate in absolute terms) and don't want to feel that polite disagreement would be a source of conflict.
Not true on all levels. I don't know any men to the right. I was open about my progressive leanings and I met like minded people. You should be proud of your politics. And as a WOC it's clearly important that you meet people who aren't bigots.


The textual emphasis on food and media consumption and geek code words, and your beach photo being alone and in street clothes makes you seem at best uninterested in and at worst hostile to sports, fitness and the outdoors. That puts you out of contention for 90% of NYC guys for an LTR. Men in New York as a rule love their sports / outdoor activities -- very much including most geeky guys even if their favored activities are more like biking and rock climbing rather than golf or the Hamptons. There isn't a guy I know who doesn't organize most of his weekends and vacations around them, and his weekdays too if and when in season and available in Manhattan or Brooklyn.

Firstly ignore the entire first sentence, it's incredibly rude and unnecessary Secondly, the bolded statement is ludicrous. No one I am friends with is active or does sports. This is a sweeping inaccurate statement.
posted by shesbenevolent at 1:35 PM on October 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


I think MattD has a point in that, if you are looking for a "certain type of NYC guy", your post doesn't seem to call out to that guy, and nor do your pictures cast you as the type of woman that guy dates.

However, while you mention being picky, you definitely don't say that you're looking for an Ivy League alum who works in finance, lives in Murray Hill, summers in the Hamptons, is into sports, etc. And there are a lot of great men in New York who are nothing like that, in fact not looking for that is actually going to make things easier for you.

To be real blunt, your profile makes you seem like a somewhat quiet and maybe slightly traditional foodie who likes quiet nights in and geeky fun. This does indicate some issues getting messages from guys, but I don't think it's at all what MattD is saying, or anything that is your fault or even a bad thing per se. The guys who like the girl your profile makes you out to be are shy. Which means you're going to have much better luck messaging them. This is why you're not getting messages: the arrogant dudes MattD is talking about aren't into you. Which is good. Those guys are the worst.

So go find the kind of quiet foodie geek social justice dudes you're into and send them lots of messages!
posted by Sara C. at 3:32 PM on October 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


Looking again at your profile, my biggest reaction is to be a lot more wowed by your question here than I am by your profile. (Your parenthetical about self-complimenting, for example, is pure awesome.) Your profile flies a lot of signals, like the references to auto-rickshaws and pivot tables, that the right person will probably pick up on, but without giving anywhere as strong of a picture of your personality.

You sound like exactly the kind of person I would have asked out in graduate school, but I'm not sure your profile alone would have communicated that. Compared to your writing here, it feels dialed down and generic (which might actually be fantastic approaches for online dating, so change only with care).
posted by Dip Flash at 7:36 PM on October 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Hey, someone sent me a message that I managed to delete before I finished reading it. Something about the Cloisters? If it was you, send it to me again!
posted by Ragini at 9:17 PM on October 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


Just want to re-chime in and say that if while crafting a profile, you are thinking about how what you are writing will go over with this or that demographic, you are fundamentally doing it wrong. Whether New-York-guys-organizing-every-weekend-around-sports or not. Writing something, anything, that is authentically you and shows your personality, just as Dip Flash just said, is how you find the person you are looking for- or how they find you. Dating in general would work much better for all parties involved if authenticity was the order of the day.
posted by incolorinred at 2:01 PM on October 15, 2015


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