When I’d completed my new online profile, I sent it over to a female friend for vetting. A lack of interest on her part, a lack of interest on mine. As the search continued, I’d come home each night to my computer and spend hours scrolling through the vast sea of faces.
Add an inch to your height, she said, and put a few female writers in your list of favorite authors. Then I got to work, sending out messages to a slew of women. There were lots of aspiring actors and lots of people in PR, and most of them, I learned from their profiles, were seriously into men who “don’t take themselves too seriously,” which is an idea that I object to. After a few months, I’d gotten used to the unwritten rules of messaging—never introduce yourself with a “What’s up?
I took her advice, making myself 5-foot-11 while adding Nora Ephron, Katie Roiphe and Gail Collins to a list that included E. ,” among other trivialities—and my date count started to pick up as I ricocheted from one woman to the next. Before I knew it, I was going on three or four dates a week.
Soon enough, intoxicated by the possibility these services offer, I’d downloaded Tinder, the location-based dating app, and the Jew-finding app JSwipe (“Mazel Tov! Each one happened at a bar, which is not a bad place for a first date.
It wasn’t until recently, when I stepped back to reflect on my time in the digital dating arena—a whirlwind of pretty faces and predictable interests and prosaic conversations—that I realized my lifetime date count had, like a strain of mutant amoebae, multiplied by more than sevenfold.