My filter settings are pretty generous—if you have a compatibility rating of higher than 70 percent, are of at least “average” attractiveness, and send more than a three-word message—“Hey” and “Yo girl” are not acceptable—your message will make it to me.(Filters are common—especially for women, who often receive a high number of lewd or casual messages from spam profiles, and generic messages from men who send the same note to a swath of profiles.) Of the 708 messages I received over the next fourteen months, 530 ended up in the filtered inbox, which left me with about one message of decent-or-above quality a day.
I noted that my friends describe me as “sincere and hilarious,” “fun to do things with,” and “a great trivia partner.” I peppered my profile with jokes and references to climbing, yoga, learning, eating all of the things, and drinking all of the drinks.
Among my single friends, and even in the conversations I overheard between strangers in coffee shops, women using dating sites described being “overwhelmed” and “flooded” with communication.
On the day I completed my profile, I received one message; four more appeared over the next two days.
The most mathematically promising one—at 99.5 percent—turned out to be one of my existing friends from law school.
But almost immediately, I began to notice peculiarities about my experience.