Friendly feedback


"Why do random people's opinions matter more than my friends?"

Sadly, your friends opinions are of little value. In truth, these opinions might even be harmful. The simple reason is that your profile should be appealing to people who don't know you. Well, those friends simply can't see you as random people do.

Where the bias lies

You might have found yourself on Tinder or OKCupid with little luck. That's why, at lunch, you're asking your friend for her opinion on your photos.

Upon seeing your pictures, she naturally gets excited. The goofy photo makes her chuckle, that old memory recalled from that other photo receives a compliment - another photo of that nightclub photo at that birthday outing. She likes those photos, they tell her the story of you.

With that feedback, you naturally think "She loves my profile - it's simply great. If the right person sees it too, they'll recognise me"

How strangers look at your profile

Hang on a minute. The person you actually want to woo is sitting in a coffee shop three miles west (unless you're in LA, then it'd be east). She or he is swiping through profiles, and stumbles upon yours. That one with your tongue sticking out, that nightclub photo. They're RED FLAGS. Another red flag - all the photos are of nightclubs - "ah, a hard partier" your perfect match thinks. That dog-photo - "you probably went through a lot of effort borrowing that dog for the afternoon. Nothing better to offer than borrowed dogs?". Sorry, you went left.

The more context, the worse objectivity

Your friend knows your world, and has a fully painted pictured of you in their head, nostril hair and all. They see your dating profile in that lens. Their wonders, questions and thinking will be very different from your perfect match in that coffee shop. They can't be objective, and that's perhaps why you keep them around.

Your friend thinks "oh, you look like fun" when seeing a party picture. The coffee-shop lover sees a drunkard or a crazy person, perhaps an alcoholic. "Do I want to get involved with that?". And if they're that desperate, perhaps you should be cautious.

Get it right, get strangers to give you objective feedback. You'll be dating strangers online, and with a bit of luck, you might turn them into subjective you-lovers that chuckle at that tongue picture, or find that drunk you adoring. But for now, give yourself the best chance and get rid of that context, and you'll be more lucky.

As an example - check out this Elon Musk picture - he's perhaps the best known stallion. He's a billionaire, and you have a lot more context. But from this picture alone, you'd rate him as perhaps not so stallion-esque.