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Once upon a time, internet dating was a vaguely embarrassing pursuit.

Who wanted to be one of those lonely hearts trolling the singles bars of cyberspace?

Plus, being more active should bump my profile toward the top, so I’ll be more visible. Someone “likes” me and asks me out within three messages.

I should make my messages personal, advises Hoffman: “Comment on something in his profile and follow with a question.” Dutifully, I tell one bespectacled prospect, “I like melty ice cream, too. ” I have some interesting chats, but nothing leads anywhere. He’s into photography and makes his own pasta—and he is an Adonis.

We come up with “My ideal match is someone who loves family, has an opinion on current events, and can hold his own at a cocktail party on a Friday night, then chill with me on a lazy Saturday.” The final touch is a headline that sums up my approach to life, like a personal slogan. "It's like a slot machine—the majority of the time, you pull the lever and nothing happens, but every once in a while, there's a payoff." A deflating solution from one online dater: "Draw a face on it and send it back to him."Hoffman looks at my photos and nixes the corporate headshot and mirror selfie. Mirror selfies often give off an air of vanity.” She says the best profile shots feature the three Cs: color (vibrant shades, especially red, grab attention), context (pics that involve your hobbies, like travel or, say, clog dancing), and character (something quirky or funny, “like you in your Halloween costume”).

), I try a Hoffman move, writing, “That’s a story better told over a drink.” He suggests... To stay sane, she says, “stop telling yourself stories to explain it, like ‘It’s because I’m not good enough.’ Trying to figure out why someone didn’t choose you is like trying to swim with ankle weights: You’ll get pulled right down instead of moving forward.These days, however, the New York Times Vows section—famous for its meet-cute stories of the blissfully betrothed—is full of couples who trumpet the love they found through Ok Cupid or Tinder.Today an estimated one-third of marrying couples in the U. met online, and as many as 15 percent of American adults have used dating sites or apps.(When you’re a black woman in your 40s, why do all your matches look like George Jefferson?) Hoffman says the algorithm, like a boyfriend, can’t read my mind; I need to message and “like” guys I find appealing if I want to start seeing similar people in my results.

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