1. Be Yourself. No fake pictures. Are you a Disney Princess? Are you Mulan? I didn’t think so. You don’t have to go masquerading around as a Chinese Man to impress this young Military Captain. In fact, I’d prefer that you dressed like a girl. In fact, if you can’t photograph without looking like a man, I’m going to assume that you are a man. NOPE.
2. Look Good. That is — appear benevolent. Like you care. Like you are the change you want to see in the world. Repair a wheelchair. Help an old lady cross the street. Jaywalk if need be! Teach an inner-city youth basic arithmetic. But crop the kid out of the photo. Because no moms. NOPE.
3. Look at the Camera. My meema (grandma) would often warn, “The eyes are the windows to the soul. Or, was it… windows are the eyes of the soul?” She was dying. But her wisdoms resonated long after the pipe organ concluded that all too familiar dirge. So… what is a guy supposed to expect from a girl that can’t look straight into a camera? Maybe you are always looking at the ground, laughing, hair hanging over your face. Maybe you’ve sustained a neck injury. But if that’s the case, how are we gonna mack? What are the physics there? I’m over it. NOPE.
4. Load. If your picture fails to load, how do I know what you look like? You might be a reptile on the half-shell. Furthermore, I’m a busy guy with no time for games. Any hesitation and I’m on to the next caller. Hello? Soulmate? It’s me, John. What’s that? You want have casual sex, fall in love, and spend the rest of our lives travelling together? DOPE! I’ll pick you up outside the papuseria. I’m relieved you’re not a tortoise.
5. Don’t Be a Shapeshifter. Keep a consistent look throughout your profile. You may have piqued my interest with your vexing eyes and inviting smile, but then, all of the sudden you’re a mime? What happened? How often do you mime? It’s a NOPE, regardless. If I wanted to see what your face would look like painted, I’d paint it. Myself. On our first date. At LACMA. Under the white glow of a Mexican silent film. Next screening begins in 4 minutes.
6. Only Post Pictures Taken at LACMA. This should be a given. I’ve been to LACMA, so I know how fun it is to pose next to the municipal street lamps of Urban Light. Plus, it gets me brainstorming about where to take you on our first date. Nothing says romance like dangling yellow sensory noodles that have probably never been washed. LIKED. FYI: LACMA IS CLOSED ON WEDNESDAYS.
7. No Group Photos. If I wanted to play Where’s Waldo, I’d go to the library. There is, however, one acceptable implementation of the posse pose– Triplets. It doesn’t matter who’s who, because they’re identical. And there’s always the potential for a foursome. A reminder for guys to tread carefully, though– it takes just one failed prophylactic against the genetics of these three fertile babes to produce a yield of nine kids. NO THANKS. I can barely handle my 5-yr-old son!
8. No Pics with Jeff Goldblum. Am I supposed to be impressed? Because not only am I impressed, I’m intimidated. Jeff Goldblum is the honest-to-God best actor/guy on the face of this or any planet. He touched you and thanked you for your fandom? Was that flirting?! It goes without saying, any girl good enough for Jeff Goldblum is too good for this young Military Captain. Drop the cameo, or it’s a definite NOPE. NOPE.
1. No Unusual Names. I don’t care if it’s on your birth certificate. Having an unusual name as a twenty-something means your parents were progressive in the 90s. Shake what your mama gave you and come up with something more comfortable. Carlyy?– Carly!, Krystal?– Chris!, Chrissy?– Chris!, Tolula?– Toto! One simple grammar pass could change that NOPE to a LIKED.
2. Don’t Say You’re 63. Unless you are 63. Are you 63? Have I been drinking again? You are! I have! Where can I pick you up? MEEMA?! Where did you get an iPhone? Of course I know the apple store! Who could you possibly be texting? Grandpa’s been dead for ten years. If I drive, will you buy me In-N-Out? NO?! Meema, you tease.
3. Be an American 20-Something. If you’re foreign, I have to assume you’d be responding in your native tongue. I can’t be expected to flirt in German! What is this, Hermann Gӧring’s surrender? Hallo, Cutie! Wo bist du? Die Papuseria? Das ist mein lieblings Papuseria. Meema?! Was machen Sie denn hier? Ach Schade! NEIN.
4. Be Serious. Anyone capable of professing their worldview AND conveying their intelligence in the brevity of 500 characters gets a LIKED in my book. Extra credit for precision. An earnest effort testifies to maturity in a way that emojis cannot. That said, a clever arrangement of emojis sometimes says more about a person than their visible personality.
5. Live Within Walking Distance. Many of LA’s most eligible bachelors don’t have a car. When you live beyond walking distance of your man’s favorite cafe, it not only suggests that you don’t care about him, but it suggests that you don’t care about the environment. Maybe you deserve a smog lover.
1. Respond. Nobody likes a girl who doesn’t respond. It hurts. What happened to that spark? You had to have swept right for a reason, or else you would have swept left. All I did was ask about your day. Did I cross some invisible boundary? Am I a creep? Am I an invalid? Perhaps you had no intention of responding when you downloaded the app. Who does that help? These are real people with real feelings. Some of them are fragile. Some of them need support in this, their darkest hour, the hour of their grandmother’s passing.
2. No Trolling. I came here to meet a lady, not to be laughed at! You’re not funny. I’m funny! Goofballs keep walking.