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I began my experiment in mid-August, downloading Tinder, Hinge, and Coffee Meets Bagel.I was familiar with the apps beforehand: I used them for a month in summer 2013 when they were new and the It Thing among my friends, the source of all our war stories.So I filled out my profiles honestly, noting in each I was not looking to date, "only make friends :)." This practice got trickier on more information-intensive apps—I literally responded to Coffee Meets Bagel's "I like it when my date…" query with a "doesn't want to date me. But Laurie Davis, author of and an online dating consultant, later told me that strategy was all wrong: Being direct was the kiss of death."If you're looking for friends, I would just not write anything about that until the very end if they ask you a question about it," she said. "On OKCupid, they ask you 'you should message me if…' and I would say something really casual there like, 'You think having a drink would be fun.' Use words like 'fun,' which is an indicator of more for social than anything else." She didn't have a lot of faith in my whole friend-getting scheme, really.
), ab selfies, and if I was really lucky, a suit shot.A woman's profile would show up on my Tinder, and I'd just stare at it.I couldn't swipe right, partly because of an information shortage, partly because of the guilt I felt misleading the woman in the picture."As someone who's single, I wouldn't suggest [you] joining a dating site if you're really not interested in dating anyone at least casually," she said. I thought my "friends only" profiles would be the measure of this: The people who swiped right on me after reading them would understand and accept my terms.I jumped in swiping myself and found, to my surprise, a lot of guys were cool with my rule.