“I consider myself to be a marketer, a matchmaker, and a dating expert.” He lists the books he’s read that inform his methods: Malcolm Gladwell’s “Online dating takes effort, and effort equals time,” he continued.“With [dating apps’] explosion in popularity, it means that you have a huge dating pool at your fingertips, but you’re also in direct competition with everyone else in your area., and are loaded with his personal insights into the primal female brain. “There’s no question about it,” reads one chapter, “women want to date the alpha male.They are naturally drawn to the ‘leader of the pack.’” Valdez elaborates later in the manual: “The alpha male is the .” But how do you present yourself as an Alpha?My personal favorite: These pick-up lines are mostly sent by a third type of employee, “Matchmakers,” who send out opening messages en masse across every dating platform imaginable: Tinder, Bumble, match.com, POF, Luxy, and Seeking Arrangement, to name just a few.
Men and women (though mostly men) from all over the world pay this company to outsource the labor and tedium of online dating.Once you mix in the vague rules of netiquette and a healthy fear of catfishing scams, it’s easy to see why someone might want to outsource their online-dating profile to a pro, if only to keep themselves sane.But where does the digital social assistant end and the con artist begin? In November 2017, I ran across an ad seeking “people with good Tinder skills” for a job as a “Virtual Dating Assistant.” At first I thought it was a joke, but I completed their online form out of pure fascination. Apparently, professional writers make for good online-dating assistants; knowing how to seduce strangers with the written word is the company’s mandate, after all.Tinder alone produces more than 12 million matches a day, and if you’re a heterosexual American, you now have a one in three chance of meeting your future husband or wife online.But as e-romance hits an all-time high, our daily dose of rejection, harassment, and heartbreak creeps upward, too.“She seems more simple,” my trainer would write in response.“Let’s try a different approach.” My meaningful questions would disappear from our shared Google Doc, replaced by simpler, condescending small talk.The matches I speak to on behalf of the Texan man and other clients have no idea they’re chatting with a professional.It shouldn’t come as a surprise that these ghostwriting services exist.Before Tinder normalized “DTF” (“Down To Fuck”) as an opening salute, Valdez would send copy-and-pasted pick-up lines to dozens of women a day and track their effectiveness on spreadsheets.“Online dating is a numbers game,” he would write in the Vi DA training manual years later.