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When I tell people that I work as an online-dating assistant, their initial reaction is of morbid curiosity. But the intake interviewer seemed just as interested in my ethical flexibility as he was in the journalistic details of my résumé. ” Would I be comfortable ranking clients’ photographs? I learned that there are two main types of writers at the company: “Profile Writers,” who create seductive and click-worthy profiles based on facts our clients have supplied about themselves, and “Closers,” who log in to clients’ dating accounts at least twice a day to respond to messages from matches.
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.
“If it weren’t for my relentless dedication to cracking the code to meeting and attracting the right person, I probably wouldn’t have met the girl I’m with now.”Today the company employs 80 people and boasts 2,500 “satisfied customers.” But the same cannot be said for all of its employees.
I asked my coworkers how they handle the moral flexibility that the work demands.
As part of the company’s all-inclusive service, Matchmakers will scour these platforms for potential matches and then send copy-and pasted opening messages to those who fulfill their clients’ preferences, such as “must love cats” or “should know how to cook.”But combing through each woman’s profile would require too much time, so Matchmakers are instead taught to generalize a client’s preferences as much as possible and then select an opening line that could work for hundreds of women. That’s easy: Client X’s Matchmaker can search the company manual for the word “travel” and select from a handful of vague travel-related greetings.
From there, after the client has approved the message, a one-liner blitz will rain down on dozens of dating sites, targeting hundreds of women with the word “travel” in their profiles.“We have a lot of ice-breaker messages that are billed around specific interests, like yoga or skiing or having a very short profile,” Valdez told Quartz.
“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.