Astra314 (Left) and Christine (Right)

It will no doubt shock and amaze you all to learn that, yes, I’m still single and looking.  This being well known among the Greenpointers staff, when we were approached by Christine Hooker, the energetic dating impresario behind improve-your-online-profile service Artful Online Dating, the debate over who would pick up the story was therefore short.  Clearly, it was time for my unique predilection for over-sharing to shine.

When Christine arrived, wine in hand, it was clear that the process of doing a little spring cleaning on the OKCupid profile was going to be neither formal nor arduous.  Christine has a definite presence (and, yes, a volume level) that fills a room and immediately sets a friendly and conspiratorial tone for her sessions.  The basics of her service have been well covered in other articles and on her website, so I won’t go back over them except to say that her base service, which essentially amounts to a conscientious read-over by a neutral third party, is certainly useful but nowhere near as much fun as the slightly pricier options that include a face-to-face session.  While talking to her, it became clear why she’s such a good match for this business: she loves the process and pageantry inherent in online dating and, by being so excited about it, makes you forget how soul-crushing and alienating it can seem.  A few minutes in, you’re loving it as much as she is.

So what exactly does Christine do?  Through helping you to understand the unique aspects of the online medium – the fact that, unlike in a bar/party/friend pickup scenario, you have the chance to make the invisible about yourself visible and thereby better control who may show interest in it – she helps guide your writing to better engage the people reading your profile and guide them towards your better qualities.  It’s important to state that she won’t rewrite your profile for you or send messages on your behalf – she’s teaching you to fish here.  In my case, she didn’t suggest major changes so much as fine adjustments to make sure my profile wasn’t too much about deflection and humor and instead offered chances for the people reading to include themselves, thereby helping to open conversations.  In the case of my roommate, a veteran of the inappropriate-photo-strewn battleground that is online dating for women, engaging in a hilarious conversation about what she was really looking for in her dates helped them to identify many places where subtle changes in language, picture selection, and overall voice could help to engage the sort of boys men she’s looking to meet.

Legally speaking, I can’t promise that paying Christine to help you out with your profile will get you laid.  I can, however, guarantee that it will be a far better time than the usual round of Netflix and quickmatch.

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