The ThursDater: Profile Pic 101

Ah, Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg’s thieved brainchild. The portal to your entire friend database, as well as a sad collection of people from high school you’ve totally forgotten about, and older relatives who write their names after everything they post. It’s turned you into the ultimate oversharer, and forced you to use “like” as a noun.ZuckerbergBut one part of Facebook has always reigned supreme: the pics! Once upon a time, we only had one profile picture to define us among a sea of other co-eds. This was your characteristic shot. It could invite anything from simple wall post flattery, to a weird poke from a stranger. And if you were lucky, sometimes even a private message from your crush, with a request for a future hangout (something really romantic, like “we should chill sometime.”)

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 Even in the current age of timeline cover photos and Instagram madness, the main profile picture still counts. It’s the photo you have personally chosen to represent yourself, and basically carries your entire essence in one sweet snap. NBD.

But even more importantly, it happens to be the picture that your potential matches will see first when they are rating you on Hinge! So, because we want you matched with the best of the best in friends of friends, we compiled a list of must-avoid profile pictures. Image

Amateur modeling shots. Surely the scout from JCPenney poring over random Facebook pictures will be impressed. Friends of friends, on the other hand, think you’re trying too hard. And are you… possibly in someone’s guest bedroom? Yikes.

The fake gangster pose. Real thugs don’t pose for pictures with upside-down peace signs and a pouty face. They’re busy ghostin’ muthaf*ckas. You might be next on their list, actually. And you certainly won’t be on anyone’s Favorites list.

Being completely wasted. We get it. You were #1 chugging champion in college. Congrats. But it’s doubtful your potential matches are searching for a special someone who will black out and climb on top of the bar pouring Bud heavy all over their shirt, screaming “I’m the King of Beers!” on the first date. But hey, never say never?

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The mirror pic. Do you not have any other pictures of yourself? Do you not have any friends who could take one of you? Why do you want everyone to associate you with toilets? The questions are endless, and it’s likely the people rating you don’t want answers to any of them.

Full bridal parties. So, uh, there sure are a lot of people in this picture… is that you, in the strapless bridesmaid dress? Or are you in the bridal gown? Or perhaps the catering uniform, holding a platter of mini crab cakes? It’s pretty hard to tell. But then again, crab cakes are deeply loved in this region, so maybe you’ll get a few high ratings based purely on the featured hors d’oeuvres.

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The selfie in the driver seat of a car. What exactly are you trying to convey here? Besides that you’re bored, conceited and a tremendously irresponsible driver. Someone is definitely honking at you at a red light/ramming into your car as we write this. Forget asking mutual friends for this one– your auto insurance rates alone are presumably terrifying, and no one wants you bringing that evil on them.

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Children that aren’t yours. While YOU know you’re the most awesomely cool aunt/uncle in all the land, your friends’ friends don’t know you yet, and probably just assume you have a whole litter of children already. #baggage

Your outrageous gun collection. We know that anyone with the need to aggressively showcase such a robust artillery must be the poster child for emotional stability, right? And how exactly do you know Jamie…? Actually, we’re gonna stop talking. You can probably see the fear in our eyes from wherever you’re hobby sniping.

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So, there’s your photo education, Hingers. You’re welcome for the tips. Now try and choose a weapon-free, somewhat recent picture of yourself where we can actually see your face, and go get those Hinge matches! Your inbox should be filling up with potential dates in no time.

The ThursDater: Check Yo’self: Valentine’s Day Edition

NOTE: This week’s ThursDater was crafted by the lovely Svetlana from Brightest Young Things.

Good Valentine’s Day morning everyone! As the pressure builds and the dread of something like this becoming your future  takes over your heart/mind/soul/loins…

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We figured we’d give you a quick check-list to ensure you’re doing the best you can to not eff up your chances tonight, in a simple head-to-shoulder-to-knees-to-toes order:

  • HAIR: your hair, it should be clean (this seems like a no brainer, but… you’d be surprised) and your product usage should be restrained and guided by the age old adage: “think of all the things you WANT TO PUT INTO YOUR HAIR, and then take one away”
  • THAT STUFF INSIDE YOUR HEAD: maintaining a certain level of sanity prior to a (first) date helps. Some basic internet research is ok BUT don’t go overboard with internet research. You don’t need to see what position they played on their college lacrosse team or how they’re an avid tumblrer of Michael Fassbender gifs until they disclose this information themselves.
  • YOUR MOUTH: Buy gum/mints (and if someone offers them to you-TAKE THEM)
  • YOUR TONGUE: Compliments go a long way
  • YOUR BODY: Wear something comfortable but form fitting (if you don’t own anything on the intersection of the two, and yes, I am talking to guys too, then you need to obtain that item of clothing/ whole outfit STAT)
  • YOUR SHOULDERS: Don’t slouch
  • YOUR BELLY: Eat something light but substantial beforehand if you’re going out for drinks
  • YOUR (TYPING) FINGERS: PUT THE GODDAMN PHONE AWAY
  • YOUR WALLET: it doesn’t matter that it is 2013 and we are all liberated and equal, whoever did the asking should offer to pay first, and should be ok if it ends up being that they are, in fact, footing this bill. You asked for the pleasure of this other person’s company, they, in return, trusted you enough and cleared their schedule, ironed their clothes, and you are (mentally) gearing up for a future of thoughtful holiday gifts and being able to let yourself go finally, if just a little – you should be ok with paying for some small plates and their reasonably priced glass of Sancerre at even the prospect of ALL OF THAT.
  • YOUR TOES: clip them toenails, k? Remember that episode of “New Girl” where the roommates call Schmid’s toenails “clickety-clacks”? You don’t want that to be your dating legacy, especially if those socks are coming off. And lets face it, you’re hoping those socks are coming off.

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…and then, here are a few solid anytime going out suggestions no matter what your date scenario for tonight night may be:FOR THE NON-DATE DATERS (aka “where to go with people you are purposefully avoiding using the word DATE with, for now”)

  • FREE SHOW AT MILLENIUM STAGE – Every day at 6pm Kennedy Center hosts a free show. They also serve drinks in the lobby during it. Which is great because it fits into the happy hour hang situation but with an added activity (which costs nothing and tends to be interesting enough 99% of time to distract you from the potential non-interestingness of your datehang companion). You can also show up pretty much at any point even during the show and everything will be ok, in terms of getting seats etc. Added bonus here is that if you are dealing with a person who is maybe averse to the non-committal date hang concept, the grandness of the Kennedy Center makes them feel like they are on a date date. Not that we are propagating dishonesty in intentions here or anything. FULL COMMITMENT HANG VARIATION OF THIS: A sold out show @ 930 club OR seeing a proper play at the Kennedy Center (ballet wins for extra points always, with the ladies)
  • BAD PROM @ Looking Glass Lounge and Chad America’s Annual Rock’N’Roll Dance Party @ Black Cat. Really any free dance night will do, as long as it is ACTUALLY FUN. We personally think these are the most fun of all, so we’re putting them on here as examples. A REALLY FUN free dance night should include: music everyone can dance to, a bar with decent drink specials (whether it is champagne cocktails or whiskey+PBR combos, we don’t care), a nice descent into insanity over the course of the evening and enough people you know (even a little) to deflect from the date aspect of the datehang. FULL COMMITMENT HANG VARIATION OF THIS: Giving them your dance card, with nothing but their name on it. Adding a dinner beforehand (both for time spent together AND delaying the extreme drunkenness effects ahead).Image
FOR BLIND DATERS(aka “where to go with people you have never met in person but have temporary semi-high hopes for”)

  • PHARMACY BAR – buck hunter, a jukebox, strong drinks, and a perfect opener to disclose any and all substance/medication abuse topics you may have (or they may have) early in the game. Nothing not to like.
  • EIGHTEENTH STREET LOUNGE – Back in the day when I worked a real job and went to happy hours, I remember being at ESL with some coworkers and running into a friend, on a blind date. I was all like: “What’s up? Didn’t expect to see you here” and he was all like: “Yeah, this is my go to internet date spot” and I was like “Really?” and he shrugged and said: “Yeah, plenty of room, girls think it’s pretty nice, and you never run into people you know early on. Well, ALMOST never”. And he had a point.

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FOR FIRST DATERS (aka “where to go with people you HAVE met in person before, after you two mutually decided that some one-on-one time to explore your potential future of nudity and Sunday afternoon marathons of Law & Order SVU is in order”)

  • 1905 – 1905 is one of those places that were built for dating. Intimate but not too intimate (read: cramped), flattering lighting, busy but not overcrowded, strong cocktails, reasonable prices, with an air of relaxed specialness to it. This place is like a friend you wish you could bring along, that’s how much they’ve got your back in the first date arena.
  • Wisdom – as far as craft cocktail bars go-this is our pick. Less busy than the Gibson, less intense than Columbia Room, but with drinks just as delicious and special and those tiny nooks that you can pull the curtains over when you are ready for things to get a little more intimate (and a few Wisdom cocktails in, they will get more intimate)

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FOR SPECIAL OCCASION/ “SEAL THE DEAL” DATERS (aka “where to go made it through the wilderness of of early “dating” and are just about ready to make it really count”)

  • Bombay Club – Spicy Indian? We know that spicy does not spell romance in most of your dictionaries but everything else about Bombay Club does. You walk in-and you are transported to another time (1920s) and another place (some British West Indies private club). There is a piano, there are white tablecloths and cozy booths, and the service is the kind of operation that you don’t really see that often in 2013.
  • Suna – the new kid on the tasting menu block, Johnny Spero’s Capitol Hill restaurant offers creative, nature inspired dishes and is available in 4- or 8-course tasting menu for 48 and 78 dollars respectively.
  • Tabard Inn – who doesn’t want to pretend they’re in an enchanted castle on their seal the deal date? BONUS: in the summer, sit outside in the garden, under that giant parachute they use as a screen.
  • Cork – Cork is one of my favorite places in DC mainly because it balances the special and the casual so well. The lighting is amazing, the front room is a bustling mix of girl dates, bro dates and casual dates, but in the back things get quieter and a little darker and the tables are pretty perfectly sized for ease of reaching over them and touching hands, ALL THE TIME.

Zoe

GODSPEED my darling Valentine’s Day warriors!