The Patrick Profile
Jane Patrick is a college senior living in New York City who sets up a Tinder account to track how small details affect the number of her potential matches.
After having a Tinder profile for three weeks, Jane Patrick deleted the app from her phone. She frequently found herself redownloading Tinder, receiving a new login code each time, to see her new matches. So, she adopted the habit of reading poetry to prevent herself from redownloading Tinder more than once a week.
Anytime you don’t want to do something, read poetry to punish yourself. Soon you’ll come to associate an unfortunate habit with reading poetry, an activity you despise.
Jane’s initial reason for creating a Tinder profile had been to connect with her friends in relationships. She felt an imperceptible distance between herself and the friends who had settled with their partners. She missed these friends who had comfortably replaced any need for her with apple picking and meeting obscure members of their boyfriend’s families for brunch. She didn’t download Tinder to have a girlfriend to bring to her friends, just the material for gossip that would bring her friends from the status of wives to her interesting and unattached college classmates.
Jane wasn’t particularly interested in the matches themselves, but rather the number. She would make a mental note of how many matches she received after changing small details on her profile, like her Spotify anthem or star sign.
She’d come up with this experiment when she went to lunch with some friends and saw one friend call her husband. Jane Patrick’s horror increased when she heard her friend make smooching sounds into the phone speaker. Her friend hung up and looked at her; she clearly thought Jane admired their relationship.
“Jane, anyone special?”
“Death’s the lover I’d rather take at the moment,” Jane said with a smile.
Jane Patrick had one single friend who she valued for her constant loyalty. When Jane mused about Tinder sarcastically, her friend joined in with a comment about how close it was to a video game. Jane Patrick often showed her account to her friend and let her swipe through profiles for her while she began prepping dinner. Her friend did the damage of responding to her matches with texts Jane Patrick knew were sent to make fun of that person without their knowledge. Jane and her friend believed some profiles deserved to be mocked to the extent they were, like the accounts for couples looking for a third. Other profiles hinted at people who were impossibly naive and optimistic, with slightly weird interests. These weren’t people with personalities—they resembled car wrecks to Jane. There was always something flawed to find in a dating profile.
“Men seldom make passes towards girls who wear glasses,” whispered Jane Patrick as she added one photo with her reading glasses to her dating profile.
She needed all the information she could gather from these profiles for her birthday dinner with friends. At dinner, she showed them screenshots from horrible dating profiles and those she matched with.
“Happy birthday, you walking green flag!” they celebrated in unison.
Jane Patrick needed to find someone with the same birthday in order to fulfill a meaningless tradition between her and her friends. One friend left to see her boyfriend, and the rest looked envious of the ability to do that.
Jane started, “I’ve been thinking, if the retirement age was the age of the president, maybe our former college roommates would finally elect younger politicians.”
Her friends laughed and groaned at the memory of past roommates that they still felt obligated to stay in touch with.
Jane Patrick departed with these words, “If I’m in bed each night by ten, my looks will thank me!”
She reflected on the events of that night and envied those in relationships. They weren’t insecure about not having any material to present to their friends about their lives.
She abandoned her spreadsheet analyzing the progression of her matches and the quality of her own dating profile after small changes. She went into her recently deleted and deleted the document again for good measure. She deleted the Tinder profile she had created for her research purposes.
She created another one that she took seriously, with photos of herself that she found attractive and a bio that reflected her humor and charm. Jane Patrick was an intensely charming person who knew her way around people. She met someone of a golden nature by the second week of her authentic profile being available. When she made changes to her profile now, she wasn’t tracking the date and time of the change and how many new matches that change influenced—those changes were swiftly forgotten.
“Do you want to hear my Snapple fact from today?” Jane Patrick sent to the match.
“Depends if you’ve got a glass or plastic bottle,” her match responded.
The authentic communication of two people trying to learn each other’s personalities gave Jane Patrick a new outlook on her love life and the lives of her friends.
My mentor mentioned a story of a Tinder scammer who would ask young women for money by appearing as someone rich in a tough spot. Even though my story doesn’t revolve around a financial scammer, Jane Patrick is a Tinder scammer in her own way—though not against the social rules on Tinder. Ghosting, lying about small details on your profile, and leading someone on are all acceptable behaviors on Tinder. Yet the action of using this data statistically and recording it with that intention, shows a character not invested in finding love but rather to find out more about the world.
Zuzanna Wasiluk grew up in Greenpoint and had multitudes of pets in her early childhood. However, she’s been reduced to two kittens at the moment, Cricket and Felix. She attends high school in Brooklyn, NY, and a Polish school in Greenpoint to connect to her roots. She enjoys creative writing and painting as personal hobbies and joined Girls Write Now to develop as a writer in a more comprehensive direction in an inclusive environment.