It's 2014, and you can actually pay someone to ghostwrite your dating profile for you — if you're a guy, that is. The Washington Post recently interviewed Matthew Valentines, the founder of Personal Dating Assistants (PDA). The site will not only write your OkCupid or Match.com profile for you, it will also provide a number of other related services, including selecting prospective dates — sort of like a modern matchmaking service.
In the interview, Valentines, a 35-year-old bachelor, explains how his site — which was launched last month — was created to assist bachelors who are either too busy, too intimidated, or are just plain old bad at selling themselves, to create their own profiles. At first, it doesn’t seem like that terrible of an idea. Entire industries are dedicated to selling companies and products, and in an age of “self branding,” a little help could go a long way. A smart person would probably ask for a friend’s help when creating a dating profile anyway, so why not get a little professional advice?
Well, PDA gives more than just professional advice — they give entire online makeovers. According to the Washington Post, for $9.50 an hour, the site offers a number of services beyond simply ghostwriting someone’s Match.com profile. According to PRWeb, the process begins with a one-to-two hour phone call to help give the assistant a better idea as to who they’re working with. From there, PDA will make a game plan, provide a photographer referral (no mirror selfies), create the profile on the dating site of their choice, find prospective dates, and then message ladies for the clients.
Other than the whole receiving-messages-from-not-your-date part, PDA doesn't seem too terrible, right? Well, maybe you should check out the site itself.
To put it nicely, PDA's home page seems more like Barney Stinson's latest brainchild than an online dating tool: it has good intentions, but comes off way too bro-centric to be taken seriously. Littered with photos of half-naked women and terms like "James Bond level swag" and "Weekend Casanova," PDA is obviously marketing to a very specific kind of guy. There's also an overuse of the phrase "attractive women" as opposed to just "women," and grouping women into particular "archetypes" — for example, career-minded women are labeled as "vanilla" (yikes). Valentines explains for the Washington Post his reasoning behind the choices he made when creating the site:
We distinguish between “women” and “attractive women,” because they behave completely differently on the sites. A guy can’t afford to make mistakes with the ones who are in high demand. Naturally, these are the types our members are interested in. The others are much more forgiving.
As for the archetypes, we strive to be equally reductive for our male and female archetypes. Personally, I love vanilla women. As far as I’m concerned, the more cats, the better. That’s not even sarcasm. I really dig cats.
In general, I think it's a decent idea. Some people, men and women included, really are just bad at selling themselves. As far as presentation goes, I'm completely turned off by it. If I were to find out that someone I'm dating once labeled himself as a "Weekend Casanova," I'd probably rethink the entire relationship. Perhaps if PDA tweaked their site and expanded to help out ladies as well as LGBTQ clients, I'd get behind it.
Image: Personal Dating Assistants