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14 Jan

With photo-heavy, information light profiles, the apps had me frustrated within five minutes.Tinder was the worst of them: All I saw were a couple of group shots (but which guy are you, Steve?I jumped in swiping myself and found, to my surprise, a lot of guys were cool with my rule.It wasn't, however, easy to find a great friend match.People would be chiller because the relationship stakes were lower. Still, I didn't want to play mind games with my future besties.So I filled out my profiles honestly, noting in each I was not looking to date, "only make friends :)." This practice got trickier on more information-intensive apps—I literally responded to Coffee Meets Bagel's "I like it when my date…" query with a "doesn't want to date me. But Laurie Davis, author of and an online dating consultant, later told me that strategy was all wrong: Being direct was the kiss of death.You're so nice, and I don't want to lead you on in any way.So if that's an issue, we should probably just call it now."We did; he never responded.

I began my experiment in mid-August, downloading Tinder, Hinge, and Coffee Meets Bagel.

"Just want to give you a heads up, though," I wrote.

"I was serious when I said I'm just looking for friends on my profile.

At the very least, you’ll be a lot less likely to get catfished on Face Date.

It was getting serious with one of my Tinder matches.