At all hours of the day, Ruby’s cellphone pings with the same text, sent by strangers: “Is this real?”
Her answer: “Hi, hello, yes it is!”
Ruby, who asked to go by her artist name for this story, has recently begun hanging flyers with her phone number on signposts around town that say: “Offering friendly, objective feedback on your dating profile, *no charge.*”
Most people think it’s a sales pitch, or a sneaky Bumble marketing ploy. But no, Ruby, 35, is just an artist and consultant who loves to have deep conversations with people about their profiles, what they’re looking for, and life in general.
“We live our lives on the internet, and I thought people aren’t showing their friends their dating profiles; no one is getting input from people on what they’re putting out into the world,” Ruby says. “And it’s arguably one of the most important things you’ll do.”
Ruby, who moved to Portland about a year ago, started her project by standing on the street with a sign offering dating profile feedback. She still does that too, and can be spotted sometimes near Powell’s flagship or Never Coffee on Southeast Belmont Street. She doesn’t try to force anyone to talk, but rather waits for those who are interested to approach.
Her first piece of advice to all: Make sure to include a full body shot that also orients you in relation to other objects, so people know exactly what to expect. Not matching someone’s expectations, for good or bad, can be jarring.
“If it’s all selfies, it says I am not confident enough in myself, I don’t trust how I look in pictures people take of me,” she says.
Getting specific with your interests beyond a list of general topics like wine, food or hiking also allows people to know what makes you tick. “I am hot for communication and language, and how we work with it to describe our connection to people,” Ruby says.
After handing over a few profiles for her assessment, I can confirm she’s warm, hilarious and objective but doesn’t pull any punches. As a recent recipient of her guidance put it: “Wow, this is so helpful. I feel like I’ve been thoroughly roasted in a really wholesome way.”
Want to try it out? Ruby says she’s game to put her number in the local alt weekly: 775-720-9946.