Since I signed up for an online dating website, I celebrated my birthday, I got my first tattoo, I started to acknowledge how awesome I am and l finally admitted to myself and my friends that I am looking for love. Unable to just come out and say, “Hey man, I want the real thing!” has probably hindered who I’ve met both in the real world and online. See, I’m a sucker for the guy who “just wants to hang out and enjoy each other’s company” and is “not ready for a relationship right now.” To help avoid these boys — who, by the way, are everywhere in this giant sandbox of New York City — and to show off the (ever-evolving) new me, I changed my profile to reflect my new self confidence, my new ink and what I really want. Updating my photos: My previous photos showed off a dorkier me, hiding behind the guise of a cute nerd and making excuses for my creativity, curiosity and unusual hobbies, and even my look — instead of celebrating them. To update my pics, I chose a day when I was looking especially cute and scheduled a little after-work photo shoot, bringing along my digital camera to a girls’ night out. I uploaded pics of myself, laughing it up with my best friends. It was important for me to show off my new ink, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to any of the guys I chose to date, so I made sure it was included in at least one shot. To highlight some of my interests, my next step, was to scour Facebook for images of me riding my bicycle, traveling to far-off places and eating delicious foods. I also uploaded some images from my personal photography projects and photos of my favorite culinary experiments. Changing my profile: My original profile was all about a girl in flux, unsure of who she was and what she wanted. Torn between her desires. In the past few months, I’ve really started to figure out what I want out of life and out of a man. Instead of not even mentioning those things, I let these guys know that I’m looking for someone who is creative, interested in learning, wants to travel (and would love to travel with his lady), believes that being there for one woman is a sign of maturity and is strong enough to say that he is looking for love too. Furthermore, I wrote confidently about what I’m doing with my life, my aspirations, how I plan to attain them, my interests and the positive characteristics that I possess. It feels great to be specific about my wants and accentuate my positives. With my new attitude and an online dating profile to match, I am ready to go get ’em.