By Maria Yagoda
Updated February 22, 2016 12:25 PM
Credit: Esther Horvath/Getty

I’m a huge fan of The Bachelor, and not because I believe in love or the notion that things – marriage, passion or even sandwiches – can endure the devastating effects of time.

Rather, I’m drawn in by the plot, the rose ceremony gowns, the cattiness, the fantastical helicopter dates, the closed doors and muffled sex sounds, the untouched platters of finger food at the cocktail parties (infuriating), and, of course, Chris Harrison, who has been the show’s immaculately coiffed host for 20 seasons.

From meltdowns to worse meltdowns to even worse meltdowns, Harrison has seen it all. He’s also seen true love blossom. (Look at Sean and Kaitlin! Trista and that firefighter! Etc!) This is why I figured that Harrison could help with me deeply uneventful love life.

Harrison came into the PEOPLE studio and kindly agreed to look at my Tinder profile, which, I should note, is very haphazardly put together, because I figured, why devote real time to it if there is real chance I could get hurt? That’s right, I’m basically a rom-com heroine – minus the rom but plus the ramen because I eat almost exclusively ramen.

When I opened up my profile and showed it to him, he said my first picture was hot. I immediately passed out.

When I regained consciousness, we delved into the difficult and thankless task of fixing me (and my profile).

1. Ask yourself, ‘Are you sure you want to be on a dating app?’.
Harrison seemed to think that my main Tinder problem was being on Tinder: “You probably shouldn’t be on Tinder. That would be my first advice.” he said, before adding helpfully, “But you’ve already tripped on that hurdle.” Touché, Harrison. Touché.

2. Still on an app? Okay, fine. Just make sure your pictures of only of you – it’s less confusing.
“I don’t like pics where you show friends. I want it to be about you,” he said. But doesn’t it show that I’m popular? I asked. “I’m assuming you have friends,” he replied. At this point I was blushing so hard that I almost had an aneurism. Chris Harrison assumed I had friends!

3. Dog pictures are good! But be careful.
Harrison was a big fan of my first dog pic, where I’m cradling a fairly hefty pug named Frank who I’ve dressed as a lion. “The dog shows that you’re not a cat person, you’re a dog person. Huge plus in a man’s book,” Harrison said. “I like the message you’re sending: Sexy look, but dog; fun.” He added that it was good the dog was medium-sized and not a purse dog, which could give off the impression I’m high maintenance.

But when he saw my other dog pic – in which I’m cradling a French bulldog dressed in a wedding dress, as one does – he made it clear that I’d made a huge mistake.

“Maybe we’ve stepped too far now. The one dog was fine, but now you’re getting cutesie with the dog, and you show that you’re the kind of person that dresses up your dog. That’s a deal-breaker in a lot of guy’s books,” he said. “The dog has a bridal gown. What message does that send? Kinda needy, looking to get married. Scaring the hell out of most men.”

4. Make sure you look similar in all of your photos.
I always think I look the same – frumpy, fleshy and overly emotive – but apparently Harrison didn’t think so.

“Your hair has done a 180! Your hair looks completely different than it did in the other two pictures. I don’t want a metamorphosis – like what day am I getting her on? Let’s kill that pic.”

5. If you’re going to lie, maybe say you like sports but only if you’re not from Philadelphia.

“Not many people like Philly sports fans,” he said to me, to my face. “They’re really bad people.” I almost punched him but I was so angry I couldn’t see, and I didn’t have the satchel of D batteries all Philadelphians usually have on their person for throwing.

6. Say you like The Bachelor in your profile.

“A lot of good men love The Bachelor,” he said. I wanted to believe him but I also knew that he has a vested interest in promoting the show.

7. It’s okay to get a little flirty in your profile.
One of the quotes I include in my profile is, “If you put it in a taco, I’ll put in my mouth,” which is something I said (and say every day.) It truly defines who I am as a person but it’s also a bit suggestive. “It sounds a little sexual,” Harrison said.

Was it too sexual? “I mean we are dealing with Tinder,” he acquiesced. “It’s essentially a hook-up site that might lead to something. It might be hitting the mark actually for Tinder I was going to ask you out for a drink after I read that quote.” (Oh my God I can’t believe I’m dating Chris Harrison.)

8. If you don’t end up finding success on Tinder, go hang out on a golf course.
“I don’t know why more women don’t hang around golf courses. Where are rich, successful, educated men? Playing golf.”