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We reminded each other not to over-apologize, shared tips on power stances that felt so goofy but worked so well, urged one another to speak up and ask for what we wanted; tools the other 75 percent of the student body, for the most part, didn’t need to think about. With grad school behind us, my friends and I settled into good positions at good jobs, found livable-sized apartments in San Francisco, built lives we were proud of.

And then, as if someone had given a signal that I clearly didn’t catch, my friends started getting married.

I was sick of trying to prove myself through intimate life details to people who weren’t even worth the time it took to program their names in my phone.

With each date I felt more like the profile I was trying to represent, and less like an actual person.

Among their tips:--Don't approach the first date as a job interview, it's about getting to know someone.--Don't dwell on your past, especially divorces, breakups and financial problems.--Meeting for dinner on the first date is preferable to drinks, because it will give you more time to relax and loosen up if you're nervous.--If you are drinking alcohol, keep it to a maximum of two drinks.--Put away the cell phone during the date.