I get it, ladies. That clock is ticking, and it’s been hard to meet adult men now that the well of college guys has long dried up. You’ve tried the set-ups by friends, even tried Match.com, but you’ve still come up loveless. And all these false starts have led you to the most logical next step, the final frontier in meeting strangers: you’ve downloaded the Tinder app.
Don’t be embarrassed. The digital age has ushered in countless advances that baffle our parents, but that doesn’t mean you should squander these opportunities, right? After all, how well do your folks get along with each other anyway, right? Clearly, their courtship methods didn’t exactly scream ‘eternal bliss.’ So here you are, taking the leap of faith that a photo pool will be the emotional savior you’ve been looking for. Time to stop feeling like everyone is in a relationship except you when you walk around the city.
I commend you and your eager thumb for throwing dignity to the wind and saying, “Dammit, this phone does everything else; now it’s gonna find me a man.” Alas, your venture into app dating has its pitfalls, and that’s where I come in. Having swiped across hundreds of profiles within my 50-mile radius, I have compiled data that you may find useful on your quest for coupledom. Of course, you could ask your guy friend for a male perspective on the situation, but that would be rude since he tried to hook up with you that one time (you said “we’re cool,” but the three of us know that’s a lie).
You don’t know me, and I don’t have to know you. The trends in how you all represent yourselves can send messages that you may not even realize, so here’s a guide to protect you from yourselves and the creeps hoping that you’ll to swipe them right:
On profile information
Given the format of this experience, the profile information is the last bit of data in which male suitors have an interest. However, this negligence does not mean that you can’t make the wrong choices with your first verbal impression.
Greek characters – Some of you like to keep it simple, reppin’ your sorority like it matters. Well, ladies, college is over, and no one gives a shit about your lifelong network of hens. Guys appreciate that you have a group of friends to keep you occupied when they’re having bro-time, but how special can a Greek be when so many people join them? Keep it to yourself. Your crew wore out its usefulness at graduation. Unless Mitch has another house party, you can find us at the bars.
Quotations – Maybe you want to share some wisdom that resonates with you and hope it strikes a chord with ‘him,’ too. Or perhaps the quote is your way to tell men that they need not apply if they aren’t well read. Both reasons are mistakes. This is not the space to find an intellectual equal. Hell, the guy knows how to download an app; what more could you want? Everything? Well if you deserved to have everything, would you be looking for love on an app? I know it’s harsh, but unless your quotes are from a comedy from the last 15 years, you might as well be confessing that you have thrush. And “Live. Laugh. Love?” Who the hell started that? Well it’s trite and it’s over. All women interested in a men who want women with some edge, step this way.
If you want to make your profile really work for you, say something bold, like “Cats are the worst,” “F___ Twilight,” or “I wake up every morning and piss excellence.” Be yourself…unless, of course, your self insists on falling into the two above categories. If that’s the case, delete your account and Harlem Shake your ass back to eHarmony.
On photo selection
Ah, the main attraction of any dating interface, the fun part where you get to sift through all of your Facebook photos and choose which ones say, “I’m a catch.” Unfortunately, what many of you think conveys that message is saying something more like, “I’m trying this app out of sheer curiosity.” And that’s the WRONG ATTITUDE TO HAVE!!! This is love we’re talking about, ladies. It could come from around any corner, digital or analog. Such nonchalance will be your undoing!
For the plus-sized – We understand the tricks now. The nothing-but-face shots aren’t fooling us anymore. Men remain primitive in terms of dating, be we are learning. My advice to you lot is that you own your figure. So you’re a big girl; you think there aren’t guys who are into that? I’m black; I should know. All I’m saying is that not being up front about it now will only make a date more awkward when the guy sees that you came with unexpected add-ons. And before you say that your winning personality should undo any superficial judgment, such naivety only embarrasses us both, so let’s agree to embrace the truth.
There are some sexy big girls out there who deserve to be with guys who want sexy big girls. F___ your sorority. Rush ββΨ. Now.
Puppy love – Let’s get one thing out of the way: cats suck. If you own a cat, good for you; I hear Groupon’s got a deal on weird sweaters and feminine massagers, too.
Grabbing a man’s attention by some canine accompaniment is a crafty move, but not any dog will do. No man will admit it, but we make the same noise as you do when we see puppies. But years of man-practice has trained us to keep our vocal chords rigid in such instances. If you want to melt a stone-cold studmuffin, then the puppy shot is a layup.
Meanwhile, pit bulls, English bulldogs, other more stout breeds are a slam-dunk. If you can handle those dogs, then you’ve got inner strength and substance. Before I get too sincere, let’s move on.
Conversely, toy dogs are about as attractive as cats, which we’ve already covered. They may be adorable to you, and you and I know that part of the reason you have them is because your small apartment wouldn’t accommodate a real dog. But the rapidly-swiping thumbs of men on the make see a high maintenance woman who buys things she doesn’t need just because they’re “so cute.”
And don’t underestimate a man’s ability think ahead. When we’re considering the future with a lady, we take into account the likelihood of having to walk that gay-assed poodle at 7am because she agreed to do that thing you like last night (this hasn’t happened to me; just sayin’).
Group photo, everyone! – As I said earlier, it’s great that you have friends. It tells a guy that even if you’re clingy, he will have people with whom to share the burden that is your struggle with abandonment issues. But more generally, using nothing but group photos in your profile is downright counterproductive. No one should have to cycle through 3 photos just to figure out which one you are. You want a partner, not Columbo. And if you’re in a picture with women who are more attractive than you are, game over. We’ll just hope that that friend is on Tinder, too.
Men – I’m surprised we even have to go over this one. He may be your gay friend, or maybe you want appear in demand, or you might just really like how you look in that picture. Unfortunately, suitors won’t know which is the case, and the confusion will be your one-way ticket to Left Swipe City.
Meet the parents – Be careful with these, my friends; they could make or break your future. Despite man’s best efforts to be shortsighted and superficial, millennia of evolution has not allowed us to stop envisioning how our potential partners will stand the test of time. And although posing with your parents says that you come from a loving and well-adjusted home, it might betray you if you have a fat mom or a really short dad. I know, I know, it’s mean. But we all have to make sacrifices at the outset to make sure someone is in it for the long haul. Do you think the guys are nervous about introducing you to his parents because of its seriousness? No, his dad’s got a beer gut that makes Homer Simpson’s look like a 3-month baby bump. We all set some snares in the hunt for companionship. Stay ahead of the game.
Been there, done that – So you’ve posed in awe of how tiny the real the Eiffel Tower is. And you can further manipulate dimension by holding up the Leaning Tower of Pisa with your hand. They were cute the first dozen times those pictures were taken, but now they make you look like a lame tourist, who chooses to occupy pre-made moments instead of making new ones. If that’s how you want to present yourself, good luck convincing a boyfriend that happy hour at T.G.I.Fridays isn’t the highlight of the week that he says it is. And lay off of those pictures where you’re kissing dolphins, too…oh, and the elephant-kiss shots…don’t you know that’s the elephant’s nose? Gross.
I’ll be brief on this one: when you’ve found a ‘match,’ and that match sends you a message, write the guy back, even if only to say hello and politely decline further interaction. Trust me, right-swipe percentage for you is much higher than any guy’s profile (unless Jon Hamm has a Tinder account, which I doubt). And it goes a long way when someone you’ve considered attractive gets to engage remotely, one human to another. You don’t have to go on a date with the guy; what does it take to just say hello to a new person? He was good enough to ‘Like,’ but not to talk to? That’s wack like crack, ladies. And if you thought men didn’t like you before, the ones you don’t write back really don’t, so good job, dum-dum.
In all seriousness
Tinder’s been picking up steam since it’s received more press lately. That’s why I went ahead and downloaded the thing, to see if there was a liberal hook-up culture among hetero singles, a straight counterpart to the good times facilitated by Grindr. Perhaps it has been a successful way for some to enjoy a fling or two, but for those of you who’ve been underwhelmed by its utility, the advice above should set you on the right track. Alternatively, you could build up the courage to say hello to that guy you pass every morning on the way to work who smiles at you, because he’s liable to be no less creepy than someone who stares at his phone perusing a catalog for people. Good luck out there.