By LINDSEY D.
Our story begins a few days before New Year’s Eve, 2014. As a Jewish girl who grew up in the Christian haven that is Sussex County, it goes without saying that I am lacking in the department of Jewish friends. The week surrounding Christmas is usually quite boring for me. Everyone is busy with his or her families celebrating the baby Jesus and stuff, so I typically have a lot of time to myself. During this particular bout of me-time, I made a very important decision about my love life.
I had spent a few years enjoying each and every moment of my freedom after spending three and a half years in serious relationship and I always had my foot only halfway in the dating pool. Actually more like just my big toe. I’d go out with great guys but I was never fully interested in pursuing any sort of real relationship. After many years of this non-committal, indifferent behavior, I decided it was time to jump back in. I was ready to not only jump, but more like cannon ball or do one of those cool spin moves that you thought was really impressive when you were 10 years old yelling “MOOOOOOM LOOK AT ME!” into the dating pool. Don’t get me wrong, I was in no way willing to settle just to be with someone, but I was finally open to having a significant relationship if the right person came along. I had promised myself I would try new things and go out of my comfort zone for the first time in a long time.
When I make up my mind about something, I can be very impatient and I tend to seek instant gratification. “But how can I meet somebody? Where are the single guys? How long will it take for me to find someone decent? Who is even out there?” I hadn’t been meeting anyone worthwhile at bars. Luckily for me, I live in a time where some other tech-savvy people must have had these same questions and therefore, Tinder was born. I could download the app for free in a minute’s time and swipe my way to my future boyfriend from the comfort of my own bed while binge watching Orange is the New Black. How wonderful! I mean, if a guy has a DATING app, he must be looking for a real relationship! Right?! ….right? …guys? Wrong….oh so very wrong.
In the infant days of my tinder usage, I was all about it. I was finally getting a real glimpse of who was out there and I felt hopeful. I started talking to a few people who appeared to have something that resembled a brain, and the ego boost that accompanies the little “It’s a Match!” screen felt pretty good. Tinder served as an excellent cure to boredom and it was the first place where I was not only allowed, but also EXPECTED to judge the shit out of people. However, this hope was short lived, as I swiped past photos of men IN TUXEDOS ON THEIR WEDDING DAY, and men who I actually know in real life who are not single in any sense of the word. But, I will revisit that topic later.
The purpose of this article is to focus on the funnier, more disturbing aspects of Tinder, so I will only briefly discuss my personal experience. I ended up meeting four people from Tinder in person over a span of using it on and off for a year. Here are all the need-to-know facts about my “Tinder relationships.”
- We casually dated for about two months. Ended under strange circumstances but I appreciated and respected his honesty. Important to note that he used my Netflix account for almost five months after we stopped talking, which was sort of a dick move but overall he’s a good person and I would save him from a burning building if necessary. (If you’re reading this, sorry I signed out of Netflix on your TV while you were in the middle of Season 3 of “House” but that show is sort of dumb anyway. I actually figured out how to do it while you were in the middle of season 2 of Orange is the New Black but I’m not a monster so I let you finish it.)
- Possibly a legal dwarf with a feminine voice and the body language of a sassy gay man. I sealed my rightful place in Hell the day I met him and fled the scene as if I was Vivica A. Fox in that traffic jam scene in Independence Day. I think I was so flabbergasted by the whole ordeal that I said I had to go meet my friends for breakfast and it was 7:30 at night. He somehow accepted this bullshit excuse as fact and my escape was complete. To further push in the dagger of guilt already implanted in my stomach, he texted me the next day saying I was even more beautiful in person. I considered throwing my phone or myself into traffic. Important to note that he carefully chose pictures where he looked to be of average height. Well played, sir.
- Really thought this one had potential to work out. Did NOT work out due to “bad timing” A.K.A the nicer way of saying “I’m not done sleeping with other people.” I probably should have seen this coming because he had admittedly downloaded Tinder just for fun, not really with the expectations of meeting a respectable girl but we liked each other so we went with it. The end of this relationship resulted in me losing 5 pounds on the “aggravation diet” (Definition: when you’re too aggravated to remember to eat anything other than your required meals to survive. The week straight of bitching to your friends about it might also actually burn calories, it isn’t an exact science). Amidst the disappointment, I did look pretty good in a crop top by the end of it all so I guess in a way, I am grateful. In all seriousness, he is a good person and it was fun while it lasted. I learned many valuable lessons about myself during that time and if I could rewind time and do it all again, I still would. Just a little bit differently.
- Great guy, very attractive, the love of my life on paper, ended as a result of him talking too loud in movie theaters, and clapping while laughing. No one who does those things can be my soul mate.
Enough about me, the real stars of Tinder are the men who I have been fortunate enough to come across. Tinder allows you 500 characters to sell yourself as a suitable mate and some guys use this opportunity to make women strongly consider playing for the other team. Below are some of my favorite bios, all of which are 100% real and I have the screenshots to prove it! I call this segment, “Tinder Bios that Trouble Me.”
Terell, 24: “God is first. I’m a business man, car enthusiast and football player. Sales is my thing. I’m all about my MONEY! I love the movie “Wolf of Wall Street.” Very good at what I do no matter what it is. And competitive.”
What I find troubling: “Very good at what I do no matter what it is.” I’ll tell ya something you are not so good at Terell, — modesty. Spoiler alert: Terell does not resemble Leonardo DiCaprio in any way.
Luis, 29: “All the best deceptions and the clever cover story awards will go to you.”- Dashboard Confessional. Down with just living and enjoying life and being the coolest sexiest dad on earth. Guitars, tattoos, movies, the gym, always on the move or in the mood for one if not all those things.”
What I find troubling: I’m always amused by people who feel the need to include that they “enjoy living” in their profiles. Well, I certainly hope you are “down with living” but if you’re trying to convince us that you are NOT suicidal, you should maybe reconsider being a 29 year old man who posts Dashboard Confessional lyrics. Your bio shouldn’t make me ask myself, “am I reading a man’s dating profile or my AIM buddy profile circa 2004?” Good fucking jam though, I will say. (I’m not even going to touch the cool, sexy dad situation)
Max, 25: “Looking for an obese black woman to fart in my face. I have a beard.”
What I find troubling: self-explanatory…he redeemed himself with the beard thing though because if you are a beardless man looking for an obese black woman to fart in your face, that’d be super weird.
William, 25: “If you can’t be honest, swipe my ass. Be you, not what you think I want you to be. I’m more than just delicious eye candy; so if you’re feeling adventurous, explore my brain. A smart girl who gets life and humor is my biggest turn on. I’m a bit of a loner these days, more by choice, but I’ve found peace and wisdom in my solitude. I love to play. My personality is magnetic, whether that’s positive or negative, depends on the person.”
What I find troubling: ahh…where to begin with this one? William is coming in hot from the very beginning with the rage filled opening line that screams, “I have deep rooted emotional baggage.” His bit about being a loner also gives me a vibe that if you go out with him, there is a high possibility he may kill you. William mentions he loves to “play.” Play what exactly? How long will I survive on this date before you take me into the woods and murder me? I’m scared of William.
Mangin, 25: “420. Whiskey. Casino”
What I find troubling: If smoking weed is the first thing you can think of to describe yourself as a person, that’s an issue. I’m all for the concept of “live and let live” but that shouldn’t be your main selling point. Hi, I’m Mangin and aside from a strange name, I have an addictive personality and there’s a good chance I’ve blown all my rent money playing roulette.
Ryan, 24: “Hanging around.”
What I find troubling: Raise your hand if you think Ryan would’ve been better off leaving the bio completely blank.
Ed, 24: “Lookin’ for a fun, chill girl.”
What I find troubling: Be more specific. Every girl thinks they’re fun and chill, Ed. Not many people are self-aware enough to know that they are boring and a raging lunatic.
Nicholas, 25: “Im not gonna message you! Pretty much just use this as an ego boost. (includes instagram name since everyone will clearly want to be friends with this guy on all possible outlets)”
What I find troubling: I was originally troubled by this profile, but now I am sort of admiring his ability to provide us with full disclosure that he is a complete tool.
Carlos, 25: “Ima down to earth Person, Very Chill, Honest, A lil intelectual sometimes, and also a dumbass sometimes as well, I like to dance when I drink.. LOL!”
What I find troubling: A lil intelectual….spelled wrong. That is fucking gold right there. Also, the last time anyone used the abbreviation “lil,” was in 2003 and it was barely acceptable then. This must have been what he was referring to when he said he is also a dumbass sometimes.
That is just the tip of the douchey iceberg in the magical world of Tinder. I have been horrified at the amount of guys I have come across who are clearly in relationships. Either their profile picture is literally of them on their wedding day or I know them personally and they are in “committed” relationships. One guy I know actually messaged me on Facebook saying, “nice Tinder profile.” I knew he had been dating a girl for years so I felt bad that they must have broken up. I asked him about it, to which he replied, “oh no, we are still together. We just got engaged actually. I’m just seeing what Tinder is all about.” Maybe I’m old fashioned, but I was under the impression that when you are happily engaged, you aren’t supposed to be perusing dating apps.
Another issue I have with Tinder, or maybe just the 21st century dating culture, is that some guys skip boring pleasantries such as “hello” altogether and go straight for “wanna bang?” I kid you not. I have received that message more than once. Also, who says, “bang” anymore? I mean honestly. It is extremely discouraging for someone who still holds out hope that there are guys out there who you would want to take home to your parents.
Some lesser #Tinderprobs include:
- Accidental swiping: this goes for accidentally swiping yes or no to someone. When I accidentally swipe yes and it’s a match, I feel bad for getting somebody’s hopes up. When I accidentally swipe no, I spend a week mourning the loss of my potential husband. (Jordan, wherever you are, my left swipe was a careless mistake and I miss you.) Some good things come from accidentally swiping yes though because now I know a man named “Lancestipher” exists in this world and wants to take me out to dinner.
- Seeing people you know: This is always a tough decision. I usually swipe no in a poor attempt to fly under their radar but then it ends in my friends confronting me about it later on. I once swiped no to a friend by mistake while he was sitting right next to me. Woops.
- Recognizing people from Tinder in real life: This is just always an awkward experience. Do I say hi? Do I hide behind my friend who is slightly taller than me? Hiding sounds like the best idea.
- The nervousness of meeting someone from Tinder (or I guess any online dating app/website) in person for the first time: The best way I can describe the feeling right before you meet someone you’ve only seen in pictures and know virtually nothing about is like when you’re making Kraft Macaroni and Cheese and you mix in that half a stick of butter and you’re like…wow. I see that this might not be a good idea yet I am still continuing to do it.
- Unoriginality: Everyone out there is really lacking in the originality department. If I see one more profile that says “It’s going down, I’m yelling Tinder” or “Looking for my Tinderella,” I’m just going to throw in the towel on the possibility of meeting my quick witted, clever Prince Charming in a sarcastic sort of way where he makes fun of me but it’s funny. Most of these guys are about as original as a Kim Kardashian joke.
I must admit that I have truly learned a lot from Tinder. For instance, a lot of people have really bizarre names and there is a shockingly high amount of men within 25 miles of me named “Igor.” Apparently, many people out there have access to dangerous wildlife considering I’ve seen many pictures of men posing next to tigers and elephants. I have also learned that I am not desperate enough to ever swipe right (yes) to a guy who takes car/gym selfies, no matter how attractive he is. I still have standards! Yay me!
If we were living in an honest world, Tinder’s slogan would be the following: Tinder – a world of meaningless conversations, sexual harassment and ego boosts where commitment goes to die. Join today!
Now, I’m sure there are a few decent guys on Tinder but I might develop Carpal Tunnel from all the swiping before I find them. Overall, Tinder is not a place for men and women who actually have a brain or who are seeking real relationships. It’s meant for girls who still laugh at guys who make Anchorman references on a daily basis and think it classifies them as being funny and the guys who want to sleep with those girls. Now that I can see Tinder for exactly what it is, a numbers game and a way for guys to kill time while they’re on the toilet, I can find the entertainment in it and continue to use it as a way to occupy my mind when I’m bored. Happy swiping and may the odds be ever in your favor!