Obligatory introduction and customary rhetorical questioning
I recently re-downloaded the Tinder app after meeting my friend’s new girlfriend. He met her through Tinder — an app I deleted about a year ago after assuming it was just for random local hookups — and she happens to be a very nice girl. This threw me for a loop and forced me to reconsider this form of online dating as a potential solution to my perpetual loneliness.
Could Tinder really be a way of finding love? How could I be so wrong about something I refused to take seriously following my initial experimentation?
For those who aren’t familiar with the app, Tinder is a mobile application that allows users to see profiles of fellow nearby users, and then either swipe left (to pass) or swipe right (to “like”). This first step of the Tinder process is essentially the Hot or Not concept, a binary system of judgment — we either like a person or we don’t.
Profiles consist of several items, including photos, age, distance from the user, and an About Me section with a 500-character limit. Tinder also allows users to see what common interests they have, as well as mutual friends (since the info is pulled from Facebook).
There was another major reason I originally deleted the Tinder app. Simply put, I didn’t feel comfortable judging people solely based on looks. I mean, I do it in real life — we all do — but it’s different when I’m actively judging someone aesthetically. At a bar (or wherever everybody meets people), I’m swiping left or right in my head. It’s more of a passive behavior. On Tinder, I’m outwardly expressing my distaste of someone’s appearance, and for some reason the rejection feels more personal. And frankly, that makes me feel bad about myself.
I don’t like feeling bad about myself, so I deleted the app. Perhaps this is why I’m single.
My personal Tinder guidelines
As I’ve started using the app again, I’ve established certain rules to ensure that I take it more seriously this time around. While some of these habits I’ve developed are designed to broaden my Tinder horizons, others are without a doubt designed to weed out specific types of girls. (I know: “Beggars can’t be choosers,” but I’m not taking what I can get if all I get is a night I won’t remember and a rash that won’t go away.)
Remember: Swipe left for NOPE, swipe right for LIKE.
- Swipe right for anybody named Chelsea.
- If it takes me more than two photos to figure out which girl she is, swipe left.
- If she has no photos of just her, swipe left.
- If there is any mention of EDM, Chipotle, or “friends with 420” in her About Me section, swipe left.
- If she quotes Marilyn Monroe in her About Me section, swipe left.
- If she likes Weezer, investigate further.
- If she looks younger than 18 years old but claims to be 22, think about it really hard before swiping left. (Read: swipe right.)
- Swipe right for attractive non-Caucasian girls because I am an equal opportunity Tinderer, eradicating racism one swipe at a time.
- If she isn’t the most attractive girl in the photo, swipe left. I don’t want any problems.
- If she’s throwing up the middle finger in a photo, swipe left.
- If she’s throwing up in a photo, period, swipe left.
- If she’s taking a bottle of alcohol to the face in a photo, swipe left.
- If all of the girl’s photos feature said girl in her underwear or swimwear, admire for a few moments and then swipe left. She’s clearly too advanced for me sexually. I can only assume that she’d be looking to get right down to business while I’d be asking her if she’s seen Gone Girl yet.
- If she includes her Instagram account information in her profile, assume nothing is off-limits. Swipe accordingly.
- If she looks like Taylor Swift, swipe right.
- If she’s 5’10 like T-Swift, swipe left. I’m not the type of guy to shy away from a girl who’s taller than me, but most tall girls don’t want to date shorter guys. I understand that, so I’m not going to waste anybody’s time — including mine.
- If all of her photos feature the same pose, swipe left because she’s probably a statue or mannequin and there is literally no evidence to refute that.
Suggestions for Tinder users
As a general rule, you should try to have a clear photo of your face in your first photo, then a full body shot somewhere, then any other cool photos that make you look good. This way, other people will get a good idea of what they’re dealing with. A lot of Tinder users — both girls and guys (I’ve been told) — have a deceptively attractive photo as their first picture. Then the rest of the photos make you wonder where the person in the first one went. Lighting and angles can be misleading. Don’t be one of the people who abuse this fact.
And here’s a Tinder anecdote for you…
I came across a girl on Tinder whose first photo contained two females. I found only one of the girls attractive, so I clicked her profile to see exactly whose profile it was. The second photo confirmed that it was, indeed, the “hot” one — a picture of her holding a baby. Immediately, I wondered: Is that baby hers?
So, I scrolled down to read her About Me section. Lo and behold:
Yes, the baby is mine. Single mama 💪
My first thought was, Well, I’m good with kids. Swipe right.