I’ve been on Tinder for a few weeks and have made several observations and absorbed a number of lessons in this short time.
First, and most importantly, perspective: It’s amazing how quickly the pining and constant thoughts about Mr. Meltsmyheart have faded with the attention and prospect of attention from other men. And I’ve simply decided I’m not going to worry about it. If I enjoy myself with someone, I’ll see him again. So there are a couple of guys that I’ll see again, if they ask, and there are some others that I may meet. Simple.
Second — and this is a significant revelation — men find me attractive! I’ve written about some of what’s being going on in my life for the past several months, and it’s been stressful, and one of the hardest things that I didn’t even realize until recently was feeling completely, totally invisible. None of my friends set me up on dates, no one seemed to flirt with me, I’m not sure I caught a single second glance…for months! And now I’m finding that there are real, actual men out there who find me desirable. Whee-ha…bring it!
Third, men are every bit as bat-shit crazy and lie as often as women, and this is clearly evident in their profiles. And there are more of them who are “laid-back” and use “sarcastic” as a selling point than you would ever guess! One of the common themes I saw within Tinder’s tiny space for copy on each profile was a simple line suggesting “if you don’t look like your profile picture, you’re buying me drinks until you do.” So clearly some men are predisposed to think that women are not being honest, yet I’ve encountered a few who clearly are older than their profiles report.
Fourth, what’s with the pictures?! I’ve seen so many out-of-focus, bad angle and plainly unflattering images that I’m dumbstruck. Do you not get that this is a site where you’re basically selling yourself on looks? Best foot forward and all that! Here are some of the other ridiculous images I’ve seen:
- Those whose first photo is of their children! (No, I do not share photos of my children on a dating site. Nor do I advise it.) Simply write that you have x children with general age information in your profile.
- The obligatory midwestern fishing or hunting photos. I’ve said it before (in my best caveman voice): “Me bringum home food!”
- Who are all those women?! Why are you posing with women and then using those in your dating profile? Help me understand this…I am so curious to understand what sort of sense this makes!
- Cartoon characters. What in heaven’s name does an image of Daffy Duck have to do with you or — more importantly — me being attracted to you?! Am I supposed to make some sort of sense of that?
- Or photos of tigers — or art images of tigers! No context. Are you trying to tell me that’s your spirit animal? Or do you actually make those arty images? Because if there’s one thing I’m never going to proudly exclaim to my friends or family, it’s, “Look at what Jack does! Isn’t it brilliant?!” Cringe.
- Omigod the number of motorcycles, snowmobiles, dirt bikes, boats… I like toys, too. They’re just not all in my photos.
- Photos in gym mirrors. There is no subtle way of holding your mobile phone for a selfie in a fitness center mirror.
- No photo at all. And no words. Really? Does that work for you?
At any rate, while I first found this swiping left or right on the basis of a photo or a few and what amounts to a short paragraph shallow, if anything, I’ve learned to consider the subtext of the photos. If your first one has a picture of you holding a shot glass, I probably swiped left. If you have broad, yang facial features, I probably swiped right. But still I find that I am remarkably inconsistent in this. And sometimes I just swipe wrong because fat fingers and app confusion…oh well.
Finally, there’s the feigned outrage…illustrated by this brief exchange I had with one fella:
Him, hours later: That’s all you have to say?
Me: Apparently it was at 2:09pm, while I was at work.
Him: Good answer.
Him: I’m a really great catch.
Him: unmatches me.
So is it my job to lead and carry the conversation? Or is it reasonable to say “hi” back to someone who said “hi” to me? Am I missing something as basic as that? Apparently this particular man took offense that I didn’t gush about how excited I was that he’d deigned to say hello to me, and he was offended enough to storm off in a huff…which is okay by me, frankly, because I don’t do well with those whose anger is simmering right there beneath the surface, just waiting for an opportunity to claim “disrespect!”
I try to be a positive person, and I very much work at assuming positive intent. Certainly I hope others will approach me similarly, because I ain’t got time for a petulant man-child’s drama.
Meanwhile, for now anyway, Imma keep on swiping!