Social media has changed every aspect of life, including dating. But you no longer need a Match.com account to see who’s out there in the cruel world of singles. With a click of the app store, a Facebook account, and exactly $0.00, you’ve got Tinder.
The app brings a new level of superficiality and forwardness to the dating/hooking up game. As you scroll through potential mates in your area, you swipe left if their looks and bio aren’t doing it for ya, and swipe right if you like what you see. Then you’re free to message each other if you so desire.
When Tinder first came out, I remember having a conversation with my older brother about the clientele it would draw. I surely never thought that I would end up one of those “sketchballs.” A friend recently piqued my curiosity so much so that I had to see it for myself. It sure doesn’t take much to get hooked. Just like Twitter and Instagram, Tinder becomes a simple boredom fix. Think of the fascination as people-watching on a much more personal level. If I had a penny for every bizarre (or butterly-inducing) screenshot I exchanged with my friends, I’d be a millionaire. But it also turns into a personal contest – don’t deny that you get a little jolt of confidence every time you get “matched.”
Too nervous to jump in just yet? I’ll take one for the team and break down the ten guys you’ll meet on Tinder.
1) The Juicehead
Picture: Chances are his picture features him on a weight machine or flexing in the mirror. His biceps take up the majority of your iPhone screen. So do his gaudy earrings. And gelled, spiked hair. There’s a good probability that he’s wearing Gucci sunglasses.
Bio: My personal favorites include “rave on!” and the shameless “I lift weights.”
2) The Fratstar
Picture: He’s definitely wearing a frat tank. The mystery is whether it will be neon with some ridiculous saying or if he’ll take the more subdued America-inspired route. Think one leg up on a keg, artfully displaying his Sperry Topsiders and holding an American flag. Let freedom ring, I guess?
Bio: “PIKE,” “∑X” or something about how southern he is. Even though Tinder says he’s five miles away. In Boston.
3) The Jailbait
Picture: The first picture is most likely something generic to lure you in. Maybe a hockey uniform with a full, face-covering mask. The next few will look like your 12-year-old cousin. (And it might actually be him.)
Bio: Often blank. Sometimes he’ll be really honest and admit that he’s actually 16, not 24. A word of advice: if his Tinder-given age says 90, go ahead and subtract that zero.
4) The Cradle Robber
Picture: He’s holding children, and not in a “look at how good I am with my nephews” kind of way. His age is 40-plus. And he looks like your Dad’s friend.
Bio: The over-the-hill Tinderer seems to always love the outdoors. He may list his job title. And trust me, he’s not working on Wall Street.
5) The Catfish
Picture: I shouldn’t have to tell you that if his picture is the blank Facebook silhouette, it’s an instant “nope.” Same goes for if he only has one picture, if they’re all of pro athletes or celebrities, or if he only shows group photos and you’re failing at Where’s Waldo. Yup, you’re being Catfished.
Bio: If you even went so far as to look, you’re hopeless.
6) The Athlete
Picture: An action shot in uniform. Holding a trophy if he’s extra cliché. I admit to being drawn in to a few, only to find out that 99% of them are not exactly MVP’s in the looks or personality department.
Bio: “Number 10 on the BlahBlahBlah Team,” “LAX,” and the occasional “chicks love hockey players.”
7) The Freak
Picture: There is no predicting this one. I’ve seen the male version of the infamous tanorexic Mom, a guy covered in cats, and a man wearing a latex glove over his face. I’m sure seasoned Tinder veterans have seen much worse.
Bio: Again, who knows. I was caught off guard by a handsome, well-dressed guy with a bio that read: “I want to make out and lick! :-p I’m bisexual so be open! Let’s not waste any time!” Talk about being forward.
8) The Manwhore
Picture: Shirtless on the beach, shirtless in the mirror, shirtless at the most inappropriate times.
Bio: “Just trying to f*ck,” “I love sluts,” or any other douchey comment they can come up with. Nine times out of ten The Manwhore is hideous and/or awkward, only adding salt to the wound.
9) The Model
Picture: Uncomfortably close face shots. Pouty lips, piercing eyes. Unnecessary filter use.
Bio: Usually none. I guess he thinks his headshots speak for themselves. Hint: They do, but not in the way he intended.
10) The International
Picture: Seated in front of various monuments throughout the globe. On a yacht. Playing soccer in a Barça jersey.
Bio: “From Brazil. Here for the summer. Msg me.” There’s also the local jetsetter. “In Nantucket just for the weekend.” Thanks, but I don’t need your up-to-the-minute coordinates. I wasn’t gonna meet up with you anyway.
You’re halfheartedly swiping through Tinder while simultaneously catching up on a Real Housewives marathon, reading Cosmo, and shopping online (wait, just me?). Suddenly a familiar face catches your eye. Worst case scenario, it’s a relative. More often, it’s a friend, classmate, or a sibling’s pal. Depending on your mood, you can take the merciful approach and just swipe left like nothing happened, saving both of you. But if you’re feeling feisty, give ‘em a “like” and let you know you caught them in the act. Warning: may make the next family get-together a tad bit awkward.
I haven’t built up the guts to initiate a Tinder convo yet, but so far the guys that have contacted me have been surprisingly gentlemanly and cool. Aside from the one that blocked me for denying his invite to a party. Can’t win em all, huh?
I haven’t met my knight in shining Tinder yet, but for now I’m enjoying the hunt.