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HOT IN THE CITY: How to not do Tinder and a 101 on getting to know your new dating app addiction

Tinder, Tinder, Tinder, you evil little devil, you—you stupid, stupid addictive app. How embarrassed I am to ever have downloaded you. But while it might make one weary of online dating (it’s scary out there!), let alone using a virtual Hot or Not app as a means of “hooking up”, Tinder is not so secretly the smartest thing there right now for meeting new people. Like maybe even so much you will meet your perfect match (although, you should not get your hopes too high).

“Tinder”—loosely named, and who knows, maybe even a subtle double entendre for “doin’ it”, has its ups and downs. I would say just by having swiped probably over a thousand times (don’t judge), a huge chunk of candidates are mostly looking to “casually” meet (like, get drunk and have sex). So maybe head over to OKCupid or Match.com if you’re looking for something long-term. Then again you just NEVER know. I recall being out in Brooklyn one night and meeting a gay couple outside a bar bathroom who I initially confessed me being on an awkward Tinder date too. And whaddya know? They had also met on Tinder. See, not so weird.

Throughout the duration of my time “using”, my confidence started to grow tenfold. It was like: “YOU HAVE A MATCH! YOU HAVE A MATCH! OH MY GOD, you are HOT and these men want YOU!” Because being a twenty-something and a newb to a giant city like NYC, let alone without having any real “connects” to the dating scene, not going out began to get old. I was hungry for some lovin’; I was curious. I wanted to know what 25-40 year-old New Yorkers within a considerable radius were up to. More importantly: if they were smart and had some sort of commonality in this crazy life (BONUS if they were totally bangin’ hot).

Out of all the 400+ “matches”, I met up with six people altogether. None of them were super successful, though I did have some interesting conversations, and, uhhh, a couple super awkward “encounters”. I won’t go into any gruesome details, but let’s just say these Tinder fellas ain’t got no shame (or morals either, apparently). I began to get frustrated: were these Tinder boys seriously not into my personality? Whatever happened to getting to “know” somebody before you tore each others’ clothes off? Was I, 24 years young, too old school for Tinder?

My daily swipes slowly decayed to random spurts of opening the app, to which I eventually deleted (and re-installed, then deleted, then re-installed). Sometimes I would go days forgetting that I had it altogether, because the hopes high/success rate ratio was so low and real life began getting in the way of me Tindering  24/7 (I was actually meeting people without the Internet; I know, totally ridiculous). So for now, I’m off the drug—I mean TINDER. While it serves a great purpose and can open many worlds, I personally feel that based on history alone it’s possible to find true love “naturally”. Like through some more reasonable app like say, Instagram (kidding).

And for the love of God, if you’re going to sign up, please don’t do these things:

1. Put an Oscar Wild quote in your bio: C’MON! Think just a tiny bit harder.

2. Have a really blurry photograph as your main photo. We WANT to see your face! Don’t be shy.

3. PLEASE, no beer bongs visible anywhere. As much as drinking is fun, getting totally wasted is a turn off.

4. Conveying TOO much that you’re a doctor (if you’re a doctor): what, are you TRYING to date a gold digger?

5. Absolutely do NOT invite somebody to your house before meeting in public. It’s just creepy.

6. Saying you’re “not from anywhere” is a lie. You are from somewhere. Say where that place is.

7. A bunch of pictures with you and your bros/girls is a total no-no. We don’t care about your bros/girls. We want to see YOU.

8. Talking dirty can be hot, but NOT in the first message. Just no. How about trying to impress? Maybe something about why someone would want to even hook up with you in the first place?

9. I dunno, call me crazy, but maybe don’t put seven pictures of you shooting a rifle gun? (YES, this happens more than you think)

For more Tinder insight, I suggest heading over to Tinder Diaries to read what you’re getting yourself into. And if you so decide to venture out there into the deep, dark, endless world of swipes, please, please, PLEASE be smart.

Happy swiping!



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Kaitlin Duffy is a writer from Cleveland. When she's not blogging or pondering the great complexities of the world and outer space, she is finding rare vinyl steals, visiting new places, laughing often, Instagramming everything in sight, watching movies, or working on her first feature Port de Cleve.