There is always a charm listening to people discover the concept of Tinder for the first time. Such innocence!
Exhibit A: the Bloggess, misunderstanding a friend’s enthusiastic approval of Alan Rickman.
Exhibit B: my mother’s best friend wrote to me today, to let me know that her daughter-in-law (a fearless woman my age, y’all should check out her incredible travel adventures here) had been reading my blog, and suggested I try out Tinder. Daughter-in-law had “heard it might be an interesting app” – did I know about it?
My Tinder experience
I’ve had an on-and-off relationship with Tinder for the past 15 months; mostly off, despite having a few reasonable dates because of it. Of all the dating apps, it perplexes me the least. I like it since I get less unwanted messages (due to the concept that only people who have mutually liked/swiped right can exchange messages). On the other hand, I despise it and all online dating apps, because I have a problem with the very concept of online dating. I am a romantic at heart. I yearn for a “meet-cute”; either the thunderbolt, the awkward first meeting, or the gradual sliding into friendship and love. Online dating feels like job hunting: I am very skilled at interviews, but have yet to fall in love with my interviewer. I accept the overwhelming evidence that online dating works, but I remain a skeptic.
I despise online dating because of the nasty surprises I discover. Some of which are blatant (remember the Microsoft Paint episode?), and some are more subtle – like stumbling upon the Tinder profile of a Facebook acquaintance, who has been in a committed relationship for two years. Or getting rude messages from guys who feel that the normal rules of courtesy don’t apply online. Or the dudes that use other people’s pictures in their profile (that’s another blog post… it’s happened to me TWICE). There is a psychological burden to online dating.
My Valentine’s day Tinder hack
After my phoenixes arose proudly and I took a break from POF, I decided to mimic Nene’s Tinder hack. I planned it carefully. The week before Valentine’s day, I edited my Tinder profile, so that it only contained pics and the link to my blog. I trolled Tinder, swiping right (liking) as many guys as I could find passably interesting. That alone produced a dozen or so blog views. Then, on the Wednesday, I sent my 187 Tinder matches this very spammy message:
So. we are on Tinder while the world is decked out in pinks and hearts. Here are my thoughts on Valentine’s day: (link to my blog post on Vday rebranding).
It took me about 40 minutes to send that message to all my matches. The results of my Tinder hack:
- Approximately 75 blog views
- 20 of my Tinder matches blocked me – I found out later that guys get spammed by semi-pornoesque links all the time on Tinder. Ooops?
- Several Tinder conversations started up. Unfortunately, the most interesting one was with a guy currently in South Korea. That is the disadvantage of being on Tinder for 15 months: some of my matches are no longer physically nearby!
- I got asked out on several dates. When I turned one of the guys down, he told me he was cool with my decision, as it was really easy to find fuck friends online. Classy!
The Universe has a snarky sense of humour
Monday, on my way to work, I noticed a guy staring at me intently on the metro. As I left the underground, my phone buzzed: I had a new Tinder message from that same guy who wanted a date/sex buddy, asking me whether or not I had just gotten off the subway. As I turned to see if I could recognize him in the sea of faces, he climbed onto the same bus as me, sheepishly smiling at me. I smiled gleefully back at him, enjoying the very obvious fact that he was replaying our Tinder convo over in his mind.
He got off at his stop without saying anything to me. He then messaged me once again:
I was just thinking how lucky it was that our conversation didn’t turn into a “booty call” or other stuff on Tinder. That would have made it even more weird this morning. 🙂
It’s in moments like these that I just sit back and appreciate that the Universe has got my back.
I ain’t giving up online dating just yet… but boys, please. Up your game.
In the mean time, I’m gonna see how often I can hack Tinder before I lose all my matches.