1. You start to cancel promising dates before they happen because you really just can’t.
Online dating is hard. A good date can change your life but a bad date can be on par with going to the dermatologist or standing in line at the DMV. If you are a reasonably attractive, semi-normal person of average intelligence on an online dating site, chances are you’ll be asked on a date or two a week. When you begin to feel like you’re getting ready for a job interview instead of drinks with Rob from Brooklyn, it’s time to pump the brakes. Most recently, I canceled on a date less than 45 minutes beforehand simply because I wanted to go home, take off my bra, watch American Horror Story, and eat pasta. New York is just like Sex and the City said it would be!
2. Desperate, desperate, you are really desperate.
All of your friends are either getting engaged or popping out babies and you are starting to get frustrated that your most intimate relationship is with your can of Coke Zero. This can lead a person to veer into “take what you can get” territory, which is not a good look. When you’re scrolling through potential matches on OK Cupid and you start singing “Do You Want To Be My Boyfriend?” to the tune of “Do You Want To Build A Snowman?” from Frozen, you need to take a few steps back.
3. You get irrationally angry when someone you swiped right did not swipe right back.
Kevin is a banker from Gramercy. He has blond hair, which is not your thing, but you know what, let’s try something new. Four right swipes for you, Kevin the Banker, you go, Kevin the Banker! Wait… it’s not a match? What fresh hell is this? Kevin, what did I ever do to you? Whatever, you’re not even that cute anyway. You look like the long lost Von Trapp child. Bankers are all assholes. You probably would have cheated on me anyway. Gramercy… how pretentious. Oh wait… it’s a match. Sorry babe, let’s get coffee?
4. You consider “backsliding.”
For those of you who are unaware of the term backsliding, it means that you’ve become so fed up with the current state of your dating life that you start to reach out to lord knows how many exes to see if they would be down to try again. There’s always a last straw that leads you to this decision. I urge you not to give in to temptation. Think about it — do you really want to tell the guy who told you he “had a lot of stuff to do” when you broke your fibula and needed a ride to the doctor that you’ve “been thinking of him?” No. You do not.
5. You get a message like this:
Hey sexy. Lemme ask you a question. I’m doing an experiment and I’d like your help. Plz answer honestly. Do girls prefer men with a shaved chest or a hairy chest? I have a really hairy chest and I think that’s probably why no one answers me on here. Thx.
6. Or this:
OMG! You have the PRETTIEST nose I have ever seen on this Earth. Plus, you look just like a girl I know from Canada. You are a divine beauty goddess. I am looking for a date for my fraternity formal. You seem mature and sexy. The tickets will be bought. I do not have many preferences. I only ask that you are sane, and that you wear a short dress. Please let me know if you are interested.
7. You develop a superiority complex.
Thanks to messages like numbers 5 and 6, after a certain point you’re going to hit a wall and stop responding. When this happens, something magical will take place. OK Cupid will suddenly tell your myriad suitors that you “reply extremely selectively.” Hell yeah, you do! The world is your oyster! You have your pick of the litter! No more bad dates for you, just ignore ALL the men! You start to feel like the Blair Waldorf of online dating. You are not. Let’s be honest with ourselves… we all want to think we are Blair Waldorf, when in reality, we are Vanessa from Brooklyn at best.
8. You develop an inferiority complex.
Once in a while, you strike up the courage to message a hot guy with a good job and a college degree and he doesn’t answer you. “I really thought ‘Hey you, how’s it going?’ was the perfect first message,” you will say to yourself. “Maybe my eye looks wonky in my profile picture. Ugh, I know I shouldn’t have dyed my hair dark brown. Do you think guys hate brunettes? They probably do. I wish I had natural red hair like Joan from Mad Men. Guys love Joan. Do I need to post less selfies? Do I need to post more selfies? What am I doing wrong?” Nothing. You are doing nothing wrong. There’s nothing wrong with you, and there’s nothing wrong with College Boy who did not answer you. It’s just part of the deal. Sometimes it’ll work, and sometimes it won’t. Take a break. It’ll be okay.
9. You forget yourself.
This one is real talk, you guys. When you start to become way more focused on going on dates and getting a boyfriend, then you know, your actual life: your career, friends, and family, you need to delete those apps and pencil in some “me” time. It sounds cheesy and somewhat patronizing, but you really cannot expect anyone to like you and want to date you if you don’t even know who “you” are. Figure it out. The app store will always be there, waiting for you with open arms.
10. You get matched with someone you know and it really is the worst thing.
My friend once accidentally Tinder matched with her boss. #blessed