Swipe, swipe, swipe. In a society enamored with instant gratification and constantly seeking visual stimulus, this is how we date now.
In 2016, our version of sizing each other up at a bar has been replaced – or at least heavily substituted – by split-second decisions based on a glowing screen. We make rash judgments based on appearance; we swipe our finger right across a face in hopes to later trail our fingers across the rest of them. We have minimized the in-person visual of a perspective mate to a 5” screen, shrunk the amount of courage it takes to admit your attraction, and nearly removed the need to fear rejection. Fingers fly at the pace that eyelashes used to be batted and, rather than never calling again, you simply “unmatch.”
But is the world of online dating really that different than the “IRL” one? The means may be different, but what about the ends? Initial attraction based on physicality remains; awkward interactions definitely still exist. Are we not still looking for the same thing? Someone to share a night, a trip, or a life with?
That question is meant to be rhetorical, not meant to make you gag. I would probably hate someone who said that to me a year ago. You can agree with it or not, but there is one undeniable truth: Tinder makes for a hell of a story collection with some of the craziest characters. Here’s a sample of 7 guys you’ll meet whenever you start swiping.
1. The dude with the dog.
I love animals. I have a cat, but that doesn’t mean I don’t squeal when I see a precious puppy. If that’s the image you’re putting out there for the ladies, clichéd though it may be, you go right ahead, sir. I matched with a “Famous Dog Dad” – like, his dog is legitimately famous and the man isn’t half bad either. When you live in Austin, it’s the perfect means to suggest a meet-up to meet the pup at a dog park. Oh, and you’ll be there too? Convenient. Well played, Dog Man.
2. The guy in town for a bachelor party.
Or a business trip. Or to visit Grandma. For whatever reason, this guy is only here for two days. The phrase “just looking for a place to crash and maybe a little fun” are guaranteed to be somewhere in his profile, likely with a weird winky emoji. Maybe an eggplant one if he’s straightforward enough. “Come party with us,” “show me the best part about your city,” and “what should I do while I’m here?” (read: who should I do) are also gems. Left swipe for me, but to each their own.
3. The man on the boat. Or next to a car.
Okay, great. Put your shirt back on. This may be the male equivalent to a girl holding a snake around her shoulders. I once matched with a guy who won The Amazing Race. Even he had his shirt on.
4. The guy who is…not single.
Oh. He and his wife are aiming to get a little creative, perhaps. Fair enough, I guess. Maybe he’s in an “open relationship” with his girlfriend. Maybe he’s in an open relationship, but his girlfriend isn’t aware of this tidbit. This guy is often wearing a backwards baseball cap in 75% of his photos and possibly a shell necklace.
5. The boy who can’t hold an in-person conversation to save his life.
Funny via messages. Good looking via pictures. So you meet up. Hey, hi, how are you, do we hug or…nope, oh okay, side hug. Great, already weird. Okay, so you’re from Ohio? Yeah, you said that already. Three times, actually. Mmhmm. So you don’t like this city? Okay. You don’t want to talk about your job? Or your family? Alright. Could I maybe get another drink? Why don’t you go ahead and make it twelve, since you’re up.
6. The musician.
And just a musician. Perhaps one who hasn’t had a gig in “a while.” A clever synonym for ‘unemployed’. However, I did match with a famous drummer once. That was cool. He didn’t message me. Not as cool.
7. The guy, who, – gasp – is actually decent.
You pause long enough to scroll through all of his pictures. His profile makes you smile or arch a brow. You engage in witty banter, see that he knows his you’re/your rules, and you hit it off. So you meet up. You have a drink that turns into a four-hour conversation and many more dates to follow. He holds your hand, offers you his coat, and you realize that maybe, just maybe, not every guy on Tinder is a total nut job.