Two weeks ago, I decided to try something new: make a Tinder profile. I'd always been intrigued by Tinder, which is a relatively new piece of the millennial's dating life. I was curious to see what sort of people inhabit the Tinder sphere, and whether it truly is the hook-up app that its reputation claims, or just a different platform to meet new people. I'd tried other dating apps before, briefly and without much success, but prided myself on avoiding Tinder.
However, this particular Saturday night, I was bored and had just read this article about a man who got 300 matches in 2 days by creating a Tinder profile as a glass of wine. I decided I could easily have similar luck, but as a woman interested in men, I'd need a different alias than wine.
What do men love more than women? Pizza! Pizza became my alter ego, and once I'd decided to create a Tinder profile as a pizza the rest came together easily. I found a few stock photos of pizza online, and uploaded them to Facebook by creating a private photo album only visible to me. Since Tinder profiles are connected to your Facebook profile, I couldn't change my name, but that wasn't a huge deal to me. The most important thing were the pictures and my bio.
"I'm pretty cheesy, but I'm also the hottest slice you'll ever meet. I'm even great the next day. I'm pretty diverse in my toppings, and I have roots in NYC, Chicago, and Italy. When you're spending time with me, you'll probably be drinking a beer, and you'll definitely be having a good time."
And thus Pizza the Tinder Girl was born.
At this point in the story, I'd like to make it clear that i did not create this Tinder with the intention of hooking up with anyone, or honestly even with the goal of getting a date. I really just created this profile out of curiosity about the Tinder community, and as a social experiment to see how men would react to a Tinder profile masquerading as America's favorite food (Some say that steak beats pizza in this category, but my recent Tindering experience indicates otherwise.).
I was amused to observe immediately once I began swiping that a lot of the matches presented to me were coworkers of mine, including several individuals who had previously claimed that they didn't Tinder anymore because the selection of women was sub-par. Apparently they wanted others to think they were much less active on Tinder than they actually were.
So how did Pizza Tinder do? Pretty damn well, as you might expect. Two weeks later, as I write this, I've got 250 matches. The number would be higher if I did not discriminate in my right swipes, but I was extremely picky and probably only swiped right for 15% of the guys presented to me, which is an average statistic for female action on Tinder. Of the 250 matches, 80 messaged me.
It didn't take me long to realize that there are only so many pizza-related puns and pickup lines that a person can come up with, and a boy will almost always go for the sexual pun over the clever line. Here are just a few:
* Are you from Pizza Hut? Cause I wanna stuff your crust. (I actually got a lot of variations of the stuffed crust line).
* I wanna eat you out (Heard this one a lot too...)
* Girl I need you in my life more.
* I want to lick your crust.
* Aaaaand now I want pizza.
* I've never said this before but I think this is love at first slice.
* I'd treat you like the Pizzeria Regina that you are.
* I'd marry you but it would just be so I could eat your family at the reception.
Some guys got really, really excited to be matched with me.
Others were eloquent, creative, or just long-winded.
I responded based on the wit of the opening line. A simple "hey" received no response. If they wouldn't put any effort into the interaction, then neither would I.
An easy or over-used line, like "I want to stuff your crust," got a pizza emoji as a response. Again, I matched their level of commitment.
Well-thought-out lines received more witty replies. My favorite exchanges were the ones that kept the pizza jokes going for a good while.
Of course, it's to be expected that I would get a few of these as well:
I even ran into a few other non-human Tinders, including a squirrel named Bourgemont, and "Brunch."
Brunch was kind of an ass though.
So, what did I learn?
# Boys love pizza.
# Holy crap, there are a lot of pervs and douches on Tinder! (This wasn't really a surprise though...)
# People aren't usually as creative as they think they are.
# Guys will literally ask a girl out that they've never seen before, and have literally just swapped a few pizza puns with. Um, stranger danger, anyone?! I could've seriously catfished the hell out of these people.
# Online dating has a lot going for it conceptually, but in practice, I wouldn't recommend it.
"Why not, Bridget?"
In my opinion, nothing beats a spontaneous, in-person human interaction.
So much of who we are can't be expressed in words--tone, body language, habits, etc.
Also, when I'm hiding behind the mask of an online chatting platform (especially designed as a pizza!), it's so easy to put on my "best self." I can take as long as I want to craft the perfect response, or straight-up lie about whatever I want.
Of course, this entire discourse is only based on my own very limited experience. I know several people who have actually had great luck dating with Tinder. Personally, though, I've always been a fan of meeting people organically, in person.
However, it wouldn't be fair of me to wrap up this story without also saying that there are also a few really nice, funny and decent guys on Tinder! A few of my conversations continued beyond the pizza realm into real-people conversation, and one of those conversations even turned into an actual date! This was the most interesting adventure of Pizza Tinder--the brave guy had no idea what I looked like beforehand, and it turned out to be a lot of fun.
Thus retires Pizza Tinder! It's been fun, but I'm ready to let it go and get back to my non-virtual world.