1. The Tinder Rom-Com Waiting to Happen
My friend whom I have a massive crush on found me on Tinder — the one I made him get so that maybe he wouldn't find out what a massive crush I have on him. We right-swiped each other obviously 'cause that's friend etiquette, right? Now we just send each other ridiculous Tinder screenshots and bond over it. I was secretly pleased when his first Tinder date sucked because "she didn't think he was funny." I think he's hilarious.
2. The Catfish
I'd been on Tinder a few months, and had a pretty good idea of the lay of the land. Two-thirds of matches respond to me, and going from the app to texting is a big move that usually takes a day or two of Tinder chatting.
So it was with great excitement that one of my matches not only offered her number up right away, but actually called me the night we matched after a few texts (warning sign No. 1). The conversation was a little forward (warning sign No. 2), but we hit it off, so I didn't think much of it.
Some texting the next day led to an unsolicited topless photo, and demands for selfies (warning sign No. 3). Now, I don't take selfies — I abhor them — but I thought, Don't be a grandpa, this is what all the cool kids are doing! So I took a photo and sent it, not knowing that this was the key with which I had unlocked a Pandora's box of crazytown.
What followed was a barrage of texts and calls at random times of the day and night, demands for more pictures, and quick flashes of anger if I did not text or call back right away. She was more possessive than all my previous girlfriends combined, and we hadn't even met! One time she badgered me for hanging out with my male friend on a Saturday, made veiled references to us being gay, and even refused to let me get off the phone while he and I were ordering sushi.
The behavior was so odd that I decided to look her up on Facebook, which led to googling, which led me to a website dedicated to women who catfish athletes. Turns out my match is a compulsive liar who used to catfish athletes (maybe still does?!). Frankly, I didn't know if I should be pumped that I was a rung down from "pro athlete" or ashamed that she figured she "needed to move on to dumber prey" and zeroed in on me. A Google reverse image search showed me half the images she posted on Tinder were not really her. I was in a total panic and we had a date set up the next day.
I canceled the date, ignored some angry texts and more fake photos, and learned a valuable Tinder lesson: You're going to have to work hard and pass some tests for me to give up my number now.
3. The Guy Who Was a Little Too Handsy
I met this guy from Tinder for drinks at a place in my neighborhood, and it was going OK at first. And then about 20 minutes in, he tried to hold hands. My silent reaction was basically: ?!?!?! So immediately, and immensely awkwardly, I pulled my hand away and stuck it firmly to my wineglass. A minute later, I said I had to go to the bathroom. The moment I got into the stall, he texted me, "Have a good night." By the time I got back, he was gone and the bill was paid.
4. The Girl Who Wasn't Afraid to Put Him on Blast
Though it sounds like "I only read Playboy for the articles," I really don't use Tinder to meet girls. I feel confident in my own IRL capacities to meet new ladyfriends. I love Tinder for its horrible, primitive, yes-no, eye-candy entertainment value, though. Even more, I secretly pray that I'll be "matched" with ex-girlfriends I notice on there, so I can rekindle a conversation in a really tongue-in-cheek (read: obnoxious) way. I rarely commute without sneaking a peek at the app.
So anyway, this girl once messaged me on it and we started chatting for a couple of days. At first she was aggressive and led the conversation, and then we both sort of fell off the conversation and I forgot about it.
A month or so later, I went to a concert at this small venue. It was a college showcase of sorts, and I was catching up with friends I hadn't seen in a while. During one of the sets, this girl and I kept making eye contact with each other. I thought she was very cute, and oddly familiar, but I couldn't place her.
I went outside to smoke a cigarette with a few dudes. We're chatting, shooting the shit, and the girl from inside comes out to smoke. She comes straight up to me and the handful of guys I'm with, and points at me and says, "I know you from Tinder, fucker!" I immediately started blushing and was like, "Me? No way! I'm not that guy!" The dudes all died in laughter.
I ended up chatting with her and got her number. We've hung out a bunch since, and had really bad sex one night (my fault, too much whiskey). She still has a sweater of mine, and has since been hitting up my roommate via email in search of job opportunities.
5. The Friend of a Friend Match
I agreed to go as a wingman with my then-roommate to meet her Tinder match and his friend. Mostly I wanted to make sure she didn't end up becoming a future plot line for a Law & Order: SVU episode.
It was late, like after midnight, and we had been drinking for a while. The friend I was entertaining was not my type and the next morning I felt bad for being not so nice to him for no good reason at all. Well, I must have remembered wrong — I got a Facebook message from him later that day telling me that after hearing about my Middle Earth map, he was "officially enamored" with me. Apparently I had also said I'd be excited to run into him again, which was probably my attempt to politely decline giving him my number.
I didn't respond.
6. The Pee Connection
I have a tendency to get drunk and pee on things. Bookshelves, coffee tables, cars, libraries, churches, beds (especially beds) — you name it, there's a good chance I might have drunkenly peed on it.
A few months ago, I met a cute boy at a bar and went home with him to his adorable Lower East Side apartment. He was one of the types of guys you wake up next to in the morning and think, OK. Unfortunately, I woke up next to him in a giant puddle of my own urine. I left very quickly. We didn't exchange numbers.
A few months later, I stumbled upon him while messing around on Tinder. I decided to swipe right and what do you know? It was a match! I thought about it for a while and wondered if there was a way to make the whole pee thing a joke. I thought about saying, "Urine luck — I found you!" But eventually, I sent "Lol hey." Within a few minutes he responded: "Haha hey!" We haven't talked since.
7. The Guy with the Money Suit and Then a Boyfriend
Once I swiped yes to a guy wearing a suit with a dollar-bill pattern all over it. Biggest regret of my life. He was like, "Hey, if you could go anywhere in the world where would it be and why?" My friend was drunk and took my phone and typed, "Middle Earth, you?"
But believe it or not, I met my boyfriend of eight months on Tinder. I messaged with a bunch of guys on the app, but he was the only one I met in person. According to him, I was the only girl to message him first. So, ladies, message first if you want to stand out!
We had an awesome first date and really hit it off. We either hung out or talked on the phone every day after and started dating exclusively probably like two weeks later. So far, it's been awesome. A lot of chance plays into meeting people even with the help of dating apps and websites. Don't overthink it; just try it out.
8. The Sweet but Unsuccessful Love
Last spring, I ended up matching with someone I had mutual friends with — his opening line was a funny one that asked if we knew each other as degenerate youths — and we'd later learn that we ran in the same social circles as teenagers in New York City. We met shortly after exchanging a few witty messages and following each other on social media. He was smart, cute, successful, and loved cats. Score. Our first date was brunch at a fancy West Village spot — not a "let's have a few drinks then head back to my place" situation. Everything was really natural and fun and exciting, and we always brought up how strange it was that we'd met via Tinder when we had so many mutual friends and were basically the same age.
We had a lot in common, and shared a fun two months together casually dating, but for various reasons, it didn't work out. We're still friends, though, which is pretty cool. And for the record, I never used Tinder to meet anyone else IRL, and I deleted the app probably about a month after our relationship fizzled.
9. The Late Riser
A few weeks ago, I downloaded Tinder because someone I knew had met this really hot guy on it and had started sleeping with him. They sent each other these really cute picture texts all the time and I was like, Hmmm. Maybe I was wrong about everyone being horrible all the time. So I think I downloaded it on a Friday. I swiped NOPE on almost everyone, but matched with like three or four guys. But I didn't hear anything from any of them until the next day, when one texted me at 5:45 p.m.
His message said, "lol I'm so tired I just woke up so horny and hungover." That was the whole thing. Why had he just woken up when it was 5:45 on a Saturday afternoon? What was the "lol" in reference to? Is this working for him? I deleted the app from my phone a few minutes after that.
10. The Tigers, Oh My God Why the Tigers?!
I might as well get the tiger thing out of the way. Bros posing with tigers is a thing on Tinder. In fact, it is such a thing that other guys write bios about not having pictures with tigers. For example, "I'm told I'd do much better on here if I had a picture of me stroking a sedated tiger." At first I decided that a tiger picture meant an automatic left swipe. Then I realized that I actually have SO MANY questions for those guys. I started swiping right on every single one that I came across. You know who is not into me? Guys with tiger pictures. Apparently that is not my target demographic. Not a single one of them was ever matched with me. They remain a beautiful mystery.
There were several other recurring themes. Men referencing their height was primary among them. I saw several bios along the lines of "I'm 5'10" because that's apparently important here." Machu Picchu is a also a very big deal. So. Many. Machu. Picchu. Pictures. According to Tinder, everyone has gone to Machu Picchu except me. I must have missed some sort of class trip. Who knew?
Straight New York City Tinder is also apparently populated by British giants. The bio was always something along the lines of "6'5" Englishman in New York." I saw that bio at least a million times. I believed approximately none of them. Naturally, I started chatting with a gentleman who was actually a British giant. I know this to be true because, well, he had a very specific job in London and he is super easy to Google. He was in reality, as he claimed to be, a very tall Englishman. It was late when we were chatting, but he offered to take me for tea sometime. I never heard from him again.
There were also some truly bizarre things on Tinder. There was a picture of a guy lighting his cigarette off of a $100 bill that he had set on fire because why not? Another guy had only one picture and it was just a cat covered in approximately 30–35 $100 bills. I swiped right on that guy too because I, again, had many questions and I felt like I owed it to posterity. Guys with cats covered in $100 bills are also apparently not into me.
Out of the 100-plus matches that I got in my 10 days of glory on Tinder, I only exchanged real info with two guys. The first guy was so funny. We bantered back and forth for days and days. We finally traded contact info. We exchanged two emails. The last email I got from him said that he was really busy getting ready for a TED Talk, because of course he was. I reached out one time after that and I never heard from him again.