I will admit that I am late to the game when it comes to Tinder. I heard about it when it first popped on the scene, and I have friends who have had some success using the dating app, but I was still hesitant to use it for myself.
Some people had told me that it was more of a hookup type of app, and I didn’t want to be hooking up with random strangers from the internet. Then other friends told me of the genuine fun they had going out on dates with people they met on the app, and after years of resisting, my curiosity got the better of me. At the beginning of the year, I created an account for myself.
I am not sure what I was expecting, but I was open to whatever might come from it. Almost as soon as my profile went up, I started getting liked and super liked and matched with men. The bolder ones sent me chat messages, and it was in these chat messages that I learned some things about men.
1. Big shocker: Some men are just weird.
Shoutout to the dude who engaged me in a conversation over the course of a few hours, asking me questions about myself, talking to me about my career and things that I like—and then, out of the blue, asked me why I didn’t have any pictures of my feet on my profile. Like, what? Who does that?
Please, at least save your fetishes for after we meet in person the first time.
I tried to ignore his query and continued the conversation about other things, but after a few more messages back and forth, he brought up the feet thing again, so I blocked him.
Enough of that shit.
2. Plenty of men are transphobic.
One man flat-out asked me if I was a “real” woman. I wasn’t sure how to take that question, and I told him as much. After I told him that I was, in fact, a woman, he went into a long explanation about how he had been “duped” before by “these clever ass He-She’s repeatedly recently,” so he was concerned.
I still don’t completely understand the idea about being “duped” by a transgender woman, but that is a conversation for another time and another column.
Suffice it to say that I found his comments entirely offensive, so I put him on ignore, too.
Go away, sir. You bother me.
3. There are some men who are completely honest about just wanting to hook up.
I was surprisingly not at all offended by the men who openly told me that they were just looking for sexual hookups and nothing more. There’s something to be said for being honest about that right away and not wasting someone’s time. That said, I was also honest in that I was not looking for sexual hookups, and so we all mutually passed on each other anyway.
4. White men, for whatever reason, really, really like me.
A large number of the likes and conversations I got came from white men. This is not an anomaly. I grew up on the Westside of Los Angeles, and that is a normal thing here. That said, it was both interesting and amusing to see the number of white men who made no secret about the fact that they actively seek out black women on dating apps.
Is this really a thing?
5. There are many men who are awkward and not good conversationalists.
When you are on a dating app that involves people messaging back and forth for a bit before they share personal info such as phone numbers and the like, you’d expect that those men would be able to carry on at least the minimal amount of conversation.
This is not the case.
I was messaged by so many men who would start out by only saying “Hi,” and when I replied back, it became clear very quickly that they expected me to carry on the conversation.
That doesn’t work in chat or dating. You don’t have anything to talk about at all? Nothing interesting to say?
It’s more than a little weird for you to be the one to reach out to me, and then when I engage you, you respond with one-word answers.
Yeah, just, no.
Overall, being on Tinder wasn’t a bad experience, but I got bored with it very quickly. Intelligent conversation is very important to me, and that is the one thing I found lacking over and over again in all of my encounters on the app.
Weirdos are everywhere, and it is almost impossible to avoid them, so I would not let that be a deterrent if you are considering signing up for the app.
Go into it knowing that you are going to have to sift through the mess to get to the gems, and you should be fine.
Online dating can actually be really fun. In this day and age of people being constantly on the go and busy with careers, school and the like, it’s an easy way to find people you may have something in common with.
Just use good judgment and keep your eyes open for red flags.
And for the love of all that’s holy, don’t ask anyone why their feet are not posted on their profile.