Using Tinder is like building your house over a known entry to the underworld, and hoping for the best.
Hoping, that against all odds, all advice, all annals of history, that some kind of venomous, life-threatening demon won’t someway climb his way into the safety of your warm, cozy home and rip the very hearts out of your sleeping children’s chests.
Using Tinder sets up an open invitation for creeps, losers and sociopaths, at least to your screen -- at best, just your day, and, at worst, your life. There is no telling what monstrous conversations will be opened, what insults to your humanity, and what unsolicited sexual provocation will be thrown at you from that point onwards.
Over the years since this ridiculous app was invented, I have heard many tales of disastrous dates, but I always figured it was because these idiots were terrible judges of character, and weren’t reading between the lines of text to see the total jerk with whom they were conducting correspondence.
Let it be known, I am now one of those idiots.
Fooled by the subtle trick of proper grammar, I was lured by a man -- correction: boy -- who, upon learning of my penchant for spelling and the Oxford comma, seduced my brain into a dinner meeting. His photos were fine, he seemed normal, and he had a strong command of the written word, so surely, we were a match made in heaven. AU CONTRAIRE.
What came to pass was 90 insufferable minutes of my life that I will never get back. What I learned, and hope to teach to the masses, will never leave me. Here is how not to date.
- It is an unfortunate but necessary reality to list your height. I am 5’10,” otherwise known as a giant, and must therefore be suitably matched with a tall male counterpart lest my awareness of my gigantic height quash my dreams of attaining true femininity.
I do not care how backwards, traditional, or un-feminist this is. I am an upstanding feminist in every other capacity of life, and cannot escape the fact that we are hard-wired to find men who are at least our own height, or indeed, taller, more attractive. This man -- correction: boy -- was approximately 5’6”. I could have carried him over the Brooklyn Bridge with ease, like a small boy-shaped backpack. This is not a sexy thing. List your height.
- It is an unfortunate but necessary reality to include alcohol in a first date. I am Irish, otherwise known as a functioning alcoholic, and must therefore be suitably matched with a man who not only can but will drink.
Yes, I exaggerate, and yes, I know this is pandering to stereotypes, but nerves are high enough on a first date without at least having the option for liquid courage.
This boy brought me to a restaurant that literally didn’t even serve alcohol. I had to endure the entire thing sober.
When you know you’re taking an Irish girl out, at least have the foresight that her cultural upbringing might have been slightly less straight edge.
- Don’t slurp your soup. Especially when it’s an entire bowl of soup. Definitely try not to slurp it so loudly that it is audible to other guests at the restaurant. Gag.
- Don’t man-splain female emotions, hormones and needs to your female date. Unless you are, in fact, female, your musings on “what women want” are frankly null and void.
This boy tried to convince me that the New York City dating scene is such a mess because women are crazy -- due to aforementioned hormones and emotions -- and that the poor men don’t stand a chance because we have such intense needs.
He told me this while sucking the marrow out of a lamb bone -- just so you have a visual here -- and nodded solemnly when I informed him that no two women are the same, that we’re not inherently unhinged and that every human has a wide range of emotions and needs that are in constant flux.
Shocking, right?! Please, educate yourself. And don’t suck the marrow out of a lamb bone in public unless you’re an anemic geriatric. Again, gag.
- Tip handsomely. There is nothing on this earth more repulsive than a mean tip, pointedly calculated out to the exact percentage.
Having worked in service, I always over-tip, and I’m aware that not everyone feels such an obligation to do so, but to see me leave such a generous tip on my half of our extremely reasonable check, and to then leave a measly amount on your own is even more of a deal breaker than points one through four.
After enduring a truly unbearable evening that hurt my soul, my feminism, and my appetite, my straight-edge friend asked if he could be the first guy I bring back to my apartment sober -- a charming assumption that because I had humorously commented that I had never been on an alcohol-free first date before, I had never spent a sober night with a man.
It was, at this point, that I could no longer contain myself and burst into laughter. “Are you out of your mind?!” I asked -- in all seriousness.
When it seemed that he was in fact serious, I fumbled my way through an excuse about a party I had to get to and went on my merry way home. Indeed, I literally ran three blocks while frantically calling my friend to recount the evening through hysterical laughter and gasps for oxygen that wasn’t in his direct proximity.
Don’t be fooled by good grammar -- it does not equate to elegance, charm or good manners. I was in a genuine state of shock as I tried to process the extent of how wrong this boy had gotten every possible aspect of a first date.
Sifting through the visuals of soup and marrow dripping across the table, I managed to recall the soundbite, “Women are crazy, they need too much.”
While certain I am not alone in arguing that his point isn’t true, I know for sure what we don’t need: to be told what we do need by someone with zero comprehension of what those needs could possibly be. Again, gag.