It’s a new dating world out there. Those of us who have recently come out of long-term relationships may be experiencing a bit of a steep learning curve.
Gone are the days when we could meet someone by locking eyes at the grocery store, yoga studio, park or gym. People don’t look up anymore; we stare deeply into our phones instead.
We are lucky, in fact, if we make eye contact with anyone anymore. Even our friends and family are continually distracted by their Facebook, email, texts and other social media, which follow us everywhere on our handy smartphones.
But we need to learn to accept this virtual communicating thing. It’s part of our age of technology; either we adapt to it and use it, or we head off to live somewhere deep in the woods where those sneaky cellular waves have yet to penetrate.
For us single folk, there’s the Tinder app. Swipe right if you like what you see—and left if you don’t. We can match up instantly with someone in close proximity, and then meet up in a matter of moments if we are both free and willing.
Seems easy, practical and a recipe for mating success, doesn’t it?
Tinder seems straightforward, but there’s something inorganic about dating someone we have, in real life, never seen before. Quite often, we would never have chosen to sit through an hour coffee with them if we had met them in a social situation and realized it wasn’t a fit.
I’ve learned a few things from navigating through the muddy Tinder pool. Believe me, there are a lot of interesting people out there—some pleasantly so, and some not so much.
I noticed many premeditated patterns of behavior, which often led to a sigh and an, “I can get through this.” I would like to share the people I discovered are not worth our time. We can Tinder it up every night with poor results—or we can become savvy online daters.
These are the Tinder personalities I suggest avoiding:
At first, these folks may impress us. They will give us a lot of attention. They want to text regularly and hold continual conversations with someone they never met. If we do make it on a date with them, they’re the ones who won’t want to let us go, buying us another drink just to get us to stay. As soon as we leave, they’ll have already sent several messages saying hello again. Unfortunately, beneath this eagerness is often a person seeking to avoid loneliness through constant companionship. Unfortunately, they are often energy suckers.
The Topless Selfies.
I already knew in my gut that I ought to ignore these ones. But sometimes we get a little adventuresome and think, Uhh, why not? Well, I will tell you why not. These people focus solely on their looks, and they will do the same with ours. I once had to spend a whole hour listening to someone’s gym schedule—morning and evening. He then actually looked at me for the first time and said, “Your body is tight.” Gross.
The Late-Night Messengers (LNMs)
These ones come alive after most people have gone to bed. They can be engaging, funny and charismatic, but we need to realize…they are usually drunk and undependable! I scheduled a date with an LMN, and as I was getting to the restaurant I received a text: “Was it tonight we were meeting?” I said “Yes,” and he replied, “Whoops.” One week later at 12 a.m. he sent me a message asking how much he had screwed up with me. My response? Delete.
The Job Interviewers.
These might be the most boring. They are often the high-end “professionals.” Be wary of pictures of swanky flats and cars; the Interviewers acquired these through business, and they will make our meet-up business too. These are the people who immediately ask, “What do you do for work?” and then Google us to learn more about our online life than we know ourselves. Unless we enjoy listing all our accomplishments over an expensive cocktail that they will probably make us buy, avoid, avoid, avoid. A date should be fun!
Everyone likes to be playful at times. But from the very first conversations, these ones turn every benign comment into sexual innuendo. I invited one guy out for tacos. His response? “What kind?” wink emoticon. You can be certain that these people are interested in one thing—unless you enjoy discovering strangers’ bedrooms (no judgment if you do), say no! Otherwise, you’ll be deflecting roaming hands like a ninja all night.
Whether we like it or not, the dating world is different now. We may as well build up our Tinder intelligence so we can have empowering experiences rather than rant-worthy ones.
There are good people out there, but to find them while we still have online dating stamina, we need to learn to say no to the ones who are likely not it.
Enjoy Tindering with wisdom, my friends!
Author: Sarah Norrad
Image: lil’_wiz/ Flickr
Editor: Toby Israel