Friday, January 20, 2017

Dating in Review: 2016 Sucked, May 2017 Be Awesome (& 12 Tinder Tips)

This post contains some R-rate language. Not enough to be an Amy Schumer sketch, but enough to piss off the language-sensitive. You’ve been warned.

It was the worst of times, and it was...Nope, it was the worst of times.

I’m not just referring to the countless iconic celebrities we lost, but the lives of people lost during so many, many terrorist attacks as well. I should know, I come from a country where being safe has become coincidental.
So why write a post on dating?

One, life goes on. Two, it is a smart strategy to distract yourself from the horrors of the world with the seemingly less important stuff. Otherwise, I can’t handle the anxiety. And obviously, if I had found someone special, it would have become significant. I didn’t.

So let me entertain you.

I started using Tinder in 2016. Oh, the fun.

I have to use online dating because I’m a freelance writer who works at home. When I do occasionally teach ESL, my students are either women, married, or both. So while I’m not an introvert, my work doesn’t provide me a lot of opportunities to meet people.

Then I’m a dating writer. It’s part of my job to use dating apps.

And why not Tinder? It has a lot of men on it. Statistically, I could meet someone interesting, fun, cute and nice. Right?

Tinder taught me a lot of things, but mostly that people don’t know or care how to use social media properly. Most profiles are extremely horrible; these people (men, because I like men) wouldn’t be able to get a date or screw (which a lot of seemed interested only in this) to save their lives. (How to Rock - or at least how not to bomb Your Tinder Profile is next on my to-write list. I will post the link if it isn’t posted here.)

First, some Tinder basics:

-      It’s not solely for finding someone to have sex with. Plenty of people have started not-so-casual relationships after meeting through this app.

However, just as many people see it as a place to find fuck buddies.

Keep that in mind, don’t let it bring you down, and you’ll be fine. If you do want something for one night, you’ll probably keep running into people who want to date. Whatever your position, take a breath, keep it honest, and you’ll eventually find it. Possibly. Good luck.

12 Tinder Tips for Men and Women

1.  You need a profile. Some good pictures (please no naked, or near-naked ones) that show your face.  Not a celebrity’s, not a friend’s. Yours.

2.  Fill in that profile with your age, job, university and some of your hobbies and interests. Say something defining about yourself, something that affects how you live your life. Interesting and funny are great. Wiseass-ness, douchebaggery, hypocritical and stupid aren’t. For instance: If you don’t want girls posing in their bras, don’t pose just wearing bottoms. Common sense, please!

 3.  Be nice. Also, don’t send unsolicited pictures.
       4.   Spell correctly.
       5. Say hi. Hi is better than nothing.

 6.  It’s okay to ask a “boring,” but revealing question. And to clarify, I think
Questions like “what do you listen to,” “what is your TV show,” and “where have you traveled to?” necessary. It leads to a conversation.

If you are in your 30s, you’re the generation that used MIRC, ICQ and Yahoo chatrooms, and MSN messenger in the very least. You’ve talked to strangers. You had practice. Don’t have amnesia when it comes to Tinder.

I wrote the stuff above because guys love strapping pictures of Ryan Gosling, Ryan Reynolds, Colin Firth, Twitter celebrities and more. Yes, I would have probably said yes if either Ryan asked me out, but hey, you’re not Ryan Gosling. And I’m not Eva Mendes. Let’s work with the looks we’ve got.

Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes for reference. Image via PopSugar.

7.  Sometimes a boring start can lead to a meaningful connection.

I once talked to a guy for days. We even scheduled a meet. But some awful political turmoil in the country, how he reacted to things, and what kind of boyfriend he seemed he would be eventually freaked me out, and the meet never happened. But it was still a smart dialogue, and I appreciate him for it.

You don’t have to give it too much time. You will be able to understand a person’s conversational skills and some of their personality traits pretty quickly. Just give it a few more lines after “hey and how are you?”

8.  You’ll be ghosted. And sometimes, you’ll ghost too. And it is fine.

Look, an actual relationship does require human beings to talk about a break-up. At least one side has to utter the words, and the other has to at least acknowledge and respect it. Do it face to face unless you fear for your life. Do it on the phone if you have no other options. Don’t text, unless your ex was a terrible human being or you have only been on 1-5 dates and it never became a relationship. And don’t do it via a Post-it (also known as Berger exit by SATC viewers. And don’t write a letter. It’s not 1950.

But if you don’t want to keep a conversation going and don’t have the heart to say it, you can respectfully disappear. I find it better than saying “You don’t interest me.” I have it done to me, and I have done it to people. It happens. Let’s get over it.

9.  Don’t romanticize. Always assume the person is talking to/flirting with/seeing/sleeping with other people unless openly agreed upon otherwise. 

10.  Do go on dates. Just make sure the place is public, well-lit and someone knows where you are at all times. I might have seen way too many horror flicks, but it never hurts. You’re meeting a stranger for the first time, so it is better safe than sorry. Sure, this might seem more a tip intended for women, but I was inspired to write it after a woman tricked a man she met on a dating app, stole his stuff and her accomplices killed the dude. So this is a warning for all genders!

11. Don’t be obnoxious. This is a pretty decent tip for all areas of life.

12.  Don’t forget to look around in real life.

How was your dating been in 2016?