I didn’t know what to expect. When I order men out of a catalog, I usually go on impulse. The more questions I have at the outset, the more conversation I have to carry, the more wow factor I have to bring, the less interested I’ve been. This is the big secret that women don’t get. The good guys make it effortless. The good guys come packing…with conversation…right off the bat. And if they go for sex or looks first, it just means that they lack imagination. It’s kinda like the rule with sketch comedy. You have to get game in within the first five lines. I don’t know why that is. Either you get it or you don’t.
…I was gonna write to you about the pianist, but it doesn’t want to come out of me yet. He was just too sweet to expose here in writing. I think it’s time to talk the basics of Tinder dating. My therapist has been asking me to do this for this for a while.
1. Fuck Bumble: Bumble works on the premise that it empowers women. Therefore, you skip the fuck bois and the players. Here sit the real men, they say. But it’s total bullshit. This is why: men, not women, get the final say. If you’re used to hookup apps, Bumble seems so alluring at first. It’s filled with doctors and dentists and other professionals that women get so gaga over (barf). These guys all look stable. They’ve got good jobs. Their pictures show them sailing and skiing and cavorting with golden retrievers. But the mechanics are all wrong. Both the woman and the man have to select each other. Fine, good, ok. But then the woman has to reach out first. This is not empowering at all. The man, who has already swiped right on the woman, gets to then judge the woman again and decide whether she’s worthy of him. I’m a writer. And I’m pretty charismatic. I don’t shy away from a challenge. But it’s just never worth it on Bumble. So much effort for milquetoast results. And then, even after all that, the guys never pull the trigger. They’re penpals. At least for someone like me. My advice: skip Bumble altogether. These same guys are on Tinder, but over there, they actually put in the effort.
2. Figure out what you want: if you wanna catch a fish, you’ve gotta use the right bait. But sometimes, you don’t even know what you’re fishing for in the first place. It’s ok to want sex. It’s ok to want fun. It’s ok to want a relationship (as insipid as I personally find the idea). These are (somewhat) realistic goals. It is not realistic, however, to have a “type.” This is a giant mistake. You can’t know you dislike something until you’ve tried it. The more you say “no” to off the bat, the less likely you are to be surprised. And if you’re on Tinder and reading this, I’m already accusing you of being somewhat cynical. Yeah you. I’ve got a few hard passes (bald, Rutgers, Florida, blonde, lawyer) that have been developed with experience. Wait til you’ve got some before you start putting your hard pass list together.
With me? Ok, so I’ve never gone in looking for a relationship. I’d rather have my fingernails ceremoniously pulled out one after another than…gulp…have a boyfriend. Unless it was Keanu Reeves. If you’re looking for a relationship, I suggest being attainable and relatable…girlfriends like the Super Bowl and Saturday dodgeball leagues. They clean up for business dinners but look great in that Northwestern sweatshirt he wears. If this sounds good to you, I can’t help you. I wish you luck, but that’s not my area of expertise.
3. You’re the bait: if you want men to approach you, you’ve gotta give them something to work with. First, find 4-6 good pictures of yourself (or take them). Minimal filters, ladies. Zero yoga pics. Men, first and foremost, are looking for real women. I don’t know why…it could be the fake profiles, the MTV show Catfish, or the number of women who are scared to show who they really are…but these guys are looking for the phony. They’re as cynical as we are, so ya know. Your pictures should be authentic but elevated. There’s this terrible schism among millennials. They’re either trying to be so pretty that they come off as fake or they’re trying to be so “real” that they come off as ugly. Either way, you’re not doing yourself justice.
Second, create a profile that encapsulates the you you want to project. Remember authentic but elevated. Again there’s a schism among women. They either want to be so amazing that they scare men away with their accolades and demands, or they’re so aloof that guys have no way to approach them. Just be the best you, ya big weirdo.
4. Swiping: let’s get down to brass tacks. This is a sport and it’s going to take time to get good at the hunt. There’s a lot of numbers behind the Tinder wall. I managed to figure out the algorithm with my aspie senses. Basically, the hotter the guys you match with, the more visible you become to others. The hurdle here that I’ve found for women is preternatural emotional attachment. They see a picture…pixels on a handheld screen… and all of a sudden they’re head over heals for the guy because he’s got a puppy. They’re afraid to swipe left. To pass on perfectly good men…blah blah blah blah blah.
Here’s what I suggest. Swipe to medium tempo music. Something upbeat. Try to swipe to the beat. If you’re putting more than a few seconds’ thought into a guy, you’re doing it wrong. Don’t get attached. You haven’t even met them yet. Even the cutest guy can be awful. The only men who lure people with puppies are losers and pedophiles. The caveat to this rule is the following: in NYC, where dogs are at a premium, sometimes the dog is worth the man. But only if it’s a very, very, very cute dog.
To be continued…