It started over cocktails, as most bad ideas do.
A few months back, my friend Cecille and I were enjoying a tipple, joking about how we couldn’t find any good men in Manila. Oh, I know what my problem is – I had barely left my condo for the past three months. Ces, on the other hand, had been busy with her restaurant that she owned and her new job as general manager of one of the hottest lounges in Makati. Her solution to the lack of time and wanting to meet hot AFAMs (a foreigner assigned in Manila)? Tinder. Another friend of ours had her sign up so he had someone to share his Tinderscapades with, and it seemed to be working – she was getting messages from her matches left and right! I had been dying to try it and borrowed her phone, began swiping, and within minutes I had found a smiling, shirtless Dutchman. He looked delicious, but I was still skeptical.
“Isn’t Tinder a hook up app?” I asked another friend a few weeks later. I’m not looking for anything serious, but I don’t want one of those wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am guys either. “I mean come on, I have never heard anyone say, ‘I found the love of my life on Tinder!'” I exclaimed. She turned a bright shade of pink, and sheepishly admitted that she met her current beau on the app – what started as an excuse to forget an old flame turned out to be her new one. That got me thinking. “So there really is something more to Tinder then?” I figured I had nothing to lose, really, so I signed up for an account a few minutes later.
For those of you who don’t know what Tinder is, well, you’re lying through your teeth. Of course you know what Tinder is! Everyone knows what Tinder is. So let’s not play this game, people. The real question is, “When you meet your match, do you Tinderbang or Tinderhang?”
Deciding to really do some digging (and after wrapping up a horrible Tinder date), I called up a bunch of friends who had tried the hit-and-mostly miss app to get their sentiments. After a lot of two-buck chucks and a cheese and cold cuts platter later, here are a few words of wisdom:
1. Pre-Tinder Date: The Screening Process
I’ll quote Cinderella circa 2015: “Be kind and have courage,” is what comes to mind when I think of most of my past relationships because, despite my best efforts, I still make very, very bad decisions. Constantly. So it should come as no surprise to anyone that some of my Tinder nightmares could have been avoided at the outset: the screening process. When deciding if a Tinderperson is worthy of an actual date, keep in mind to DO YOUR HOMEWORK. It goes without saying that the average Tinder profile is less than accurate, which means additional background creeping will be necessary. Pictures may show your Tinderman in his younger, fitter, pre-hairloss form. Frankly, I get it – I want my 18-year-old body and tits back, too. But beyond visual trickery, Tindermen just often blatantly make stuff up. So if you think you are being lied to, Facebook fact check that shit.
2. Date Night: Show ‘Em Your Cards
Tinder may have started off as a hookup site, but as most people are aware, hooking up is no longer Tinder’s primary purpose. After teaming up with OK! Cupid, it allows people who have no time for dating (aka yours truly) to online date without having to answer any awkward E-Harmony questionnaires. As a result, most people who meet on Tinder aren’t expecting to get laid… at least not immediately. But that’s not always the case. So be upfront about what you have in mind so you don’t end up disappointing each other. Whether you’re interested in sex, a date, or someone to play Monster Hunter with (YEEES!), make sure you and your Tinderperson are on the same page before meeting up. Nothing says blue balls more than wildly unbalanced expectations.
3. The Escape: Make Houdini Proud
Unless you’re like my friend who magically found a boyfriend (a super cute Austrian with rock hard abs at that) on Tinder, you are probably going to go out with some duds. So how exactly should you get out of the mess you set yourself up for? I’ll be damned if I know. But here are a few options my friends and I strongly suggest:
Option #1: Just leave. You are a grown-ass woman and if you want to leave you don’t owe anyone an explanation. You can end it with a, “Well, this has been nice, but if you’ll excuse me I really have to head off.” If you’re too polite to drop him like a hot potato, have your friend on standby call you and pretend there’s some emergency at work that you just have to get to.
Option #2: Let out your crazy! Scare him shitless by saying the craziest, weirdest thing with a straight face and watch him squirm at all the retarded things that tumble out of your mouth. Here are a few gems you may find handy:
1. “I just joined a new networking company and I’m looking for possible recruits.” #Power
2. “I love re-watching Twilight… all of them.”
3. “I enjoy masturbating to pictures of Danny de Vito.”
So after a month of Tinder dates, have I found true love since I joined Tinder? Far from it. But I have made some pretty cool friends in the process – a Swiss surfer who lives for adventure, a Japanese entrepreneur with a penchant for falafel, and a French expat who lives for exploring the Philippines (he knows more about my own country than me, which is embarrassing). I have made a whole new set of friends that I otherwise would’ve just passed on the street, and humanizing them (not just drooling over abs and biceps) and learning about their stories has made me a lot more open to hanging out with more Tinderfolks that I would when I first started swiping right.
Admittedly, I used to feel a tinge of shame knowing that my friends on Tinder would see me on there, too, but I guess as long as you’re upfront with the reason you’re on there in the first place, you shouldn’t be too worried about your street cred and may even come out with a few friendly folks in the process.
Do you have your own collection of Tinder nightmare stories? Do share them in the comments below and how you managed to get yourself out of it. Everyone on Tinder has at least one!