Tinder Godmother

Tinder Godmother

I blamed the two glasses of wine but the truth is I had been pondering about diving into the dark world that is Tinder, so I didn’t protest when my friend took my phone and started installing the app.

“Now you can only choose one horse photo. Which is your favorite?”

I pointed to my favorite show picture, us jumping a sizable coop where my equitation looks baller. She frowned.

“No, that won’t be impressive to anyone else. Here… I like this one. It hides your mouth and adds mystery. What else?”

“Well, the majority of the pictures I’ve taken in the past 10 years are with my horse or my husband and the day I looked the most bangable was at my wedding.”

“DO NOT PUT A PICTURE UP OF YOUR WEDDING.”

I laughed. I may be a Tinder novice, but I do know that much. Instead I pulled up a quick picture I snapped before our work holiday party where I uncharacteristically have on red lipstick and think I look quite dashing.

“No, mirror selfies are bad. Let’s do this,” she selects a picture of me hugging a cardboard cutout of Clifford at the NC State Fair. “It shows you’re fun and spontaneous. And this one too…” she selects a picture of one of my best friends and I at her wedding.

“I’m not sure I should randomly put a picture of my friend on Tinder?”

“Oh believe me, you need to show that you have friends.”

After some deliberation, we she selected six photos and it was time to move on to the profile description. This is the area where I had the most trouble. If I were being honest, my dating profile description would look something like this:

Moderately traumatized young professional seeks someone who does not want to lock her in a bunker. Bonus points if you’re just getting out of a terrible divorce or are otherwise emotionally unavailable. Must be bold enough to make the first move while simultaneously never seeming aggressive.  Prefers someone with no advanced Googling skills or who hates reading online personal blogs. Swipe right!

My friend did not think this was a very good start. “How about two truths and a lie, have you met any famous people?”

“No.”

“Have you had any crazy life experiences?”

I think, besides finding my husband dead? Instead I answer simply, “No. I am slightly above average in all areas of life.”

She tilted her head. “Hmm, maybe we can use that… no that sounds weird. How many countries have you been to?”

“Ten.”

“That doesn’t sound impressive enough… how about we do ‘My dog is cuter than yours.’ She typed it up and hit save.”

“Are you sure that’s enough? That kind of says nothing about me.”

“It’s perfect. Never change it.”

Spoiler alert – I changed it. After my friend, who quickly and appropriately dubbed herself my Tinder Godmother, gave me a brief tutorial on the app I was ready to find love something.

“Remember,” she warned. “You only get out of the app what you put into it. You have to do a lot of swiping if you’re ever going to get any matches. Have fun with it!”

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At first I did have fun. See, Tinder has taken off because the developers have gamified dating. It has a simple interface and after about five minutes begins to feel more like Candy Crush than a dating service. I don’t know about you, but I really get cracked out on Candy Crush.

When I first began to think about what I wanted in a man, I left my options pretty open. The list was short – tall and a non-drug user. Tinder let me quickly realize that perhaps I should narrow in my standards a wee bit more. Within one night I found an immediate pattern with 95% of the Austin male dating pool. Everyone…

  • Has elaborate facial hair
  • Is a musician
  • Works in food service

Often, they fit all three quite easily. It’s not that I have strong opinions about any of these categories, but they don’t exact make up my ideal. I was also pretty shocked to discover how many people are blurring the lines of monogamous relationships. So many are polyamorous. Others are open in their marriage or relationship, some men blatantly state they’re looking for an affair and other men claim to be single yet have a wedding band on in all of their photos. I’m fine with whatever people want to do with their sex lives, but I guess I’m more prudish in my life than I ever thought.

Swiping left (which is a “no”) over and over and over again is like combining my two favorite hobbies – people watching and judging. No to the guy with a pet possum. No to 28 year-old father of six. No to the sweet Christian looking to take his future wife two stepping. No to the man with a long story about how he ruins every relationship he is in by cheating. No no no.

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Even if the guy was an attractive possibility, I couldn’t swipe right to anyone named Tim or Timothy. Occasionally in the hundreds and hundreds of pictures I browsed, I see somebody that looks like him. When that happens, my heart stops for a second.

Maybe this isn’t entirely like Candy Crush.

Of all the no’s, there were some yesses. Every time I get the, “You have a match!” notification on my phone, my ego gets a little boost. Let’s face it – this is a shallow app. It’s nice to hear that someone else finds you at least somewhat attractive.

The problem with matching someone is that the next logical step is to message with them on Tinder. I’d say of all my matches, I had maybe 20% that I messaged with. Some were frank.

Looking to hook up?

Nope. Godspeed.

 Others were dripping with sentimentality and made me throw up in my mouth a little bit.

Hello beautiful have you ever kissed in the rain? 🙂

I melt.

Then there are what I consider to be life basics. Things like grammar and conversational skills.

Your beautiful

What do you like to do?

beer and fishing

Early on in my Tinder adventure, I made a grave error. After briefly chatting with someone, he asked for my phone number. I sent Tinder Godmother screenshots of the conversation, and we agreed he looked harmless. My hesitation to give someone my phone # stems in a large part from this blog. You can find She Moved to Texas in under 10 clicks if you have my phone number, and that is a hot mess of crazy that I certainly didn’t think about when it came to dating or meeting new people. However, Tinder Godmother and I decided that I’d have to rip the bandaid off eventually and that guys were far less likely to do Google sleuthing than us females. So I got brave, and I gave Tinder boy my number.

Let’s just say the situation deteriorated quickly.

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Sometime after he asked me if I would show him “my horseback riding skills,” I politely sent a ‘Thanks but no thanks’ text. Tinder Godmother said this was normal for Tinder, and that should be the end of it.

13 unanswered text messages later, I wasn’t sure if it would be the end of it or if I had developed a stalker.

Towards the end of the day, my phone quieted and I thought I was off the hook. I’d been playing phone tag with my vet for a non-emergency question about Simon, so when I pulled into my apartment complex and saw a 512 number flash on my phone I figured it was the vet.

It was not the vet. One exceedingly awkward conversation later, I learned to save certain numbers in my phone as “Dont Answer”.

Despite all of this, I found someone through this app that could construct a sentence and had an appreciation for indy Bill Murray movies. He wasn’t cocky, was interested in my brain and was fairly attractive. In short, a Tinder unicorn. Without seeming the least bit creepy, he asked me out for a proper date to a proper restaurant like a proper gentleman.

And I completely froze.

It seems that while I might be ready for Candy Crush, something real is not on my radar yet. I don’t know when it will be. I tried to politely tell Tinder Unicorn that while I appreciated the invite, I wasn’t actually ready to swim quite yet.

41 thoughts on “Tinder Godmother

  1. Tinder is entertaining, though I must say I had zero positive experiences on that app. It definitely makes for some good stories though!

  2. Oh, it’s Tinder. You’re self-selecting for the worst of the worst. While all online dating has the potential to be horrific, I think you’d find much better selections on something like match.com. (JMO, I did my years in the online dating trenches, and I would NEVER use Tinder.)

    1. My online dating experience show Match.com skews serious. OKCupid and Tinder are easier if you want casual dating or simple hookups.

      Will say my experience on OKC has ranged from “OMG did he just say/do that?” to finding guys that worked as Mr Right or Mr Right for Now.

  3. Try Bumble. It’s slightly better than Tinder. Veeerrrrryy slightly. I’ve been thinking of writing a “my dating app rules” post, so this is inspirational. It would be a hilarious list of what gets a left swipe and conversation killers. But my mom reads my blog.

  4. If it’s an iPhone, you can actually just block the number right from the phone. Go into your recent call, select the little i, and scroll down to ‘Block this caller’. Much easier than getting annoying alerts.

  5. I’ve obviously had no need to use Tinder for myself, but it sure is fun to hijack a friend’s Tinder and do some swiping for them. There are a lot of crazy people out there with their pet possums and crazy beards.

  6. I did all my internet-dating pre-Tinder, but some of this sounds hilariously familiar! (No to the 28 year old guy with 6 kids, no to the pet possum, etc etc.) Please keep us posted on your entertaining stories, and please let us know if you ever want to compile a post of awful/ridiculous online dating stories from the greater horse blogging community. 😛

  7. I enjoyed this post so much and the Oprah gif cracked me up! While my only qualification for judging is “intelligent reader”, it struck me as a piece that should be in a magazine. Add a small slice of backstory at the beginning and this is a hilarious but poignant time of life.

  8. Of course your first tinder experience would be with a super crazy stalker. I’m so sorry for that lapse in judgement; we’ll do better with more wine next time.

  9. Let the adventures begin! I love these stories!
    No need to rush into uncomfortable territory. And, if you find someone worth it, he will understand. If he gets offended when you’re not quite ready, I figure you can happily move on having weeded another one out.
    I can’t wait to hear about more Tinder adventures!!

  10. I recently read Aziz Ansari’s Modern Romance and my major thought coming away from the book was, I never want to have to date again. It’s such a nightmare nowadays. Good for you for trying though. It takes guts. Also, you can get a google phone number through Google Voice. Then you can give that out instead of your actual number. It won’t link to your blog and you can always shut it down and not have some creep know your real number. As an aside, Google voice is also very convenient for transcribing your voicemails. Good luck with the continued dating.

  11. So I originally got Tinder just for shits and gigs, but I met my SO there (there for the same reason) and we have been together a year now and I don’t foresee this ending anytime soon (hopefully ever). Crazy story, but it was fun for a while just messing with people. I can attest though, that there are some good guys on there, my SO is one! <3

  12. For a second I was like, ‘what’s wrong with him coming to the barn to see you ride? ‘ and then I was like, ‘OH. Never mind.’

    Tinder would be a struggle for me…

  13. I have heard that the guys on Tinder view it more for Hooking Up, where the women on there view it more for finding a long term match. Doesn’t sound much different than a lot of the other singles websites out there, but it’s probably at least several steps up from CL….. Some of them claim “No Strings Attached, which is often code for “Breakfast is not included”

    It’s been a little over 2 years since the ex and I parted ways. It’s been great not having him around! I know I will never get married again, but dating? I might be looking, but I’m also not overly concerned about it. IF the right one comes along… Well, I’ll deal with it when it happens.

  14. laughing so hard!!! I have had zero positive romantic experiences on tinder but I actually have made some really good friendship connections… like we’d go on a date, and then it never really took off romantically, but I still talk to them. Tinder can be entertaining though… loved your write up.

  15. Props to you for getting out there! I’ve been single pretty much forever, and am way too afraid to even download the app. Though a good friend recently met what seems to be a great guy (it’s pretty new so I haven’t fully approved of him yet ;)) via Bumble. She says I NEED to sign up. But I dunno…

  16. I just have to add, I found my wonderful incredible boyfriend on Tinder! He’s for sure ‘the one’ and I can’t wait to spend forever with him! My best friend also met her boyfriend on Tinder. There’s a needle but you have to swipe through the haystack to get to it!!

  17. Oh what fun/not fun! I actually met my husband on Match.com. I was his first date from the site (holy hell!), but he was my approximately 2,587,671st. I have SO MANY stories, from the guy who brought his aunt and cousin on our first date (and then got super drunk and way too touchy…. and there’s even more to this story), to the guy who said that he had NO clue why everyone thought he was gay. OK, well I knew immediately. Oh so many.

    Happy online entertainment to ya!

  18. Brave new world indeed! Bonus points for the Napoleon Dynamite reference. I think I told you about my brief “I’m bored of being depressed” flirtation with Match.com about a year ago. It really is fascinating how quickly email repartee can turn into “will you come to my house so I can cook you dinner & introduce you the small children from my previous marriage.” o.o

    I had to laugh at the great title — not too long ago, BFF tried to talk me into Tinder, as her daughter plays with it (who is in her late 20’s, blonde, smart, has great style, and basically perfect, and I adore her, so it was kind of funny to watch what happened when she threw her picture up…and her phone exploded). I haven’t poked that with a stick yet — will be interested to see the no-doubt priceless stories you will find! How does one make “don’t make me drive anywhere & don’t you want to come hang out on my farm so you can help the unstable lady who talks to inanimate objects, but it’s free entertainment” sound less…crazy??

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