General disclaimer that basically everything on this site, including the site itself, is a "work-in-progress." —Jerrika
I’m in Boston for grad school. Laid-back, quiet, and a bit of a night owl. I like Harry Potter, hockey (though I missed basically this entire last season), trying different kinds of beer, and my favorite color is purple. Feminist, Team Valor, Ravenclaw.
So states my Tinder profile with six pictures of my face in different places on different days—three alone, two with friends (about a month into using Tinder, I was advised by a friend who was advised by sorority girls that for best results, you should have pictures with friends), and one with my cat (to be upfront that I have one and that you, sir, would have to deal with it). I’ve ensured that one of those pictures of me with friends shows that I am noticeably taller and squishier than they are, because I didn’t feel like adding "big and tall" to my bio or conversations with matches. My favorite question on Tinder is "What are you looking for?" and, to borrow the phrasing from one of my matches, I’m not "looking for either extreme (just a hook up or the love of my life)."
So what will get me, a—frankly—demographically boring but supposedly attractive individual, to swipe right on a dude in the Boston area?
- Liking cats or playing hockey will get you farther than it truthfully should.
- My barest, most basic criteria is to have a bio. At all. I swiped right on one word once because the guy technically met this first standard and was otherwise fairly cute. If you do not have a bio, you will have to be exceptionally attractive.
I’ll be honest, it’s easier to define how to get me to swipe left.
- "[Your height], because apparently that matters." This smacks of weird and false confusion. You clearly agree it matters enough to go back and edit your bio to include it, so either own it or leave it out. I agree it’s shallow to judge on height, but playing into it with this tone feels accusatory, insecure, and yucky.
- While my friend’s sorority connection advises having pictures with friends to prove you have them, this can absolutely backfire if you force me to flip through your pictures playing Remember the Faces in order for me to figure out which one is you. There’s a fine line between challenging me intellectually with fun brain games and arousing suspicion that you don’t actually want anyone to be sure what you look like. That’s just annoying and rude on an app that pretty plainly and heavily relies on humans being shallow.
While I enjoy being ruthlessly selective in my swiping, I don’t think I’m that hard to please, and I typically do try to consider profiles thoughtfully. After all, besides the occasional endangered rhinoceros or the profile one of my Tinder dates apparently set up for a stuffed penguin, we’re all real people here. This being the case, in the seven months that I’ve been using this app, I’ve noticed some patterns:
- Seemingly every man in Boston has climbed a mountain and had a photograph taken of the experience—and apparently they all want prospective romantic partners to know that they did.
- I know movies like The Departed and The Boondock Saints suggest a rich culture outside of the law in Boston, but the number of men looking for a "partner in crime" is staggering.
- I am also impressed by how many of you apparently have access to adventures on which you are seeking someone to go with you. I respect the confidence, but adventures are a big promise, and I don’t know if you realize how many of you are making it. The term starts to lose its weight after a while.
- A baffling amount of you feel connected to Michael’s quote from The Office about people fearing how much they love you. The show has 201 episodes, a full script for each one, and there’s even an original British version! Several great writers have provided you with a wealth of varied material to dig into. Go forth on that adventure.
I obviously don’t state these observations and criteria to suggest that everyone subscribe to my likes and dislikes. Tinder has the capacity to facilitate many different types of relationships between many different types of people. However, depending on What You’re Looking For, I’d encourage considering if your profile is meeting a standard established by quality, or simply repetition.