Tinder pt. 3: The Playboy

It’s been a fun process going from Tinder failure to Tinder playboy. With the help of my Tinder consultant Jenny I now have several matches, some of whom I’m even talking to.

Opening lines are my forte. Take this gem:

OK. it’s not hilarious, but at least it’s somewhat unusual. I call this technique the “I can’t tell if he’s kidding or not” and like it because it immediately weeds out unsuitable mates. If she thinks it’s funny we can proceed, and if she doesn’t we can stop talking.

I’m still not sure whether it’s best to open with a question or a statement. On the one hand questions elicit answers. On the other hand most people, when they’re comfortable around each other, speak in statements. What I have found is if they don’t answer the question you can just answer it yourself.

For example:

This conversation is useful because it tells me several things about this girl. 1) She’s American (“huh”). 2) Her sense of humor is similar to mine. 3) She’s at least a tiny bit interested.

I’ve found it’s very common for girls to never ask questions on Tinder. They’re so used to being bombarded by insistent men they don’t need to ask questions. This girl’s question tells me she hasn’t been completely jaded by this bombardment.

What happens if she doesn’t respond at all? Then you keep the conversation going until it ceases to be funny (for you).

For example (to a girl who said, “Everything I say and do is 100% weather contingent”):

This is not technically a conversation, since a conversation takes two. But I find it amusing. And with online dating, if you’re amused, that’s good enough. The second it becomes a headache or a source of despair is the second it’s not worth it; this is the one incontrovertible fact I’ve found about online dating. You’re doing this for yourself, and mustn’t forget that. After, as Lao Tzu said, “Seek others’ approval, and you become their prisoner.”

 

Tinder pt. 2

tinder consultant
Photo via Pixabay.

I’VE HIRED what you might call a “Tinder consultant.” Her name’s Jenny and she’s taking me on pro bono, A) because she’s a good friend and B) (I think) because she gets satisfaction at helping a guy out who hasn’t had a girlfriend in a long time. The best thing about Jenny is she’s honest. She tells me what she thinks and doesn’t get riled at my “Christ alive’s” and “Are you kidding me’s” each time she explains why, for example, a profile picture is unacceptable.

“Mark, I know you’re trying to be funny in your pictures,” she says, “But you look like you have some sort of handicap.”

At first I resisted her advice but then adopted an “I’m putty in your hands” attitude and expect my Tinder escapades will prosper because of it. I’ve still only had a couple matches. I’ve had zero conversations and zero dates. The problem is usually when I match with a girl I look more closely at her pictures and by picture four or five realize she’s actually somewhat of a goblin. This is of course exactly what I’m trying to avoid with my own pictures, and one of the reasons having Jenny’s so wonderful. I have no idea how girls perceive me. For example, I put up one picture of me at a dinner in Argentina to show “social value,” but Jenny said it just made me look like a nerd who’s trying to show off his study abroad friends.

The truth will set you free.

In order to create more matches I’ve also expanded my criteria for what makes a girl acceptable. Basically, if I’m not actively repulsed, I swipe right. I never read the profiles, because if she’s cute I’ll go on a date, and if she’s not, I won’t. This is superficial, but it’s also how it works. You don’t approach a girl who looks like gollum on the off chance she shares your affinity for introspective Norwegian novelists. You approach her because looking at her makes your heart rate increase.

The best part about having a consultant is garnering a more honest appraisal of myself. I thought my profile was hilarious but feared Jenny would find it stupid. To my relief, when I sent it over to her, she responded, “Good.” Which is great, because in the world of online dating, “good” is “great.” Or at least it’s not “terrible,” which sets you apart from 90% of the online dating community. That’s what I’m hoping for, now that I have a Tinder consultant. If good means “dateable” (and I think it does), then I’m just one swipe away from romance.

If you missed “Tinder pt. 1” click here

Got Me Looking So Crazy Right Now

In an effort to not be single for the rest of my life, I have once again delved into the world of online dating. I have gone with my old standby, an app (application) called Tinder.

So far, there’s been a flurry of activity. I have talked to Bea, a Guatemalan girl living in Mexico City. When she told me she was in Mexico I thought she was Mexican and started extolling the virtues of Mexico. Oh God, I said. Mexico is so much better than Guatemala. The food, the beaches, the infrastracture. I’m from Guatemala, she said. Born and raised. Guatemala is cool, too! I said.

Then there was Christine. Christine I actually kind of like, as much as you can like someone you’ve exchanged three words with and never seen in real life. Actually, I have seen her in real life. After we matched on Tinder I went to have a tea at El Cuartito, Xela’s favorite kitschy gringo gathering joint, and she was there with her parents. We exchanged a quick look as if to say, Wait, are you….. and then I sat down and had some disgusting flor de calendula tea. As usually happens with girls I like, I can’t be myself at all and become needy and desperate. I told her she had a wonderful smile and asked if she wanted to get coffee. She said it might be hard this week because her parents are visiting. Later that evening I asked if she might be able to escape for a few minutes to have a glass of wine. She said that sounded nice but she probably couldn’t but would let me know in the next half hour if anything changed.

25 minutes, nothing.

31 minutes, nothing.

45 minutes, nothing.

I drowned my sorrows in a vanilla ice cream cone from McDonald’s.

I have matched with a lot of “girls” this time around. I credit that to one thing: My profile says the following three words: Writer and surfer.  I was kind of ashamed to put this, and I’m kind of ashamed I’ve left it up, mostly because it’s been so effective. I feel like an imposter, and I feel stupid for trying to capitalize on two things that actually mean something to me. One girl messaged me saying, “Oooh, writer and surfer, I envy your life,” and it made me burn with shame.  I don’t do these things for a living. I haven’t been published. I haven’t been barreled. And it’s not that I don’t want to be cool. What I want is to not CARE about being cool. To not care what people think about me. Some people claim they don’t care what others think about them, but someone who actually thought this would never say it. In fact, you’ll probably never come into contact at any point with someone who genuinely doesn’t care what others think about them, because that person probably lives in the taiga and spends the majority of his day looking for reindeer tracks and contemplating the best way to skin a musk ox. Most people in the world care what others think about them. Lord knows I do.

But anyway, Tinder.

 

How to (Sort of) Succeed on Tinder

I wrote this a year ago.  At that point, I had never been on a Tinder date.  Since then, I’ve been on one.   However, lack of mastery has never stopped me from writing a guide…

The Wetzler Guide to Tinder

1) Swipe right only on girls (or guys) that look at least vaguely attractive

I’ve tried the tactic where you just swipe right on everyone (“Cast a big net and sort the fish out later”). If matching with a lot girls toting babies/wearing Seahawks jerseys is your goal, then it totally works.

2) Fill out the profile part.

In the past I’ve left this blank, thinking my chiseled face would do the talking. However, I’ve come to the realization that maybe my face isn’t that chiseled (or that it was chiseled by a man with poor motor skills). Plus with the text part of the profile you can demonstrate that you have an above-average reading level and at least hint at the fact that you’re not a serial killer.

3) Put photos up of yourself having fun and generally looking normal.

While guys want to see girls looking hot, girls seem to want to see guys looking fun. And guys in social situations. Guys with friends. Basically with girls it boils down to this: Is this guy going to abduct me? If you give off a strong “un-abducty” vibe, you’re already half-way there (standards are low in online dating. Though by saying that I’m demeaning myself, since I haven’t had that much success).

4) Never send an aggressive text to a girl even if she’s rude or you’ve talked to her for three days straight and things seem awesome and then she all of the sudden stops responding.

It doesn’t accomplish anything. And the thing is, if girls can afford to be flakey on tinder, they will be. Don’t hold it against them (you’ll probably be flakey one day, too).

5) Find a text strategy

Preferably one that is light and comedic but also aimed towards meeting in real life rather than having text relationship. Because even though you’re dating online the goal is to date in real life.

Right?

6) Don’t tinder after 12am.

7) Don’t tinder before 12pm.

8) Don’t let Tinder interfere with your work

Whether it be the work you get paid for or the work you don’t. Do not let it ever be the last thing you do before you go to bed or the first thing you do when you wake up. Don’t tinder more than hour every day unless you’re actively messaging a girl who looks like Adriana Lima. Still try to meet girls in real life, even though you know you won’t.

9) Have a goal.

This his been mine the past times I’ve tried Tinder in Seattle: To have fun. To not harass random Asian girls from Victoria. To not let Tinder get me down just because the only girls I match with are stunningly overweight. To not become involved with any girl whose interests are predominantly equine.