Last week, a group of my friends and I were all sitting around after dinner, procrastinating on studying for finals, and one of my roommates was flipping through Tinder on her phone. Of course, everyone decided to crowd around to tell her who was worthy of swiping right on, and then one of my friends asked if she could set up a Tinder profile for me.
As most of the internet knows, I am single. I also have anxiety, which is the strongest when it comes to relationships and talking to guys without freaking out (thanks, emotionally abusive father figure in my youth). HOWEVER, I have been trying to get out of my comfort zone and learn how to take compliments and attention from guys without immediately shutting everything down and retreating. But, the anxiety is still a thing that I have trouble getting around, so why not engage in the most low-stakes version of dating: Tinder? After giving myself an Schmidt-like "You're the pie" pep talk and convincing myself that I could do this whole casual dating thing, I decided to record the phenomenon and how I felt about it for an article (addressing my anxiety and getting an article out of the way in one activity: killing two birds with one stone. I'm efficient at everything except my final papers done).
I am overwhelmed by how shallow this is. On most social media, I present myself in a pretty genuine way, with my freaking weird profile pictures on Facebook and Instagram for a small stuffed dinosaur named ID, but on Tinder, you HAVE to present your sexiest, most attractive self. I think that might be a good thing for me to consider that I actually might be attractive, but it still doesn't feel very nice. There are a lot of really gross guys on here, and I feel icky scrolling through them like I might scroll through outfit ideas on Pinterest. Also, almost everyone on here is super excited about weed. Like, everyone.
I found a couple of matches that weren't too gross, and so far it's been okay. One guy sent me a GIF of a whale as a means of saying hello, which is the best way of initial interaction in my mind. One cool thing about Tinder is that you can say whatever dumb crap you feel like, and it doesn't really matter, even if it's the worst pun in the history of ever (INSERT SCREENSHOT HERE) because everyone on there is so desperate to date somebody, they don't care how stupid you come across. However, I was texting someone about super boring small talk things, and then all of a sudden, he just brain-barfed about how his last girlfriend dumped him and he was crushed six months ago, so that was super fun. This is such a weird combination of talking about absolutely nothing at all and then desperately trying to connect on a deep level within such a short period of time.
Since the beginning of this experiment, the temptation to just troll everyone has been so strong, and today that urge couldn't be contained. These poor individuals. They didn't ask for this.
Some guy quoted The Office, and I decided to make the first move for once. It didn't go as planned.
Another guy tried to start things off with a little pick-up line... is this how flirting works?
And then things spiraled down to this. I am a flirtation master, that's for sure.
I tried to redeem myself with The Office guy, but failed miserably. He never texted me back after this.
I'm not sure if I want to keep doing this. I'm getting sad with the quality of conversation that has been going on. I know I shouldn't expect anything else since I've technically just met these guys, but I don't usually let conversations just sit at a place of shallowness when I actually meet people. I'm someone who pushes until I get something more meaningful pretty soon. That may be why people get overwhelmed by me when we first meet... hmmm...
At this point, a guy actually asked me out. Instead of dealing with it like an adult, I got scared, told him I wasn't interested, and then deleted my account entirely. Yes, Kira, this is why you are going to end up alone forever.
However, my time on Tinder was not entirely wasted. I spend a lot of time watching a lot of girls my age who are good at flirting and who get tons of guys numbers and date all the time. And there's nothing wrong with that. But, I'm the kind of person who hates small talk. I'm horrible at approaching people and just assuming they're going to like me, because I'm me. But, that might not be the best way to go about things. I was pretty freaking weird on Tinder, and guys still responded with "Wow but you're so beautiful." While that's not necessarily the response I'd like from a guy I'd like to date, it was still a good reminder that a lot of people are looking for someone, and more people are probably going to like you if you're weird, but genuine, than you might think.