Melissa Stetten Reviews Tinder

October 2, 2013 • Love & Sex

Last week I met some friends in Brooklyn for karaoke and one of them mentioned a girl he had met on Tinder.

“Isn’t that like Grindr for straight people?”

“Yeah, but I think it’s less fucking and more people genuinely trying to get a date.”

I knew about Grindr because I worked at a gay bar in West Hollywood four years ago.  It shows photos of someone’s face who is within a set distance and you can choose to like or dislike them.  If both people like each other then you can chat, meet up, or fuck.  Tinder is basically that.  So I downloaded it.

Screen Shot 2013-09-24 at 5.29.14 PM

Author’s Tinder Pic

I set my age preference at 29 to 40, knowing there’s no chance in Hell I’m going out with any guy in his twenties.  Sorry, but you’re all idiots.  Tinder shows potential love interests based on similar interests via your Facebook page, and you can post up to five photos of yourself.  There’s also a space to write a sentence or two.

I found myself swiping left for “NOPE” about ninety-nine percent of the time. Tinder co-founder, Justin Mateen, claims, “approximately 70 percent of those matches have resulted in a two-way conversation.” I call bullshit.

If you are a woman who gets turned on by middle-aged guys flexing their muscles and wearing sunglasses and/or Kangol fedoras, then this app is for you.  It’s assumed that Tinder is incredibly superficial because it’s based on looks alone.  But isn’t that how people meet in real life?  I would never strike up a conversation with a spray-tanned gel-haired body builder wearing a shiny button up shirt and square-toed shoes that were popular in the nineties, so it’s only natural that I’d swipe left on their Tinder photo.

I have a very good sense of who I would get along with based on looks, so if I see a thirty-four old guy wearing a stylish shirt or cute glasses I automatically assume he’s smart and has good taste in music.  I saw a guy that looks like someone I’d hang out with and checked out the rest of his photos.  The next photo was of him walking his dog.  Cute, he likes animals.  The next was of him drinking wine with a couple friends who also look well dressed and smart. Next photo: his friends skiing.  Ehh, he might love life a little more than I do.  I’m probably too cynical for him but I checked out the next photo.  Him at a bar with his arms around two bimbos.  NOPE.  On top of that I read his two-sentence bio, which was an inspirational quote and some awful joke about how he would put cheese on everything if he could. He probably loves the merlot quote from Sideways. Sorry, but you lost me.

I know the exact type of person I’m interested in so why bother getting to know someone if there’s already aspects of them you can’t relate to.  People who write inspirational quotes don’t have my similar sense of humor and guys who think it’s cool to hang out with slutty big-boobed girls are usually douchebags who listen to Skrillex.  If your photos are blurry or sideways then you are clearly technologically uninformed and probably still have an AOL email address.

I kept swiping left and started to lose hope.  Too many tattoos- nope.  Gold chain- nope.  Shooting a gun- nope.  Laying sexily in a pumpkin patch- nope, and why are you doing that?  Wearing a suit and posing next to a Mercedes- nope.  Guy with his daughter and a woman who is probably his wife- nope, and does your wife know you’re on Tinder?

I finally came across a guy who looked very adorable.  I looked at his other photos and I could totally see myself hanging out with him, even maybe dating, and definitely making out.  So I swiped right, and instant match! Ahh! He must’ve already liked my photo!  We started chatting and he had nothing interesting to say.  Bummer.  He didn’t even get my Seinfeld references and said he never liked that show. GOODBYE FOREVER, LUKE!

Then a creepy thing happened.  I received an email from a guy named Craig who saw me on Tinder, found my website, and my email, and sent me a message.  I realize I had my website in my bio so I removed that.  He’s obviously a guy I said NOPE to, but seriously Craig, this is weird.

“Hey Melissa…Saw you on Tinder and wanted to reach out.  I live in Hell’s Kitchen too so we should meet and say hello.  You can look me up on FB with this email. – Craig”

I had a few more matches, and they’re all cute and nice, but they have zero sense of humor.  I can’t say I wasn’t motivated to talk to these guys by my interest in writing about Tinder, but I probably wouldn’t have pursued this any further had I not decided to do this for amusement.

But then came a winner.  I swiped right on his photo and it was an instant match.  We talked about silly things like dumb nineties movies and music. We exchanged numbers- which is like first base in the internet world.  I honestly never planned on hanging out with anyone from Tinder, but I had been home sick for two weeks on antibiotics and desperately needed human interaction.  We met for drinks and had a really fun night.  I haven’t seen him since, but I think he likes me? What if he was grossed out by the zit on my face? What if he hated my skirt? I should’ve worn something different.  Maybe I should stop texting him until he texts me back.  Was he hanging out with a different girl last night?  He’s tall and has pretty eyes. I can’t let this one slip away.  I’m going to text him I love him. I wonder if he wants to get married? Am I overthinking this?

So, here’s my review of Tinder: meh?


  • Millie

    Love your style of writing, and this post is hilarious

  • Tinder *is* a big meh. I finally got a smartphone just before I split for a two-month road trip, and I’ve been trying to engage people through the app in every city/region I’ve decided to spend a few days visiting. (And by engage, I mean actually meeting for coffee/drinks and seeing where things might go from there. Nothing explicit, nothing untoward.) I’ve yet to encounter a single person willing to make time to meet up with me. I’ve gotten close — hell, I’ve even friended a few on Facebook because we’ve had a pretty solid rapport — but for the most part people have been unwilling to take that next step, even when it’s completely on their terms.

    I think it goes to show that the majority of people like to window shop rather than make something happen.

    You know what’s *most* frustrating about this? The fact that men and women continually gripe about how they’re unable to find someone worth their time. But how are you gonna find that special someone if you’re not willing to make the time, to make yourself available?

    I still have 4000 miles to go. I’ll keep trying. Maybe I’ll be surprised.


    • Leila

      Just curious after two years, how did the 4000 miles go? Did the surprise happen ? :))

  • kofybean

    Why do women complain that men on dating sites are so boring, as if every women is just a treasure chest of interesting gold? At least those men are trying, whereas the women seem to be sitting back doing nothing and demanding to be entertained, and rejecting the guy for a lack of a connect she did nothing to create.

    What’s worse is this author goes on to a dating app, meets a guy, and then says, “I honestly never planned on hanging out…” Why don’t you write an article about how women are leading the men they chat with on, or at the very least, non-commited.

  • Pingback: How Much Tinder is Too Much Tinder? | The Problem with Kids These Days()

  • PhotogJenn

    So spot on!

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