Essay / February 2019 / Olivia Lyons

To All the Boys I’ve Swiped Right On: An Open Letter to Men on Tinder

Written by Olivia Lyons

If you are between the ages of 21 and 26, within about 50 miles of my current location and a male identifying person interested in females, you may have seen me on Tinder.

I created my account with the full intent of using it as a social experiment. As a 22-year-old, who is oddly not “with the times,” and finds social media to be quite tedious, the thought of using Tinder repulses me, but simultaneously, intrigues me. I think primarily basing wanting to hook up with or date someone based off their looks is exceptionally superficial. Posting “flawless,” at times altered, and most definitely staged photos to attract someone new, is preposterous to me. Even if I were to just hook up with someone, I personally wouldn’t want to be with some dude that can’t string a sentence together afterward.

I honestly have no judgment towards those who use Tinder. In fact, I discovered it is a great way to meet people; especially if you are busy, or fear breaking the ice in person. But I do have an issue with the notion that all men on Tinder (and most men in general) are “fuck boys.” Because of this, I took to Tinder to play devil’s advocate for you men out there.

I decided to only match with men I do not know. My biggest rule: do not match with anyone from Champlain College, especially those I will see in person.

Once I established this “golden rule”, the words of my sixth-grade teacher, Mr. Redman, helped me to set up my Tinder profile. He told my class, “you never get a second chance to make a first impression.” I think about this regularly and used it when carefully selecting the pictures below and writing my bio to truly capture my personality.

 

 

 

I had intended to go on one date with a new guy each day/night for a week to prove there are some fun dudes out there who care more about personality than looks. Then, I would delete the account and create a new one with more “appealing” photos of myself to see if the type and number of guys who matched with me changed. I, unfortunately, did not make it to the second portion of my conquest. Tinder proved me wrong. It took a lot longer to find guys who were interested in going on a date than I thought. Most men were just DTF, even when my profile featured me dressed as a man. I did learn a lot though and successfully drew enough conclusions to write the following letters to men on Tinder.

To the Boy I Went Out With,

 I applaud you for cutting to the chase when we were chatting on Tinder by asking for my phone number, then asking me out for a drink. This is the best way to casually get to know someone and you even scored a second date with me. I’m sorry I wasn’t “feeling anything between us” and told you I didn’t think we should go out again. But if I can be honest, don’t keep your Tinder notifications on while you’re on a date with another girl. I don’t like to pry into people’s business, but constant Tinder notifications are pretty obvious and a bit of a turn-off. I can promise you, this wasn’t my reasoning for turning you down.

        Sincerely,

        The Girl Who Broke It Off After Things Went Fairly Well

To the Boy I Have Been Snapchatting,

We have been sending funny, but very pointless snaps for over a month, with no end in sight. We have this odd Snapchat-friendship and at this point, it would be weird for one of us to finally make a move. Maybe in the future, get your interests across earlier.

        Sincerely,

        The Girl Who Sends You Pictures of Her Forehead

To the Boy Who Didn’t Know Simple Facts,

You told me you thought you went to “the University of the state of Vermont” … get your facts straight before you try to catfish me, thanks.

        Sincerely,

        The Girl Who is NOT Falling for Your Shit

To the Boy Who Sent Me a Dick Pic,

 I never asked for this. Imagine receiving an unsolicited video of me taking a shit. It isn’t cute. It isn’t sexy. It isn’t a turn on, so if you know what’s right for the world, NEVER do this again.

        Sincerely,

        The Girl Who is Telling You Unless Someone Asks for One—DO NOT SEND IT

To the Boy Who Doesn’t Know Which Pictures to Post,

I suggest asking a female friend if your profile pictures check out. Believe me, if you ask a woman her point of view, it will really make you more successful in your endeavors.

        Sincerely,

        The Girl Who Doesn’t Want to see Your Mirror Selfies

To the Boy Who Messages Me Long After I’ve Ghosted,

Damn, that is some perseverance, but if I didn’t message you back after a month, there is no reason to send another message. Ghosting can be hurtful to someone, but if you open with a raunchy comment, or allude to viewing me as an object and not as a human, assume a strong-willed woman will drop you like a hot potato.

        Sincerely,

        The Girl Who Ghosted You

To the Boy with the Awful Pickup Line,

        “Heard you are on the naughty list this year ;)”

        Maybe I shouldn’t have said, “Yeah… I am every year. Nothing new there.”

You asked how I end up on it yearly and maybe I really shouldn’t have said, “I was part of the Manson Family,” but with such a terrible pickup line, you deserved an answer that was just as ridiculous.

        Sincerely,

        The Girl Who Wants You to Try Harder

To the Boy Who Adds His Sports Team and Number,

You better believe I am looking up your height, weight, and stats. A word from the wise, if you suck and have only sat the bench, don’t mention you’re on the team.

        Sincerely,

        The Girl Who Knows How to Use Google

Helpful Tips:

  • Since this is a judgement-based app, a photo of you with your JUUL or surrounded by smoke clouds does not automatically make you smokin’ hot.
  • Posting photos of yourself posing with really attractive girls makes the viewer think, “this is my competition,” and will most likely assume you like the type of girl in the picture.
  • If you only post photos of you in a group, the onlooker will probably assume you are the least attractive in the group.
  • Angles are everything, so try to pick photos from a similar point of view. You can’t have yourself looking like Ryan Gosling in one pic and Nicholas Cage in the next.
  • “It’s 2019, the girl messages first,” this is the dumbest bio. You are obviously just lazy and don’t want to encounter rejection. The feminist façade isn’t sweet, get over it if someone doesn’t hit you back. Tinder is a two-way street and chances are, if she matched you, she’ll answer a message that says, “Hey! How are you?”
  • Un-matching someone is the easiest way to end things, so I suggest doing this rather than ghosting the person (disclaimer: for the purpose of this article I did not un-match, so I could look back through messages for reference).

 

What I Have Learned:

  • Tinder is not for me, I really don’t like judging people solely on their looks and can’t grasp how so many people find connection only through this method. To me, this is just another way for people to find one-on-one validation.
  • Though this 22-year old grandmother doesn’t care much for Snapchat, it is the best way to communicate with someone without giving out your number.
  • Lastly, I found there are three main types of people on Tinder
    • Let’s fuck
    • Let’s get a drink and then fuck
    • I am in this for marriage

If Tinder holds up to your expectations, keep on swiping. But I suggest giving your finger a break. Try speaking to that cutie in the store/bar/restaurant you keep making eye contact with, chat with the person in class you’ve had your eye on, or admit your feelings for someone you’ve been crushing on for a while. Not to “Dear Abby” this article, but try making 2019 the year you stop hiding behind your phone—ask someone out, tell them how you feel in person, and stop fearing rejection. After this experience, I know I’ll be doing a lot more of those things.

 

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