I like to think of myself as a sort of seasoned Tinder veteran, a connoisseur of revealing profile pictures and kitschy one-liners. I recently “celebrated" the anniversary of the day I downloaded the app, and I find myself reflecting on the past year of matches.
Story by Guneez Ibrahim
Illustrations by Alex Guillen
I have swiped everywhere. EVERYWHERE. Sitting in class. In line at HEB. Watching a movie with my parents. Sailing the Mediterranean. Riding a Tuk Tuk in Bangkok. I have even swiped while waiting for another Tinder date to show up. Moreover, I have met a wide array of guys. One walked out during our date after I said I didn’t watch Game of Thrones. One gave me a job offer. (He didn’t hire me or call back.) One called me crying when Bevo XIV, the Little Sebastian of UT, passed away. Some matches have been memorable, most gather dust in the back of my head.
My relationship with Tinder itself has been unstable. I’ve deleted it for weeks at a time, downloaded it again after I saw an interview of Kanye talking about Kim, deleted it again to make room on my phone. I find myself coming back to it periodically; in many ways, it has turned into a pastime, a quick futile activity equivalent to watching Netflix, or even checking my Instagram feed.
The longer you use Tinder, the more you realize that archetypes exist within the app. There are certain profile qualities that you can find despite where you are in the world, or what age group you’ve selected. As a scholar in the field of in-app dating, my research has led me to the following data. Here are Tinder personalities you can expect to encounter.
The Man of Many Bios
The fruits of an indecisive individual. This user could not settle on a single bio, so they instead opted for 20. Often times they look something like this:
The Curator of Women
Ah, the profile that exclusively features photos of a young chap with other women. I assume this is supposed to show that they “get around.” I particularly like when they clarify in their bio that the girl is nothing more than a friend. Thank goodness, because I was worried.
This is all fun and games until you see a photo of yourself in your friend’s Tinder. (I’m going to take this opportunity to say to all my friends who have done this—I saw it. I’ve got the receipts.)
The Persistent Communicator
Tenacity is a nice way of putting it. This character emerges only moments after you’ve matched. If you have never used Tinder, it is worth noting that matching with someone does not guarantee that you will ever communicate. Most of the time conversations do not start, and if they do, they often don’t lead anywhere. However, some users refuse to give up, seemingly making it a life goal for you to respond. The messages usually read as such:
I imagine that in real life, people like this were sent to the principal’s office quite regularly as a child.
The Fishing Maestro
A surprising amount of photos display a Salt Life-clothed individual holding a fish in one hand, and his sheer pride in the other. Honestly, this one has never made sense to me. I really cannot tell you why so many Tinder photos feature men proudly holding fish they caught. I like to think they’re trying to subtly imply, “Imma catch u nxt bb girl,” but this is nothing more than a hypothesis. The frequent appearance of this anomaly leaves me dumbfounded.
The One You Actually Know in Real Life
When you first encounter this phenomenon, it can be quite horrifying. I remember the first time a face I actually recognized popped up on my screen. I let out a blood-curdling shriek. You worry that now they know you have a Tinder, and if they are going to tell other people, and if they swiped right on you, and that if you match out of curiosity they may get the wrong idea, and then you’ll have to transfer to Texas State, and maroon just is not your color, and then finally, you contemplate if it’s time to delete the app.Inevitably, you will run into people you know, and it’s really not as baffling as it might seem at first.
Having a Tinder is a fairly normal thing, and there really is no shame in exploring your curiosities. You’ll realize that every personality uses it. Every gender identity, every major, every demographic just wants a lil kissy-kissy.