Tinder Friends Are The Best Friends
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Tinder Friends Are The Best Friends

With who else can you sit on the toilet and have a conversation?

Tinder friends are hidden treasures, yet they are kept under the rug. However, we need to air out that dusty-ass shaggy carpet.

To start off with, Tinder friends easily become friends with benefits. I mean, let's be real--the entire reason why we are friends with our Tinder friends is because at one point, we saw their face or read their bio, and a fire inside our loins erupted into a longing--no, a craving for passionate digitally-created sex.

Tinder friends also have some less obvious pros. Most of the time, they never have to deal with you in person and you never have to deal with them in person. That is the beauty of the internet: you can be a disgusting, filthy slob while still having a nice heart-to-heart with your internet Tinder friend.

You can literally talk about your deepest, darkest fears while sitting on your toilet, naked, and eating a tub of ice cream.

I'm going to be honest. Those heart-to-hearts can get deep as FUCK. That's because Tinder friends are able to get to know you on a level that "real life" friends cannot. Tinder friends only see you as you are, or as you present yourself. There are no other distractions, no third party friends or complex friendship dynamics. There is just the simple one-way connection between you and your Tinder friend.

Tinder friends can also be from far away or all over the world. Depending how much you travel or how far you have the distance setting set to, you could have Tinder friends all over the globe. And, personally, I think there is nothing better than having a global community of friendship.

Finally, and this is probably my favorite aspect of having Tinder friends, is that the relationship blossoms in Tinder. Tinder is actually a great environment to talk to friends. To start off with, everyone is weary of the typical Tinder bullshit, so everyone has a sarcastic chip on their shoulder that makes conversations so witty and quick. Plus, inside the Tinder app, you have an entire arsenal of GIFs that you can send out at any point for no reason whatsoever.

I kid you not, I send this random-ass citrus GIF to all my Tinder friends with no context. However, that is Tinder. Tinder is wild. Tinder is crazy. No, this is not an ad for Tinder. I know most people hate Tinder, but what can I say, I see the good in both people and apps.

And no, that is not my Tinder bio.

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My Dad's on Tinder and This is What I've Learned

From the most honest guy on Tinder's very observant daughter.

My dad is a walking paradox. He has certain habits he's stubborn about--like wearing a rugby polo, acid wash jeans, and Adidas superstars everyday--yet he is as spontaneous as a twenty-something. For example, he once got engaged in Vegas to someone he'd been dating for a month. He's been completely bald most of his adult life, yet the main thing he looks for in a woman is full, blonde hair. He loves deeply and is as loyal as a little puppy, yet he is a lawyer and can be as vicious as an attack dog. Anything else you want to know about my dad can be seen here or in his Tinder bio below.

Getting into the Tinder game
My parents had the perfect love story, until my mom tragically passed away from colon cancer in 2012. My dad, after experiencing the worst heartbreak of his life, joined Tinder two years later. I'm honestly proud of him. It takes a lot of balls to get back out there and start dating again. Yes, it's a little weird considering all my friends use it to hookup with strangers, but it's provided me with so much entertainment that I can't complain.

The more family pictures the better
The first step to using Tinder, according to my father, is to have lots of family pictures for your profile. If I had a dollar for every time he said, "Send me that. The babes will love it on Tinder," I'd be rich. Apparently, ladies love a family man.

Ghost them if necessary
My dad introduced me to the art of "ghosting," or ignoring someone without telling them why. He ghosts when he's uninterested but doesn't want to tell someone. Ghosting can backfire, though: my dad once promised someone he'd met on Tinder that he would fly to see her in Lake Tahoe. The catch? He'd never met this Lake-Tahoe-Hoe in person, and he told another woman he was dating that he was going for business. He ended up backing out and ghosting, causing her to blow up his phone for the next three days with threatening texts. Moral of the story is that some women will freak the fuck out if you seem interested in going on a date and then silently bail, and some will take it as a challenge and become that much more interested in dating you. So be careful with this technique.

What is my dad's secret?
He's argumentative, loud, has a dad bod, no filter, and never admits he's wrong. So why are all these hopeful Tinderellas lining up at my door to date him? Seriously, the man averages about four dates a week. The answer is threefold, with one part being that he is very aware of his flaws and will honestly admit them to anyone, even on a first date. You don't like something? Too bad.

The second part is that he is honest, respectful, has a stable job, and has normal kids. Might sound crazy, but all the other decent guys with these traits are taken or don't exist at his age.

The third and final reason? Women. Are. Desperate. I really hate to say it, but the need to settle down must increase exponentially after a certain age, and my dad capitalizes on that. You get to a point where everyone has baggage, and to find someone with limited amounts of baggage is very rare.

You get one shot
The main lesson my dad has taught me from all of this? You get one shot at finding "the one" with no baggage. You get one shot at marrying them, having kids, and getting that Jim-and-Pam type of love. If that doesn't wind up working, be prepared for baggage, and lots of it. But don't let that discourage you from starting over. It is never too late to begin again, to find love and happiness, and to get butterflies in your stomach.

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Tinder From A Guy's Perspective

Tinder PR is on fuegoooo

Guys are a simple species. We're goals-driven and like to keep things as uncomplicated as possible. Given this, when we use Tinder, we're doing so for one reason and one reason only: We're trying to smash.

I may be ruining the game for all of my fellow dudes, but honesty is my middle name. If a guy ever told you he's on Tinder to get into a relationship or make friends, he is a damn liar. If he says he's on there to "have some fun", you can take that as code for "I'm tryna get lucky."

Statistics show that 62 percent of Tinder's users are male, and that men are drawn to the game-like aspects of the app. The app definitely has a reputation for creating an "easy marketplace for casual sex". Well, part of it could be this: According to a study by GlobalWebIndex, 42 percent of people on Tinder already have a partner of some sort--30 percent are married, 12 percent are in a relationship. Yikes.

The company has disputed these claims, in a series of hilarious tweets.

But back to sex. And Tinder. Really, is there anything wrong with attempting to get laid using an app? Why should this be frowned upon because it's being done using technology? If I went to a bar with the sole purpose of hooking up with someone, most people wouldn't judge me. But the instant I let it be known that I'm only on Tinder to find sex, all of a sudden I'm a dog, using people for sex.

What's with this stigma associated with using Tinder, or the internet in general, to get some sexy time?

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Things I Don't Understand About Girls on Tinder

Why does having a dog in your picture make such a difference?

Although I've been using Tinder for about five months now, I haven't actually met anyone in person yet. I feel like there are unspoken practices regarding the app that I'm still having trouble grasping.

For example, I first downloaded Tinder when I was traveling around Mexico. While I was there, I just had to message a girl, "Hey. How are you?" or, "Hola, amiga!" and we were conversing. Now, back in New Hampshire, all of a sudden I have to jump through hoops just to initiate a conversation with a girl. I feel like they don't want to converse like normal human beings. I always assume that they want me to throw my best line at them, which either makes them laugh or makes them designate me a total creep.

Here are a few other things that I'm having trouble understanding on Tinder:

-Girls who put their height in their bio, but then say that they aren't looking for hook-ups. This makes me think that these people all have neck problems and don't want any of the lifelong friends that they make through Tinder to be taller than them.

-Girls that write in their bio that they don't use Tinder often. I mean, it's very considerate of them to put that in there, but my question then becomes, "Why the fuck are you even on Tinder to begin with?"

-Girls that only swipe right for a guy's dog or pizza. I don't really understand the latter, but it makes me think that I need a photo of myself with a dog in one hand and a slice of pizza in the other; maybe feeding the dog the pizza?

-Girls whose heads get cut off in the first picture. Maybe this is meant to entice me to look into the matter further?

-Girls who don't specify who they are in the group photos, or girls who may have changed their hair color or lost weight from photo to photo. I wouldn't know that though, because they all look like totally different people!

-Girls who say that the age on their profile isn't their real age, but can't understand why it's like that. Why does Tinder always seems to mess up the profiles of the girls who are under 18?

-Girls who, for whatever reason, only chat with me for the length of a night. How do people lose their attention span before we've even exchanged five basic messages? And, not to go off on a rant, but these girls never unmatch with me later on; they just linger there, which leaves me wondering, "Are we playing the game still?" and, "Would it be a sign of weakness to message this chick a week after we last chatted?"

Through all the stuff I don't understand about Tinder, there are a few things that I feel I do understand. One of those things being that I think a lot of people I see on Tinder need to lower their standards, at least on Tinder, because it's only making it harder to use an app that is supposed to make it easier for people to meet.

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My Tinder Date Gone Wrong

Should've swiped left.

Going out on a date with a Tinder match is pretty hit or miss. Sometimes you have a great time with your online dating cutie...other times, not so much.

This particular experience happened to me a year ago. I go to a really small college, so Tinder was a good way to meet students from other local colleges. One guy in particular caught my eye with his muscular profile picture, so I swiped right.

Even better, he was also capable of writing complete sentences with only minimal typos, which is a wonder nowadays. I hadn't planned on meeting him so quickly, but when a friend ditched me last minute for her boyfriend (a major friendship no-no, ladies) I accepted his offer to go out.

I met with him at a local spot after letting two friends know of my location and promising to text them every five minutes to make sure I was safe. I had been on other Tinder dates, and they had all been great, so I expected this one to be the same. WRONG.

First off, I couldn't even find him because he looked NOTHING like his profile picture. He looked older and was BALD. I don't have anything against bald people, but this was completely unexpected and off-putting.

He insisted on commenting on how uncomfortable I looked.

"Wow, you really must not like me," he would say. "Why do you look so uncomfortable?"

Okay dude, first of all you are making it way worse by commenting on it. This is most definitely not how to date in college. I kept shrugging him off, trying to play it cool. I wanted to go home asap, and began plotting my escape. He suggested we move to a different bar, and he asked if I would hold his hand on the walk there. I politely declined. I'm really not a touchy-feely person, and I had known him for maybe ten minutes.

Like a major jerk, he proceeded to insist he was offended I didn't want to hold his hand. Defeated, I held his jerk hand on the walk to the next place.

Once there, we sat and chatted. I convinced myself he might be okay after all. That is, until his hand found itself on my thigh. Completely freaked, I laughed and brushed it off. This just got a lot more dangerous. He continued to touch me for a few more minutes, and I kept brushing him off. At one point he mentioned getting a hotel room to go back to. Um, no.

I had enough. "I have to be up early tomorrow, and I'm really tired. I should go home."

He disagreed, but ultimately consented to walking me back to my dorm. I panicked, not wanting him to know where I lived. Instead, I stopped us at a different dorm and he insisted on kissing me goodnight. I was completely terrified now, and just wanted to get rid of him. I let him kiss me and quickly pushed him away, claiming to be very tired.

I rushed inside and stayed there until I knew he was gone. This was by far the worst date I have ever been on. The moral of the story is, ladies, don't ditch your girlfriends, and dudes please don't be creepy.

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Dating App Showdown: Super Extensive Edition

One app to rule them all.

Nowadays, there's a dating app or website for every specific interest you can think of, from the kinkiest to the most vanilla. A lot of these are niche sites, used only by a specific, targeted group of people, but there are also the in-betweeners.

Apps that target basically everyone looking to date or hookup. These are the apps that I'm going to be comparing today (because if I went into detail about niche sites, this post would never end). Now, on to our first contender!

This was the first app I thought to turn to when I wanted to start dating - and with good reason. Tinder is everywhere. A week ago I would have said it was the most superficial of the dating apps I've used, due to the extremely limited bio length and the fact that we all too often swipe based entirely on the first picture, but I now know that it's come to a tie with another app on this list.

Pros: If you're looking for a hook up, this should be your go to! The majority of guys on Tinder are looking for hookups (or at least open to them), and quite a few have no qualms about making that clear. There are obviously exceptions - one of my best friends was looking for basically anything but hookups on Tinder, and now she's dating a guy that she met on there.

Another plus is that I don't notice that many bots or fake profiles on Tinder. I'm not sure if this is just my experience as a female in a non-metropolitan area, but I've only come across maybe two profiles that seemed obviously fake.

Cons: Lack of responses. Some of my most clever messages have been left without their deserved response - and I've done the same thing to other people. Unless you're really picky with your swipes, you're likely to end up with more matches than you can manage talking to (as a female, at least. I can't speak for guys). So that one guy who had that fishing picture on his profile, but a witty joke in his bio that made me think 'might as well swipe right'... well, I have better people to talk to.

I use OkCupid somewhat casually. I have the app and answer messages when I get one from someone interesting (and I actually have an ongoing conversation with one girl from Nebraska - nowhere near where I live, but it's nice to chat with her). I've even met up with someone from OkCupid, but I just use Tinder a lot more.

This is because I've found that Tinder is easier to use for hookups or casual things (what I'm looking for), while OkCupid lends itself more to finding longer-lasting connections for the following reasons.

Pros: What I love about this app is that you have a ton of opportunity to tell people about you before you even start a conversation. It has an extensive bio section with questions that you can answer to give people info about what you like and who you are, and in addition to that, there are the match questions!

I personally find that the 'match percentages' that they give you are absolute bullshit, but the good thing about this feature is that you can go in and look at potential conversation partners' actual answers to the questions.

This can give you a lot of insight. I've rejected people on the basis of their answers alone. The match questions can get rather deep into different topics, and in my opinion opposite answers on some of the questions can reveal a fundamentally different worldview.

Once you answer a few match questions on OkCupid, you'll probably figure out what I mean.

Another big pro is that OkCupid tries to be inclusive of all sexualities and gender identities, and you can pick up to five of their sexuality options (which include asexual, questioning, and sapiosexual, among others) and up to five of their gender options (including androgynous, two spirit, genderfluid, and many more).

Tinder is kind of lacking in this regard. I don't think there's an option to alter your gender from what's on your Facebook profile, or to let people know your sexuality aside from explicitly stating it in your bio. And even if there is, I don't know where that option is, so they're failing somewhere.

Cons: I've found that there are quite a few fake profiles on OkCupid, either bots or scammers. A lot of the people who send me messages disable their accounts within a week - so many that it's not plausible that all of them just got sick of OkCupid.

I have fun with it though. There was one guy who messaged me three times, on three different accounts all with the same pictures a couple of weeks apart. He looked like a Jonas brother, and I told him the first time - and then just continued telling him whenever he messaged me.

There also aren't a ton of local options for me right now, being in a smaller city, but I feel like it has been growing since I started using the app.

Plenty of Fish:
I'm going to be honest here: I hate Plenty of Fish (not-so-affectionately known as POF). I re-downloaded it for the purpose of this post, to make sure I was remembering everything correctly, and as I look at that little fish icon I can feel the hatred in the depths of my soul. Luckily, it does have some pros that may make the app worth it for some people.

Pros: It has similar features to OkCupid, with one notable step up: you can securely call people through the app, without giving out personal information. It's honestly beyond me why anyone would use this, but I'm sure some people do enjoy being able to chat on the phone with potential dates before they go through it.

Maybe to help calm any nerves about meeting up with someone from a dating app?

You also get a lot of bullet point-type information, similar to a section of the OkCupid profile, but more spread out and taking up a lot more room. This could be a pro or con.

Cons: The app setup is horrid. It's pretty much the opposite of aesthetically pleasing and such a hassle to use compared to the OkCupid app.

This is the menu for the POF app (the shaded out area at the bottom is the profile pictures of potentials near me). You have to go to each individual section via this menu - and if you want to get to another section you have to go back to the menu page in between. There are better ways, POF staffers. Better ways.

See that bar on the bottom? That's the OkCupid menu. Always there. Always ready. You can skip between the five major tabs easily, and it combines multiple POF-equivalent sections into one tab. For example, on the tab shown, OkCupid 'likes' are bascially the same as POF 'favourites', which are contained into the same tab as people who 'visited you' - which is equivalent to people who 'viewed you' on POF.

OkCupid's app is just so much sleeker.

One bonus on POF is that in a cursory glance over people in my area, it seemed like there was an equal number of people looking for a longer-term relationship as those looking for casual relationships or hookups, so if you can handle the app you might want to add POF to your arsenal and take advantage of anyone who might be on that app but no others.

I started using Bumble for the purpose of this article, and in the couple of days I've been using it I'm not all that impressed. The idea behind it is awesome, I have to admit, but it doesn't work that well for me personally.

Oh yeah, and this is the one tied with Tinder for "most superficial". They both focus on swiping based on pictures, with only a limited profile (sometimes) given to help make the decision of left or right.

Pros: Females have to message first! It's a great idea, but I personally didn't like it. I enjoy evaluating the opening line of a guy - it can tell a lot. While I do start conversations if I have something in particular to say, the majority of my most meaningful Tinder conversations have been started by the guy.

For some people it's probably empowering to block guys from making the first move if you don't really want to talk to them, but if we were pickier with our Tinder swipes, we could create the same effect without the help of an app.

Another plus is that the guys on Bumble look a bit more genuine than guys on Tinder (just based on their profile images), probably because some of the really horrid fuckbois stay away because their lines wont work as well if the girl has to start the conversation.

Although I haven't used it, I love the idea of making the app multi-purpose and allowing users to look for same-sex friends (strictly friends, I mean). I might end up using that feature considering most of my friends are out of town for the summer...

Cons: The pool of potential matches is very small compared to Tinder - my search distance on Tinder is 40km and I almost never run out of matches unless I'm swiping consistently for a couple of days.

On Bumble my search distance was auto-set to about 40km and I ran out of people after about 30-40 swipes. I upped the distance to 70km and haven't run out since, but now some of my potentials are from the neighboring cities which can be up to an hour drive away.

I also feel like having matches expire serves no good purpose for me. Quite frequently I swipe as a time waster, so the idea of matches made during my time wasting expiring before I have the chance to message them during my next time wasting session isn't appealing.

Even though it's a lesser known app (and only available for iPhone right now), the premise behind Spotlight is simple: why pictures when you can do videos? Spotlight videos are similar to the videos you put on your Snapchat story - little glimpses into your life and what you enjoy doing - but utilizing those to tell people more about what you're like and who you are.

Like every dating app, there are some pros and cons to this.

Pros: The non-static nature of video really lets you see how someone lives their life. Sure someone can take a picture at the top of a mountain - but who knows, did they drive there and just get out of their car to take that picture? With video, they'd be showing you the journey and how much they liked (or did not like) that hike to the peak.

I love that there is also a version of the typical dating app profile as well - so you still get the Tinder experience of pictures and a short bio, but you also get a lot more than that. As you've probably realized from the rest of this post, information is key to me. OkCupid gives us that information in the form of a long and in-depth bio, while Spotlight gives it through videos.

Cons: This app definitely isn't for the camera shy. Some people would hate uploading videos of themselves. Hell, some people hate uploading pictures of themselves but you do what you have to do if you want to get people swiping right. Other people don't really want strangers to get such a deep look into their personal life, and I totally get that too.

It would also be a shift even for people who aren't camera shy. We're used to taking selfies and group shots and only putting those on dating apps. We can make our profiles look picture perfect, tailor them to get people to swipe right as often as possible. With video, that's harder.

You're never going to get a video where you look great in every frame (some angles are just bad, as I know all too well), and you're going to have to let your real self shine through a little more.

Now that I think about it, this probably isn't a con, because being yourself is likely to foster a lot more genuine connections than being the dating app version of yourself up until you meet in person. It'll be a shift regardless.

Then again, you'll probably have a lot of guys with videos of them doing dumb shit, which can be a total turn off. Sometimes I'd prefer to have met a guy in person before I learn that he's the type to have a drink poured on him from multiple stories up.

The only other obvious con I can think of is the amount of people using it. Spotlight is a relatively new dating app and doesn't yet have the user base of any of the other ones I've mentioned. I can see it having a good hold in large cities - but in smaller cities, you wont be able to use it as your primary app, as cool as the concept is. I would keep it around though, because I think their unique style of dating is going to catch on.

The Roundup:
Tinder - great for hookups, maybe not the best place if you're looking for long term (though it is possible!)

OkCupid - My personal favorite, it's good for long term and you probably wont have much trouble finding a hookup either, if that's what you want. Easy to find people with exactly the preferences/characteristics you're looking for in a partner (such as a non-monogamous relationship).

Plenty of Fish - My advice: don't. But if you want a backup to any other apps on here, it seems to be good for both casual and longterm relationships.

Bumble - Essentially Tinder with a feminist twist. You either like the feminist twist or you don't, and I personally did not. You could probably find longterm easier on Bumble than Tinder, but I have no evidence to support this. It just feels like that would be the case.

Spotlight - An up-and-comer that really gets you to tell your story in a way that you don't have to on other apps. Chances are you can find both hookups and long term on Spotlight, but I feel like the model lends itself to finding long term relationships or even just good friends.

Honestly, I love OkCupid. In-depth profiles turn me on to a person a lot more than just a couple of selfies and group shots on a barely-there profile (as is the case with Tinder and Bumble, and even POF in some ways). Sure, looks still matter, but not in the way they do on Tinder - you have a chance to highlight potential shared interests and activities on OkCupid in a way that you just don't on Tinder, with your 500 character bio.

But for now, while I'm not really looking for particularly meaningful connections, Tinder it is.