If you are past the age of, say, thirty-five, and are as thoroughly uncool as I am, the matchmaking app Tinder may be a new concept to you. It is Match.com on speed—a way for the kids these days to meet new people, hook up, and just generally bring gaiety into their lives. It is, in a word, awesome.
I say this as a woman with seven years of marriage under my belt, and three kids ranging from ages one to five. And lest those who know me become concerned—my husband and I are doing great. And lest those who know me become even more concerned (or even, dare I say, hopeful)—we aren’t into that. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but you know. I didn’t even know what Tinder was until a few weeks ago, so… no.
Here’s what happened. My twenty-eight-year-old cousin recently came to visit for a few weeks, and she—being squarely in the sweet spot for Tinder consumption—showed me this hitherto unknown and amazing world.
Moms. Moms! You have to try Tinder. And if you are feeling overwhelmed by this unabashed commandment, don’t. I played with Tinder a lot in the few weeks my cousin was here, and I feel very comfortable giving you the basics:
1. Don’t feel bad about using someone else’s account.
It’s a little-known, made-up fact that 79 percent of Tinder users are actually the married friends or relatives of account holders. Just think of yourself as part of the older, wiser screening committee. And if things get, um… uncomfortable, just stop responding, or hand the phone over to the account holder to deal with. Done!
2. If a guy has his arm around a girl, it’s his girlfriend.
Tinder pulls pictures from Facebook, and apparently some people have not invested enough time in their profile to go through and remove the pictures of themselves with their significant others. Setting aside the moral ambiguities of (and the irony of me being upset about) being on Tinder when in a relationship, that’s just plain lazy.
3. Posing with a dog does not equal sensitivity.
Another fact I just made up is that roughly 85 percent of men on Tinder pose with dogs. Apparently, this is meant to demonstrate that if they can take care of dogs, they can take care of women too. Don’t fall for it. After several conversations with these men-with-dogs devolved into some variation of “Wanna screw?”, I came to understand that this ploy was merely that—a ploy. Swipe left.
4. Unapologetically swipe left.
When my husband was given control over my cousin’s account, he hemmed and hawed for close to fifteen seconds over the very first person he saw, before I finally wrested back control of the phone. Look, if the picture doesn’t grab you immediately, swipe left.
5. Don’t get emotionally invested.
Some people seem nice. They probably aren’t. When my cousin’s married friend came over for dinner, we set to work on Tinder. She became quite connected to a man (who was posing with a girl in the FIRST PICTURE, people) whom she just had a “good feeling about.” When he responded to one of our witty repartees with “Who’s looking for love, I just want to get laid and have fun,” her bubble was sadly burst.
6. Set aside expectations.
One of the men my cousin went out with won us over by sheer force of wit. In a picture where he was posing next to a stuffed dinosaur, we swiped right merely to make the gem of a joke “Which one are you?” (This is the kind of comedic gold the Tinder community has been treated to over the past few weeks.) He went on to put quite a bit of effort into his dinosaur-themed jokes, and a match was made.
7. Be prepared for Tinder withdrawal when the account holder leaves.
No more satisfying “It’s a match!” messages. No more chances to show how hysterically funny you are—at least to yourself, your husband, and your other married friends after a second glass of wine. No more pretending that sound of pounding bass is the radio, rather than your baby banging on a pot. Or that your idea of a good time does not involve snuggling up on the couch with your husband while watching The Good Wife.
But make no mistake—the reality is pretty good too.
This original piece by Ali Wilkinson was written exclusively for In the Powder Room, a division of Hold My Purse Productions, LLC. Featured image © dmbaker via depositphotos.com. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the publisher.
Not surprisingly, between the profile pics, the bios, and the instant messaging element, Tinder is a treasure trove of can’t-look-away hilarity. Wanna see? (You know you do…) YOU’RE WELCOME: