How to Win at Tinder

July 23, 2015

Once upon a time, Breakfast Lover and I were in the worst class possible. The. Worst. And every week for 3 hours, he would have nothing to do but try to find ways to entertain me so I would stop bugging him to entertain me (don't you all want to be my friend now?). After a few months of this, we found something that was good for at least 30-40 minutes of entertainment: watching each other (don't get pervy) go through Tinder. We wanted to see how a guy approached it vs. how a girl approached it. It was actually quite interesting (or at least, more interesting than the professor #luvyouPricilla).

Quickly, I'd lose interest and set my phone down. And then it would start lighting up. New match. New match. New Match. Blah. Blah. Blah.

"What the fuck?!" Breakfast Lover would say. "How are you already getting matches?"

"This is not rocket science, this is Tinder."

"You literally just got more matches in 5 minutes than I've gotten in the past 5 months. HOW DO YOU DO THIS?!"

First of all, if a guy friend is ever desperate enough to ask you for advice on how to use Tinder more effectively, that's probably not the advice he really needs. He probably needs a pep talk and some workbooks on increasing self-esteem and not-putting-validation-in-things-that-dont-matter and finally, how-to-date-in-person-with-real-live-people-and-not-in-an-app-designed-for-hookups. But, after giving BL all these lectures and more (sorry for interupting class, #luvyouPricilla), he still wanted to know how he could be better at Tinder.

And this is what I told him. Which I will now share with you all. You're welcome.

Celebrities are a common way we can relate. "Oh he looks like Bradley Cooper" (swipe right). "Oh he's funny like Aziz" (swipe right). "Oh he looks like that Park and Recs guy who does Nascar commercials" (swipe left).

If you put your celebrity spirit animal in your profile, it allows you to say more without saying more -- ya dig? For example, I put Mindy Kaling because she is most like me and also someone I admire. She is a #girlboss who makes no apologies for her hot mess dating life, smart as fuck, and the Queen of Sass. As the Official Queen of Sass, I appreciate this.

The point is, someone can read "I like Mindy Kaling" in my profile, and they know all these things that I like: #girlboss(es), sass, comedy, smart people. And if they don't know who she is... then they swipe left. Good riddance!

Too many people are using Tinder for too many things. From hook ups to actual relationships, there's just something for everyone on the magical land of Tinder (see 'Queen of Sass,' above).

I used a two-prong approach: sometimes I would take it seriously, and sometimes I would use it exactly the way it was intended -- flipping through photos with absolutely no care for their profile description and solely judging them based on looks. Now BL, he would read every profile. Every. Damn. Profile. And flip through every photo. No. Ain't nobody got time for that shit. He refused the Tinder method of judging based on looks because he "wanted something serious" and thought that was "vain."

Here's the deal. If you do not occasionally play Tinder the way Tinder was designed to be played, the Tinder Gods will not reward you with matches. That's all.

I had a 100% first-date success rate with matches who I spoke to about my love of hardboiled eggs. Truth.

Embrace that challenge! Guys, I promise you -- if they didn't write anything in their profile, it's not because they're married or hiding something... they just didn't have time or don't take it too seriously. It's totally safe to meet up with them! 

If you compiled Tinder profile descriptions and analyzed them, Americans would look like the most adventurous, outdoors-y people ever who spend all their time hiking and traveling*. Take this to heart! This is true! Everything they put in their profile should be read as absolute truth.You should then feel immense guilt about not being more of a hiker or world-traveler, and try to get them to meet up with you so they can spread their hiking and traveling knowledge. Because if anything, Tinder proved that you don't get outside enough and your life is a failure.


In summary: talk about eggs, take every profile legit dead serious and swipe left for dog photos.

No but seriously, the only way to win on Tinder is to get off Tinder. OFF.

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*I guarantee that photo is the only time they've ever gone hiking or snorkeling with sharks. Give me a break.

The Last Lesson From Your Lover

July 17, 2015

Write about us. Write about us. When the voices won't stop echoing through my head, I know it is time to do the only thing I know how to do to make them shut up: write. Write about us. 

This should probably be handwritten on paper, and not typed for the world to see on the internet. But paper is slow and typing is fast and you like this and I like pleasing you too much. So here we are.
The last lesson. A moratorium of sorts, and the only way I know how to "end things well" -- with words. I always did need to say a thing too many times in too many ways before finally getting to the end. Go Shakespeare on me, one last time.


Lesson One: Find a Cheerleader

Find a lover who is more vocally proud (publicly, privately, whatever floats your boat) of your greatest achievement than even you are. Find a champion, not a savior -- this, this is the thing. Someone who will never let you forget how far you came -- because you worked really hard. They want to celebrate what you accomplished -- and there is such beauty in that celebration of the individual spirit, that combined makes a stronger whole. So pick a cheerleader. Not a doting fool, not a self-centered, faux-selfless savior. 
Find someone who is so proud of what you did, and who will remind you when you forget or are down or discouraged (or feeling too proud) so that you are always ready to take that next step for yourself.

Lesson Two: The Beauty's in the Want

When I first met you, I think it's safe to say I was obsessed with marriage. Several friends and family members could testify to my willingness to give up several limbs in any combination if only I could be married. Oh the hours I wasted in anxious worry and self-induced guilt. And then I met you. And I fell. And you were always so damn busy*. 

You asked me once to write about (God I'll miss that) how it was to date someone who was always busy**. And I said I couldn't, because I didn't know how yet. But somewhere along the way, while not necessarily figuring out "how," I think I figured out at least why.

Dating someone who was constantly busy*** reaffirmed my own independent strength in a way relationships never had before.

I have always been a strong individual. This is not something I question. And yet, whenever I entered relationships all the strength I carried in my other interactions just melted out the door.

I'm pretty used to getting my way in relationships and having someone who dotes on my every move and is constantly available to me. And the thing about dating someone who is busy****/unavailable, isn't that they don't care any less than someone who isn't as busy/unavailable, they're just busy. And after a while, I started to filter things through the mindset of 'given that I know they only have limited X amount of time to text/call/speak through the day, what is actually the most important thing I want to get across in that limited time?'

Let's give an example.

When I start dating someone, I am the type of person who tells them everything. Car made a weird noise? Tell them. Coffee was cold? Tell them. Weird student loan bill? Tell them. Spent hours walking through a graveyard? Tell them. That was always my instinct -- tell them, tell them, tell them. And then I would get reaffirmed when they texted back.

Here's the thing. Dating a busy person forced me to get better at identifying what I really needed at that moment. Car made a weird noise? Call a mechanic. Unexplainable jump in student loan bill? WTF. He didn't even have student loans, call your loan officer. I slowly got better at thinking what do I really need at this moment? Sometimes I needed a mechanic, sometimes I needed a loan officer... a best friend to talk things through or a niece to make me laugh. Now I'm not saying your partner shouldn't listen, comfort, console, make you laugh, talk, etc. But, that's a lot of expectations to put on one person. And, I am perfectly capable of calling a mechanic. And, just because I am not sharing the experience (by talking about it, doing it, blah blah) with the Man Friend does not negate the goodness/badness/validity of the experience. I think that was what was most key for me to learn. I used to think, everything will be better when I have a husband. Bad days will be better and grocery shopping will be better and laughing will be louder and blah blah blah. 

But that's not true. I still had a good time -- or a bad time -- whether I texted him 24/7 or saw him 24/7 either way. The experience was still the experience because it was mine. And somewhere in there I realized... the beauty's in the want. In the wanting to share that.

(THIS IS WHERE I GET TO THE POINT) === Essentially, what I'm saying is this. Person A texts you and asks you what you had for lunch. You answer. Person B texts you and asks you what you had for lunch. You scream, throw the phone into the passenger seat, and wonder 1) Who the fuck cares what you ate? and 2) Why does it matter.

The difference is in the want. 

And there is beauty in the want. And there is contentment in waiting for the right person who you want to share things with. Lunch was fine, with or without Person A or B. Lunch was mine. Lunch will happen either way. And one day, you'll find someone who doesn't make you scream when they ask you what's for lunch.

Does anybody get what I'm saying? That was a long ass paragraph. The point is... dating someone who was busy***** made me get better at maintaining my own independence while looking forward to sharing the little things.
And for now that's all I'm saying. 
For now.

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*Busy: Not to be confused with married. 
**Busy: Not to be confused with married.  
***Busy: Not to be confused with married.   
****Busy: Not to be confused with married.  
*****Busy: Not to be confused with married.  
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