"Message me, ladies. I won't bite, unless you want me to!" - And All The Other Ways Men Ruin Tinder For Everyone

Just a general rant about men on Tinder. All views are my own (but they should be yours too). No pressure. Please change your opinions to fall in line with mine.

<Disclaimer: this post is LONG. But there's a reward at the end.>

Yes, it’s partially my fault for even using this app. And yes, I did kind of know what I was getting myself into. And yes, there are a lot of decent guys on Tinder. #NotAllMen should protect all the fragile egos out there, right? Grand. Also, I’m not even going to bother going into all the really graphic stuff guys say in their first messages sometimes just to be provocative – like asking how many inches you can take, etc. That’s expected and it’s frustrating but you can easily just screenshot the messages for your favourite group chat and then unfollow the guy. Problem solved (in theory).

The main issue for me at the moment is all the average Joe’s on Tinder. The ones who think they’re the good guys that women don’t give a chance because they’re not loaded with ripped abs or whatever. They can sometimes be worse than the overtly gross guys. Here are some of the most common things that come up when you’re interacting with a normal guy on Tinder:

  1. Somewhere in their bio they will complain about women never messaging them first or not messaging them back when they start a conversation. Can we firstly acknowledge that men are TERRIBLE at messaging first, or are at least on par with women when it comes to taking that first step? It’s really hard to think of a witty opening line, or to muster up the courage to put yourself out there and become vulnerable in a way that simply “swiping” does not require. This means that in order to try make first contact you need to be really interested in the person you have matched with. And sometimes we (both genders included) swipe first and think later. If my male sources are correct, men are the worst offenders for this! They glance at the main picture of the woman and often just swipe right on everyone who looks ok. Then when they match they go through all the girl’s pictures and won’t message if they realize the person isn’t someone they’re attracted to. Which is fine! We all do this! But don’t turn it around and act like all women are super attracted to you but too intimidated by your huge muscles to send a message. If this was true I don’t think writing “Why don’t girls ever send the first message? I don’t bite, ladies ;)” is going to help anything. And speaking from personal experience, when I see that in your bio it’s an automatic swipe left.
  2. What really blows my mind is when guys make jokes at the expense of all womankind in their bios. The most recent example of this was a classic: “If a man says something in a forest and no woman is around to hear him, is he still wrong?” Like what do they expect is going to happen here? Some woman will be charmed by his categorization of all women as that nagging mother character in movies who always has to get her way while her reasonable husband bends over backwards to accommodate her crazy requests? Like when she asks for help with the housework even though he’s had such a busy day at the office? Come on! These are the kinds of jokes you see on vintage advertisements that people buy ironically because they can’t believe people used to be able to slag off an entire gender just to sell a product. These are the kinds of jokes that men enjoy telling other men. You are writing a Tinder bio FOR WOMEN. Know your audience, dude. 

  3. My Tinder account is set to show me nearby men, so obviously that has been my experience. But I have also looked through many female friend’s accounts so that we can discuss which pictures they’re using and what they’re writing in their bios. Women usually have a wide variety of selfies and individual photos to choose from. I prefer to think of it as showcasing confidence and self-love rather than vanity but potato patata. The important thing is that we have a lot of choice. Men, on the other hand, don’t seem to take many photos in general (unless coerced) so you see a lot of group photos where you have to guess which guy owns the account, or photos of them skiing with their face covered by a scarf, or a random picture of a car. So often I swipe left because it is just too difficult, and not worth the effort, to actually figure out which guy wants to date you.  Sometimes you get an abs photo (great six pack, no face) and you have to figure out if the body is enough to entice you, or how you will even know who they are when you meet up. So I don’t understand why girls with group photos on their profile is another thing that guys complain about in their bios! If I girl has even one group photo on her profile I can guarantee that she has at least 2 selfies. There is space for 6 photos in total. No way some girl has 6 group photos and no selfies. NO WAY. The men who complain about not being able to figure out which girl is the one they’re swiping past are simply to lazy to look through all of this woman’s photos (as previously discussed). And that would be fine if they were not doing a way worse job of clarifying which one of the people in their photos is the guy who wrote the bio we’re reading. The hypocrisy is ASTOUNDING.
  4. One of the most common complaints on male bios is the fact that they “have to” share their height with us. Firstly, you don’t have to do anything. People can ask your height and you can shut them down. If it bothers you that much then only chat to people who don’t care how tall you are. Secondly, why are guys so surprised that they’re asked this question? Tinder is completely based on shallow matches. We can only see people’s pictures and read a short description of the person. Who is pretending that they don’t swipe entirely based on looks? It’s the same as approaching someone in a bar when you are mildly attracted to them. Girls usually have more photos so it’s easier for guys to get a full picture of the woman they’re conversing with. Women have to make guesses based on photos of their man standing on a mountain. Should they ask your height? Maybe not, especially if some guys are sensitive about it. But at least they’re trying to be upfront about what they want and don’t want. Isn’t that better than getting rejected in person on your first date? Height is something that can be important to some women (and men), in the same way that hair colour, weight, breast size etc. can be important to some men. But while you can get a fair idea of those other characteristics from a photo, height can only be measured in comparison to other people or objects in the photo. No it’s not something I really want to defend. But I also think it’s pointless to complain about in such a confrontational manner in your bio before a woman has even said hello to you. If you don’t like it, then don’t play the game!

  5. Is there some kind of Tinder masterclass that guys take that insists they must have at least one picture with an animal or child? Personally, I think it’s creepy for young children to be in photos on a dating app. I understand that you might want women to know upfront that you have kids, and I can definitely admire that level of honesty, but does there need to be pictures? It seems weird. Just tell us in your bio that you’re a father. Women do actually read those things. And all these guys with pictures of their nieces and nephews, or baby cousins, or friend’s kids, just stop. Ok? Please stop. We know what you’re doing and it’s really weird to use children as props to get laid. I don’t have the same moral outrage about animals, but they do also seem to be used as props. I’m going to let you in on a little secret here. If you imply that you own an adorable puppy and then the woman you invited home realizes there is no dog, she is going to be pissed off. Then there will be no sexy times for you. Also, men who post photos with exotic animals like lions in Africa – how do you think those pictures make you look exactly? No one thinks you’re a big brave man for approaching a dangerous wild animal. Everyone knows you’re in one of those sanctuaries where the animals are tame and probably sedated. Congratulations on your heroic moment.
  6. This isn’t really a huge issue but it’s just another Tinder bio classic that drives me nuts. The guys who are too lazy to write anything about themselves so they just put “ask me anything”. My main reaction to this is DUH obviously I know I can ask you whatever I want. But do you know what else is unfair about this? This kind of attitude has affected the majority of my Tinder dates. Guys think they’re being so generous with this open book attitude, but what they’re really doing is putting all the pressure on women to ask all the questions! Who keeps the conversations going on these dates? Women do. It’s our job to keep the discussion flowing, avoid any awkward silences or pauses, and flatter the male ego as much as possible. We do this by asking questions. Yes, we are usually interested and want to know about the man in front of us, but men don’t seem to understand the rules of engagement. When women have conversations they take it in turns to speak and to listen. By the time we’re old enough to ride the bus alone we know how human interactions are supposed to go, and it involves sacrifice and reward. You listen to your friend’s really boring story about a dream they once had, and they have to listen to your equally boring story about the man who skipped you in the queue at Tesco. Guys don’t understand this system. If you ask them questions they assume you want them to keep focusing on themselves until they literally run out of things to talk about. Only then might they remember to ask you something about your job before interrupting with a funny story that your story reminded them of. When men put “ask me anything” in their Tinder bio they’re putting the same pressure on women as when they write “why don’t women ever message first?”. Women CAN message first, women CAN ask you anything. We know this and we’ll do it in our own goddamn time and only when we feel like it. Write something useful in your bio that will actually inspire us to ask you a question. Asshole.

  7. What really confuses me is the men who either overtly or subtly complain about Tinder…within their Tinder bio that they set up of their own free will (presumably). Sometimes they just say “I hate this” outright, or they make some comment like “willing to lie about where we met” as if they are (and you should be) ashamed of what you’re doing. I joined Tinder to have a good time and when I see that it completely ruins the experience for me. If you hate Tinder then STAY HOME (in a virtual reality sense). Yes it can be depressing, and bleak, and soul destroying, but pointing that out helps no one. I don’t want to feel like if we start dating I have to make up some romantic story about how we met. Loads of people meet on Tinder these days, it doesn’t have to be a big deal. If anything, those kinds of stories inspire other people to keep trying until they find someone worth all the hassle. I realise I’m only speaking for myself here, but when a guy writes something about hating Tinder in his bio it is a complete turn off. Why would I waste my time talking to you if you’re not even going to enjoy the experience? Please delete your account and let me live.
  8. I’m noticing a definite pattern here of men pre-emptively scolding women before they’ve even spoken to one. Have you ever seen some version of this phrase: “If you do this don’t bother swiping right”? I definitely have. Sometimes it’s in a jokey way, other times it’s a clear warning. If you smoke, if you do duck face in photos, if you don’t like puns, that’s a dealbreaker. If you really are on Tinder looking for someone to make a connection with, why are you saying no no no in your opening statement? What kind of message does that send to all the women that read your bio? I don’t do duck face (anymore) but I take issue with that kind of warning list. For one thing, it implies that you’re mister perfect and women should basically be filling out a girlfriend application for the chance to get an interview with you. For another, it makes you sound completely unreasonable and picky. How about you have a conversation with the girl who smokes before you eliminate her from the competition. These are the same men who would then be complaining that girls have too high standards and always ask for their height etc. Em, sorry but didn’t you specify you only date women who listen to jazz? Puh-lease get off your high horse. And when you do, I hope you land in its faeces.

  9. Here’s another one. I guess this makes sense if you are using Tinder for hook ups but I’m not a fan of the “here on a business trip for 3 days, hit me up ladies!” style of bio. I am not against casual hook-ups. To be completely honest, I have slept with the majority of my Tinder dates after our first meet up. But at the same time, there’s a lot of pressure when you’re meeting up with someone who definitely expects sex. At least if you’re just going for drinks with someone who lives in the area then you can see where the night takes you. If it doesn’t work out you can part ways and leave it at that, or try another date down the line. But when a guy says he’s only in your city for a few nights then you both know he only wants to meet up with you for one reason. Maybe I’m being na├»ve and all guys think this anyway, but I prefer the air of mystery (even if it’s just on my side). When you agree to meet up with a visitor you are kind of agreeing to have sex and they’re more likely to be annoyed if the night doesn’t end up that way. It’s very possibly that I’m the only one who feels this way but it’s just a bit sleazy.
  10. Whatever I have said about how guys should write something in their bio and not be so lazy, there is one exception to this rule. I would prefer for the bio to be completely blank rather than to have to read a stupid quote about life. This is not your MSN instant messaging account circa 2004. We don’t want a deep music quote, or something Ghandi said that you think no one else has heard, or (worst of all) an uncredited quote that you possibly want us to believe you made up. No one believes that honey, and if they do they still think it is LAME. It’s always something about living life to the fullest, or making every day count, as if you’re not stuck in some 9-5 job just like the rest of us going on one or two holidays a year to somewhere in Europe. I think I had “I prefer to check myself AFTER I wreck myself” up on my account for a few weeks before I realised how cringy it sounded and took it down. But at least my quote was an attempt at humour, not some condescending message implying that I’m wasting my time on this beautiful earth. I can inspire myself, I don’t need motivation from a picture of a guy holding someone else’s baby in front of his Honda Civic.

For the record, I am 100% positive that there are things all girls do on Tinder that probably annoy people in the same way and I would be interested to hear some of them (unless I’ve already mentioned and dealt with them above). PS: your reward is being able to read. Thanks for your time!