Next and the City: Weeding Them Out, One Tinder Date at a Time


The challenge: Make a Tinder profile, talk to guys, go out on dates with said guys, and then write about it. Challenge accepted.

Payton is ready to meet New York City men via Twitter. (Courtesy of Tinder)
Payton is ready to meet New York City men via Twitter. (Courtesy of Tinder)

Tinder, if you don’t know, is a matchmaking app. It asks you to connect through Facebook, so that they can use your profile picture and age. Then, it uses your location to find “interesting” people near you; their pictures, along with names and age, pop up on your phone. If you like the photo, you swipe right; if you don’t, just swipe left. If the person likes you back, you get notified and—congratulations, it’s a match! Yay, you both find each other attractive! Now you are able to message your match and get to know more about them. 

I was initially intrigued by this idea because my friends and I had recently come to the conclusion that dating is dead. It seems as if our generation just doesn’t date, at least not in the traditional sense of the word. I thought this would be the most normal dating experience I’ve ever had. The romantic dinners always seem to come later, after I’ve already established a relationship with a guy. I’ve never gone out on a real getting-to-know-you-date before. And to be completely honest, I thought that as a transfer student in a new city, this would just be a good way to get out and meet people. I really didn’t have anything to lose so why not give that little red flame a chance?  

The more I thought about it, the more excited I got. I made my account, and started liking the guys I was attracted to (even though I felt bad about being so superficial). Getting a match, I’m ashamed to admit, is also kind of gratifying. I’m not going to lie; it does make me feel a bit more confident. (Okay, maybe I am a little superficial. Whatever.) 

The problem is that Tinder is not officially a “dating” app. If you download it looking for a relationship, you may be disappointed. There are plenty of men—and women—who are very clear they are only looking for hookups. The first day I downloaded the app, I was messaged by a match who’s “About” section read: “Girlfriend and I are looking for a threesome.” Umm, no thanks. Just be careful.

By far the most common opening line is “Hey :)”—very original. Those ones usually don’t receive a response, unless the guy is really cute. (Fine, I definitely can be superficial. Sue me.) The odd thing is, I’m almost immediately asked for my phone number. Can’t we talk on Tinder for a while? Is there some big rush for my digits?

I’ve been using Tinder for about two weeks and I think I’ve managed to find a couple of decent guys; I’ve also found a couple of assholes. One guy called me and the first question he asked was about my height and weight—at least I’m not that superficial (and rude). But I have my first date this week and I’m thinking it could be good. I’ll let you know.