I’m 28 years old. I’m as single as a dryer sock. Like literally haven’t sent a “goodnight :)” text since the second season of Breaking Bad. If you’re like my mom, you may be worried about my crippling fear of commitment or my inability to love anything more than myself, but RELAX MOM, I’ll know it when I have it. And being super-single is liberating in many ways. I only have to pay for one dinner, I don’t have to pretend Orange is the New Black is a funny show, and I’m not constantly being questioned about cracking open a beer at 10 am on a Tuesday. Answer: This is fucking America, babe.
But that’s not to say that I don’t long for the tender touch of a woman. Or a woman’s scent. Or her moral compass. Or the way her nose crinkled when she laughed at my jokes. Or how she would always keep napkins in her purse when I prematurely dove into a fleet of BBQ wings GOD DAMNIT PAIGE WHAT HAPPENED TO US!?
Just kidding, bros. I’m over it. I’m over it. I’m so over it, I decided to jump on Tinder in hopes of filling the void with strangers who I only know through five pictures and their love of ‘traveling and adventures.’ Seemed legit.
At 28, I’m in the twilight of my Tinder career. I know this. I’m aware that I’m Brett Favre on the Jets right now, I may have something left in the tank but I should probably just retire before I send a cheerleader unsolicited dick pics and tarnish my legacy. But now, I have the crutch of possibly being perceived by Tinder girls as their older brother’s cool, experienced friend with a motorcycle and a moderate drinking problem that is perceived as more ‘edgy’ than ‘dangerous.’ In a year, I’m the creepy uncle at the BBQ wearing jean shorts and a letterman jacket showing younger girls my tattoos. I won’t be that guy. I can’t be that guy. Fuck, am I that guy? Don’t answer that shit.
IN MY DEFENSE, when almost all of my friends here are hitched up and when sometimes it seems like girls in NYC won’t look at you unless you have a man bun, an album coming out, or a really cool pair of pants, Tinder sometimes seems like my lifeline. Like my only friend. Ok, that was probably the saddest sentence I’ve ever written. But for real, I need to get a cool, well-fitting pair of pants when I have the money.
And I’m a decent looking dude. Like there’s nothing structurally wrong with me. My mom’s friends always comment on my Facebook pics with things like “Handsome” and “Diane, he has your eyes!” so if that’s any indication, I’m fucking Channing Tatum to the 60-somethings. And I get a fair amount of Tinder matches. But more often than not, when I try to drum up a conversation and ask them questions I really don’t care to know the answer to, I feel like a member of the media talking to Bill Belichick after a loss. The silence is deafening.
So, I needed to go back to the Tinder drawing board. Adjust my value prop. And it starts with the pictures. I was previously following the same tired formula that most Tinder users employ. For those of you who aren’t nuanced in the Tinder profile pic selection process, here’s more or less how it works.
Picture 1: You 2.0
This is hands down the best picture ever taken of you. It’s not really you, its just what you hope to look like if the stars aligned or there was a glitch in the Matrix or something. It’s more of an overpromise than your LinkedIn job title (“Porfolio Specialist”– sure you are, bro). These pics are the Stefan to your Steve Urkel. Or in other words, it’s the Big Mac in the commercial to the one you get at 2 am coming home from the bar.
If I ever go missing, I’d like the picture on the left to be used in the flyers posted around town. I think we can all agree that I’m an absolute smokeshow in that one. The picture on the right is probably why I went missing to begin with. And ya, that’s a mayo sandwich and a flip phone.
Picture 2: The Group Friend Pic
You want to let her know that other people are capable of liking you. Friends are a reflection of self, so it’s probably best to leave out the friend who still wears jean cargo shorts and has a snaggle tooth. It’s also important to give her a visual of the people she’ll get mad at you for hanging out with too much in six months.
Picture 3: Mr. Adventure
You at the Grand Canyon or the Coliseum or the French Riviera. What matters here is to remind her that you once used your parents money to explore the world, but now daddy’s cut you off because you’re an adult, and you can hardly afford a subway pass, never mind a European excursion. You must make it clear that the closest thing you’re getting to taking her to an exotic place is lunch at the Rainforest Café.
Picture 4: Mr. Buttoned-Up
A pic of you in a suit. She probably wants to know you have an important job that requires you to dress-to-impress but if you’re like me you’re only wearing it because it’s your grandfathers funeral and you’re probably free balling because you ran out of clean undies. Perception isn’t everything, bros. It’s the only thing.
But, fuck that formula. The definition of insanity is swiping right over and over with the same profile pics and expecting a different result. Needed to swallow my pride and switch it up. I understand the only ones who say ‘girls love douchebags’ are douchebags, but I logged on Facebook the other night and saw Bruce Harrison from high school got engaged to an absolute stunner. An 11/10. Bruce was a fucking dickbag in high school. King douchebag. Preyed on the weak. Exposed your flaws. I think I can speak for the entire class of 2005 when I say we wished the worst upon Bruce and his family. It pains me to admit that he gave me the idea to emulate his douchebaggery on Tinder to see if my luck changed.
So I took pictures of the myself being different types of douche-nozzle and uploaded them as my profile pics. Also changed my ‘bio’ to let girls no of my true intentions. Check out the cornucopia of douchbaggery below.
Chicks love athletes. Letting them know “hey, I won the JV Coaches Award as a Senior” and showing off the slew of trophies that you picked up at a garage sale is basically playing with cheat codes. Throw in some Russell Athletic sweat shorts with a moderate bulge and they’ll instantly forget you’ve skipped leg day for 28 years.
Right now Ed Sheeran is having sexual intercourse with girls who wouldn’t even glance in my direction. I love Ed, but fuck, he kinda looks like the drug dealer who never left my hometown. Point is, musicians are an advanced breed in women’s eyes, so learn a few chords of ‘Wonderwall’ and play it around a campfire to woo the women and piss off the dudes.
No one has ever been happier than a girl riding a wine drunk wave. They don’t even care that after a few glasses their mouths look like they just blew the Kool-Aid man. So it’s important to connect with them over a wine with a cool label. Make sure you sniff the wine for a minimum of eight minutes to let the tannins breathe or something. While you’re waiting for your wine to exfoliate, talk condescendingly to anyone in your presence who doesn’t have an Ivy League degree to establish yourself as an Alpha.
Girls like dudes who can protect them. That’s why is imperative to throw a haymaker at anyone in the club who looks in her direction. In every picture, make a kissy-face and throw up the deuces because girls want to know that you’re affectionate but also want to know how many years you spent in community college.
Once my prof pics were douche-ified, I swiped for a good 15 minutes and went to bed. I woke up to this:
Matches went up about 1000%, coversations started flowing like I was Bieber at a Sweet 16 party. It worked. And I can’t say that I’m proud of using a shameless gimmick to lure women, but when did I ever claim to have any integrity?
Bros, I’m looking for an intern to manage my matches going forward. I can pay you in weed and whatever miscellaneous skunked beer are in my fridge. Inquire within about that job opening.
And hey, good luck out there.