Stay Static or Look Erratic: Navigating the Dating Apps

Whenever I had the urge to change my Tinder profile, I used to ask myself, “What if someone notices? What if my one of my dates sees my refurbished bio or my new pics?” I would sit there confused, paranoid everyone would know I’m a ho. After much inner turmoil, I’d always end up with the exact same profile. The struggle was real. Then one day everything suddenly made sense, and I realized – I’m doing precisely what I’m supposed to be doing: Nothing.

Advancing Through the Treacheries of Tinder

Back when I was a Tinder n00b, I’d often wonder, “Why does this dude have the same photos and bio as he did 10 months ago?” Due to my ignorance at the time, I assumed laziness; however, since I’ve transcended from N00b Tinderer to Tinder Veteran, I finally get it. Those studs aren’t slothy in the slightest. They’re stealthy-sketch. And now, I am too!

Gremlins: A Phoebe Cates Christmas Special

In “My First Quick Draft,” I mentioned I started to fall for one of the hunks in my harem. This guy, let’s call him Gizmo (He’s cute and cuddly, but I haven’t ruled out the possibility that he’s really just a gremlin.) slowly became the person I was seeing the most. We made plans to meet almost consistently. We became acquainted with one another’s roommates. We hung out with each other’s friends. It got to the point where I started to feel guilty for dating other people and writing this blog. I began contemplating potential confessions or exit strategies for when things inevitably got too serious. I imagined what I would say. I pictured how he would react. I had my back-up plans on lock.

Then I looked at his Tinder profile.

Gizmo the Gremlin had changed his bio! When did this happen? Was it the first week we met? Was it yesterday? Did it even matter?

Here I was, thinking I was the scumbag, when the truth is: We’re ALL scumbags!

Red Flag Football 

I’m not one to blindly draw conclusions from small shreds of evidence, but when you start to see the red flags cluster,  you need to accept reality. That bio change was only a minor offense in the midst of the other dating faux pas Gizmo had violated since we’ve been involved. Allow me to elaborate:

  • He planned to embark on a month-long sailing trip out of the country and didn’t bother to tell me until after things fell through. He legit had his room emptied and ready to sublet!
  • He didn’t invite me to his Halloween party. He kept referring to it as “the event thing” he was putting together with his roommates. Um, please.
  • His texting schedule screams “fuckboy.” I am an unacceptably shitty texter such that any self-respecting male should stop talking to me. I take advantage of my deceptively innocent persona and write off my six-day response gap as a result of my sweet, quirky aloofness. That being said, if I’m complaining about response rates, you know it’s bad.

Salt Bae

I’m not going to lie – I was rather salty about the bio change and Halloween diss. I invited Gizmo to MY party (Mostly because my roommate already told him about it, but how would he know that?). And sure, I’m seeing other people too, but my Tinder profile is untouched and my actions are untraceable. As far as he knows, I’m a saint. Obviously that doesn’t excuse me or make anything I’m doing okay, but it does highlight his lack of discretion and subtlety.

Because of the salt I accumulated from Gizmo’s gremlining, I backed off for a while. I went on a swiping rampage and accidentally racked up more phone numbers than I could physically handle. I’m still dealing with the fallout from the aftermath. Ughh.

Gizmo and I are cool now. I’ve reconciled with his potential shadiness, which allows me to continue in full fuckboy mode with a clear conscience. Not everyone can be as (un)lucky as Gizmo though. Most girls would be pissed.

Dominating the Dating Apps

Don’t be gauche like Gizmo. If you want to be a successful serial-dating scumbag, here are some sick strats:

  1.  Make sure your dating profile is fire the first time around. If you don’t want your hos in the know, don’t leave trails behind. You can never be sure who’s creeping. The second you swap out your pics or add a new emoji to your bio, you’re inviting mistrust. If I’m aware, others are too. Play like a pro, and keep it downlow.
  2. Detach and unmatch. Realistically, not everyone can hang with tip #1. But all hope is not lost! There are other ways. If your bio is still in beta testing mode, use this quick hack to cover your tracks: Every time you acquire a date’s digits, unmatch with them. Once you unmatch, they can no longer keep tabs on your profile tweaks. If your date tries to lurk on you, they’ll be very confused; perhaps they’ll even think you’ve ditched the app. Bonus points!
  3. Establish your busy schedule and shitty texting capabilities from the beginning. Whether or not we’re conscious of it, we notice patterns. If you keep your patterns consistent nobody will question you, but the moment you switch it up people tend to get suspicious. Assume the role of the sweet but forgetful lover, and avoid being branded as the erratic asshole. Stay static.
  4. Do not add anyone on social media. Do your friends geotag you on Facebook? Have you been posting party pics on Instagram? Are you Snapchatting about doing nothing on a Friday night? Even if you answered, “No,” to all the above, just because you’re not a big poster, doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. Maybe YOU won’t advertise anything about wine tasting in Napa on the weekend you told your sidepiece you were home sick – but what if your BFF does? Social media sites are all about connecting people. Simply by adding someone, you’re opening the door to them adding your friends or to your friends adding them – especially if you’ve violated point #5. How can you continue to excuse your shifty texting habits if you’re literally flowercrowning in pajamas all day? You can’t control your privacy if you let people build windows all around you.
  5. Keep them away from your friends, family, and roommates. Only trusted, core friends are acceptable. Can you guarantee Big Mouth Betty won’t blab about your birthday bash to Benny the Backup? Probably not. The more you involve your dates in your life, the more they will know and the less you can hide. Be aware of the consequences of integration.
You’re welcome.

Stay tuned for upcoming posts such as “Fuckers I’m Dating: November Edition” and “What Happened to the Fuckers From August?”

9 thoughts on “Stay Static or Look Erratic: Navigating the Dating Apps”

  1. This is brilliant and, admittedly, something that had never occurred to me! Damn, I’ll have to rethink swapping photos unless I’ve unmatched first. Great advice.

  2. I threw up in my mouth a little after pretty much every sentence I read. Your life sounds empty and terrible. And this whole facade of yours will crumble in ten years…. Good luck.

  3. Brilliant. I like any advice that involves doing less/being lazy/”flowercrowning in pajamas all day”.

    I also think it’s shady when a dude I’ve been seeing for over a month doesn’t invite me to his company’s holiday party and just says he’s busy with a “work event”. C’mon, dude. I know you have a plus one, and if it’s not me, I’m outtie.

  4. So what’s the end goal?

    – Sex
    – Company
    – Long term


    Great blog!

    1. The end goal for me is never sex. That’s more of a byproduct. There are many goals; the main one is to tell a story. But I would also like to experience adventure, make social waves, gain writing cred, and have an excuse to create ridiculous cartoons on MS Paint. I’ve always had juicy stories fall into my lap, and I’ve always wanted to write. Now I’m leveraging one to facilitate the other.

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