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5 Types of People to Avoid When Looking for Love on Tinder

5 Types of People to Avoid When Looking for Love on Tinder

Times are tough, people, and most of us resort to online dating at one point or another to explore our options. To get your feet wet, you’ll probably dip into a free dating app, like Tinder. This easy-access route can be dangerous territory, diving into the shallow end of a pool filled with inappropriate photos, dull conversation, and dates that leave you stranded downtown and then repeatedly stalk you. But there’s hope yet. Finding love on Tinder—at the very least, knowing how to weed out the bad apples—is easier than you might think.

The following tips come from firsthand experience of my on-again, off-again relationship with Tinder (before I met my boyfriend—through Tinder), and the (mostly horror) stories I’ve heard from my girlfriends.

5 Types of People to Avoid When Looking for Love on Tinder

1. Mysterious (Magic) Mike. My girlfriend Kaitlin (not her real name) could write a book about her Tinder tales. On one particular rampage, she “matched” with a man who was attractive, in shape, and seemingly nice. They started chatting here and there, and eventually she asked him what he did for work. It became clear that he didn’t want to answer, eventually settling on, “I work in a couple of clubs around Miami.” When she dug deeper, he said he was a bartender. It wasn’t until after they met, went on a date, and had sex that he told her he was, in fact, a stripper. Who was married. With a crazy wife who would go on to stalk Kaitlin for months, trying to get information that she couldn’t from her husband. The lesson here? Be wary of matches that get sketchy about answering basic questions. And always listen to your gut instinct. If something doesn’t feel right, it’s probably not.

2. Superficial Steve. It usually doesn’t take long to tell whether someone is genuine with good intentions. I was having a great conversation with a man on Tinder once when, suddenly, he started firing off 20 questions. It took about five minutes for me to catch on that he was looking for a prized arm piece when he asked what I would wear if he took me on a date. Maybe it’s a personal preference, but what I choose to wear should not be one of the first things you try to get to know about me. Another time, I met up with someone for coffee, which turned into drinks. By the end of the night, everyone around us knew he worked at Harvard—because he name-dropped to no end. Needless to say, we never went out again.

3. Party on, Wayne. A person’s Tinder photos tell you a lot about their vibe. If a potential date mainly posts pictures of them raging, they're probably not looking to settle down. Another girlfriend of mine, Amy (not her real name), went on a few Tinder dates after moving to a big, new city. Many of the guys she dated were a few years younger, in their mid-20’s, and they always wound up taking her to a bar. In the end, despite what they led her to believe with their words, they weren’t looking for anything serious. Learn to judge a person’s intentions by what they do (or don’t do), not by what they say. People often put out into the universe what they wish to attract, and if their party pants are on (or, even more, off) in a majority of their photos, it’s probably a clear indication they’re still looking to have fun with no solid commitment. If that’s not the lifestyle you want, don’t try to convince yourself that you’ll get them to change. You won’t.

4. Late-night lurker. This red flag is an obvious one that some of us choose to ignore. If a match repeatedly tries to start a conversation after 10 p.m. only, there’s a good chance they’re not looking for love. There are exceptions, but these can be filtered out based on the context of the conversation. Is your match actually trying to get to know you? Or are they more concerned about your late-night plans, what kind of beer you drink, and where you go out for fun? Someone’s intentions can be read more clearly when you actually meet them face-to-face, but only if you feel comfortable doing so (and, for safety reasons, it should be in a public place).

5. Why so serious? The purpose of dating is to get to know someone before making them a priority in your life. As we get older, it’s important to be more selective so as not to waste each other’s time. With that being said, the first date should not be an unnatural, high-pressure zone. During our date, the Harvard employee mentioned above told me he had a brother who just moved to Boston with him. Naturally, I started asking questions to keep the conversation going — did they live together? Are they close in age? He took my inquisition as me being more interested in his brother than him. At the end of the date, after much similar behavior, he asked me straight-up whether I saw this going anywhere. I couldn’t, so I politely told him we probably wouldn’t be a good fit, but it was great getting to know him. This rejection caused him to storm out of the restaurant, yelling at me for not giving him a chance to prove his husband-like abilities (the poor al fresco diners!). It’s important to be picky, but don’t set high, unrealistic expectations for the first date. If you do, you’ll drive yourself crazy and forget to have fun, chalking up each date as a learning experience.

Do you have any Tinder tips or online dating stories you’d like to share? Feel free to leave them in the comments below!

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