Gabi Conti
March 22, 2014 9:00 am

Congratulations! You just joined Tinder, the free mobile app that enables you to match with other local “singles” as long as you both find each other attractive.

You’ve mustered up the courage and roughly five minutes it takes to connect to your Facebook account and to select one to five of your most flattering photos. Maybe you even outdid yourself and wrote an under 500-character bio (that’s like three tweets!). And now you’re here, on a Tuesday night, swiping rarely right (hot) and mostly left (not). You’re an independent woman in charge of your destiny. You go girl!

Everything is going great! You have ten matches. Of course you do! (Thanks, skinny arm!) And then you realize something… NO ONE IS MESSAGING YOU.

It’s statistically proven that men swipe right more than girls. Which leads us to this Tinder epidemic: matches without messages. So then you can’t help but wonder, if Mike 26 really finds you attractive, WHY ISN’T HE ASKING YOU “WHAT’S UP”?! You could feel sorry for yourself.  Or you could take dating advice from someone who is defiantly not qualified to be giving you dating advice and message him first…

This is 2014, after all. If chivalry is in fact dead, then it’s up to us females to make the first move. You know, for feminism! (I don’t think I know what feminism means…)

Now you may be wondering: Um… what do I say?! Well, I did the fieldwork for you. Here are some ways to start a conversation on Tinder:

1. Make sure he’s not a ghost

But seriously. What is going on in this picture?

2. Be observant! Commenting on his profile picture can be a GREAT icebreaker.

All of his photos were marathon related. I couldn’t help myself…

3. Share your hobbies!

Excuse my typos, I was so excited when I thought I FINALLY found someone who shared my love for the 1920s!

4. Don’t settle for “LOL”.

LOL! No!

5. Confront the red flags.

Sad face. I thought we had something special.

6. Give constructive criticism! Guys LOVE that!

I still wonder what drives a man to grow a goatee, look in the mirror and say to himself, “Yes, I am pulling this off.”

7.  Curiousity may have killed the cat, but you’re not a cat! (Unless you are a cat, then that’s cool!) Ask him the hard-hitting questions!

No, but seriously. WHO IS TAKING THESE PHOTOS?! This STILL keeps me awake at night.

Again, this is dating advice from someone who is definitely not qualified to give you dating advice.

So naturally, NONE of these conversation starters worked.

Some led to flat out being ignored, others led to being blocked, a few led to the response, “What is wrong with you?!” I have no regrets. I’d rather KNOW that Mike26, who also likes Modern Family and The Simpsons, isn’t right for me from the start, instead of wasting each other’s time aimlessly nursing vodka sodas on a Tuesday. Time that could’ve been better spent finally getting around to finally watching True Detective.

Online dating is like shopping at an outlet mall. Most goods are damaged. Many are not your style. And you probably have to cross the 405 to get there. But if you look long enough, you might find a gem.  Against my mother’s wishes, I went on a few dates with nice guys I met on Tinder who saw the humor in my terrible “pick up lines.” Which is really the point of my approach. There are a lot of creeps on Tinder. Messaging them first with a joke can help you distinguish the creeps from the crushes. Be wary. Be honest. And most importantly be yourself. For feminism. (Again, I don’t think I know what feminism means…) Together we can stop this Tinder epidemic of matches without messages. What do you think, Tinderella? Does anyone actually find love in the hopeless place that is Tinder?

Images via my iPhone and here.

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