“Congratulations! You have a new match!” flashes on your phone, and understandably, you’re excited.
How excited? Well, that depends…
If you’re a man: FINALLY! One of the last 137 women you blindly swiped right while sitting on the john or in between sets at the gym has finally swiped you back. Let’s try not to f*ck it up this time.
If you’re a woman: You literally just swiped right, and obviously you matched with him, because you match with nearly every guy you swipe right. And you only swiped on this particular guy because he specified his height (taller than you), shares a name with your childhood Lab (RIP Max) and you just happened to be into dark hair and brown eyes today.
He opens conversation with a classic F*ck, Marry, Kill (Ted Bundy, Hannibal Lecter, Osama Bin Laden). She eats it up. A few more messages back and forth and not once does he mention his dick or ask her to sit on his face, and she doesn’t make one “Sex And The City” reference, nor does she identify herself solely with her love for pizza and/or Netflix.
Everything is going great. You guys start talking about meeting up, and you agree on drinks tomorrow night. And the moment you solidify your plans, an earth-shattering question pops into your head, a question that sends you spiraling down the rabbit hole -- what if your Tinder date isn’t hot in real life?
What if your date doesn’t look anywhere near as good as he or she does in those five pictures?
Because that’s what you’re really on Tinder for, right? To get laid. Otherwise, if you’re looking to find "love," you should definitely be looking elsewhere.
“Not true, Kevin,” you’re thinking to yourself, recalling your one friend and his or her BAE, both of whom met on Tinder and are happily in love.
Well, yes, some people have found “love” on Tinder, just like if you wanted, you could order salad and eat healthy on Seamless, but that’s not what it’s there for. Both apps are there so you can indulge your short-term, late-night, usually alcohol-fueled urges and desires -- which are then followed by deep-seeded feelings of regret the next morning. But I digress.
The main purpose of Tinder is to get laid, and you do not want to get yourself in a situation where you think you’ve lined up a sure thing, only to meet with some Bizzaro version of the person you envisioned.
Because, let’s face it; we’ve been training since the MySpace angles days to make ourselves look overly flattering in pictures: skinny arms, sucked-in guts, Instagram filters. There’s a reason we all have “Photoshop” on our résumés, and it’s not because we were all super attentive in our graphic design classes.
So with a profile of only five (sometimes less) handpicked pictures at your disposal, you need to keep an eye out for any clues you can find that might lead you to safely conclude, beyond a reasonable doubt, that your Tinder date is, in fact, hot in real life.
Your date is only as hot as his or her ugliest picture
This should be forever dubbed “The Golden Rule of Tinder.”
Ignore the professionally taken headshots he had taken by the shady “model agent” at the mall or the scandalous shot taken by her “photographer” boyfriend.
How does this person look drunk as f*ck at the office Christmas party with the camera flash BLARING in a full head-on shot of his face?
Your date doesn’t JUST have selfies
One selfie. Two tops if he’s making a funny, ugly face in one or she’s standing on top of the Cliffs of Moher.
Selfies just aren’t accurate barometers of a person’s objective attractiveness. When your date has total control of his or her facial expression, the camera angle, lighting, filter and can take as many shots as he or she pleases, the product is a “perfect” version of your future date, who will likely look different to you under real-life bar lighting -- or through beer goggles.
Your date looks consistent in his or her photos
First picture: Oh, she’s really cute.
Second picture: What? Which one is she? Oh right, there. Ok, she can still get it.
Third picture: Who the f*ck? Where’d she go?
Fourth picture: This is just a blurry selfie of some girl’s face with... maybe Chris Evans (?)… shadily in the background in, what looks to be, Comic Con? I hope?
Fifth picture: A repeat of the weird ass fourth picture.
If his or her appearance is inconsistent in every photo, RUN. IT’S A TRAP.
Your date pays mind to his or her sequence of photos
In the first two or three photos, your date needs to fully establish that he or she is attractive. No bullsh*t.
If she wants to make a funny face to show she’s quirky and has a great personality or he wants to post a blurry pic of him playing bass with his band to show he’s musically inclined, that’s fine, but, please, save it for the fourth or fifth pic because no one will give a sh*t about either if the person isn't attractive.
Your date has EVERY photo slot filled
Why the f*ck does he only have two picture slots filled for? Does he not have a life? Is he so hideous that no one dares to take a picture with him out of pure embarrassment?
Why are three of this chick’s four pictures the same black-and-white model shot? Is this the only good picture she has?
The answer to both: yes.
Your date looks hot in group pictures, but not JUST group pictures
Group pictures are great; they show how your date compares directly to other people out there, and usually, if your date has attractive friends, he or she is probably attractive as well.
If your date has ONLY group pictures, however, he or she might NEED other people to hold up a picture if he or she cannot hold up a picture solo.
Having all group photos can be just as bad as having all selfies.
Your date isn’t including things in his or her photos just to distract you
Aw, is he a zookeeper? Does she work in a dog pound? Those animals are adorable!
But, wait, is your date cute, or is the baby golden retriever in the picture cute? F*ck.
Your date isn’t hiding behind sunglasses
No one looks bad when he or she is wearing giant Ray-Bans that cover his or her entire f*cking face.
Make sure you aren’t looking at things through your own pair of rose-tinted glasses, and don’t fall for your date's Gucci disguise.
Your date has pictures with the opposite sex
I mean, if you are going to spend time with this person, it’s nice to at least know someone else of the opposite sex spent time with your date as well.
But just make sure…
Your date doesn’t have MULTIPLE pics with the SAME person of the opposite sex
Who is that? His sister? Her cousin? No f*cking way. Can’t be. No one has f*cking siblings anymore. That’s your date's lover, and you better get the f*ck out of there.
Your date has a “personality pic”
All in all, you have to make sure your date has a personality pic.
Maybe it’s a picture of him at his college graduation in those dumbass robes or a picture of her stuffing her face with birthday cake. These are pictures that show your date’s true self beyond just what he or she looks like on the outside.
Not to mention, if your date has the wherewithal to post these kind of candid, true, honest pictures, he or she is clearly a very confident person -- and confidence is always hot.