Really, Bro? The Psychology Behind The Douchey Pics Guys Use On Tinder

by Lauren Martin

Tinder gets a lot of flak. Half the reason women don’t use it is that they’re scared their wedding story will be: “We met on Tinder." Which, as everyone knows, is really: “We were both horny and wanted to f*ck.” Mazel Tov!

But why should Tinder be so embarrassing, so stigmatized? Don’t we swipe right in life all the time? Isn’t going to a bar just about the same selection process as staring into a screen? Aren’t we just scrolling through profiles until we come across a match?

According to Dr. Liraz Margalit,“The counter-intuitive truth is that Tinder actually provides users with all the information they need to make an informed first impression about a potential long-term mate. And it does so by matching our human evolutionary mechanism.”

It’s distilled reality. It’s a very noble way of presenting a very basic evolutionary process. It’s an actual representation of the first impression you have of a person... so why does it seems so sleazy?

Tinder may seem animalistic and basic because it is. Our cognitive systems work on very basic levels and Tinder adheres to that. Physical attractiveness is one of the most important determinants of whether or not we select a person or we swipe right.

From the time we are just 1 year old, we are more comfortable with attractive faces. That basic instinct to want to look at attractive faces is something that’s ingrained in our unconscious from our earliest years. Thus, Tinder profiles become the most important determinant of getting that second glance.

But what is attractive? What kind of evolutionary qualities should men give off to attract a mate? What does a woman see in a bar that she wouldn’t say no to on Tinder? What things on Tinder are the same douche level as real-life level?

Does a cowboy hat on Tinder say the same thing it says at a bar? Does a cowboy hat on Tinder say the same thing it does at the bar? Does a handlebar mustache give us that creepy feeling in the pit of our stomachs the same way it does online?

Fortunately, for women using Tinder, we can now see when you take those mirror selfies. It’s not something we will find out after two dates when we get back to your place and see the strategically-placed mirror above the bed and the chainsaw in the corner.

You have six pictures to make your most evolutionarily enticing impression. You have six tries to make us want to approach you.

You have six goddamn photos to not creep us out completely... so maybe think next time you post another photo of your abs.

The one in the mirror

You’re either European or you’re a douchebag. The two are usually mutually exclusive, but if you have that sexy accent, we can usually forgive you for it.

The one with you traveling

We get it, you’re cultured.... which, by your standards, means going away for a semester in college then using your parents' credit card to get f*cked up in as many cities as possible and take as many photos as possible to last you the next six years while you just play GTA and pretend you just got back from Thailand.

The one holding up a fish

You caught a fish. You’re rugged, outdoorsy and sporty. But can you mount me like a woodsman? We'll see.

The one at a Phish concert

I can already see us now. Phish tours for weeks on end. We’ll eventually grow dreads that become so long and tangled that we become one and decide to get married in the desert winds of Bonnaroo.

The one with your ex-girlfriend in the picture

Hmm, if he had such a close relationship with his ex and felt the need to use a picture of them as one of his six Tinder pictures, what does that say about him? Well, clearly, someone isn’t ready to start Tindering just yet.

The one with your current girlfriend in the picture

It’s just obvious, bro.

The one with the tigers

OK, bro, you paid a lot of money to chill with a drugged-out tiger on a trip to India you spent entirely in the resort.

The one with a child who’s not yours

Oh, please. Don't be so obvious. How many kids did you have to ask before you could find one that you could creepily hold while smiling?

The one with your sister

That’s cute, we’ll take it. Unless she’s hot, then it’s weird.

The one with your really hot sister

Nope, too weird. Shut it down. Take her off your lap.

The one with JUST YOUR FACE

I'm sorry but you will never, ever be that close to my face. Ever.

That one that’s a head shot

Are you planning to audition for me? I'd love to hear your Batman voice -- and maybe if you could just turn into Brad Pitt, that would be great.

The one at the gym

The point of working out is so we can tell you work out, not how many mirror selfies you take there.

The one at the beach

You're really going to risk dropping your phone in the ocean for a pic? Clearly sex is very important to you.

The one of you drinking

I'm already canceling our date at Mike's sports bar.

The one in the elevator

Yes, elevators have mirrors. Yes, they have buttons. Yes, we've seen a f*cking elevator before.

The one with the hat

Fine, you can have one picture with a hat. Now, take it off. Nope, third picture you still have it on. Come on, take it off. No, don't put your chin up. Put your head down! Head down! Yep, there it is... that receding hairline.

The one from three years ago

Someone's trying to still relive those last 3 pounds...

The one in a group

What are you hiding? Why do you look exactly like all your friends? What cult have you formed!??!