If you hadn't noticed, dating apps have been around long enough that there are actual dating app clichés now. My least favorite dating app clichés include people who brag about their love for Oxford commas, people who use emoji bios, and people who say they "don't use this much" and then ask you to follow their lame Instagram profiles. As you probably learned back in high school English class, clichés are overused and you should avoid using them in your writing. So, just to see what would happen, I decided to try a few of the most popular ones out.
I wanted to know if people actually care that I like to travel (insert eternal eye-roll here) or that I think the shrimp emoji best describes my personality. Maybe the real problem, I thought, was that no one actually reads anyone else's bio. Maybe they're all too busy flooding their profiles with bogus, inspirational quotes they Googled five minutes ago to notice what anyone else has to say.
With this in mind, I set out to craft the most cliché-ridden profile ever. I managed to fit eight of them into my bio (but I've seen some truly ambitious people fit in way more). Here are the ones I used:
- Zodiac signs
- Personality type
- Love of travel
- Totally ~relatable~ quote
- Dog/cat/hamster/snake/emotional baggage is "part of the package"
- The Holy Grail, Netflix
I was off to a good start, obviously, but I knew my mission was incomplete without visual aids. I went HAM on Snapchat filters, selfies, dog photos, and pumpkins, bringing my cliché count to 12.
Here's what I looked like to the men ages 21 to 28 within 15 miles of me.
I was ready.
John's profile included a few clichés as well. Unsurprisingly, he is a "deep thinker" and a proponent of "good vibes" (only, duh). He's also "new to the area" and "looking to meet new and exciting people." OK, John.
If this wasn't perfect enough, John fell right into my setup with an opening line that included not one but two clichés — emojis and pizza. Then. Then! We proceed to have a very long-winded conversation about every basic girl's favorite food.
Amused? So was I. It got better, too. Since I put in my profile that I'm a Scorpio, John let me know his sign. I immediately Googled our compatibility because I got caught up in my own ruse. Luckily, John also recommended a book I should read to get more familiar with the signs.
Ultimately, he said his horoscope suggested he "ask a pretty girl to share an amazing pizza" (sure, John). Honestly, I was pretty surprised that he wound up asking me out, since I figured all those clichés would've been a serious turn-off. Maybe I'll go on the pizza date just to see what happens in real life.
Beau included a photo of his dog posing next to a glass of red wine. And no, he's not in the photo. Of course, I used this photo as my in with Beau.
I told him I was "looking for a partner in crime" (ugh, gross). "Someone who appreciates Oxford commas," I said (oh, come on). Still, nothing. Beau just kept on replying. For my final trick, I pulled out the big guns — study abroad.
He went on to tell me he thought this was "awesome." Clearly, Beau is just a much better person than I am.
I had high hopes for Beau because, ironically, his dog photo won me over. But the conversation felt forced... more like we were just grasping at tiny clues for material.
I asked Richard the same question John asked me: Pizza or tacos? It was too good to pass up. Richard responded more favorably to pizza. Surprise, surprise. He also didn't mind when I asked him how tall he was. I did slightly expect him to be offended by my asking since he neglected to include it.
But it turns out he didn't mind at all, because whoa, he's pretty tall.
Neil complimented my dog and, although I only put this photo up for this experiment, Neil is right. Taco is pretty cute. I wasn't done being annoying, though. I told him that, of course, Taco is a rescue (which is true) and that he's the love of my life because ~relatable~.
Neil was still into it and, honestly, I don't blame him. Ultimately, I liked that he was really trying to get to know me, but the conversation started to lag after awhile (not pictured here). I think that's because we had different interests.
Despite the haters who unapologetically make fun of dating app clichés, my matches didn't seem to mind them. To be honest, if I've learned anything from this experiment, it's that some dating app clichés actually make for great conversation starters. So, you there — pizza or tacos?
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