I Messaged My Matches On Dating Apps Using Only 'Elf' Quotes & It Helped Me Get To Know My Matches Faster

New Line Cinema

'Tis the season to cuff — or so we're told every year when the temperatures drop and the pressure to bring a date to one of your thousands of holiday parties rises. The holiday spirit coincides with a newfound urgency to couple up. It’s ironic that these two go hand-in-hand, since the motivation to mingle rapidly decreases the closer you get to New Year’s Eve, when the freezing winds (hello, polar vortex) and diminishing daylight (fading alongside the remnants of your summer tan) encourage hibernation.

Dating apps are excellent for those of us who’d prefer to watch Stranger Things on the couch for the 100th time rather than brave the cold. But I must confess that my attention span for dating apps has always been extremely limited. I’d get bored by the endless back-and-forth with strangers about how your weekend was — I don’t actually care, I don’t know you. The mundane banter is like talking to an away message (RIP), except your crush’s middle school away message was far more intriguing than this roulette: "Hey there, happy Monday! Big plans for the weekend? Hope you’re staying warm. ☺"

Since conversations seem to follow a script, I decided I’d update mine for the holidays by messaging all my matches using only Elf quotes. Their reactions were far more revealing (and, more importantly, more amusing) than your average dating app chatter. While a few picked up on what I was doing immediately, more often than not, my messages were taken at face-value. “Are you intoxicated, Katherine?" I was asked. "Do you have friends?" Which, to be fair, are valid questions. Here’s what happened when I impersonated Buddy the Elf.

1. The Guy I Answered Three Years Later

I have major respect for this guy — not only is he unbothered by the fact that I waited a solid three years to message him back, he also got on my deranged North Pole-level fairly quickly. "Real recognize real," indeed. Add to that a promising ability to compromise and an affinity for Adele, and you have a match made in heaven. Maybe my sporadic and delinquent behavior on these apps is causing some missed connections with characters who really get me. I love you too, Will, whoever you are.

2. The Guy Who Didn’t Care What I Said, Only How I Looked

Who says love is blind? Not Mikeli. Although, based on what I said, it’s probably for the best that he values looks over personality. Also — my photos were definitely visible, as demonstrated by Guy #5.

3. The Guy Who Just Needed A Hug

Don’t we all? Although I relate to this guy emotionally, his writing skills leave much to be desired. You’re turning off potential matches with your oblivious grammatical mistakes, Bryant.

4. The Guy Who Asked The Hard-Hitting Questions

Alternate title for this conversation: The Guy Who Sounded Too Much Like The Inside of My Brain. “Katherine, are you intoxicated? Do you have friends?” Super valid questions, actually. Given the timestamps, these are certainly valid inquiries. But hello, Hyun, this is all journalistic research. Haven’t you ever heard of investigative reporting? I’m slouching towards Bethlehem one awkward conversation at a time.

That being said, the guy certainly hit on some truth here. Even when I am being serious, half the things I say don’t make much sense anyway (or so I am told). So, Hyun, wherever you are: You are definitely onto me. Also, #TBT to the iPhone glitch that turned all declarative sentences into incomprehensible symbols — my karma, I suppose, for insulting Guy #3's spelling.

5. The Guy Who Claimed He Was Santa

Again, with the hard-hitting questions. Am I a bot? Who knows. At that moment, for all intents and purposes — most certainly. I also enjoyed the philosophical opening question — there is, indeed, a very thin line between optimism and desperation, and I would have loved to have gotten into that conversation with him… if only I weren’t pretending to be an elf played by Will Ferrell.

I also appreciated the Gwyneth Paltrow comment (risky, yet appreciated — I’ve always loved her divisive GOOPiness), and the nail-filing cat spoke to me on a spiritual level. But the conversation ended there. What do I do on a boring Sunday night? Message strangers on the internet, pretending to be an elf.

6. The Guy Who Was Genuinely Happy For Me

I aspire to this guy’s level of supreme chill. I’m envisioning Rihanna-style levels of DGAF, exiting the club with a full glass of Chardonnay. So, you walked through a Candy Cane forest, through a sea of gum drops, and finally through the Lincoln Tunnel? "Lol." "Good for you." Indeed, my friend. Indeed.

7. The Guy Who Commended My Pick-Up Line

Coming from a shirtless guy taking a mirror selfie, I’ll take this as a high compliment. "What’s your favorite color?" is the new "Going to Whole Foods, need me to pick you up anything?" Come at me, Aziz Ansari.

8. The Guy Who Was Too Perfect To Harass

That is wonderful news, Scott. I agree wholeheartedly. I wondered if this was some kind of real-life missed connection, and I was finally meeting someone who shared my unbridled enthusiasm for all things dog-related. Regardless, it felt unfair to continue to lead him down my rabbit hole of elfin trickery. Scott, you are the one who got away.

In conclusion, I highly recommend this activity to anyone willing to look like a total freak in the name of romantic research. I got a sense of my match’s personalities much faster than I would have by messaging them normally. Consider it a more time-efficient Myers-Briggs test.

Chances are, if they’re unbothered by your inanity on dating apps, they will be more accepting of the rest of your weirdness when you meet up for drinks. At the very least, it’s a festive endeavor. After all, the best way to spread Christmas cheer is swiping and bantering for all to hear.

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