Let me set the scene for you: It's an uneventful Tuesday night, you're chilling at home with your laptop open and the TV on in the background (ugh, Millennials, am I right?), and casually chatting with a new guy you just matched with on Tinder. The conversation is run-of-the-mill getting to know each other stuff, until BOOM — Prince Charming hits you with the classic, "so, like, what are you wearing right now? lol."
It's a tragic tale that every girl who's ever dipped her toe into the dating pool is far too familiar with. And while the method of how people date has certainly changed over time, one thing remains constant: Annoying guys will always be there, popping up like a game of whack-a-mole, their chorus of “you up?” and “send pics ;-)” haunting your dreams.
But don't despair, because there's hope on the horizon. And that hope comes in the form of Tinder's new Reactions feature.
Here's how it works. Reactions, which are essentially graphics that temporarily take over your chat conversation, come in two sets. One is available to both men and women, and it includes clapping, laughing, and heart emojis for when you or your match wants to punctuate a message with good vibes.
The other set of Reactions is a little more, ahem, spirited. They’re ONLY available for women to send to men. There are five ladies-only Reactions in total, including an eye roll, a “really…?!” button, and a big red X that counts strikes (three strikes and he’s outta here).
Now, just to clarify: We (obviously) know that every guy isn’t out there plotting to ambush unsuspecting girls on Tinder with gross messages. So, to the good guys out there, thank you. We’re proud of you, and we can bet your moms are too.
In all seriousness, though, Reactions aren’t meant to shame all the guys in the Tindersphere. Reactions help women call out guys who don’t treat them with respect, essentially making room for the kinds of nice guys who (my married friends will confirm) are out there. The great thing about this feature is that it’ll ONLY put you in your place if you’re acting like a d-bag or any other less-than-decent iteration of the modern man.
And in that case, it’s safe to say you had it coming.
But enough about how this new feature affects guys. Just as (read: more) important, Tinder Reactions are a fun way for women to gain autonomy when it comes to messaging with their matches, and in a larger sense, take back control of their dating lives.
Reactions speak louder than simply unmatching someone ever could, because they deliver a dose of desperately-needed feedback to the biggest offenders out there.
And at the end of the day, that’s the whole point of online dating: finding the people who are actually worth meeting among the swiping masses. And, you know, if you can help someone become a little less douchey in the process, then you’ve basically done an act of charity.
But don’t take my word for it. Put Tinder’s Reactions to the test in your own dating life — they’re officially rolling out on October 4.
This article is sponsored by Tinder.