Seeing someone you know on Tinder is like running into a friend at McDonald's. It's not the sexiest of places to be spotted, but it does the trick, and the fries are excellent. Plus, there can be no shame because you're both in the same situation of late-night hunger... or thirst. (See what I did there?) I'm a firm believer in swiping right when you see someone you know on dating apps, whether you actually want to date them, bone them, or go get fries at the Golden Arches with them or not.
First, you should always swipe right on someone you know because it's hilarious. Being vulnerable enough to go on a dating app is brave, but also very silly. You literally use your thumb to be judgmental. Swiping right on people you know is like a knowing glance that says, "You, too? Isn't dating weird?" Plus, they'll only find out you swiped right on them if they swipe right on you, so you really have nothing to lose.
That said, there are a few ground rules I would recommend abiding by when it comes to engaging with people from your real life via dating app: 1) Don't swipe right on people from your romantic past... too sticky. 2) Don't swipe right on co-workers, especially if you are in a senior position. 3) Be prepared with a witty remark to send in case you do match with said human from your actual life. 4) Don't take their swipe right as an immediate "I want to date you." As for those first witty messages? Here are some offerings from yours truly:
1. "How many X-rated pics have you gotten on this so far?"
This works whether you match with a lady or a man you know from the real world, because no one likes these pics, but everybody likes talking about them. (For the record, I have never been accosted by an unsolicited one on the apps, but apparently, it's a thing.)
2. "Come here often?"
Cheese plus corn equals Smartfood popcorn, or cheese plus corn equals the perfect silly message to hit up that bartender from down the street with. Cheesy lines will work well with those whom know you IRL because there's no chance they'll take you seriously.
3. "[Insert Monkey Covering Eyes Emoji]"
If you are at all embarrassed to be on the apps, this emoji says it all.
4. "Oh, hello!"
This one's simple, straight to the point, and not flirtatious enough to make anyone you might see later that week uncomfortable. Brevity is golden.
5. "Will you tell me if I'm catfishing?"
Since you know this person in real life, and you've already matched on an app, why not use their familiarity with you in the flesh to your advantage? Again, I like this approach because there is no assumption that your mutual right-swipes mean that you want to get it on. (But then again... maybe you do.)
6. "I always had a mini crush on you."
This is for those of you who do want to get right into it with that person from that improv class you took, someone you went to college with back on the other side of the country, or anyone you genuinely crushed on in your past whom you don't have to worry about seeing later this week. Life is short, so why not be forward, you dig?
This could go one of two ways. Either your genuine amusement that you've been matched by an algorithm with a person you see on the regular will be communicated, or a more sensitive match might take this personally. Either way, the extraneous amount of "ha"s is a great move when you match with someone from your life whom you see often. (Remember, though: no co-workers.)
So there you have seven different messages to send out next time you match with someone whom you've actually interacted with outside of your phone. Who knows? Your barista might just be the love of your life. Stranger things have certainly happened, so keep swiping right no matter how silly it feels. You've got this.
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