Q. I’m on Tinder but I always get into conversations that don’t lead to a date. I know that not every conversation is going to mean some sort of big night out but I feel like I’m going on less dates than my friends. Take a look at this conversation:
Him: Outrageous human? Where can on win that designation?
NOTE: My profile says that I’m an outrageous human.
Me: It was a daunting process but I got through it.
Him: Like becoming a Rhodes Scholar. How’s your night going?
Me: Good. Brushing my hair. Heading out for a friend’s bday and a show. U?
Him: That’s great. Love a good hair brushing. What’s the show? I’m just heading out with some friends for a drink. Nothing too crazy.
Me: Fun! I missed the show. Took too long brushing my hair.
Him: Ughhh! Story. Of. My. Life.
Me: It’s rough.
Then a few days later he asked about my weekend. Still no date planned. Why can’t he man up and ask me out? I feel like this is how everyone on Tinder is acting.
I hate the term “man up.” I know tons of men who go tanning, eat brunch, tell me about their new sneaker purchase, go to yoga, say they won’t get the fries with the chicken sandwich so they won’t feel fat, and don’t know how to fix a car, all while saying how much they love to cook. What could “man up” even mean in the year 2014? What do women want that term to mean? Hell, if I wrote a column about how girls need to “woman up” and start cleaning my apartment after blowing me, then Jezebel might explode. This question is the equivalent of this girl limply lying on the bed, starfish-style during sex and turning to the guy after he finishes to whisper, “Nice try, but next time get a little more creative.” Every conversation needs to have two people giving some sort of effort. I’m pro-feminist. I like when a girl gives a strong opinion, orders a steak, and plays director during the play called “The Box Whisperer.” But why would a guy “man up” and ask a girl out after a conversation like this one? Unless he’s a hair brushing enthusiast, I’d be holding back a drinks invite, too.
As a member of the Tinder community (orgy) I’ve been this guy. I’ve matched with the girl I thought was out of my league and decided to get the conversation going. At this point, every guy knows the pressure. Be funny, not creepy, and cast a wide net. You throw out the line referencing her bio or that you “have the same dress in blue” and hope she finds it funny enough for a conversation. You know by sending out that first message, you reveal you’re more interested than she is, and you halfway expect no response at all. If she does respond, you’re just hoping she has a question or goes with the joke long enough so you don’t have to think up another line. The worst case scenario is she just writes back a single “Ha!” almost toying with you. Here’s this acknowledgment of your attempt to be funny, but now try again and maybe she’ll ask about your weekend. It’s a complicated place to be–responsive, yet not at the same time. Does she even want me to give another try? Is she just being nice? “I wish she hadn’t answered at all” said the “man” as he takes a drag from a fifth of Beam on a Tuesday in his dark apartment only lit by the glow of the Tinder application on his phone.
I understand any girl’s apprehension. You’ve gotten enough “sit on my face” messages to think that’s Hallmark’s newest slogan. Why would you glowingly jump into any Tinder conversation ready to meet someone, yet knowing that the offer for an uncomfortable seat could come at any time. You have no idea what any guy’s interest is. Does he really want to meet someone new and, if things go well, explore a real, honest relationship between a man and a woman? Or does he want to get late night drinks, ask you over to his place, and offer you a seat as he points to his nose? With Tinder, you’re playing a game of creepy roulette that can make any conversation feel daunting.
My advice to this girl–and anyone in a similar position–is to stop trying to outsmart the room. I understand the temptation to play hard to get and make the guy come to you, but it won’t work unless you show a little interest in return. You’ve never met, so take some time to message and ASK QUESTIONS. Don’t be the conversational starfish lying there as you point at a clear space on your hip for him to climax. You’re a confident woman in the year 2014 who joined a dating application because you’re smart enough to be able to gauge whether a guy thinks his face should be spoken to or a couch cushion. Give some attention to the conversation and you’ll have a guy asking you out. And, better yet, you’ll know if he’s worth a split-check dinner. (JK. He should man up and pay.)