We’ve all been there.
Swipe right. Swipe left. Swipe left. Swipe left. Swipe left. Swipe left a few more times. Swipe right.
Finally, a match. There’s a uniquely satisfying feeling of the Tinder match, even when you aren’t super interested in said person; but they have also shown interest in you, and you have proof. It’s a nice feeling and it’s a quick, short-lived, adrenaline rush much like the one when you have a superficial crush or see an attractive person at the bar you’d like to meet.
Now, you have the choice to “Keep Playing?” or “Send a Message!” For myself, and most girls (I assume), we keep playing. Tinder is, after all, 97 percent a game, 2 percent my gay guy friends’ enjoyment, and 1 percent secret hope that I’ll find a long-term, serious boyfriend like many of my friends have. For the record, the number of serious relationships I know that started on Tinder is actually outrageously high and I applaud that.
Obviously, many of you have already figured out how to successfully work Tinder; whether that means a hookup, date, relationship, friendship, etc. But what about the rest of us who have met a handful of matches IRL, but it didn’t work out?
This is where I seem to excel. The match-but-don’t-mesh scenario. Not because I’m particularly photogenic and don’t live up to the hype, or that I’m terribly boring in person, but because the idea of meeting someone online in lieu of a real spark, connection, flirtatious exchange, is terribly mundane and check-listy to me.
At this point, having met approximately 10 potential mates via Tinder and having realized the pseudo-attraction we may have had from pictures was short-lived and followed almost exclusively by boring conversation and the mutual realization that we know nothing about each other, outside of whatever weird facts we may or may not have chosen to include in our Tinder bio.
That leads to my story.
About 4 months ago, I went on a Tinder date. He was decent looking, charming enough, and we had plenty in common. On paper, this was actually a GREAT match. We had consistent, fun conversation. We even extended our “happy hour drinks” meeting to “dinner and a few more drinks.” But, eventually, the date ending and we parted ways.
A few text conversations were had and potential plans brought up, but nothing ever came to fruition. Honestly, this was fine with me, and I moved on with my life. But as soon as I forgot about this guy, that’s when it happened: he remembered me. On every platform possible.
About a month after our texting ceased, I got a Facebook friend request. It was him. I reluctantly accepted. My only real concern about this was that it created a platform for passive-aggressive, drunk attention. A like here, like there, and who knew what would happen. Luckily, the likes were minimal.
Then, about a month after the Facebook request, a Twitter follow. Now I was curious. Sure, it’s possible I came up on his “Who you may know” list on Facebook. Maybe also true for Twitter, but why – two months after our last actual interaction – would you decide, “yeah, I should follow her!”? Not to mention that for me, personally, Twitter is my most used, most personal, most embarrassing form of social media. Regardless, I’m not ‘private’ so, he didn’t need to actually follow me to see my tweets, if that’s what he wanted. But he followed me, letting me know he was there, reading my tweets. There wasn’t a lot I could do about this, so I more-or-less forgot about it. Went on with my tweets and my life.
A few weeks later, an Instagram follow. I know it seems weird to complain about followers on Instagram, but it was just strange. He hadn’t tried to talk to me, Facebook me, tweet me in the past few months, but he wanted to see what pictures I posted? Okay, fine. I’m not private here, either, so it’s his for the seeing.
Not a single retweet, favorite, or like in a month or so, and then it escalated: he friended me on Fitbit. Okay, I know this sounds like a petty request. But Fitbit!?!? Come on. This is one “network” I have fewer than 10 friends on, and they are all real-life, interactive friends who I do not mind seeing my overachieving days as well as my lazy AF Sundays. By this time, it has been over 4 months since our date, over 3 months since we have talked, texted, or any other such actual interaction, and over 2 months since I “accepted” your friend request on Facebook. This is where I draw the line. And what prompted me to educate the rest of you.
While the title of this article might indicate that I planned to tell you what you should do after a not-so-successful Tinder date, I am going to do the opposite. Here is what I can tell you from experience you should NOT do after a one-and-done Tinder date:
DO NOT ADD HER ON SOCIAL MEDIA NETWORKS SPORADICALLY OVER A 3 MONTH PERIOD AFTER 2 MONTHS HAVE PASSED SINCE YOU HAVE EVEN SPOKE. I know this is a very specific request, but you get the idea.
One network is kind of weird, but acceptable, I guess. Two? Getting a little creeped out. Three? Why are you doing this? What is your end game? FOUR? Oh goodness. You can guarantee, if I have control over whatever network this fourth one is, I will not be allowed you to see my posts/pictures/likes/check-ins/steps????/whatever it is, if possible.
Let’s be honest. Tinder is great. It is whatever you want it to be: hook up tool; relationship finder; online dating, only easier; a complete and total game; a time passer; hot-or-not for adults; whatever! Any way you fold it, it should not be a platform for stalkers, whether they realize what they are doing or not.
I actually (perhaps naively) believe that this particular guy had only good intentions. He was perfectly sweet before, during, and after our date. He continued to be polite during our conversations afterward. But come on. Now, however nice he really was, I won’t remember that. I’ll see his name and be terrified of what social media network he’s stalking now. Don’t do this. Just don’t. We may both look back on our one date fondly, and wonder why it never blossomed into anything more; perhaps both parties even wish it had. But it didn’t. Time has gone on, and you need to as well. Accept that you had a completely nice and fun evening with a somewhat attractive person, and move on.
As crazy as it might sound, I’m sure this was not the “one”, whether you found them via Tinder, Match, Christian Mingle, or even REAL LIFE. If one didn’t work out, let it go. There are plenty of fish in the sea. .
Image via Shutterstock