To The Guy Who Made Me Change My Tinder Preferences

I always thought I was the kind of girl who was mature enough to date someone at least 5 years older.  I never thought that someone 5 years older could ever be too immature to date me.

I haven’t gone out with someone from Tinder in over 6 months and I was ready to get back out there and see what kind of people were hiding behind their bare chested profile pics and not so original pick-up lines.

When people ask me why I go out with guys on Tinder my response is so genuine: I give a terrible first impression. All my friends have told me this, my co-workers have told me this, and I’ve come to terms with it. So why not practice with complete strangers from the internet that I have absolutely no intention of ever dating? I mean, come on, how’s that for a love story? We met on Tinder, fell in love, and the rest is history…. NO! No way will that be my Gen Y fairy tale. I want to meet the love of my life out by chance (preferably at The Pour House) you know, the good ol’ fashioned way… drunk at a bar.

So when I got drunk and Tindered (that’s a verb?) after a Friday night kickball game and matched with a 30 year old red head, I was already underwhelmed.

He opened the conversation with a sports reference and my eyes instantly glazed over.  There is nothing more alienating than trying to talk to me about my preference of football teams. All of my knowledge comes from watching The League. So no, we don’t have rival teams and yes, I really don’t care which team of complete strangers you get hard for. Go at it. I’m just thinking about vinegar strokes.

After telling me that he was ‘retired’ after formerly working in oil and gas, the Grantland junkie in me should have already made the assumption that he was actually ‘fucking unemployed.’ But I surged on.


Multiple exchanges later, he felt the need to drop names of D list celebrities he was with and what he wore to his last family reunion and, still, my lack of reply did not deter him from trying to set a date to meet in person. He was trying too hard and I was trying to put myself out there. A deadly combination.

I should have known when I went to happy hour with my friends and told them that I wasn’t excited about this ‘date’, to just call it off.  But I was in too deep. We had a time and place already set. No backing out now.

It wasn’t fair to him to go through with it when I was already over it.  But, by this time, I was tipsy from happy hour and the cheap wine made me committed.

It was by the grace of Tinder God’s (they totally exist) that my brother’s best friend texted me saying he was at my all-time favorite bar downtown.

I immediately texted underwhelming-trying-too-hard-red-headed-tinder-guy about the change of plans to see if he was down to wing it or if he wanted to reschedule.

Just my luck, underwhelming-trying-too-hard-red-headed-tinder-guy (UTTHRHTG) had nothing else going on (no surprise there), and sent me his address to pick him up.

Upon arriving, he asked if I wanted to come in for a blended drink that his two female roommates made. Not one to turn down any kind of frozen alcohol, I entered his house at my own eye-rolling risk.

Feeling more uncomfortable around girls than I am guys, I puffed up my non-existent chest and gave the overly nice and interested Jordan that only people who interviewed me have seen. I put my best ‘breezy’ self forward trying to impress them more than him because, to be honest, I was already over UTTHRHTG – I might as well try and make some new friends out of this super unnatural situation. I was super breezy.

He said that the delish alcoholic smoothie should replace the vodka with flavored rum and I might have actually gasped. Me and my love of vodka mistook him as a 19 year old girl. This was one of the multiple times that I questioned his judgment.

He then continued to convince me to not visit a place that I told him I already planned on visiting. I shrugged it off but, I should have replied that the only thing that could ever be boring about a new place would be that if I showed up and he was standing there. Yawn.

His roommates were actually pretty cool until he invited them along on our outing and I realized how self-conscious he was to go out with a complete random girl on his own… somewhat understandable. Tinder breeds sociopaths.

The girls joked about being his muscle but, in actuality, they were just airbags to make up for his lack of communication skills.

To be fair, I shouldn’t have brought him around my brother and his 23 year old friends because they clearly just reminded him of all the hopes, dreams, and charisma that he used to have.  I was surprised at how much he laughed at our jokes and appalled at how much his age showed when the three of them decided to Uber home at 10pm after one beer. (Half of a beer for one girl since my brother finished it after she left. It was warm, disgusting, and totally not worth it.)

This might be starting to sound bitter and resentful but, what it actually is, is a thank you note.

Thank you for inspiring me to instantly change my Tinder preferences from 25-30 to 25-29.

Thank you for showing me (again) that Tinder is not the place to meet serious dating prospects.

Thank you for reminding me that I’d still rather hang out with my dog than put myself through the torture of faking it through an uneventful evening.

Thank you for motivating me to write this after a mini hiatus.

And most of all, thank you for inducing a YouTube Friend’s clip binge at 4am.

Maybe I’ll try Tindering (still a verb) again in another 6 months. Until then, honey I’m good.

– J


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