Ahh, Tinder. The once-stigmatized app has branched out into an Apple and Android-friendly way to find love…or at least a one-night stand. Swipe, match, and make magic happen. Though Tinder can be convenient, you’re bound to get the occasional off-the-wall message from a jerk, a troll, or maybe just an awkward person. But before you block, take heed: there are ways to turn that troll into a prince. Or at least, into a more tolerable person to text with for five minutes before you banish him for good. Here are some of the ridiculous types of Tinder messages you'll receive, and how to handle them.
The Shameless Sex Proposition
Nine times out of 10, there will be a douchebag who uses Tinder as a gateway for easy ass. Don’t let him ruin your experience! Use it for lolz (see above), or as an opportunity to get unsolicited compliments. "What, specifically do you like about my photo?" you can ask. "Provide details please, salacious or non. Let's start with the eyes and move toward the bangs." Even if you plan on blocking him (or maybe occasionally, her), you'll at least get a good ego boost out of it -- or you'll just get grossed out. Whichever.
The “Hey, Do I Know You?” Message
Tinder conveniently allows you to adjust your search distance: you can be matched with the hot new neighbor next door, or a handsome stranger from a mystical land 100 miles away. Sometimes, the results hit too close to home and you find a familiar face. If you’re confronted by someone you know IRL (and they aren't your boss or a known D-bag), just own it. Make a cute joke – “hey stranger!” – and see where the dialogue goes. Better to face it head-on than exchange awkward, knowing glances with him or her at your next group get-together. Oh and teachers...don't Tinder with your students.
The “Hey, How Do You Know…?” Message
You’re less likely to reel in a Catfish in if you have mutual friends with your match, so take this question as a blessing. So what if you haven’t talked to said Facebook friend since the third grade, or you haven’t seen that distant cousin since your last family reunion? Use your mutuals as an easy talking point. Just don’t forget to invite them to your wedding.
The Message With One-Worded Answers
While Tinder isn’t meant to be the Scripps National Spelling Bee, it’s still super-annoying to be on the receiving end of a one-worded conversation. It's easy to throw them some sarcastic "sup"s back, but who knows, they might actually be kind of cool maybe somewhere deep down? To get your monosyllabic Tinderer talking, try an open-ended question, or ask about something interesting in their tagline. If he or she doesn't take an earnest question as bait, move on.
The Mean Message
Remember kindergarten, when boys picked on you to show that they liked you? Those same misguided brats, now fully grown, just happened to find you on Tinder. Apparently they learned somewhere along the line that insulting women is game, and they’re trying to get a rise out of you in order to engage. By responding in any way -- insulting back, laughing -- you're encouraging him (or her). Just block!
The Weird Message
Ummm…okay? A slightly strange message will make you scratch your head…but that’s exactly what the writing weirdo wanted to do. Some of the messages sent on Tinder have the tendency to be pretty basic – how far can a plain-old “what are you up to?” really go? A creative conversation starter might come from a guy or gal who thinks outside the box...or a complete psycho. Either way, no harm trying to get on their wavelength if only for a moment. Let's get eerie!