12 Walking Red Flags To Avoid On Dating Apps

Now that it’s March, cuffing season is about to come to a screeching halt, which means it’s time to hop back on that Tinder horse and get to swiping. But it’s important to remember to date responsibly. Get your vaccine, meet up in public, and, most of all, avoid these 12 potential suitors like the omicron variant.

The Basic Bathroom Bro

We all know this guy. His profile picture is a bathroom selfie. He’s probably shirtless—or at the very least, if you keep scrolling, you’ll see a shirtless photo somewhere in his profile. His name is something douchey, like Chad or Brad or Aston, and he’s an “entrepreneur,” though it’s unclear what he’s actually entrepreneuring.

He’s super into working out and wants a woman who “cares about fitness,” but really, her gym membership matters far less to him than what she looks like. In his bio, he also mentions that he’s looking for a girl who “isn’t crazy” Because there’s nothing hotter than some good old-fashioned bathroom-mirror misogyny.  

And why is he taking a selfie in the bathroom, anyway? Doesn’t he know that’s where people go to shit? 

The Guitar Guy

This guy isn’t holding a fish (thank God), but before you get too excited, don’t because he’s holding a guitar, instead. And he is wearing a fitted tee and a broody expression. Maybe he’s broody in real life, or perhaps he wants to pretend. Either way, he’s definitely going to want to play a song for you—probably something acoustic—even if he sucks. Best case scenario, he doesn’t suck, but you’ll still have to sit there politely for at least two or three minutes while he performs a solo concert for you. (And, yes, he’s going to do it shirtless, too.)  

The “Just Ask” Jackass

In his bio, this guy wrote something along the lines of, “If you want to know, just ask.”

Which, OK. Fine. No one likes to fill out their dating profile. But this lack of effort does not bode well for any potential sex life down the road. If he can’t spare enough time to write out more than seven words, do you really think he’s going to take the time to find your G-spot?

The “Right Reasons” Romeo

Let’s see—he’s wearing a shirt. He’s in a socially acceptable place (i.e., anywhere but the bathroom). He’s smiling. He even wrote a whole paragraph. Oh, this guy is good. And he wants you to know it.

You keep reading. His profile says he’s “looking for his soulmate,” that he’s “not here to play games or hook up,” and that he’s “here for the…” oh God. Did he say “right reasons?” Is he looking for a date or a spot on The Bachelor

I’m not buying it. Just like with every Bachelor contestant ever, there’s a fuckboy lurking beneath that good guy act. 

The Sapiosexual

He wants you to know that he’s not shallow—even though he’s using a dating app designed for superficial swiping. He thinks that using big words like this will make him seem smart rather than just pretentious. Oh, but he is. He’s the type of guy that pronounces it “encyclopaedia,” Ted-Mosby style, and corrects you when you say it like a normal person. 

He finds a way to mansplain something in every conversation or flex his faux-intellect or both simultaneously. He thinks he’s smarter than everyone around him, especially you. And when you decide, just for fun, to take an online IQ test together and end up with a higher score, he’ll tell you that IQ tests aren’t an accurate reflection of intelligence because, God forbid, he admits to being wrong about anything, ever. 

The Tinder Denier

His profile says, “We can just say we met at the library,” or something equally cringeworthy. So, either he’s A) super willing to lie about trivial issues—like, I don’t know, how the two of you met—or B) really into the whole librarian thing. Also, does he think that hitting on someone at the library is a better look than being on a dating app? Is he aware that it’s 2022? 

The Bro with a Baby

This guy has a photo of himself with a baby or young child. But, don’t worry! It’s not his! If you read his bio, he’ll be sure to mention that they’re his niece/nephew/friends’ kid. He has a picture of them on his dating profile because it proves he’s good with kids. See, they’re both smiling! So, even though he’s not tied down to any parental responsibilities at the moment, he really wants you to know that he’ll make a great father eventually. 

He’s clearly taking a page from Friends and trying to use this cute, innocent kiddo as a pick-up artist prop. Not cool, man. Not. Cool.

The Pastor

His entire profile talks about God, religion, or how he’s a “man of faith.” His faith is important to him; he wants to make that VERY clear. This, my friend, is a trap. He’s probably a serial killer. Or, at the very least, he’s a recovering sex addict who found Jesus and changed his ways. And, in the spirit of honesty, he tells you that he cheated on his ex-wife with multiple sex workers. The resulting divorce prompted him to seek help, and now, well, now he’s a man of God. Technically, his SAA sponsor says he shouldn’t date at all during the first year of recovery, but it’s been nine months, and he’s pretty sure it’s fine. After all, he’s a good Christian now. 

The Bill Shakespeare

Everything on his profile makes him seem like a catch, so you swipe right. You’re hopeful about this one. But, then, you match, and everything changes. He messages you a lot. Like, a LOT.

His messages aren’t sentences, either—they’re paragraphs. He asks multiple questions in one message. He wants to know your whole life story before the first date. What’s more, he wants you to know his, too. How does he have so much free time? I’m sure he’ll tell you in excruciating detail if you ask.

The Guy Who Likes His Women Like His Coffee

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. “I like my women like I like my coffee… without another man’s dick in it.”

Um—Who came up with this line? Is it supposed to be funny? Am I supposed to feel bad for you?

To be honest, it seems like you’re using Tinder to air an odd grievance against your ex. To be even more real, I’m starting to think your ex had a point.

The Don Juan

If he talks about how good he is in bed or how well-endowed he is, I can save you some time and tell you he definitely isn’t. But if you give him your number, he is going to send you a dick pic.

The Guy Who’s “Getting a Divorce”

Spoiler alert: he’s married. And not patient enough to wait until he’s not married to look for a date.

Image: Shingi Rice  / Unsplash

7 Signs You’re Doing Online Dating Wrong

Let’s face it, as much as we all wish we could be cast on Matt James’ season of The Bachelor, the majority of us will have to find our post-quarantine dates the less-glamorous way: on dating apps.

Trust me. I get how frustrating online dating can be. Matching with people who can’t carry a conversation, who ghost after one date, who are outright boring, and leave you thinking “WTF?!”—it sucks. I’ve been there, and I’ve lived to tell the stories at Sunday brunch with the girls. 

If you’re nodding your head at what I’m saying, here’s the revelation: maybe it’s you that’s doing online dating wrong. 

So while your Bachelor submission is being reviewed, take the time to think about how you can get that profile snatched and make sure you’re attracting quality matches. Let’s talk about some of the red flags you’ve got on your profile without even realizing, and how we can get them cleaned up. 

1. Your Photos Don’t Reflect What You Want

 

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Let’s make that clear // by @fatcarriebradshaw, cohost of @thebetchelor

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If 75% of your dating profile photos are of you on spring break in a bikini, don’t be surprised if you’re only attracting people who are sending you fire emojis and asking if you’re DTF. 

If that’s what you’re looking for, more power to you. If it’s not, it may be time to swap out some of those photos for more everyday looks and outfits—for example, you in a cute look at a coffee shop, or you and some friends at a beer garden. Think about it this way: the guy who only has shirtless mirror pics on his profile doesn’t exactly scream “let’s share some time over a glass of wine and charcuterie, and end the night just watching Friends”… right? As much as it sucks, people definitely make snap judgments based on the photos they see. 

2. Your Profile Is Basic, Not Basic+

Basic+ means you’ve elevated basic without straying too far from it. Meaning, you’re still incorporating culturally cliche dislikes/interests/references—for example, hiking and avocado toast—but without being too unoriginal about it. So if your bio simply says “Loves The Office, brunch, and spending time with my dogs”, just know that your profile is basic AF and looks exactly like 90% of the other profiles out there. 

So how do you get from basic to basic+? Incorporate some wit and humor. 

For example, “The only thing I can guarantee is that I have better fashion sense than Dwight” or “Love language? Mine’s brunch”. Both allude to universally basic interests and references, but take them one level deeper by making them a little more interesting. By showing this little bit of personality, you’re so much more likely to stand out amongst a sea of basic, hopefully attracting someone who appreciates humor and wit. 

3. You’re Not Diversifying Your Portfolio

Remember that lesson you learned in freshman finance class about diversifying your portfolio? Finally, something from college you can use in the real world besides your beer pong skills. 

To be clear, when I say “diversify your portfolio”, I mean that you should get on different apps so that you’re exposed to more prospective matches. Casting a wider net gives you a better chance at meeting the type of person for whom you’re willing to put on real pants and leave the house.

4. You Keep Responding To “Hey”

 

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I could not be more obvious // credit/permission: @logpenn

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If someone messages you saying “hi ”, don’t waste your time replying. 

The “hey” person puts in minimal effort. It means they didn’t bother to look at your bio or photos long enough to write something witty, and they probably don’t care all that much about chatting with you. They’re likely playing dating like a numbers game, rapid-fire replying to all matches with a basic “what’s up”. 

More times than not, the “hey” person will either (a) not have the ability to carry out a conversation, or (b) eventually ghost you based on their lack of interest. Nip it in the bud, and don’t even waste your time replying. 

5. You Ignore Your Friends’ Warnings

Have you ever ordered from a restaurant after noticing they’ve averaged two stars on Yelp? No? Okay, then WTF are you doing chatting with people on dating apps that your friends have told you they’ve had bad experiences with? 

Even in big cities, it’s not unlikely that you and your friends are going to come across the same people while using the apps. I’m not saying it’s impossible for you to fall in love with or seriously date the person who left your friend waiting alone for an Uber at 1:30am…but common sense says avoid those people.

If you don’t take your friend’s advice, don’t be surprised when the person treats you in an equally sh*tty way or if your friend says “I told you so”. 

6. You Take It To Snapchat Right Away

 

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answer the question | credit/permission Twitter: akirangei

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If Snapchat was created specifically for a person, that person would be pre-Amal George Clooney. Yeah, I’m talking about the most eligible bachelor you could possibly think of at that time. 

If the person you’ve matched with asks you to transition to Snapchat (or Instagram DM, for my millennials) before you’ve even met once, they’re likely wanting to be super casual and love the fact that Snapchat means zero receipts and zero accountability. Ugh, right?

So as much as you should live your life with Amal confidence, sometimes steering clear of this type of guy or girl is just easier. The alternative, of course, is swerving their suggestion and using the “I don’t really use Snap much” excuse. Either stay on the app, or transition to a more 2020-esque George Clooney medium, like texting. 

7. You’re Playing And Tolerating The Waiting Game

 

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Well do you??? — credit/permission: @mvhir

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News flash: the waiting game (you know, waiting X amount of days to reply to a message) is as out of style as layered tanks and low-rise jeans. If you’re playing it, stop. If the person who’s messaging you is playing it, drop them. 

Even though the waiting game was instilled in us during the Blackberry days as the number one texting-your-crush tactic, it’s frankly just rude. If you notice someone playing it, use it as a signal that they’re either more interested in mind games than you or straight-up don’t know how to communicate. Either way, it’s a waste of your time and an easy red flag to spot.  

Image: Sincerely Media / Unsplash; uuppod (3) / Instagram

Why Guys Put Their Instagram Handles In Their Dating App Profiles

You’re mindlessly swiping through your dating app of choice when you come across the mysterious instance of a guy who puts his Instagram handle in his profile. What are you supposed to do with that? Does he actually want you to have the chance to learn more about him beyond the six pictures currently available to you? Or is just a f*ckboy move? He’s basically giving you permission to stalk him, right? In the latest episode of our U Up? podcast, Jared and Jordana discussed their opinions on this suspicious tactic. Jared, a male himself, broke down what guys’ real intentions are when they use it.

1. It’s An Excuse For You To Give Him Your Insta

Jordana’s first impression of the issue was totally positive; she trusted that guys do it as a way to say, “For more information, click here.” But Jared, our window to the male psyche, has a theory that if you are automatically granted your match’s Instagram, this gives him the ammo he needs to ask you for your Instagram. You have his, so now you owe him yours! It’s just returning the favor, he doesn’t make the rules. Now he can go look at all the pictures of you he wants, like, in a creepy way. Jared said the way guys put their Insta handle in their dating app bios is “like putting cheese out for the mouse”—as bait, basically.

2. It’s A Gateway To Slide Into The DMs

Why does a guy want your Instagram anyway, aside from the opportunity to look at your bikini pics? It’s simple: once the guy has successfully acquired your Instagram, he has full access to take the conversation into the DMs. Jared explained, “Now they’re in DM land, and that’s where casual happens.” So apparently, Instagram handle guys are so manipulative that they can make you vulnerable to them without doing anything to actually earn the comfort level required to get to the DMs. And here we were thinking we just had a better way to get to know their personalities! Wow.

3. Which Is A Gateway To The “U Up?” Message

According to Jared, guys think, “I wanna see your Instagram because I just wanna DM with you so that we can gain some trust…and we can go meet up late at night.” I truly underestimated guys’ propensity for Blair Waldorf-level scheming. No, Blair Waldorf wouldn’t plant the seed for a successful “U up?” text, but she would know just how to set someone up to do exactly what she wants.

4. It Makes It Less Douchey To Ghost You

When the “U up?” comes from DM land, guys can ghost you and cover their douchey tracks. “If you’re texting or messaging on Instagram or something that isn’t your phone number, that becomes the excuse for ‘We’re not even that close, we don’t even text,’” Jared said, and therefore it doesn’t count for as bad of an offense. Or at least the guy can tell himself that in order to sleep better at night. The bar really is the floor here.

5. It Sets You Up For Disappointment

If you use a guy’s Instagram page to learn more about him and it makes you actually like him enough to get invested in him and think he is the man for you, then you might get disappointed when he’s not as interested as you are. If you’re selective in who you decide to actually talk to and consider going on a first date with, then stalking his Instagram only to become more and more interested could leave you hurt when, after all, he is the asshole who put his Instagram bio in his dating profile just to get into your DMs (and eventually, pants). Jared told Jordana, as his dad always says, “The honest one always gets f*cked.” In this case, figuratively AND literally.

If you want to hear more about the Instagram handle tactic, listen to the latest U Up? episode below.

Images: Erik Lucatero / Unsplash; Giphy (3); Tenor

Gay Dating App Red Flags You Need To Know About

Look, it’s 2019. I know that 95% of you reading this have at least one dating or hookup app on your phone, and if you don’t, it’s probably because you’re already in a relationship. Most of us aren’t rookies in the dating app game, but it can still be a pain to navigate. Regular dating apps have plenty of struggles already, but the gay culture of hookup apps (Grindr, Scruff, etc.) takes things to another level. No matter what you’re looking for on these apps, it’s important to use your best detective skills to weed out the murderers and stalkers. Isn’t this fun?! Here are the biggest dating app red flags to look out, especially on the gay-focused apps.

Discreet/Closeted Guys

Of course, everyone should come out when they’re ready, and it’s fine that not everyone wants their identity widely known. That being said, if you’re searching for a boyfriend you can post on your Instagram stories 17 times a day, first of all, reevaluate your social media usage, but you probably also shouldn’t be talking to guys who won’t even send you a face picture. Everyone is on their own journey, and this is not the guy who will go to Disney World and wear rainbow Mickey ears with you, sorry.

No Pictures

When it comes to discreet guys, there are levels on all of these apps. If someone is a little shy, or has a sensitive job, it’s understandable that they might not want a face picture on their public profile. Whatever makes you comfortable. But if you message me and we’re 30 minutes into a conversation, I’m going to need to see your face. Especially if the other person messages first, there’s nothing wrong with requesting a few clear face pictures. Whether you’re looking for dates or sex, pictures are an absolute must.

Drugs

Like it or not, there are a lot of drugs in the gay community. I’m not here to be a narc or anything, but you should always know what you’re getting yourself into. If a guy has random references to partying in his profile, capitalizes the letter “T” randomly, or uses the term “chemsex,”  it’s very likely that he does meth, or other hard drugs that would deeply disappoint your fifth grade DARE counselor. No matter how cute he is, if that’s not your scene, you should probably cut your losses.

Married Guys

One of the biggest issues facing the gay community in 2019: who can host?? I’m sort of joking, but it can be tricky arranging a hookup. People can’t host for all sorts of reasons, but if a guy seems shady about his living situation, you might need to consider the possibility that he could be married. Like, to a woman, or at least to a partner who doesn’t know that he’s looking for dick on Grindr. Open relationships are cool (more on that in a minute), but I’m usually not in the mood to be a home wrecker.

Couples

Like I said, open relationships are great, and they’re more common than ever, especially in the queer community. I’ve had great experiences (both sexual and social) with couples, and getting in the middle can be a really fun chance to try some new things. But if that’s not what you’re looking for, try to recognize that before you get involved. Whether it’s just casual fun or there’s potential for something more to develop, everyone should be on the same page.

Sexual Secrecy

If I’m just meeting a guy for coffee, I don’t need to know his entire sexual history. But if I’m coming to your apartment for a dick appointment, you should be at least somewhat open about your sexual habits. If a guy isn’t willing to tell you when he last got tested, or if he usually uses protection, be wary. Sometimes people are just weird when talking about sex, but do what you need to feel safe and comfortable.

Robots

For reasons I will never understand, Grindr is littered with fake profiles. Some of them are just annoying spam, but there are also bots out there that will try to steal your identity or hack your phone. If someone who looks like an underwear model suddenly starts bombarding you with messages saying how beautiful you are, it might be too good to be true. If you suspect that a profile might be fake, try asking specific questions that won’t work with generic, auto-generated responses. Or just block and move on.

Images: Shutterstock; Giphy (3)

Non-Corny Dating App Openers That Are Better Than ‘Hey’

I’m going to be honest, I was never a dating app user for myself. Although, I did pretend to be a few of my friends on their apps and talk to people for them. From that, I know it’s v stressful trying to find the perfect non-corny dating app opener. When the apps first came around, it was helpful to be female since chivalry is not dead (I think?), and the guy tended to message the girl first. But then Bumble came around and f*cked that all up, so here we are. I asked my friends who are avid dating app users about what they consider to be non-corny dating app openers. Take notes, since a bunch of them are in long-term relationships now.

1. Keep It Simple

One of my good friends considered herself a “serial swiper” before she met her current boyfriend on a dating app. What did he say that swept her off her feet? “Hey, how’s it going?” Sometimes simpler is better. A pro tip from her is to not include the person’s name you are messaging. For example, saying “Hey Amanda, how’s it going?” seems a little too forced.

2. Keep It Classy

I once got a message on Facebook from a rando saying he “wanted to eat my p*ssy like a sandwich.” I’m sorry, but who would ever think that pickup line would work?! But then one of my friends suggested starting a message with “wanna f*ck” … so she’s still single. Maybe I should set the two of them up. Anyway, people need to remember to only say things on an app that you would say to someone’s face. So keep it classy and not trashy. It’s 2018, we’re respecting women AND men. Try something like, “How was your weekend?” or even, “I want to learn more about you, let’s play two truths and a lie. You go first.”

3. Use Humor

Someone who is funny is a major turn-on for me. It shows they don’t take themselves too seriously and can have fun. Another friend suggested as an opener, “Do you like Shrek? Cause I’m head ogre heels for you.” This non-corny dating app opener gets the person laughing and the conversation started. But be careful with this one, it can go from 0 to 100 real quick if you don’t use your better judgment and come off as a creeper. Another good option is asking them a question they need to respond to. Try “What are you doing on your ideal Sunday? Working out, sleeping, or bottomless mimosas?” And then if they answer the first option, you can call the authorities. Another one would be to ask them to describe themselves in 3 emojis, that always gets a good response. Stay away from these bad pickup lines that we’ve written about before.

Game of Thrones Pick-up line

4. Use Their Profile To Your Advantage

Don’t pretend you haven’t stalked their profile extensively and searched their Facebook, Instagram, and Googled them. But don’t make it obvious. They have a dating app profile for a reason. Start the convo off by relating to the cute dog in their photo or their favorite movie they shared in their bio. Make it personal and relatable. By doing this, you get the conversation started right away without the pointless fluff that makes up the majority of the messages sent on these apps. Suggested message: “Hey, is that your dog in your photo or just one you borrowed to increase your matches?” or “I’ve never seen (insert their favorite movie here). Maybe we could watch it sometime.”

5. Plan A Date

So many dating app convos go nowhere since no one takes the initiative to meet up for a legit date rather than just a one-night stand. Stand out from the crowd and use your convo as an opportunity to ask him or her out. TBH this one works best if you both know “of” each other (aka have mutual friends) and aren’t just two strangers because stranger danger is real. But think of something specific and personal. If you know they love a certain band (from your extensive stalking, obvs), and they are playing in your town, ask them if they want to go with you. Another way to ask them out is by first asking them what their perfect date would be and after they respond, ask them if they are free later in the week.

Asking Out

And if you still need more help, check out this list for more non-corny dating app openers.

Images: Giphy (2)

The Motive Behind That IG Model’s Dating Scam Is So Stupid

By now, you’ve probably heard of the self-proclaimed Instagram model who scammed like, 150 guys into competing for a date with her. After the initial tweet about Natasha Aponte’s shady stunt went viral, it was revealed that the whole thing was actually a promotional scheme. Which like, is totally to be expected from someone who has “Actress, model, singer” and a Soundcloud link in her Instagram bio.

For obvious reasons, I was pretty effing excited for this scam to be revealed. But, the whole thing kind of played out the same way every Real Housewives reunion does: it’s super hyped up, and then a dumpster fire of a disappointment.

Natasha Aponte and producer Rob Bliss just pulled the whole stunt for a social experiment. Literally the only thing that came out of this mess was a four minute YouTube video about the double standards of swiping apps. They basically wanted to show all of the sh*tty tendencies people have on dating apps IRL.

In an interview with CBS, Rob explained that he was trying to get people angry. He also said that this entire thing took two years to plan… to which I say, who hurt you? This dude literally hired 50 people just to message guys from Natasha’s profile, just to make a YouTube video.

Really, this just makes no sense. The problem with swiping apps isn’t necessarily the fact that it gives people the ability to filter potential suitors out based on shallow or petty qualities. The problem is that you have people, like Natasha Aponte and Rob Bliss, who make profiles, chat people up, and make plans—when they have no intention of actually pursuing the people they match with. And then, because you can just go back on the app and swipe through an endless stream of people, there’s no real incentive to invest in any one particular person. But sure, complain that girls swipe left on you because you wear khakis. Whatever helps you sleep at night.

TBH, I kind of regret calling these people scammers, because I love scammers, and this whole thing just feels like a grand scheme for this Rob guy to very publicly complain about dating apps and stroke his own ego. Scammers get sh*t done ASAP (no Rocky), and this guy basically just elaborately festered over his hatred of swiping apps for two years.  

In other news, Natasha has almost tripled her Instagram following and made her account public since this whole thing broke. I’m sure she’ll be able to start adding affiliate links to her IG stories very soon. She has also disabled the comment sections of most of her recent photos, so clearly she feels very famous rn. (Honestly, who besides like, Iggy Azalea ever really needs to disable IG comments?) Sounds like this whole thing had a very happy ending after all.

Brooklyn babe ????: @shotbyasmith #MBNYC #willyscouts

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If you love scammers—like, actual scammers, and not these salty people with too much time on their hands—then we have good news. On October 1, we’re launching a NEW podcast about scams, conspiracy theories, cults, and true crime. It’s called Not Another True Crime Podcast and it’s going to be dope. Follow us on IG at @natcpod for more info and a peek at what’s to come.

Images: The Tinder Trap / Youtube; natashavaponte / Instagram

5 Women Share Their Weirdest First Dates

Way too often, dating advice can stray into an icky area. And by icky, I mean letting men sound off at random on the things they don’t like about women, so women can go ahead and make sure they never do any of those things. While I understand the impulse—some of my own articles are along similar lines—I thought it would be nice to take a break from deep dives into the male psyche and talk shit analyze men’s behavior instead. Here are some of the weirdest first date offenses committed by straight men, as told by my hilarious friends. It’s basically a transcript of your next brunch if everyone’s recent dates were exclusively terrible. So…your next brunch. Enjoy!

The “Friend Zone” Guy

“Once on a first date, a guy demanded to know about 20 minutes in whether or not I was attracted to him because he had been friend zoned too many times and needed to make sure it wasn’t going to happen again. And then I turned very red and said I wasn’t sure what to say, and then he later implied he was good at oral sex.” – Phoebe, Journalist

Outstanding. IMO, he could have said any one of these three things and gotten the same point across. Let’s break it down.

“Are you attracted to me? = “Often, women are not attracted to me.”

“I’ve been friend zoned too many times” = “Often, women are not attracted to me.”

“I’m good at oral sex.” = “Often, women are not attracted to me enough to want to have sex with me, so I try to convince them that I have other skills to make up for it. Also, I’m not very good at oral sex.”

And yet he went with all three. I guess men were never really known for their subtlety. Moving on!

The Guy Who Is Probably A Murderer

“There was this crazy German dude who asked to put noise canceling headphones and a blindfold on me before we hooked up. But again, not clear why because he took them off before we actually hooked up. He just made me sit in silence and dark for like 2 minutes beforehand.” – Whitney, Editor

Let’s dissect this a tiny bit. I’m very, very concerned about what he was doing for two minutes after blocking out her senses. TBH, my first thought was that he needed to take a massive dump but like, shouldn’t he have equipped her with nose clips then too? Other theories are that he needed to complete a quick drug deal, hustle another girl out of his room before she saw, or take pictures of her to add to his collection of polaroids of fully clothed women wearing headphones and blindfolds. All of which, ew. I’m going to disable all of my friends’ dating apps. It’s too scary out there.

The Awkward Guy

“The last date I went on, we got coffee, except he didn’t get coffee. He got a slice of banana bread and ate half and then slowly broke the rest down into crumbs with his fingers while we were talking.” – Jane, Hostess

“One introduced me to his parents.” – Victoria, Video Game Producer

Say what you will, but I think both offenses are equal level dealbreakers.

The Condescending Guy

“There was a guy who told me he was seeing other girls but he liked me the most because I was “pretty easy to talk to” and “know a little about music.” – Emily, Consultant 

Like friend zone guy, you definitely, definitely know this guy. You probably worshipped him in high school, dated him in college, and reject him once a week now. This is the guy who confuses “opinions I have” with “good taste,” and constantly vocalizes whether or not things meet his standard. And by things, I mean women, which works out because that’s how he thinks of them.

The Wild Card

“ told me he voted for Ted Cruz.” – Lucinda, Grad Student

TBH I’m stuck on what would be worse: having your date tell you that they voted for Ted Cruz, or going on multiple dates with a guy who voted for Ted Cruz without ever knowing.

There you have it! The weirdest first date stories I got with a mass text, and they are…honestly, pretty awful. Let’s all take this as a reminder to brush up on our fake emergency calls and “bad sushi” lies. Like you’ve ever regretted a night in.

Images: Giphy (3)

These Summer Date Spots Are Huge Red Flags

I don’t know about you, but this heat wave is seriously fucking me up. After spending all winter becoming one with  my couch, I was really ready for another four months on my couch to get back out there this summer. Instead, I’m finding myself yearning for the days when lying under a blanket didn’t feel like entering a sweat lodge. SO: even though we all get a pass on going outside this week, summer should be your most social season—and dating is no exception. Sunlight makes people happy, happy hours make people drunk, and drunk, happy people have more fun on dates. It’s basic math. Of course, not all summer dates are created equal. So while you’re fielding texts from Hinge matches, keep in mind that many invitations are still worth ignoring. Here’s what these date locations say about your date’s intentions.

Their Local Coffee Shop

In non-summer months, this has potential to be a fine option if you’re on antibiotics.  It’s easy to cut short, requires minimal dressing up, and is overall a low-cost alternative to meeting for drinks. And going to the guy’s usual local spot can give you a sense of his overall vibe, though the implication that he’s hoping you’ll go home with him obviously stands.

During the summer though, this invite is all kinds of sus. If they’re trying to meet you at 2pm on a Saturday down the block from their apartment, they likely haven’t left their apartment in six weeks and will be rolling out of bed, wiping Cheeto crumbs off their shirt, and contemplating cancelling five times before they finally walk down the block. Oh, and they’ll probably try to steer the “date” back to their place to continue whatever TV show they were binging within 30 minutes of meeting you. With all the outdoor options and day-drinking venues summer has to offer, if the best they can do is a non-alcoholic beverage in their zip code, they either don’t give a shit about this date at all, have no social life to speak of, or both.

Picnic In The Park

Whether or not this is a red flag is kind of subjective. If you’re a fan of watching ants climb all over your food while dodging Frisbees, enjoy! (Yeah I hate picnics. Sue me.) The plus side of a picnic invitation is that it’s (meant to be) romantic, so the person who suggests this is definitely making an effort. The downside is that they require a ton of work to pull off effectively. So in Scenario A, your date shows up with a small suitcase worth of supplies (coolers, something to sit on so you don’t get grass stains, etc). While sweet, it also makes it painfully evident how much effort they put in and could be a turn-off early on. It also makes it impossible to continue the date afterward because they’re carrying around 10 pounds of picnic supplies.

In Scenario B, your date brings two 99 cent cans of Arizona iced teas and nothing else, you’re both covered in sweat and grass stains within 10 minutes, he gets embarrassed and tries to act like you’re too high maintenance to cover up that he planned a shitty-ass date. Ultimately, inviting you to a picnic means they’ve thought about this date way too much (and have probably done this exact date with their ex) or way too little. You can appreciate the gesture, but I do not recommend going on this date.

^The last time someone actually enjoyed a picnic.

Rooftop Bar With Their Friends

This is also kind of a mixed bag, but for different reasons. If they invite you to this a few days in advance, it’s ideal. It likely resembles the weekend plans you would have made for yourself anyway, and it means they want you to meet their friends. Win-win. If they invite you to this while they’re already there, it’s a very different story. This means they got drunk and horny, and are too awkward to actually meet someone at the bar full of equally drunk singles. Instead, they started going through their phone and messaging their last week of matches. While the commitment to not meeting people is admirable, you’re better than this. Being available on-demand for whenever they’re done with the social part of their night and just want to get laid is never a good look.*

*If you’ve been on a few dates already, this could be a cute “had a few drinks and started thinking about you” type text. But keep an eye on whether they actually introduce you to their friends when you show up, or if they just try to hustle you home.

Weeknight Dinner Reservation

Like the coffee date, this is normal/fine other parts of the year. But IMO, scheduling an 8pm dinner on a Wednesday is a little formal for a summer date. Has he never heard of happy hour? And is he just expecting you to waste prime drinking hours just to exchange information about your siblings and hometowns over cloth napkins? This date option implies that they’re highly traditional, operate by a strict schedule, and are probably not that much fun. This holds especially true if the restaurant they choose also offers a happy hour menu and they purposely choose not to do it. Who hurt you????

Their House In The Hamptons

This date is the easiest to decode. If they invite you to their house in the Hamptons, MARRY THEM. Seriously. Lock that shit down before the next heat wave rolls through.

Ultimately, dating in the summer is easier than dating in the winter. But because we can’t have nice things, that doesn’t mean some red flags don’t apply. Summer is the time to be your most fun self, taking advantage of long summer nights and half-off drinks. If their best self doesn’t crave margaritas after 12pm from June-September, think carefully whether this is someone you’re interested in dating. And maybe give your number to the people you see out at your favorite summer bars instead. At least you know they have good taste.

Images: Giphy (5); Jelleke Vanooteghem / Unsplash