Tag Archives: online dating is too serious

Playful Dating Concepts with Tinder


Cupid’s Arrow strikes in the first 5 seconds: either you get a hit or not.

Tinder is the hottest thing in online dating since online dating. It’s simple. Picture pops up you swipe right to say YES you swipe left to say NOPE. That’s it. And I’m noticing several interesting effects of this new brain training game.

As I’m learning to take this “dating” concept less seriously, I can see how Tinder has taken off.

Perhaps the initial reaction, like an intuition or gut reaction is actually more accurate than our considered response. When I go too far into their profile: 1. other pictures; 2. similar likes on Facebook (the Tinder datastream); 3. profile descriptions (usually unoriginal dating fodder) I begin to get influenced more by MY projections. All of these secondary signals are more confusing to the heart, they muddy up the initial reaction with “consideration.” That’s not the magic of Tinder. The magic is the swipe.

And in the swiping you begin to see interesting patterns in your YES and NOPE preferences. Here are a few of mine, that I’ve only learned from swiping over time.

  1. Lipstick can be a real turn off.
  2. I prefer dark hair.
  3. Weight is less of an issue until “consideration” sets in.
  4. Smiles and happy eyes shine through.
  5. My preferences trend towards hippie-ish (low: makeup, high: joy).
  6. I’m a bit racist in my dating preferences.

And there have been some funny concepts that I’ve started putting together around the various types of people who pop into your viewfinder on Tinder.

3-fer: when three women are in the initial photo and you’re like, “Nope. Nope. Nope.”

Trifecta: when three women are in the initial photo and one of them is cute, but are they cute enough for more “consideration?”

Horns of a Dilemma: when there are two girls in the picture but you can’t decide which one is cuter. The dilemma, do you “consider” or swipe left on principle?

Wing-girl: when two women are in the initial photo and you immediately know which woman is the “friend.”

WTF girl?: when the photo is so bad, you go into “consideration” mode just to see what other horrible photos this person has put up.

Zombie-arm girl: when the best picture of them is obviously on the arm of an ex so they just cropped them out of the photo. Creepy.

Maybe-means-no: when you reject the initial swipe left to “consider” someone just because you’ve had ZERO hits on Tinder.

Too-Hot: when their photo is so amazing you know they’re either “working women” looking for work, or trolling for fun.

“Not Looking for a Hookup” bios: um, yeah, you’re on Tinder for a LTR, right? (Long Term Romance.)

As I’m learning to take this “dating” concept less seriously, I can see how Tinder has taken off. I’m offline at the moment, but I’ll be back in the game shortly. I just needed a reset and reboot. 2015 looks bright.

Always Love,

John McElhenney

back to Dating After Divorce

Reference: How to Win a Breakup – the Atlantic

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image: the mindy project uses tinder, creative commons usage


Playdates for Adults: The 5 Challenging Tasks of Finding a Partner

playdates for adults

How to Find Play, Fun, and Love, Maybe

This whole business of online dating has gotten too serious. We’re way too focused on type-a goals.

  • Find a date.
  • Arrange an in-person meeting.
  • Assess the “relationship” quality of the person
  • Pass, Fail, Repeat

But love, or looking for a real relationship, is not really a type-a task. In the driven mode of dating we get criteria like.

  • Has (or doesn’t have) children.
  • Want’s more (or doesn’t want any) children.
  • Is Christian, or whatever “spiritual but not religious” means.
  • Would sleep with someone on the first date, given the right circumstances. Or wouldn’t consider sleeping with someone until the 6 – 10th date.
  • Is successful in business and likes travel to exotic locations. Or still working for a living.
  • Partier (most pictures have drink in hand) or “social drinker” or “doesn’t drink at all.”
  • Has a rockin bod. Or not.

And while these are some valid criteria, they are more for sorting through the cattle-call of online dating profiles, rather than looking for a relationship. In a word they are a bit superficial.

So there are some other alternatives to online dating that are worth looking at, if you are seeking a mate. Or perhaps even a one-night-stand, if that’s your thing.

  • Meetup Groups
  • Activitity Groups
  • Spiritually-related Groups
  • Workout Groups

When you think about the person you might like to be spending your Saturday afternoon and Saturday night with, where do you imagine you might be on any given Saturday afternoon? And then it’s your opportunity/responsibility to get yourself there. She/he might already be there. If you know the types of activities you’d like to be doing with another person, then get yourself to those activities as a single person and see if there are any other singles there.

The first task of finding a partner is showing up.

For example if you were recently excited by the World Cup, you might have found a public place to go view the game. You might have stayed home and watched it on your computer. And even if that is what you would’ve liked to do with a “special friend” it’s not very likely that you are going to be introduced to them while in your pj’s in your living room. Get out there.

The second task of finding a partner is brightening up your presence.

You want to be the brightest spark in the room. If you are happy with yourself, and confident in your mission, you can walk into a room full of drinking soccer fans and still hold your own torch. If your torch (your self-love, self-confidence) is sputtering, perhaps that’s a good place to put your attention. Get your game in order before going out looking for game.

The third task of finding a partner is learning how to be charming.

Listening is an art. Often it is the most confident people who can listen better than others. The one’s who are always needing to tell stories, be brilliant, and obviously work to hard at being charming, are often the one’s who are still trying to find their inner confidence. If you want to be heard, listen. It’s the most powerful thing you can do in the opening “is there chemistry” moments of a face-to-face meeting.

The fourth task of finding a partner is showing your enthusiasm by actions and not just words.

If you want a second date, say it. If you don’t want a second date, tell them too. And if you BOTH want a second date, you won’t need to be emailing each other later to see if there was “chemistry.” Believe me, if there’s chemistry, you will both be asking “What’s next?” And the answer will sound like this, “What are you doing for dinner?” or “What are you doing tomorrow night, I’ve got tickets to …” If you have to ask, there’s probably not a connection. If there is a connection, and you are BOTH actually wanting a relationship, you will both be asking for the next meeting.

So much of this process is figuring out who is playing games, who is really ready for something, and who are so damaged from their previous relationships that they are in no real position to be available.

The final task of finding a partner is being brutally honest.

You don’t want games. You don’t want new drama. You want clarity, well-stated intention, and a clear communication style with this person you might actually be interested in. Anything less is a red flag.

If you feel it, say it. If you don’t feel it, say that too. Then return to task one, LISTEN. The more you listen the more attractive you will seem to the other person.

And the final tip of romancing a potential mate: Say their name back to them, repeatedly, like a poem.

John Brock: The sweetest sound in the human language is one’s own name.

Good luck out there.

Always Love,

The Whole Parent

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image: meg terney at comic con, the chive, creative commons usage