10 Tinder Dating Rules

About a year and a half ago, I told you about my experiences using Tinder while living in Kuwait. That resulted in a 6 month relationship that should have lasted only 2 months. Oops. Since then, I’ve been happily single but recently decided to get back into the game. Knowing that there are a wide variety of reasons people use Tinder, I’ve made it clear on my profile what I’m not looking for. Luckily, there are a bunch of people just looking to meet others, make some friends, maybe more. It’s been great for meeting travellers and locals alike and, with the latter, practicing my Spanish. Whereas in Kuwait, I didn’t meet up with many men before starting that 6-month relationship, in Guatemala, I’ve actually met a bunch of guys, but haven’t met anyone worth keeping around. Let me tell you some stories and, because all the cool bloggers are doing it, I’ll even give you some rules about Tinder dating.

So, I’m having a coffee with addicted-to-Tinder before he takes a bus to his next travel destination. I know we’ve both, without saying it, agreed we’re just friends, but nonetheless, I feel slightly irritated when I look over and see him on his phone… on Tinder! Really??? I normally find it a little bothersome when people use their phones in a social situation (I mean, whatever happened to good old conversation?), but using it to find my replacement, while I’m there? That’s too much! What’s worse is that this is my Saturday afternoon and I would rather be going to the market, meeting my friends, going for a hike… anything else, really, and I’m just waiting for him to leave. Waiting… and waiting… but he’s too busy on Tinder. How does that work?! I should just leave… I’m too nice.

Rule #1: Don’t use Tinder while on a Tinder date.

Meet Mr. Dishonest – the first. We go out once and have a great time. He seems really into me, but I think he’s disappointed when I refuse his offer to go back to his place. We send a few messages in the coming days, and a week later, I let him know I’ll be in his neck-of-the-woods and suggest we meet up. He gives some vague response like, “Yeah, I’m pretty busy. I don’t know if I’ll have time.” I openly ask him if he’s still interested because I sense he may not be and I don’t see any reason to play the guessing game. No big deal – just let me know. He says he’s interested and suggests we meet for coffee Saturday afternoon. Saturday comes, he cancels. Never to be heard of again. I did see him a few times around town – how weird to have to just ignore him. If he had just been honest, I could have stopped and said hi, but instead I feel like I’m stuck in some soap opera where I need to avoid the people I see on the streets. Ugh.

Rule #2: Be honest. Life is so much easier when you don’t have to avoid people on the streets.

As with my experiences in Kuwait, there are still plenty of shirtless men who don’t interest me in the least. Good for some people, I guess. Also, SO many selfies/mirror shots. Do other men take this many selfies or just Guatemalan men? Do you not have any pictures of you doing fun things, socializing with others, being out and about, doing literally ANYTHING other than standing in front of your mirror? I can’t help it: I just automatically swipe left when I see a selfie/mirror shot. It’s like a reflex, an involuntary spasm.

Rule #3: Put a shirt on and at least use the timer if there’s no one else to take your photo.

So, one night, I go out with two guys (not at the same time – geez!). Date #1 is super boring. With each sip of wine, he becomes more and more interesting to the point that I actually think I want to see him again.  For some reason, probably because drunk (well, tipsy)-vision makes him appear interesting, I go out with Date #1 again. After the most boring date in existence (I stayed sober this time), this guy somehow thinks it would be appropriate to tell me he wants to kiss me all over. Not only is this our second date, but watching paint dry would have been more exciting than a date with this guy. I tell him to keep that thought to himself and am quick to make an exit.

Rule #4: Don’t tell a girl you want to kiss her all over on the second date… or the third date… or any date, really.

So, after my first date with kiss-you-all-over, I arrive, late and drunk, to meet Date # 2. Now this date… this date is the complete opposite of the first one. Date #2 is super awesome and we would end up seeing each other 5 days in a row. Then again the next weekend when I return to Guatemala city. And then…. never again.

I’ll spare you the nauseating details, but I put up with consistent cancelling (3 weeks in a row), sporadic texting, and lack of any communication about why we’re even still “dating” or what this means. I continue to trust him and want to see him. But after a month of patiently dealing with this, I finally get a little upset and say a thing or two that perhaps weren’t very nice. I do want to say that I did first objectively state, “I’m feeling angry”. That makes it okay, right?

My emotions may be slightly more intense due to the time of the month, which I am incredibly aware of and open about. Nonetheless, I am surprised shocked appalled when he tells me that he didn’t respond to me because he was waiting for my PMS to be over.

Umm… excuse me?

I’m gonna get real for a minute.

I am incredibly self-aware and completely open about how my hormones affect me. I know exactly what I need when I’m “PMSing” and can objectively state which emotion I am feeling (even if it’s followed by a real jerk comment). What I need is to feel extra loved. What I need is for people to be a little more patient with me. To show me understanding and caring. So, for Date #2 to avoid me at the time when I need people to do the exact opposite? Ridiculous.

This is part of a much larger issue, which I will hopefully blog about in the near future, but I won’t get into that now. Let’s just all have a good laugh at this jerk telling me he was avoiding me because he didn’t want to deal with my PMS. I mean, maybe women should do him a favor and just lock ourselves away for a few days every month? The world might be a better place without crazy bitches, right?

Rule #5: Don’t treat women like they’re crazy human beings just because their hormones fluctuate throughout the month. 

Let’s get back to a little more light-hearted talk. This one guy messages me asking me where I’m from. I tell him I’m from Canada, currently living in Pana and he tells me he’s from Guatemala City. Then, I’m expecting some get-to-know-you convo but rather, he starts telling me about his adventure tourism parks near Antigua. I mean, that’s super cool, but I neither asked nor implied that I wanted to know about his adventure tourism parks. After my uninterested, near-silent responses, he offers to take me one day and, while I usually jump at the opportunity for adventure (especially if it’s free!), I have absolutely no interest in letting some stranger use his parks to win me over. Maybe get to know me a little first?!

Rule #6: Don’t use your assets or wealth to get a girl… especially if the only thing you’ve told the girl about yourself is where you’re from.

This one is good. And weird. Unfortunately I un-matched with too-funny-for-real-life so I can’t give you amazing quotes, but I’ll retell as best I can these conversations. He starts out saying something like, “Lauren! It’s me, Raul from English Lit.! How the hell are ya?” Thinking it’s an honest mistake, I respond to let him know that I’m not the Lauren he knows from English lit. It doesn’t take long for me to realize this is just a game – he doesn’t know any Lauren from English lit. So I start to play along. “Yeah, I’ve been great! Was married a few times, but my husbands all mysteriously disappeared and now I’m living a happy single life”. And so on, and so forth. I figure we’ll do this a bit, then, after confirming that we both have amazing senses of humor, we’ll have a real conversation. I’m sadly mistaken. I entertain too-funny with this for longer than planned and just when I think we’ve both grown bored of it and I’ve been silent for days, he messages me again… Seriously, dude? Now I’ve gotta delete you.

Rule #7: Be funny. Know when to stop.

Aussie messages me and says, right off the bat, “Hey Lauren. When are we kissing?” with a little kissy emoticon. Finding this funny, I tell him I’ll be over in 5. “Hehe sweet. I’ll leave my hotel door unlocked for you”. I respond that I showed up and he wasn’t there and, when he tells me he’s there waiting, I joke about how I must have walked into some stranger’s hotel room; “Wow, that could have been bad!” I find this really funny, just like I found Aussie funny at first. But when I ask him to tell me something about himself, he responds with, “Like ???” I say, “Like something interesting? Are you an interesting person?” His lame response: “Yes I hope so lol. Are you?! I’m new to tinder by the way”. Are you new to conversation as well? Geez. Feeling a little sassy, I tell him “I am SO interesting” and, after a few more exchanges, we’re done. I don’t respond to his final kissy face which, I’m not even sure was a joke…

Rule #8 : Be funny. But also be interesting.

If you know me, you probably know I love honesty (see Rule #2). I have no other policy in life – just honesty. Sometimes, I guess that can be difficult for other people. Like when I tell this Kiwi I can’t meet him one weekend because I’m busy with another guy I’ve been sort of seeing (I originally said friend, but he suggested I bring my friend and there was no way around the truth). I don’t think this is a problem – it’s just honest. I’m not in a relationship with this guy – we’re just testing the waters – much like I would be with Kiwi if we were to meet. Anyway, this Kiwi doesn’t say anything about it, and we make plans for the next weekend. I figure he doesn’t think it’s weird (awesome – another guy who likes honesty)… until he drunk texts me the day before to tell me, and I quote, “Hahah nt guna be the side guy sorry,” followed by, “haha i either wabt a freind or casual thing hahah”. Glad I dodged that bullet – not only do I dislike people who can’t say what they’re feeling, but more importantly, I dislike people who say “haha” 3 times in 2 sentences. C’mon.

Rule #9: Don’t tell anyone you’re dating another person, even though we all know that’s what’s happening. Rather, just lie. Lies are the basis of dating.

Rule #10: Hahaha

It’s been lovely, but I’m almost through with Tinder for a while. Luckily, my happiness doesn’t require a man. If I’m still single next year, I’ll be sure to let you know how my next bout with Tinder goes.

Have you had any grand experiences with online dating? Do share!

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