Surprised women reading a text message on mobile phone.

It’s 2016 and dating has never been more interesting. Impersonal, unromantic, possibly depressing, sure. I’ll give you all of those. But we all have to admit – it’s never been more interesting. After all, when have we ever been able to opt out of movie night and instead spend the evening scrolling through eligible bachelors on our phones? Five years ago if someone asked me if I’d rather watch the latest Tom Hanks or look at losers online I’d look at them like they were insane; today I’m like, You pop the popcorn and I’ll log in.

It’s no secret that online dating comes with a certain stigma—and that stigma reads: desperate. However, it has smoothly transitioned into being something that is fun, safe (well, as safe as meeting strangers over the Internet can ever really be), and socially acceptable. Whether you’re there for a serious relationship, a chance to meet new friends, or you just want to have a good time, more and more millennials are turning to Tinder for their social needs.

For those of you unaware how Tinder works (right.), you start by creating a profile linked with your Facebook account. The key here is credibility; rather than any old pedophile going online and pretending to be a nineteen-year-old girl, on Tinder you actually have to be a nineteen-year-old girl with Facebook posts, friends, and photos to prove it. You also have the option to link in your Instagram and/or Spotify to give your prospects a little more insight into who you are. Once your profile is established and you’ve added a little something into your bio, you’re okay to start swiping: left for gross, right for yes, and straight up for fuck yes.

Easy enough, right? And Tinder takes care of you: you get to pick the age range you want to see (no one under 18) and the distance your swipes must be located within. So yeah, it’s definitely safer than the old days of meeting faceless randoms on chatrooms and hoping they’re not felons in their fifties jerking off in a basement. However, are we ever really safe from creeps? If you answered no, I like you. Whether we meet people in person, at a coffee shop, or on Tinder, it is kind of possible to avoid psychos and cling-ons.

In this article, I do you the courtesy of breaking it down. Read on to find out how to spot a creep on Tinder in under a minute. Because trust me, there’s a plethora of them to be found.


Beware of the guy with too many emojis.

Okay, if you’re anything like me, you’ll agree that less is more. When swiping through bios you happen to come across a dude with more than THREE emojis (and I think I’m being pretty liberal here), that’s a quick swipe to the left. To take it further, if more than zero of this dude’s emojis is a heart-eyes or a kissy-face, stay away. Nine times out of 10 he’ll open with: “Hey gorgeous *heart eyes kissy face water drops*.” Before you’re forced to figure out what the hell that is supposed to mean, just swipe left.


Watch out for the dude with more than one shirtless photo.

No. Just, no. This is never good. Especially when at least one of the photos is a major close-up of his washboard abs, face excluded. This makes me feel like I’m browsing through a male hooker website. Even weirder when their bio is something like, “You know why I’m here.” Yes, I have an idea why you’re here. No, I really don’t want to find out.


Do not trust the guy whose bio claims he’s “down for adventure!”

This is code for, My life is actually very empty and I’m on here to desperately convince strangers that I’m a fun-loving, spontaneous person. This guy has probably been dumped in the past for being too boring and is out to forge a new path. He’ll take you sky-diving a few times and then before you know it, you’re sitting next to him on the couch while he whines that the TV isn’t big enough and he needs a haircut. Don’t go there.


Be skeptical of the guy who says he won’t message you first.

What is this, the Amazing Race? Are you the one prize we’re all after? Are we lucky to even have matched with you on Tinder to begin with? Oh holy man, I pray that you even get the chance to get to my message, what with all the women who must be bombing your inbox with frantic hope. And if you actually decide to…respond to me? Forgive me if I take a while to get back to you; I’ve probably fainted from the shock and overwhelming feelings of luck.


Don’t believe the guy who states his height and then says “because apparently that matters on Tinder.”

First of all, subtract like 3 inches from his alleged height. Just do it. Second of all, stay away from this scorned and bitter man. He’s clearly been on one too many dates where the girl said, “I thought you were going to be taller,” and is pissed off about it. He’ll go into this match with a preconceived hatred for you and for womankind. It’s also likely that he’s not taking up too much room in the pants, if you know what I mean. Bye.


These are the guys who are almost guaranteed to be completely creepy on Tinder. Other than that, it’s basically a coin toss. It can be a real shit show, but is it really worse than having to go through an actual first date before you realize that someone is completely incompatible with you? If you answered no, I really like you. In my experience, it’s much better to sit around with good friends and harass the profiles of dudes on Tinder. Exchange a few messages, who knows. Maybe you’ll find your Prince Charming. It’s more likely that you’ll find another loser, but who are you to turn down a good story? At worst, you go on a few bad dates. At best, you come out of it with a fun experience—or at the very least, a good amount of standup practically written for you.


Fashion and culture writer/editor at Forever Twenty Somethings. Judging your outfit. Let me write about it.

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