To celebrate the quasi milestone that is publishing my 525th post on the Tao of Indifference (!!!!) I figured I’d do something I haven’t done in a while. A listicle! People like those, right? Anyway, you may not know this because I’m the worst at self-promotion, but there’s a Tao of Indifference Instagram full of absolutely amazing screenshots of the profile I’ve encountered while online dating. Instead of forcing you to follow my Instagram (which you should, but it’s cool if you don’t tbh, I’m not your dad), I figured I’d put together a list of why I swiped left instead of right. WITH PICTURES! Oh and the usual caveats apply. None of these are moral judgments, nor am I saying you can’t do any of the things I mention below. Do as you please, just don’t expect a right swipe from me.
1. Fake profile picture
Even if you’re not able to spot a fake profile a mile away, there are just way too many tools to figure out if it’s actually you in the picture, and I know how to use them. If it’s on a dating website, like an actual website that I can access on a web browser, specifically Google Chrome, I can simply right-click on any of your pictures, select “Search Google for this image” and BAM, I know that you’re not Amy from Brooklyn who is a perfect 10, you’re using some random Instagram model’s pictures who works and lives in LA and is almost certainly not on Tinder. For those of you unsure how to do this trick when you’re using a mobile dating app, here’s how you do it: Screenshot the picture, send said picture to yourself via email, go to the google image web search tool on an actual computer, upload said photo, thank me later for saving you a bunch of time talking to a potential catfish.
2. Your profile blurb
Here are some things you should include in a profile blurb: Background information about you that is substantive. A conversation starter. Anything else that would actually be something we could discuss. You know what is not a good profile blurb? “Australian girl, just moved to NYC”. Really, that’s all there is to you? Where you’re from and where you currently live? Do. Better. It doesn’t have to be “War & Peace” long, but you have to include substance. That goes for everyone, not just the people I see when I swipe. Whatever your profile blurb is, people are going to assume that it is you in a nutshell. Don’t care enough to fill in a blurb? People are going to assume you don’t put effort into dating. Mention sex in your blurb, people are going to assume that’s all you’re looking for. If all you do is list where you’re from and where you currently are, people are going to assume you bring nothing else to the table.
3. Sedated animal photos
I’m sorry but those photos just make me uncomfortable as hell. I get that you spent a ton of money to go to Thailand (it’s Thailand, right?) to hang out with a tiger that is almost certainly experiencing a heroin lean, but it just doesn’t sit right with me. It’s cool that you have the sort of money where you can afford to take pictures with charismatic megafauna, but I’m just not going to swipe right when I see you smiling with a drugged up tiger. Even if we disregard the fact that the entire business model makes me uncomfortable, the fact that you feel that comfortable around something that big and that potentially deadly means that you’ll never understand my fear of animals that can beat me in a fight, so we’d probably never be a good fit anyway.
4. It is you in the photo, but it’s your wedding picture
I’m all for open relationships, and I would definitely consider seeing someone with a primary partner, but something about seeing you in a wedding dress as your main profile picture is just jarring as hell. If you’ve got an ethical non-monogamy thing going, more power to you, I’d even consider dating you if the first picture I saw of you wasn’t one that looked like it should be the opening shot of a Kay Jewelers commercial. Maybe just mention the fact that you’ve got an open marriage and you know, include a profile picture that isn’t from your wedding day. Just a thought.
5. I actually did swipe right, we matched, but your messaging was lame af
I know that people sort of give nebulous directions when it comes to what to say in a first message, so I’ll briefly get specific. Once you get the initial hello’s out of the way, messages should serve two purposes: Figuring out if we’d click and Date planning. Asking me how my day was, every day, does neither of those things. Answering a question and then sort of letting the conversation stop isn’t helping either, nor is responding with one word answers. If you are messaging me and you don’t seem to be trying to figure out if we click and/or you’re not trying to help me plan our first date, we aren’t going to be messaging for long.
6. You’re using dating apps to solicit
I can appreciate and respect hustle in any way, shape, or form, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to swipe right. Get your customers where you can, and dating apps are great tools for acquiring customers, but I am not the one. If you’re using a dating app to grow your business, whether that business is: Sex work, Matchmaking, Cam modeling, Bartending, Nightlife Promotion, or anything else you can think of, it’s going to have to be a pass for me
7. You’re trying to get Snapchat/Instagram/Twitter followers
Some of y’all just want likes and attention, which is cool I guess, but if your profile is pretty much just a way to funnel people to your various social media sites, that’s gonna be a left swipe for me. No moral judgement but you’re on a dating app trying to find followers for your social media “brand”. Why? What is even the point? You know your comments, mentions and DMs are going to fill up with people saying “found you on Tinder, sup” right? You know you can just buy fake followers for like $5 right? I get the need for attention, but I’m not swiping right so I can help you grow your brand. You’re never going to be my #WCW because I randomly found you on Tinder, beloved.
8. You’re not taking dating seriously
We live in a world that sometimes punishes earnestness, and rewards the Brooklyn Hipster™ variant of cynicism and irony, but there has to come a point where you realize that being weird/quirky for the sake of being weird/quirky on your dating profile is a waste of time for you and just about everyone else. I’m all about letting your freak flag fly, be as out there as you like in your personal life, but your “Just for the LOLs” dating profile is lame af. Whether you mean to or not you’re actively making dating a much less enjoyable experience for everyone except you. Maybe you’re doing it as a stunt journalism thing, or maybe you purposely made a weird profile in the hopes that it will go viral. Whatever it is you’re doing with your try-hard/so-quirky-it’s-obnoxious profile, STOP. It’s lame, you’re lame, and you’re just being rude. Yes, rude. Imagine you need to get somewhere and to do so, you need to walk single file. Now, imagine some clown starts walking in front of you, impeding your progress. I literally mean a clown. An actual full-on Pennywise the fucking clown, slowly walking in front of you, making balloon animals, honking his horn trying to draw attention to himself, and just generally doing weird clown stuff. Sure it’d be be funny to some people but most of us are annoyed because WE ARE TRYING TO GET SOMEWHERE AND YOU ARE IN THE WAY. When you make a joke dating profile, you’re that clown. Don’t be that clown. Nobody likes that clown. We have places to go and people to see and you are in the way.
9. I can’t tell who you are
Congratulations on having so many friends. I’m proud that you have nurtured and grown so many disparate platonic connections. Awesome for you! Quick question though: You have 5 profile pictures, each of which looks like some bizarro class photo, so which one are you? Seriously, I really can’t tell and all your friends are very same-looking so rather than trying to do detective work, I think I’m going to have to swipe left. Best of luck with your giant group photo hobby though!
10. You’re looking for a sugar-daddy
If you can successfully monetize your beauty and your time, more power to you. More power to you, but not more right swipes from me. To the left with you!
11. You’re in town for the weekend
NYC is a great place to visit, and it’s a great place to date, and if you want to combine the two, have fun doing so. You’ll be having that fun without me. Personally, I’m just not really into the whole “I’m in town for one day, show me around” for a lot of reasons. One of which is the fact that I expect to be paid if I’m a tour guide. Or, the places you likely want to go are terrible and godforsaken. There is no way in hell I will ever go to Times Square for a stranger. Most importantly, I use dating apps to go on dates, not arrange free guided tours for strangers. That sounds like the opposite of fun to me.
12. You’re just here to “meet new friends, see where things go”
If you sensed a common thread through the reasons I swipe left it could best be summed up thusly: I am on dating sites and apps because I want to date. I do not use tools designed to facilitate dating to make friends. Some people do, and that’s cool, but I am not those people. No new friends (through dating apps at least).
13. You expect me to pay for everything
I’m not talking about the expectation to pay for a first date, I’m talking about the women who make it crystal clear that they expect to be paid for and catered to on every date, or at the very least the first 5 dates. I’m sure you’re worth it, but the idea of being on the hook financially for who knows how long with someone I don’t even know if I like yet sounds terrible. I’ll swipe left when it’s spelled out in a “I want to date old-fashioned gentlemen” sort of way, or if it’s in a subtler-but-not-that-subtle way like “I want a generous man who appreciates women????”. I know what you’re saying honey, you’re not low!
14. You’re a guy
I’m not referring to transgender women, or even transgender men, I’m talking about guys, cisgender guys, who almost certainly selected the wrong gender by accident when setting up their profile. I’ve come across so many men that are clearly straight, cisgender men who chose the wrong gender when setting up their profile. You can usually tell because these dudes have mediocre profile pictures with nary a smile cracked in any of them, maybe a tiny dash of sexism in their profile blurb,and just generally have a profile that screams CISGENDER DUDEBRO. Sorry Chad Bradley, I think I’d be doing both of us a favor by swiping left.
15. You only date X, and I AM NOT X
The most common things that I am not, that a lot of my dating pool is looking for are: White. Bearded. Republican. Christian. Submissive. Dominant. A Sugar Daddy. Old Fashioned. A Manhattanite. A New Jerseyan. A Foot Fetishist. Comfortable with being called “Zaddy”. If you say you’re only looking for Good Ol’ Boys who love the 2nd amendment almost as much as they love Ronald Reagan, I’d really hate to waste your time by swiping right. Maybe hit up Chad Bradley? I hear he’s available!
16. Your profile is vulgar
We’re all adults here, and I’ve even cursed in today’s post (SORRY MOM) but, yeah, some of y’all have to go find some chill. I may be good in bed, I may be good at specific sex acts, I may be well-endowed, and I may even be down with your fetish, but being vulgar about it in your profile just skeeves me out. There’s a difference between saying “I want to meet a sensual man who worships feet” and it’s another thing to say “I want you to cum on my toes” (Again, SORRY MOM). Just because you’re looking for something very specific, whether sexual or not, does not mean you have to be vulgar about it. That goes for the sex-seeking profiles, but also ones that are just rife with vulgarities. Sorry to hear that your ex cheated on you and all that, but you know, maybe don’t use all of the Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television in your profile to describe your desire to date faithful men. No moral judgment, but I’m probably not going to swipe right if I can’t read your profile aloud without cringing.
Good Luck Out There.