When I first signed up for Tinder, Bumble was just a type of bee and I had a list of requirements for a potential date that was nothing short of extensive. They covered a number of different areas including, but not limited to:
- Education level.
- Type of job.
- Type of bio.
- Type of pictures used in profile.
- Type of messages composed when corresponding via app. (Sarcastic but not over the top. No grammatical errors. That last part I stand by.)
- Hobbies (must be similar or the same as mine).
The list went on and on. Fast forward to a number of failed dates, some worthwhile ones, and a couple of nice quasi-relationships, and eventually I started realizing that (spoiler alert) perfect humans only exist when a writer can script their dialogue and develop their personality traits. Real people have quirks and shortcomings. It’s cool.
On this week’s episode of The Margarita Confessionals, we talked about how expectations and assumptions can make dating more confusing than it needs to be.
You hope people give you a fair shot, understanding that you’re more than just five pictures and a short paragraph on a dating app, but it’s so easy to not give them the same courtesy. Immediately you start to fill in their life story as you read their bio: Why did they go to that college? Their job seems sketchy. Why don’t they have more recent pictures?
After hearing friends’ success stories from dating apps, I’ve realized how dangerous filling in the blanks for someone is. You don’t know how someone’s financial situation contributed to where they went to school. You might be shocked to find out how interesting this person’s job actually is. Some people struggle with writing to people they don’t know, which could explain the lackluster app communication.
And this probably doesn’t come as a surprise, but if you’re dating men, most dudes don’t like to take pictures as much as we do. This contributes to the lack of updated photos you see on their profile. In fact, my friend almost swiped left on her now-husband for this reason.
Of course, obvious red flags will still exist. No need to throw on rose-colored glasses and pretend they’re not there. If you see a glaring issue that you just can’t get down with, hit ‘em with the left swipe. But if you’re scoping out a profile that looks appealing but also leaves a few question marks, give its owner the benefit of the doubt. Exchange a few messages and then meet face-to-face if you’re up for it. If your date ends up being laughably bad, you’ve got yourself perfect brunch fodder. On the other hand, you could end up hitting it off and being glad you gave the person a fair shot.
Photo: Riette Farthing/Clearly Perceived Photography