Up until about four months ago, I thought I'd dodged the bullet when it came to dating apps. My last relationship began when Tinder was still in its early, creepy hook-up phase. Even after we broke up, I insisted I'd get a cat before I'd ever get a Tinder.
Now, I have both.
I didn't want to get on a dating app, but felt compelled to after a friend told me she'd seen my ex-boyfriend on Tinder — only two weeks after the breakup. I felt hurt and betrayed in that petty and pathetic way so prone to exes scorned.
But instead of getting mad, I got even. Well, I got Tinder.
Once I logged in via Facebook, my friend — a seasoned Tinderella — helped me choose pictures for my profile. When it came time to write my bio, however, my thumb paused. I, a self-proclaimed, world-class babbler, was suddenly at a loss for words.
A few days later, I was thinking about my ex, the modern dating apocalypse, and whether I really needed to knit myself a fourth circle scarf, when inspiration struck. I opened my Tinder profile and wrote in my bio,
"I made this out of spite."
It was a joke, but one of those "It's funny because it's true, haha, don't you think it's funny? No, I'm crying from laughing, not from the fact I'm going to die alone" jokes. You know the ones.
Perhaps more importantly, my bio now offered all potential suitors a
warning preview into my personality.
Shortly after swiping with my new bio, I received a message asking me why I'd made my Tinder out of spite. This soon became a trend. Boys loved to ask me the same why/who/how questions about my spite and, in the beginning, I answered truthfully.
Without going into much detail, I said I'd made my Tinder after a recent breakup. Most guys chose to use this opportunity to their sexual advantage by suggesting I spite my ex further by going out with them. I declined.
After a few weeks of getting asked the same questions and telling the same story, I was annoyed. Granted, it was my fault. If I didn't want anyone to ask why I made my Tinder out of spite, I never should've put it in my bio.
Still, I wanted to rehash my breakup — even in the vaguest terms — with strangers who just wanted to get laid. So I decided to play a game.
Whenever a boy mentioned "spite," I responded with an outlandish and, in my opinion, funny explanation.
Here are a few of my favorites:
My responses started off as a joke, but have turned into an effective litmus test.
Because dating apps give you a seemingly endless supply of options, many people feel overwhelmed by the paradox of choice.
That's why I keep my spiteful Tinder bio. I figure any guy who asks me about it is up for a challenge. Through his response (if there is one), my litmus test tells me whether or not our personalities are compatible. If the joke goes over his head or gets under his skin, I know it's in both of our best interests to end the conversation.
I believe I've saved myself (and others) from a lot of bad first dates. They say you're supposed to kiss a lot of frogs before you meet your prince, but the swamp of modern love is overcrowded, and your prince is probably sitting in his parents' basement slipping on banana peels in Mario Kart.
Every so often, though, a guy not only thought my answer was funny, but countered with his own ridiculous response. Whenever that happened, I was astounded.
My system was so crazy, it kind of worked.
I recently met such a guy. We've been on two dates, and from the beginning to the end of each one, the conversation flowed. It's still early, and I don't really want a boyfriend right now anyway, but dating someone "out of spite" has taught me something important. It may be hard to find someone who not only accepts, but actually appreciates, your quirks, but it is possible. And you shouldn't settle for anyone who doesn't.
He now knows the real reason behind my spite, and, more importantly, gets why I didn't tell him when he first asked. "My sense of humor is pretty much all I bring to the table," I said, as a way of explanation. He didn't seem to mind.