Tinderbell: clap your hands if you believe in online dating


At our college Exchange Dinner last night, there was a bit of an awkward moment when I went up to get a drink and Barman Sam boomingly announced to the entire room, “My roommate found you on Tinder!” Apparently, this roommate had come across my profile and remarked, “Elodie, that’s a weird name” (note: in this broadcast Barman Sam couldn’t even employ flattering poetic license to make it something like, “Elodie, wow! What an attractive girl. I can just tell from her 5 overly-filtered pictures and 2 sentence bio that she is fun, beautiful and an interesting conversationalist!”). Anyway, Barman Sam made the connection, and saw fit to make a Public Service Announcement of my Tinder presence to the entire college.

Moral of the story: have a less distinctive name if you want to fly under the Tindar (Tinder-radar – let’s make it catch on).*

I get that I’m kind of late to the Tinder discussion. If this were a party, I’d be licking the sappy residue of the punch bowl and scraping the last of the Burger Ring dust. But as my Dad always says, “Better late than never!” (situations in which this is not true: planting asparagus, contracting headlice, bursting into a church and yelling “I object!” at the speak-now-or-forever-hold-your-peace bit).

All I want to say is that, depending on what you’re after, there’s a right way and a wrong way to go about Tinder. A lot of my friends have gone on mildly-offensive/soul-destroying dates and complained that the guy was only after a hook-up. I’ve only been on a couple, but they were perfectly fine. I put this down to my simple 2-step vetting system:

1. Avoid guys cradling babies or doped-up tigers. Avoid Gym Rat ab shots, or club pics where the number of fluorescent drinks > the number of people. This is not so much an issue in Oxford, which has less Bin Tang and more white tie. But I guess the Oxford equivalent is: avoid guys cradling dead pheasantry or wearing pantaloons.

20nov5  20nov4  20nov3

(A typical Oxford Tinder selection)

2. Take a hint from the opening line. Don’t respond to anything that you wouldn’t respond to in a normal social situation.

Good openers:

– Normal greeting + interested query eg. ‘Hey! What brings you to Oxford?’

Bad openers:

– Anything employing the word ‘Babby’

– Unoriginal Tinder puns eg. ‘Will you be my Tinderella?’, ‘Congrats, you just won a Tinder Surprise!’, ‘Be my Tinder Evangelista?’, ‘On a mission to woo you: I’m a Tinder Tailor Soldier Spy’. Vomit.

Terrible openers:


(Misspelling of ‘have’. Unforgivable.)

Whilst it’s pretty easy to sort the wheat from the chaff, grinding that wheat into edible Tinderbread is a time-consuming task (ok sorry…definitely took that milling analogy too far…), so I’ll probably hang up my Tinder hat for now. Also, the double right-swipe isn’t exactly my ideal meet-cute.

* I do actually understand Sam’s roomate’s inclination to share unusual Tinder names. I once came across a guy named Beverage. Naturally, I screenshotted this and sent it to all my friends, captioned ‘Check out this tall drink of water!’

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