A Tinder Tell-All

From random flings to long-term things, we asked three students about their experiences on the world’s most notorious dating app.

This past summer, a couple on Tinder went viral when their conversations through the dating app blew up on Twitter. They had been messaging each other for three years at Kent State, keeping up the same joke the entire time: why it took them so long to respond. Messages like, “Sorry I was in the shower,” and “Sorry my phone died” were sent months apart. Hilarious and adorable, right?!

Anyway, Tinder saw the post and offered to pay for their first date anywhere in the world. The couple met on the Today Show and had their first date in Maui. Sounds pretty blissful, but if you ask anyone that has used dating apps, they’ll tell you that things usually don’t go that smoothly. The use of a dating app is more accurately depicted in Season 2, Episode 4 of Aziz Ansari’s show Master of None.

Ansari’s character Dev believes he has found the ultimate pickup line: “Going to Whole Foods, want me to pick you up anything?” But a multitude of dates doesn’t always reveal “the one;” Dev can’t find a connection that goes deeper than small talk and a cyber conversation. From a “funemployed” woman who doesn’t see the need to get a job because her parents are so rich, to a girl that takes a “bathroom break” to do cocaine, Dev’s dates show that successes in online dating are few and far between.

We asked a few UVA students about their awkward Tinder experiences and collected the following responses. My first interview was with a 3rd year female who described herself as “good at dating.” We met in the Alderman lounge. Ironically, it felt like a Tinder date.

When you first joined Tinder did you expect to have serious relationships?

“No, but my roommate dated her boyfriend [from Tinder] for a year and a half, and I know somebody else that had a similar experience.”

What are your conversations like with Tinder boys?

“That was really heteronormative. But the conversations are weird. Sometimes guys are just super weird. Sometimes they are really forward and super sexual – I don’t reply to those. Most people will just take one specific thing from your bio and expand on that.”

Any examples?

“I have where I’m from in my bio, and people will ask about things like whether or not Florida was affected by the hurricane. They’re holding me conversationally hostage – it obviously was affected.”

Where do you go for Tinder dates?

“Grit and Rev Soup.”

What is your advice for a new user?

“Go for having personality in your bio. I think the most important thing is to be sincerely listening so you have something to respond with and it is a real conversation. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, you’re there to get to know people.”

What is your most awkward tinder experience?

“Me and this guy [I met on Tinder] were in a class together and never went on a date. He messaged me on Tinder and we went to bars in a group. It sort of faded out, but he would text me when he was drunk. He texted me for the next seven months, and he was annoyed I wasn’t enthusiastic enough. We don’t talk anymore. We don’t even wave when we see each other in public.”

How do Tinder dates compare with someone you’ve met in person?

“The chances of you getting along are less likely. Generally when you go on a date with someone not on Tinder, you’ve met before or have stuff in common. With Tinder, you have no idea what you’re getting into.”

What do you look for on someone’s Tinder page?

“Most guys are very typical frat boys with Sperrys. They don’t have anything in their bios and have a game day or Foxfield picture. People that are funny and not cheesy are better. I don’t know, if somebody has a less expected picture or bio they stand out.”

Our conversation is overheard by a stranger walking by. “I’m afraid someone will kill me on one of those things,” they commented. “Social media dating is crazy.”

Do you have thoughts on that?

“I don’t think I am going to be killed. I go to public places. Although, my roommate went to the boy’s house the first time [they met], and then she spent the night.”

What are your thoughts on the Master of None depiction?

“That’s obviously an exaggeration. Usually you can filter who is going to be super weird based on a brief conversation.”

Would the Whole Foods line work?

“Yes, I love Whole Foods.”

What white girl doesn’t?

“I thought it was anonymous. I could be any race.”

WIll you meet your husband on Tinder?

“Who knows?”

Although my first conversation was enlightening, I wanted another point of view. So I called the first interviewee’s roommate, the one who met her ex-boyfriend on Tinder, and asked if she didn’t mind being interviewed.

When you first joined, did you think it was going to be anything serious?

“I think it was more of a window shopping experience. I was skeptical because I didn’t want to meet people I knew. I planned on meeting people, but the interface is so bare and simple so you have to market yourself, which I don’t really have a problem with, but I was a little awkward about it.”

What are your conversations like with Tinder boys?

“If someone has something quirky I bring it up.  If they have cheesy pickup line I immediately unmatch.”

Speaking of cheesy pickup lines, what are your thoughts on the Master of None Whole Foods line?  Would it work?

“I don’t really get the joke, I don’t think it would work for me personally.”

What was your most successful Tinder experience?

“I mean, I met my boyfriend of a year and a half on Tinder, so that. We hooked up the first time and we fell in love. 

My more recent was a guy with an outdoorsy profile. He had a man bun. Also, it was relatively easy and convenient. He did say he liked Dave Matthews, which made me uneasy, but I pulled through.”

Wait, I’m a huge Dave Matthews fan. Is this not something I should bring up to people?

“It isn’t going to be something that distinguishes you. Maybe a subtle t-shirt in a picture, or like a joke in your bio could work. But this is UVA, every boy is going to like Dave.”

So I just need to recognize it is kind of basic?

“There are worse turnoffs. I get skeptical when there is no bio, and if you are going to have it, it should be actually unique.”

What is your bio?

“I talk about my love for Louis C.K., mac & cheese pizza, The Fratellis, and ass luges.”

I was told I was too heteronormative in the past. Can we talk about what you look for in Tinder girls?

“Girls on Tinder is not successful at all. You’re better meeting people elsewhere or queer student unions. Bumble is better for girls. I don’t have time for that though because you have to respond fast and I just can’t prioritize it.”

So what is the biggest appeal of Tinder?

“There are two things. It is efficient, and it is safe from a distance.  Most parties acknowledge why they’re on there. At other locations, there is more to Tinder, but at UVA, it is primarily hookup culture. I like that it is no strings attached. No nonsense. At frats, guys will come up and just start drunk hitting on you. I like to be able to screen a little bit beforehand.”

Thoughts on safety of online dating?

“Never been a concern, sometimes I think a profile is fake though. That is usually if there are very few mutual connections or there are no captions. My policy is to swipe left on those.”

Will you meet your future spouse on Tinder?

“I don’t know, but saying I met a husband or wife on Tinder is not a problem at all for me.”

I also got a guy’s perspective. Not long after the previous two conversations, I talked to a buddy of mine who is notorious for his ridiculous Tinder antics. He didn’t disappoint.

When you first joined Tinder did you expect to have serious relationships?

“No. That is just not how I use Tinder *chuckles.* I use Tinder for sex, and if anyone gets weird about it I just block them.”

What do you mean by weird about it?

“If anyone tries to get my number and text, call or set up a date or anything like that.”

What are your conversations like with Tinder girls?

“Usually I wait and see if they’re eager enough to send me something. I use a lot of gifs of sexual things.”

Safe to say you’re pretty straightforward?

“I would say so ya.”

Have you ever gone anywhere on a Tinder date, if so where?

 “I don’t think so.”

Have you ever Netflix and chilled?

“Ya I’ve had girls come over to my place, but I don’t think that counts as a date.”

Advice for a new user?

“I would say send a lot of weird gifs. It’s a lot easier to be very blatant about sex through gifs.”

What is your most awkward Tinder experience?

“This girl sent me this really weird pick up line to start it off. ‘Wait are you in Comm Law because I Sherri recognize you.’ Idk dude, I was like wtf, but I was horny so….”

How do Tinder dates compare to someone you’ve met in person?

 “Usually if I hook up with someone in person, I’m down to see them again, but if I meet someone on Tinder I usually never want to see them again. That might be a little harsh haha. I would say that I’m more likely to pursue a long term thing with someone in person vs. on Tinder.”

Have you seen Master of None?  What do you think of the line “going to Whole Foods, want me to pick you up anything?” Have you ever used the same opener on several matches?

“No I haven’t seen the show. A year or two ago I used to use pick-up lines but now I just think it’s weird. So now I just say hey what’s up or send a gif. I might start using that Whole Foods line though – that’s hilarious.”

What is the biggest appeal of Tinder?


Do you have a bio on your Tinder account?

“I used to, I recently deleted it. It was ‘don’t be crazy like my exes’”

Any thoughts on the safety of online dating?

 “Not really. I’ve matched with people that are fake. They say stuff like, ‘come chat with me on my website’ or whatever. I just ignore it.”

Will you meet your future spouse on Tinder?

 *Laughing* “No. I would be depressed if I met my spouse on Tinder. Tinder is a dirty app meant for hook ups. It’d be really awkward trying to explain to people that I sent a gif of a train smashing into a cave to this girl and now we’re married.’”


Remember that Tinder couple who went wildly viral, got featured on the Today Show, and got a free date in Maui? Yeah, it didn’t really work out. The guy seemed super into it, and the girl hit him with a cold-blooded “We haven’t made any concrete plans yet, but I’m sure our paths will cross once we get back [to school].” Ouch.


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