Friday, July 25, 2014

The Gastro Pub

I'm on a business trip to Columbia MD, where the NSA is and where much of the industry does its work. Columbia is an intensely boring town, as I remember from my many years of living here, but in the last decade it has boomed financially, and so there are now things such as "Gastro Pubs".

Victoria's Gastro Pub is not far from the place where I'm staying, so I went there for dinner. Sitting at the bar (as one does when one is alone), I ordered a wine and people watched for a while, and eventually the couple next to me cleared out and a guy arrived and sat down and ordered a beer. No ring, reasonably fit, well dressed, early thirties. He seemed slightly nervous so I opened with "Tinder date?"

Which, it turns out, was exactly correct. "Phil" was a salesguy working in the big financials (one of our clients so I won't give away which one), who was on a Tinder date with a girl he'd never met and had only talked to briefly. She was late, so we ended up talking for a while and he said some interesting things I figured I'd share.

First of all, Tinder dating is expensive! The impulse is to Tinder yourself a date basically every night, which is fun but exhausting, and about a grand a week. ("Or more in NY", says Phil). And you could see why he was exhausted as four different girls texted him while we were talking, one of whom was clearly just inviting him back to her place to have sex ("dinner"). Tonight's date kept him up to speed on her GPS's ETA at all times, as if worried he would leave because she was so late.

Secondly, he rarely has sex with girls on Tinder dates. Essentially his process is to send them a joke, then let them then immediately send him their number, and then chat them briefly there until they meet up. His profile reads just 6'3" and has some rather grainy pictures of him.

But weirdly, even though there are girls he likes that he could focus on, he's continually still dating. In particular, a broadway actress in NY is someone he's really into, but he told her he lived in NY and now has to walk that back. Right there you can see the salesguy impulse to close a deal at any cost. . .

Invariably he does not date the girls he ends up having sex with - they just invite him over or there's a quick drink at a bar and then they go back to his place.

He emphatically was not that into this particular date, and I was there for most of it (she arrived on queue with her GPS estimates), which occurred at the bar,  and got to watch his game. Even when he's not that into a girl he's playing fairly decent pick up artist style game. None of which mattered. Her attraction to him was essentially mathamatical.  It was almost boringly about his statistics, and not him as a person. "All girls want is someone normal" he quipped to me, and he was entirely right with this girl. But fuck it, why would you want a girl who wanted someone normal? I asked in my own head.

When he went to the bathroom I talked to Lauren and she showed me her Tinder. "It's great, you just click on it and a guy takes you to a bar..." she says, and she has about the same size list of people that he does. She's an RN and does not yet have Netflix, which means there is some room for that stock to grow, I guess. "I would go out with him again", she told me when I asked how he was doing. She repeated that again slightly louder when he got back, just in case I didn't pass the message along.

I got a text when I got back to my hotel room, a short 20 minute drive from the Gastro Pub, that he had already bailed on his date, after making out with her for what must have been the shortest session ever in her car.

"She's gross" he texted me "Just wait until you see Bmore tmrw night".

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Ok, so dating is "new to me". But here's what I've gathered:

1. lol is girlspeak for "ask me out!"

2. liking a Tinder moment is what you do when you want to be contacted, but you can't make the first move for some reason.

3. According to my (admittedly not huge) sample set of Tinder-dates, I am always the first person any girl I meet from Tinder has ever gone out with from Tinder. Or perhaps I am really gullible to believe that. For example, if Tinder was not working for you, why are you on Tinder every ten minutes? Is it that addictive to rate guys and see how their text-message game is? All girls are swamped by guys reaching out to them, as far as I can tell, but maybe the actual "let's go out" portion is scary?

Also, a lot of girls do this "pose with my mom" Tinder shot (see below). Sometimes they do it as their first Tinder image. As mystifying as the "pose with my ex-boyfriend" shot. However still better than girls who pose with a young kid and then write "the child is my niece" as their info. Just choose a different picture!

The ever popular up-nose with-my-mom-picture. Should have put "I am the one on the left" in her info field.

I think a good Tinder-dating motto is that you should really leave people better than you found them. When you take that pressure off yourself to "score" (or in female terms "find a serious relationship") and are just there to have a good time, what's so scary about it? Is meeting new people that painful?

I spoke to a CIA guy once and we were talking about recruiting and he said "A lot of times yes, the people you are recruiting are the scum of the earth. But you can find a way to connect with literally anybody! There's going to be some aspect of that person's personality that you like - some piece of them that is interesting and worth learning about. Just do that, and let the rest work itself out." 

All I'm saying is: If he can hang at a campfire in Tikrit and connect with a goat-herder, you can hang at a bar in South Beach with an accountant and probably still have a pretty good time. Honestly though, don't go to a bar. The best Tinder-dates are anywhere else, as far as I can tell.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Things You Do


Do some basic curation of your picture. I dunno why this is hard. They have the world's simplest interface. There's no excuse for a picture of yourself with your ex boyfriend as your cover picture. Maybe I'm missing something and you're indicating that you want a threesome?

"I was once in a relationship, but now I'm on Tinder"

Also, as a note, pictures of you with your aged grandmother or mother are probably not ideal? And I'm mystified by the number of pictures of girls with TRULY MASSIVE DOGS where the dog is most of the picture. Hey, we get that you love your dog. Guys, however, are not looking to have sex with you because you have a dog. Big dogs are like "guy replacements". Small dogs are neurotic fashion accessories. It's hard to win with a picture of your dog unless you're super hot and artistic.

Here's an example of how to do it right, assuming you must have your giant dog in the picture:

"I'm super hot, artistic and happen to have a dog."


The most common thing girls say who want to get "left swiped":

1. I like to travel.
Yes, everyone likes to travel. Vacations are awesome.

2. I'm not looking for a hookup.
This is what people say who are unable to utilize basic girl skills to transform a hook-up into a multi-night event and then into a relationship. Have some confidence in your skillset!

3. "I'm looking for a gentleman".
If this is code for "I want to get paid for sex" then you are dialed in perfectly to what guys are hearing when you say this. But that's what is for. Not Tinder.


Tinder gives you friends on Facebook that you share with people, and you have a picture of that person and their first name. It's pretty easy, if you like someone, to go to your shared friend, scroll down their friend's list, and find out more about the person. So don't be surprised when someone on Tinder manages to know who you are!