How much can you tell from a photo?
In my first post about Tinder I talked about it’s 2D quality, this is something that has fascinated me about this app, more so than anything else.
As I outlined in my rules, I wouldn’t fill in my ‘About Me’ section on the app, nor would I read any potential matches ‘About Me’ section. It was all done on face value alone.
So you look at a photo, and you have to go with your gut instinct. You’d be surprised how much you can tell from a quick glance at a photo, and it soon became very apparent, that not only could I be shallow and judge a face, but I could also be judgemental when it came to a whole bunch of other things.
Gym selfie? Yuck. Holding a cat? Who are you kidding? You think it’s appropriate to be swearing in your profile pic? I think I’ll pass.
I’m not proud of it, but when your looking at a picture and nothing else, these things that may otherwise have forgiven if you’d met in the real world, suddenly become very important.
That’s the incredibly superficial first glance before the swipe. What comes after is a little more complicated.
So you’ve glanced at a photo, you liked what you saw, or at least you think you do, and then you swipe to the right.
Once you’ve matched with some one then that photo gazing becomes even more important. You go back to their profile. You start to build up a whole other image of them based on what you can see on your phone screen. They look nice, I know it’s only a photo but you can tell right? And they seem funny from the messages they’ve been sending you. And confident. In fact they have asked for your number which is the equivalent of a guy asking in a club, in fact there’s not even as much messing around as that. It’s simple, they want to take you for a drink.
Nice, funny, confident. Those are 3 qualities I am attracted to both on and off paper. And the lack of game playing is refreshing. So you get ready for your date.
And this is when you realise how little a phone screen and a photograph can really tell you.
You don’t know whether or not to wear heels, because you don’t know how tall they are. You don’t know whether to be nervous, because you don’t know how confident they are in person. You don’t know whether it would be best to arrive early or late, because your not sure whether or not you will even recognise them in real life never mind in a crowded bar.
In all honesty I spent more time worrying about whether or not my date would be shorter than me than I did about recognising him. And it was a worry that didn’t go away. I went on four first dates, and each time, height played on my mind.
I couldn’t believe it hadn’t dawned on me sooner. I know I am attracted to height. It is one of the first things I notice about a guy, but being faced with a whole stack of 2d photographs had made me completely forget about my very 3d attraction.
And it didn’t stop there. Even once I had met up with a guy, and phew, they were taller than me, suddenly I started to notice a whole bunch of things that wouldn’t normally register in my list of things I am attracted to.
His posture, certain twitches/ habits that wouldn’t normally become apparent until a few dates in, and perhaps an obvious one, their voice. I realised from our 2d interactions, I had built up a scale model of who I thought they were, and so instead of enjoying these first dates, I was very consciously comparing the 3d model I had been building to the very real person in front of me.
I was meeting some one for the first time, but all those things that you would normally only subconsciously notice were at the forefront of my mind.
And that is probably the biggest thing that tinder has taught me. That a person isn’t built up from a list of credentials on paper, sure those are the things that make us swipe left or right, both on a dating app and in the real world, but it is all those little things that seep into our subconscious that really seal our attraction. A guy could be lovely and tall, but his posture is so bad he stoops way below your eye line. The words a guy is saying might be hilarious, but his tone of voice can take it from playful flirting, to a joke at your expense.
That’s not to say these dates weren’t enjoyable, I still really liked the guys I met up with, they just weren’t exactly the guys I had been expecting to show up but that’s a chance you take when you’re first date with some one, is also the first time you’ve ever met them face to face.
Have you ever met some one you met online? Did you have a similar experience? Leave a comment!
Next time, Tinder and Getting Back in the Game x