So, you’ve done it.
You’ve broken up with your toxic ex and you’re finally ready to become a better you and be in your That Girl era. Let me start by saying I’m proud of you.
Equipped with your new Shopee yoga mat, assorted claw clips, and scented candles, you’re determined to join the self-love girlies in finding happiness on your own. You’ve been in a relationship for quite awhile, after all, and adjusting back to the single life seems kind of exciting.
Except… It’s hard.
Maybe I want someone to tell me I look cute in my claw clips; and maybe having someone to do yoga with would make it more fun for me— ehem, I mean you.
Toxic relationships aside, admittedly it can be nice having a man in your life. During this conflicting time of thorough introspection to find inner peace, you might resort to using distractions to keep your mind off of it. The distractions in question being dating apps, of course.
Being a seasoned dating app user myself, I’m here to help make your dating app experience as breezy as possible in singlehood solidarity. So, this is your dating app survival guide, where you’ll find my 5 red flag categories to look out for in men…
The first thing you’ll see on a man’s dating profile is his picture. That is, if it’s even a picture of him.
Catfishes aside, you’d be surprised how many men think it’s a good idea to put an internet meme as their introductory photo.
While a sprinkle of casual internet humour can be a good thing, look out for men who use way too many memes to compensate for their lack of good pictures of themselves. I mean, how will he take your fit pics if he can’t even take his own?
This rule also applies to men who only show you pictures of themselves with a mask on. What exactly are you hiding under there?
A good dating profile will show you your potential match engaging in his routine interests. A picture of him chilling with his pet? So cute. Cooking up a 5-star dinner? We love that. A shirtless picture at the gym, though? Errr…
I’d watch out for the overly-enthusiastic gym bros. A shirtless photo is never a good sign.
Perhaps he should take some of that time he uses “rising and grinding” and invest it into making a more interesting profile.
You click on his profile and you see his bio. Wait— is there a bio?
If he doesn’t have a bio and you swiped right, please love yourself more. Okay, I’ll admit, I have been guilty of it in the past too, but no face is good-looking enough to ever make up for a lack of personality.
The developers of these dating apps were definitely onto something when they added the traits feature to users’ dating profiles. From there it’s just a matter of analysing and, the fun part; jumping to conclusions.
If he has an “apolitical” trait, how will he side with you when you vent to him about the politics at your workplace? If he’s “not looking for anything serious”, how will he take your problems seriously if you decide to open up to him?
See where I’m going with this?
All this being said, a man who treats his bio like it’s his undergrad thesis complete with multiple paragraphs isn’t necessarily a good sign either. Expect waking up to potential 3am
paragraphs novels. Unless you’re into that, this one’s a left swipe.
BONUS TIP: If his bio contains any variation of the below phrases, he’s ran through.
- “If we vibe, we vibe”
- “Looking for someone with the same halal-haram ratio”
You scroll down and you might see his top artists on Spotify. Another great tool for weeding out the bad from the good.
Of course, music taste is subjective. But do you really want to date a guy whose top artist is XXXTentacion? Imagine going out on a supposed romantic night drive, you pass him the aux, and it’s song after song from artists with problematic and/or abusive histories. Major mood-killer.
Find a guy who shares your top artists. Not only will you have a lot to talk about together, it also indicates good taste. Good taste goes a long way in ensuring lasting attraction!
Before I get into this, let me start by saying I love watching movies as much as the next guy. That being said, I still can’t help but shudder every time I see the word ‘cinephile’ on someone’s profile.
If he says he’s a cinephile, he’s probably about to tell you that his favourite movie is Pulp Fiction and/or American Psycho.
I mean, we love men who are passionate about things like music and movies, and Tarantino is clearly good at what he does, but if he’s one of those film bros who thinks films like these are the absolute apex of great cinema, you may need to spend some time expanding his horizons.
Even more alarming, if he’s one to actually idolise Patrick Bateman from American Psycho, or Jordan Belfort from The Wolf Of Wall Street, or maybe even Tommy Shelby from Peaky Blinders, this is your sign to run.
Congratulations! You’ve made it past his profile and you’ve matched with him! You start a conversation with him to get to know him more and he… insists on meeting you tonight?
Unless you both have discussed being DTF, a guy badgering you about meeting at night is your sign to immediately forward his photo and information to the group chat. Needless to say, do not go. Report him to the horny police instead.
Besides that, be wary of dry texters. Is it not enough that you have to carry the weight of being a woman in this world that you have to carry the conversations too?
Make sure he’s asking you questions to keep the chat going (this rule does not apply to him asking you if you’re “open-minded”). The green flags here are open-ended questions, decent-lengthed replies, and maybe even sending you some cute pics of his cat!
There you have it! My extensive guide to making sure you’re getting the best possible dating app experience while trying to figure out how you wanna start living that good ol’ single life.
However, my biggest piece of advice if you’re looking for a distraction from your recent breakup is probably to not go on these dating apps at all. The post-breakup inner peace does come on its own eventually.
In fact, going on these dating apps might even make you realise that you’re not going to find it through seeing more men. Try out that new yoga mat instead!
Whatever you choose, I wish you all the best in becoming That Girl and may your scented candles burn longer than any fling you might get from these apps!