Dating App Red Flags

Casey Rohlen

In a generation reared from the cradle with an iPhone as a pacifier and the internet as a blanket, the dating game is not what it used to be. Long gone are the days of lonely hearts ads and taking your sweetheart to the ice cream parlor. Instead, smartphone apps used to find a quick date or hookup like Tinder or Grindr are becoming increasingly popular among teens and young adults.

Even in the ruthless app-dating game, there’s no reason to sell yourself short or settle for a dude in a cutoff jean jacket (unless you’re really into Bruce Springsteen). There are just some things that ladies won’t go for if you give a bad first screen impression. These are your dating app red flags.

20-year-old junior Georgia Southern student Jessica*, a self-described bisexual and hopeless romantic, said that while she’s tried several apps to find the right person for her she’s now content with just sticking to Tinder. One of her biggest red flags is if you have a sassy profile, her level of interest swipes left as fast as she can move her finger.

“If I can just tell that someone is a jerk or stuck up from what they put in their bio, I’m done. I’m outta there,” Jessica said. “I am only on there to have fun and meet a fun person so if I can tell right off the bat that you think too highly of yourself I’m not going to bother.”

Besides being too crabby in your bio there is also the issue of being too bland. Alyssa*, a 19-year-old Georgia Southern sophomore, said that she needs a guy that has a sense of humor in his bio. Besides being a savvy wordsmith, she also requires that you be straight up about your pictures.

“I can put looks aside if a guy is funny or interesting, but you know if all his pictures are of him in a group of friends then he isn’t that confident,” Alyssa said with a laugh. “You have to play ‘Where’s Waldo’ in these pictures to find out which one is him and it’s like okay well now I’ve already worked too hard to care. Just put yourself out there, you’re already on Tinder.”

Then there are the classic red herrings, like girls or guys who only have pictures of their faces or from the chest up. Freshmen GS student Emily* said she doesn’t care about a guy’s body if he is not in too bad of shape, but there’s a limit.

Talking about the types of pictures a guy puts on his profile, Emily said, “I’m perfectly fine with a guy with like maybe one picture of his abs or something. Also though if it’s all pictures of him at the pool I’m like okay we get it. Kind of the same thing, if you never get to see a person’s body at all then it’s a red flag because you can’t tell what they really look like which is a must.”

These apps are all about riding that fine line. If you aren’t cute and you know it, you may want to start working on your pickup lines. Maybe even steal a joke or two because while girls may be less pretentious than guys (depending on who you ask) they still want you to have something going for you.

Some people want to see what you look like after the gym, but others find it unbecoming. Some suitors want people to be funny, but don’t want people to be too crass. Whatever you do, you can’t be afraid to put yourself out there and show some charisma. In the end, after a long day of hitting the Tinder slopes, all you can hope for is that you’ve made it out unscathed and hell, maybe you even got lucky. Happy hunting.   

*names have been changed per the request of the students

Feature image from