Dear V

I want to avoid stranger danger …


I just joined Tinder about a week ago, so this whole “dating through social media” thing is new to me. I’ve been talking to a guy I think I might want to meet up with, but I’ve never just met up with a stranger. Can you give me a little “How To Tinder 101?”



Tinder Virgin



Dear Tinderella,

You’ve got to be willing to leave your shoe behind for somebody, and whether that requires you getting some coffee with that hunky dude you just got matched with or joining OkCupid, it’s time to take the leap of faith.

I understand your fear – he could be a creep who’s only looking to get into your pants or he could be a crazy person. You never know. Still, statistically speaking, this guy is most likely neither a creep nor a psycho.

In my experience, meeting up with someone from Tinder or any other dating site requires careful planning and preparation. You have to make sure that you dress correctly – not too nice or it’ll look like you’re trying too hard – and you have to make sure that you look enough like your pictures that he’ll recognize you when he sees you. We all like to pick the pics that we know make us look the best, but the trick to a successful meet up is making yourself as real as possible, online and off.

You don’t want to be a Barbie in your pictures and you don’t want to be a Barbie in person. Make sure that you pick a public place to have this date of yours – a Starbucks should do quite nicely – and just let it happen. You might not have the best time of your life but you’ll at least try something new. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Obviously, if he turns out to be weird or crazy then run away fast and don’t give him your phone number.

Also, try not to make plans with any dudes who look like they’ve pulled their picture out of a magazine ad.

Not to worry, I’m sure prince charming is out there waiting for you with your other crystal slipper in hand.

But in the mean time, you’re going to have to deal with dating some paupers. Just stick it out – the great magic mirror that is Tinder will eventually present you with a wonderful alternative for your love life.



April 20, 2014



Advice Columnist

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