Men on Tinder: Read This

by | Apr 14, 2019 | Johannesburg | 23 comments

Okay people. It’s time to talk about dating apps.

If you’re using a dating app like Tinder — or considering doing so — read to the end of this post. You could win a free dating app profile consultation and photoshoot.

I avoided the dating app scene for ages. The whole concept terrified me. But I have several friends who are using dating apps — Tinder most commonly — or have used them in the past, and while the feedback wasn’t 100% positive I’d heard a few success stories.

So a couple of weeks ago I swallowed my fear and downloaded the app. I chose a few photos, wrote a bio, and bam: I was on Tinder.

Heather on Tinder
Thanks to my friend Julia for shooting this picture of me last month. I think it shows what kind of person I am.

I thought I’d swipe on a few profiles, have some nice chats, block a few creeps, maybe go on a couple of dates. And much of that did happen, except for the dating part — I haven’t gone on a single Tinder date yet. But that’s a story for another post.

Anyway. The main thing I’ve done while browsing Tinder is laugh.

I don’t laugh because the men are witty (although a small percentage of them are). I laugh because many of the men’s profiles are — to be quite frank — awful.

Over and over, as I swipe left, I find myself wishing Tinder had a private comment section in which I could provide constructive criticism to people about how to make their profiles look and read better. Just a bit of advice from a professional online communicator, to be taken or left as the recipient sees fit.

I began screenshotting the worst offenders for future reference.

Unsolicited Advice to the Men of Tinder

Here are a few things I wish I could say to some of the men I’ve encountered on Tinder and Bumble, a similar dating app.

[Disclaimer: I’m a heterosexual woman, hence the profiles I see belong to heterosexual men. So I have to pick on the men here, even though I’m sure there are lots of funny/bad women’s profiles, too. #SorryNotSorry.]

You’ll see I’ve carefully removed all identifying characteristics from the screenshots below.

Tinder profile man on beach
Dear Beach Bum: Your bathing suit crotch isn’t your best feature. Perhaps choose a photo in which your face is the focus? Also, that crooked horizon makes me dizzy.
Tinder profile man with wedding ring.
Striped Shirt Guy: I’m guessing most of the photos in your phone were taken before your divorce. I totally get that. But women on Tinder don’t dig wedding rings. They also don’t dig photos in which your ex-wife’s arm is wrapped around your neck. This is going to require like five minutes of effort, but please find a way to produce a ring-free, ex-wife-free photo for your Tinder profile. Today.
Tinder profile man in car
Dear Driver’s Seat: You, like 78% of men on Tinder, seem to believe your car is the best place to shoot a profile photo. I assure you that is not the case. I do like your snazzy red leather seats but the belt across your chest is not a good look. So get out of that car, man, and shoot your selfie outdoors.
Tinder profile man with whiskey bottle
You’re 41, really?
Guy on Tinder with shark
No baby sharks, please. And pull up your pants.
Tinder profile man on mountain bike
Dear Cycling Sir: It’s good to show you have hobbies. However, 88% percent of South African men on Tinder are into mountain-biking and if I see another photo of a man in a bike helmet and spandex I will hurl my phone against the wall.
Tinder profile man in restroom
Dear Hustler: Restroom profile pics are a no-no. Especially with flash.
Tinder profile man and woman
Mr. Touchy-Feely: I hope this is your daughter and not your girlfriend. Oh no wait, that’s creepy too. I’m just going to swipe left, thanks, bye.
Tinder profile man with unbuttoned shirt.
Dear Belly Roll: Consider hitting the gym before unbuttoning your shirt on Tinder.
Tinder profile man's t-shirt.
While we’re on the subject of shirts: If you’re going to photograph your t-shirt and nothing else, please wash and iron it first.
Tinder profile bare wall.
Sorry, I don’t date walls.
Tinder profile man's nose.
I don’t date noses either.
Tinder profile bare chest selfie.
No dude. Just no.

And the number one piece of advice I want to give to the men I encounter on Tinder: PROOFREAD.

Tinder profile with bad typo.
You win, dude. You win Tinder.

A few more tips I’ve yearned to give, again and again:

  1. Smile.
  2. Take off your shades.
  3. Don’t say you’re 42 when you’re obviously 60.
  4. No photos of you petting a lion cub/tiger cub/cheetah. (If you’re wondering why, read this.)
  5. Write a bio. Profiles without words are boring.
  6. Avoid clichés like “Love the great outdoors”, “No baggage” (ha!), “Enjoy long walks barefoot on the beach” (really?), and “Looking for a partner in crime.” (That last one is my worst.)
  7. Try not to look like a serial killer.

Need Help With Your Tinder Profile?

As I fantacized about this mythical Tinder comment section, I began developing a second fantasy: To start a business helping people improve their dating app profiles. I may not be good at dating, but I damn sure know how to write a good paragraph and shoot a good portrait.

I mentioned the idea to my friend Frances, a fellow photographer and social media professional who knows her way around the dating apps. She told me she’s been entertaining the very same fantasy. And we thought: Wait, we should actually do this.

So we’re turning our fantasy into reality. We’re going to make Tinder a better place for everyone — hallelujah! Please join us in our quest.

To get things rolling we’ve decided to provide five free sessions to potential online daters — both women and men — who want to create new dating app profiles or improve their existing profiles. We’ll meet with you, do a photoshoot, and help whip your profile into shape.

If you’re interested in being one of our five guinea pigs, please send a message through my contact page explaining why you deserve to be selected. You’ll hear back from us soon.

Green Tinder profile photo
In the meantime, stop giving me nightmares.


  1. Maryke Wasserman

    ???????????????????? Deficated… You made my morning! Good luck with the business. And I will be following this new venture with interest.

    I work at a retirement village and get asked about phones and technology so much that I’m contemplating doing workshops for older people struggling with managing their phones.

    I’m not really a public speaker, and would rather write than talk, but that won’t work with the older generation as they really do connect better with a person than a persona!

    Thanks for this inspiring read, it just gave me the push to follow my new venture and at least see if there is interest in it.

    • 2summers

      Yeah, sometimes you just have to do things face to face! Let’s see how this venture turns out 🙂

  2. liz2you

    Hi There,
    Great idea! Dating sites have many success stories. Mine is one. Did the scrolling. Met 2 strange guys. Then met Mr Right and been happily married now for 9 years. Liz

    • 2summers

      Wow that’s amazing! Congrats

  3. michele

    Haha!! fantastic! best giggle I’ve had in ages!

    My experineces with dates on Tinder
    1. mostly from Edenvale and don’t know where Doppio Zero Greenside or Rosebank is… so no
    2. Bad Experinece : Emo man, good looking, fishing in the not very big pool of creative/boho, Jozi women- turned out to be a con man who borrows money (he got me with the emo talk) from the latest date to pay back the previous one. I’m telling you this because he’s still out there. Just scammed another friend who sadly is still in his clutches. He’s like a real live on-line scamster but in our midst funding his massage and sauce business by using the women he meets. Take care!
    3. Not so bad: Met a lovely photographer, hung out for a year, but it was me… I felt smothered and moved on…

    Better profiles without large fish, bootles of booze, daughters or bikes…. and maybe I’d try again!

    Good luck!!

    • 2summers

      Well that is good to know. Warning heeded!

  4. Peter

    Heather, you’re such a Hoot ….. Girls are way more in tune with life in general. Tinder, like Facebook would bore me to tears

    • 2summers

      Hahahaha. You just have to approach it through the right lens. I hear you though.

  5. eremophila

    Ha! While I think what you’re offering has merit, I’d want any man over 30 to be competent in basic communication. If he’s not then he shouldn’t be touched with a barge pole. Women have to keep their standard up, and not accept the dregs. And surely some mothers are to blame if they haven’t raised their sons better!

    • 2summers

      Oh yes. I absolutely blame the mothers (and fathers). And also this weird world we now live in that is ruled by social media platforms and smart phones.

  6. AutumnAshbough

    It is so hard to believe these are even real. Because how? So hilarious, though, thank you for sharing.

    hmmm. I dunno if I completely approve of you offering your services to clean up Tinder. It’s like false advertising. If I were a woman dating, I’d be grateful for all these red flags, as it would help me avoid creepy, self-centered, and just plain stupid dudes.

    • 2summers

      I do think maybe some of the profiles are fake/just people joking around. But still.

      And I hear what you’re saying…We’re hoping to help nice, un-creepy people just be a little more like themselves. Let’s see how it goes.

  7. Nine

    Hello, I can sooooo relate to this article. As a single woman of 55, Tinder is out of bound for me, the curser goes as far as 56 I think.
    However, over the years, I have been in and out – more out – of dating sites and I noticed a definitive deterioration of the candidates caliber: hardly a good photo, very few bio and when you get in touch, it is a deeply meaningful first connection: “hi…”.
    It really gets me excited ????
    Helping people and men in particular to improve their profile is a great idea but if they can’t even post a good photo or write a decent bio, it will eventually show during the first date… If date there is…

    • 2summers

      Hahaha. I feel you. (For the record, I just checked the Tinder age range and it goes all the way up to 100+! So you’ve got about 50 years to change your mind ????) I’m still trying to be hopeful though, at least for other people. Looking forward to helping people be their best selves online 🙂

      • Nine

        Yeah! The curser gives me hope!!!! Your intention is great and I hope that the love you spread will come back to you ????

  8. George

    Wow… these are horrible (and so funny – cause it’s true)

    • 2summers

      I know right?!

  9. Hier "blok" Ek!

    ???????????????????????????????? Jeez Louise, luckily I’m very much married… But this was a excellent read. In my days dating was much easier and seems to me much more fun. Jy het dit gekry wat jy sien en aan kon raak… Geen filters, geen niks, wat jy sien is wat jy kry????

    • 2summers

      Hahahaha. Well I guess it depends on how you define ‘fun’ ????


    I 100% support this initiative, if you need help let me know. It is a sad sorry state out there!

    • 2summers

      Hahaha, a sorry state indeed!

  11. Keri

    Oh my god. Your tinder article made me laugh loud. I have a winning crotch shot that I have sent all my friends – what is it with these guys?!? Apparently one of the female versions of mountain biking is women in contorted yoga poses – ha ha – and the adding cat ears and nose to your pic.
    Also why are there so many pictures of children on tinder!?! Very odd. Rather just say you have kids in your profile – don’t post their pics on tinder, they would be mortified.

    Thank you for the laughs!

    • 2summers

      Yes, the kids! That one also bothers me immensely, especially when the person posts a photo of a kid and not himself!


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