Like most millennials, I’m no stranger to online dating.
Almost everyone I’ve dated over the past two years I’ve met through Tinder.
Even as a high school student, I met my first boyfriend on a cringe-worthy pre-Instagram website called Snog Marry Avoid. If you take the time to look it up, you’ll know how embarrassing that really is.
Over the years, I’ve become somewhat of a dating pro; I know all the tricks for optimal right swipes, my red flags, and the best spots for first dates.
I’ve also talked to a lot of guys, and you’d be surprised at the ridiculous messages that dudes will send to a stranger.
But I’ve also learned that dating apps can be very draining, and even scary.
Facing rejection, a lot of men become aggressive and use slurs to try to make you feel bad about yourself.
Receiving threats is not uncommon. I encourage everyone to spend a few minutes scrolling through the @byefelipe Instagram page. The proof is in the screenshots.
It’s sad to say, but I have to do my best to protect myself online. There are many things I’m careful to bring up with guys too soon, like being vegan. But the one word that seems to turn guys off the most?
Laura Nowak, a George Brown College student, spent a year on Instagram documenting the offensive messages she received from strangers after simply changing her Tinder bio to “Hello I am a feminist.”
The results were overwhelmingly entertaining and also heartbreaking, as many proud feminists experience the same backlash.
“You’re too ugly to have that attitude. Go make me some bacon,” said one Tinder user to Nowak.
Over the past summer, Nowak decided to take a break from her Instagram account because it was “emotionally exhausting,” she said on Twitter.
I feel you, girl.
Tinder and other dating apps can be a lot of fun, and I’m thankful that I was able to meet some people through the app who are actually decent.
But for now, I’m happy to stay offline — at least until Tinder develops a filter for misogyny.