Sex + Dating

Popular Dating Apps, Imagined as Actual Guys

If you’re under 40 and have been single for more than, say, a week in your adult life, you’ve probably messed around on a dating app. Maybe you’ve even managed to meet a perfect stranger for some light flirting, awkward make out session, or vigorous sex. Or maybe you narrowly escaped a nightmare date early by saying your roommate texted you that she was trapped in the dishwasher (thinking on your feet is hard, okay?).

With so many apps out there, choosing the right one can be as complicated as choosing the right guy. To simplify the decision making process, just imagine if each app manifested itself as an actual guy with his own personality. Like these:


OkCupid loves to hike (especially in autumn!) and is alarmingly excited about his new road bike, which is weirdly in his kitchen next to the stove. Speaking of the kitchen: he’s a pretty good cook, and would love to make you dinner while he talks about how he liked Ryan Adams before he covered Taylor Swift, and even before Gold, despite the fact that he was only 10 when Heartbreaker came out. His favorite book is either Catcher in the Rye or a lengthy list of published works by the likes of Jonathan Franzen, Malcolm Gladwell, and Steven Pinker (with Roxane Gay tacked on at the end to prove he’s a feminist). There was a dog in his picture but there isn’t one in his house. He’ll make you eggs in the morning, and you’ll already have a rambling email from him by the time you get home.


Tinder’s favorite movies are Wedding Crashers, Anchorman, and Step Brothers, and he repeats quotes from each ad nauseam so he doesn’t have to think of his own things to say. He’s frighteningly proud of his Instagram account and will spend your first rendezvous (drinks, never dinner) showing you endless pictures of his limited-edition sneakers, EDM concerts he attended, and the bottle service he procured after said EDM concert. When his roommate is out of town, and he has the place to himself, he’ll send about 15 “You up?” texts. Sometimes no one responds, but that’s okay because he’s an optimist: The One -- or the Next One -- could be right around the corner at any moment.


Bumble works in inside sales, but he’s hoping to get promoted to client-facing work soon. He’s pretty confident it’ll happen, since he’s going golfing with his boss on Sunday before he settles in for a good eight hours of RedZone. He has a lot of photos of himself wearing clothes (mostly shorts) emblazoned with the American flag. If things between you get serious, the nicest small gesture you could make would be to wash one of his special protein shake bottles, because it must be done by hand.


Hinge is your brother’s hot friend you always had a crush on in high school but never thought you actually had a chance with. He went to an elite (but not TOO elite) college, has a cool job at a startup that helps kids learn to read, and does stand-up every once in awhile (and is actually not-terrible at it). When you run into each other at a party where you have mutual friends, you have a meaningful conversation, exchange numbers, spend the next week planning out your wedding, and then never hear from him again.

The League

Did you know he went to Wharton Business School? If you didn’t, you’ll hear it five times within the first 10 minutes of meeting him. You’re actually lucky to even be on this date because he had, like, a million other options. Even the summer camp he went to as a child had an acceptance rate of less than 12%. Is he one of the Winklevii? He looks like he could be a Winklevii. He loves anything Aaron Sorkin does (even The Newsroom), but his favorite movie is The Thomas Crown Affair -- you don’t happen to collect art by chance, do you? He can live with the fact that you don’t belong to any exclusive private clubs, but the deal-breaker will come when you think “squash” is just a vegetable. He’ll ask for the check without finishing his drink.



JDate is the only unmarried brother of a Jewish family from Long Island or Brookline, MA, and he’s desperately hoping to find a true love whose chicken soup is at least a close second to his mother’s. He’s a doctor or a lawyer (possibly both!), and he’s not opposed to the idea of hyphenating his kids’ last names. His last breakup was rough, but he had a solid rebound on that Birthright trip he went on right before he would’ve aged out of the program. If you’re a goy, he’s open to dating you, but it’d be nice if you’d be willing to convert. You know, for the children. And his mother.

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CharlotteWilder is a writer, photographer, and teller of questionable jokes living in Boston. Follow her if you don't mind going on the occasional detour: @TheWilderThings