Male Call: Will You Be My ‘Partner in Crime?’


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By James Roberts  

We are sometimes accused…OK, we admit…that some of the info we provide has no particular basis in reality outside the Male Call Advisory Board’s™ fevered imagination.

But this month, we swipe a look at your favorite dating apps and present cold, hard data!

First, Bumble, which bills itself as a location-based dating app where women make the first move: “We’re leveling the playing field.”

We looked at 82 profiles (at which point, some of them started repeating). Of these, 55 gave some kind of descriptive profile info. Amazingly, 27, that is, one-third, gave absolutely nothing other than screen name, age, city and calculated distance from you.

We had been advised that a lot of people use the same exact terms to describe themselves — to the extent that basically many profiles, are simply a collection of clichés and stock phrases that give no hint about the person’s individuality. The mission we set was to document the specific “most used” terms.

Some of these include “partner in crime” (which, as a dating cliché, goes back at least 16–20 years); “looking for my best friend;” “someone who has my back;” and “last first date.” Another popular phrase group, “Loves life,” actually dates back more than 40 years! Clearly, folks are simply snagging phrases here and there from 10-year-old Match.com profiles. These were not necessarily the most frequent, but they were disturbingly prevalent.

And now, the most-used terms among our sample of women over 50:

  1. “travel/traveling” (about 80 percent of women use this) — not including “road trips”
  2. “sense of humor/laughing/love to laugh/smiling”
  3. “movies” (tied with “humor”)
  4. “music/concerts”
  5. “hiking”
  6. “cooking” (tied with “hiking”) — not including “food” or “restaurants”
  7. “family and friends” — we actually recorded these separately, but they typically go together so this is probably the real #2.

Some negative terms, like “no drama,” “no hook-ups” or “no smokers” were also prevalent, often with the clichéd instruction to “swipe left.”

Interestingly, a number of profiles are written in third-person style: “loves animals and working out.”

Now, let’s look at Tinder, another “swipe left/right” dating app.

It seems that Tinder has a hook-up vibe because there are an awful lot more phrases from women bidding that you swipe left (“no”) if that’s what you’re looking for. Although no one asks you to swipe right for that, the photos might imply it.

We counted 70 non-repeating profiles of which 20 (29 percent) had no description other than screen name and distance.

Here, “sense of humor” and “travel” switch places, but that could just be a statistical anomaly. “Friends/family” came in third with “Music/concerts” and “no hook ups” (including “no scammers”) close behind.

There’s the usual collection of “hiking”, “adventure,” “love animals,” “beaches” and “outdoors” so the two services are pretty similar in use of those stock phrases.

Demographically, Tinder skews somewhat younger than Bumble but both allow you to specify the distance you’ll accept (up to 100 miles).

The takeaway from all this, as we’re fond of saying, is that if you want to sound exactly like everyone else, go ahead and plagiarize your old Match, Plenty of Fish, Mingle or back-of-the newspaper Personals write-ups. (And don’t forget the bathroom or car selfie.)

But, ladies and gents, if you wish to stand out from the competition — and make no mistake, they’re vying for your next partner — how about not just informing us that you’re classy, or that your friends say you’re funny: say something classy, be funny, tell us if you’re a first-class or coach-and-bus ride traveler…and maybe drop a hint as to what kind of farcical “crime” you’d like to partner-up for.


Need a guy’s perspective? Jot a note to Male Call at jrobertpenn@aol.com or check out the Male Call archives at www.words-in-action.com.


Photo by afagen on Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA
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