Written by: Elena R.

For those who still do not know what Tinder is, let me briefly explain. Tinder is a mobile app, which roughly speaking replaced old-fashioned dating websites. You see a profile of a person with usually several pictures and sometimes even small info and you need to decide straight way – whether you like that person or not. If you do – swipe right and if it is mutual, you can start a conversation. If you are not interested in someone – just swipe left and that person will never disturb you.

Majority of users are seeking relations, but you can also see someone trying to sell something, practice a language or even make friends.

The reasons why I downloaded Tinder were simple: new emotions and a challenge. Liking someone’s profile by absolutely ridiculous subtle reason, matching, chatting for a while and then meeting for the first time (and keeping in mind that most likely you would not ever meet without this app) – isn’t it exciting and scary? And you never know, right?
I was planning to use Tinder regardless of any failures or disappointments which could happen until I can say that Tinder works and has a positive effect on at least my life. Eventually, I met 6 different men by this app. Let’s have a look what is what.                   

1) Cairo Expat

I liked the profile of this European guy as the selection of pictures was, to put it mildly, very weird. It varied from photos of him in galabeya and ghotra on some business meeting (pretty strange for a non-Arab guy, hah?) to James Bond style snapshots and nerdy selfies. During the conversation, he proved to be very intelligent and he definitely had a nice sense of humor. He never called me so I could not judge him upon his voice.
I remember how I was nervous and excited to meet my first Tinder date. He seemed to be a mystery with a beautiful mind for me. In any case, I thought at least I would find a friend to speak about the universe and ethics with, and a friend who could expand my horizons.

In a few days, after we started chatting, we agreed to have breakfast together. I was not late, but he arrived first. Punctual, 1 point in his favor. When I entered the café, I easily recognized him, as he was the only fair haired and lonely man there. The very first thought in my mind after seeing him was “Oh, NO! But be nice to him, be nice…” He had regular features, but something pushed me away. Also he was much taller and bigger than I expected. But as I was tuned to have fun I did my best to make him feel comfortable.

When he greeted me I was shocked; his voice was absolutely identical to the one of my ex-boss! Though I would be happy not to meet my ex-boss ever again in my life, the fact that the guy spoke like him was odd but not critical.
His beverage order was quite strange – lemon juice and coke. He didn’t mix them, but he was drinking them alternately. I know it’s silly to judge a person upon his beverage choice, but I do love when men drink man’s drinks, like double espresso for coffee or strong alcohol instead of liquors and cocktails. Anyway, I would not give up on someone for that.

Our conversation was relaxed and pleasant. But there was something that prevented me from getting to know that guy better. I was slightly confused that while speaking he was a bit drooling. I tried to not concentrate on his mouth and stared at the table instead. Surprisingly, I noticed one more weird thing – black dirt under his nails. In Cairo! Where did he find such a dark dirt in the dessert?!- I was wondering and searching for a new place to focus on…

After that breakfast, we sent each other thank-you-for-a-lovely-morning messages and never spoke again. Perfect harmony.

2) Young CEO

Well, this is the first and so far the only person whose profile pictures I really liked. Especially facial features, they just caught my eye. Objectively, they were not perfect, though very attractive. I was glad he liked my profile too, so we got the chance to chat in that application. He was the first to write and he wrote a lot. He seemed to be over-excited and emotional, what made me be wary a little. I do not remember how we switched to What’s App and then had our first phone conversation. Everything was fast, natural and with ease. His voice was pleasant and with some special accent in English. During one of our conversations, he invited me and my friend (surely female) for a dinner to Pier88 (!). Moreover, he mentioned he was the richest and hottest guy I could meet in Cairo. And here I understood that something was wrong. Obviously, he was rich and frivolous. And I didn’t mind both. I never planned seeing him again after that evening, frankly speaking. He didn’t ask me if we needed a pick up; he just told me that the car would be waiting for us at 8:00 pm. Nice start. As time passes, I can see this young man had a talent to make a great first impression on anyone when he wanted it, needless to say.

When me and my friend were approaching the car, he got out to greet us and my first thought was “God, you’re so handsome!” He was tall, gent and in a black suit with a black shirt. Awesome. He invited one of his friends as well. And that was a perfect friend to join us! His first language was not Arabic, so we all together spoke English in a natural manner. It revealed that my Tinder guy was a CEO of several companies in Cairo, who lived half of his life abroad and recently came back. He was super caring that evening. He gave me his jacket when I felt cold and went to check on me when I lingered in the ladies’ room. He requested to change my pasta as it was warm but not hot, though I did not complain. That evening his aggressive part showed up a bit. When a man from a nearby table was gazing at me (I didn’t notice however) the CEO shouted to his face something like “What are you doing?!” but using more harsh words. I did like it. Generally, he swore a lot and often. He drunk cocktails, not straight strong alcohol, but none of that was a disadvantage in my mind then. In the middle of the evening, in front of everyone, he invited me for a date, stating that this time it was just a meetup to make me feel comfortable. I didn’t plan to have a second date with him, but I could not say “no”.

Unfortunately, the fairytale finished with the first evening. The second meet was completely opposite. To begin with, I was in a very bad mood that day (what hardly ever happens to me) for some personal reasons. I didn’t want to disappoint him by cancelling the date, so I went. I tried to be cheerful, smile and joke, but he noticed something was wrong with me. I told him very generically the matter and he just dryly answered that there was nothing to worry about. He became very busy; he was always speaking to someone or over the phone, surfing the internet or updating his social nets. He was not a gentleman anymore. For a thousand small reasons like that I felt very down and uncomfortable. I wanted just to run away, and for good. Surprisingly, he noticed it and offered to send me home. Precisely “send me home”, not to leave together.

Afterwards, he stopped calling and texting me. Perhaps by some reasons he considered me as not suitable and funny enough for him. This entire situation didn’t go without leaving a trace for me. It was nice that he just lightly touched my heart and disappeared. He could hold it in his hands and then break it into pieces. And these kinds of guys always do that.


3) American Tourist

His profile had very average pictures, but the info was smashing! Very well thought out and interesting. So, “LIKE”. The guy was an American student, travelling across the Middle East. We did not talk much through the app, but the questions he asked were far from ordinary. He was interested in my childhood, family, my views on psychology, morality, aliens… 1 point for the extraordinary.

We met very suddenly. He told me he was entering the Egyptian Museum while I was very near to it and I had free time. So we had a walk together. I did not wear makeup and, moreover, I put on the first things which dropped out from my closet as I was in a hurry. But it didn’t spoil the fun. My first impression when I saw him was exactly the same with the one I had looking at his pictures – “nothing special”. Plus in real life he looked a little bit nerdier. I persuaded him not to take a tour guide, as I was not planning to have the most boring afternoon in my life that day. I was telling him stories of Ancient Egypt I remembered. In his turn, he trusted me with his professional camera and explained how to use it. I was flattered and happy like a child. We laughed a lot, spoke to strangers and got to know each other better. At 5 o’clock, we were literally kicked out of the Museum. I called for him an Uber and gave some money as he ran out of cash. Using this as an excuse he invited me to a bar next day, in order to pay back. The invitation was accepted (not because of the money) and I chose the place. Absolutely by chance we bumped into a friend of mine and her boyfriend there. I was happy to introduce them to each other, hoping that now the evening would be more lively and bright. No such luck. That couple didn’t understand our jokes and topics for conversation at all and considered us totally screwed up. When no one understands jokes of two, it is always a good sign, a forerunner of true friendship.

As for the dislikes, there were few subtle things I wanted to change. Firstly, I didn’t like the gesture he always used instead of saying “What a pity!” or “That’s sad”. He swiped his index finger across his face imitating a running tear. For me this gesture seems to be too girlish. And second thing was he always asked me to carry his stuff, for example, bottle of water, souvenirs, jacket, bags etc. It was not hard for me, but I would prefer him to be more courteous.

While we were sitting in the bar he tried to postpone his airline ticket for several days, saying that he wanted to spend more time with me. He didn’t succeed in that and I admit I was happy inside. I liked his mind, sense of humor, some lightness of being… But I liked him purely as a friend and I didn’t want to have any opportunity to develop our friends’ relations into something more. This could be a beginning of a beautiful friendship but when the friendship is newly born, distance does matter. Anyway, thanks to Tinder I have a kind of friend in Miami now.

4) Mr. Nice Guy

I would often find myself staring at fair-haired Egyptians with pale skin. And probably I would not know personally anyone from these exceptional citizens without Tinder. This physical feature certainly was not the main reason to like his profile. I loved one of his pictures in which he looked confident and kind. Very rare and attractive combination. By unknown reasons, he liked me too and we started to converse. I was overwhelmed by his “care”. Thousands times he asked me if I ate, what I ate, whether I slept well and felt ok and etc. Definitely it would be cute if he knew me, but in this case it was quite strange. Several days we chatted in Tinder, then he invited me to What’s App. Later he started sending me voice messages, at first very short ones, then longer and longer and finally he called. That was his way of “domesticating” me. His patience and creativity were above the average. We met for breakfast shortly. He was just 10 minutes late, not bad. When I saw him approaching me, the only thought in my mind was “Maybe it’s the wrong man? Why does he look so different from the photos?!” Not worse or better, just different. I felt some calmness, softness and kindness around him and it made me treat him as a younger brother somehow.

The place was very noisy, but he didn’t raise his voice despite my countless requests to do so. He smoked one cigarette after another though I begged him to stop. But regardless of several acts of disobedience like these, he was totally Mr. Nice guy! He did not make any effort to look better in my eyes than he was, not even a smallest attempt of showing off – it impresses. He was a kind of guys whom girls love to have as friends. You feel comfortable to call Mr. Nice guy at 4.00 AM and ask to help with your car, he congratulates you with all holidays somehow related to you, he doesn’t forget the name of your hamster and he always speaks nicely about you behind your back. That’s how I saw him after our first meeting.

The aftertaste of the morning was pleasant and light. During two following weeks he tried to invite me out two or three times, but due to my work and some personal issues I couldn’t make it. I didn’t see anything reprehensible in that, however Mr. Nice guy suddenly stopped being nice and brought down on me tons of convictions and complaints. The mildest among them were “Why did you give me a chance and avoid me now?”, “I thought you were better than this”, and “You disappointed me”. Mr. Nice guy aka Drama King was off the race. I didn’t want to imagine his reaction for graver situations and decided to slowly escape from his life.

5) Stalker

Never like anyone’s profile in Tinder for the reasons not connected directly to his owner.

I picked up his profile because of the photo with dogs. They were awesome! Though I was sure that the guy himself was not my type. Still I decided to give it a shot and probably to show myself that judging upon photos is sometimes wrong. We just started chatting and he was already insisting on meeting up. I had my excuses not to see him, but the truth was I really did not want it yet. He was very intrusive and pushy, so I had to delete him from my Tinder.

Surprisingly, in a week or so, he sent me a friend request on Facebook. No idea how he found me, for that – a second chance. So we started speaking again. According to Facebook, he had a good education (though it doesn’t say anything about a person) and a noble job. Without having properly talked to me, he again invited me out. Out of curiosity, I agreed. He asked me to choose the place by myself, as he lived in Maadi and did not know the city center well. Minus 1 point. He offered to pick me up and made me wait for 1 hour near the road as he suddenly got stuck in the traffic. To my own surprise (usually I am very peaceful), I slammed the door of his car and yelled him something sharp instead of “Hello”. However, at this point, my flash of anger was over. I looked at him again and thought “Wow! How inphotogenic you are!”  He looked much better than in the pictures, the car was clean and not messy inside, but his voice! Sometimes when he got emotional, his voice would become very thin and high, not something attractive for a man in my mind. But I could deal with that. When he got out of the car, I noticed he was pretty tall. He even joked that his height was his main advantage. But later, I doubted it was a joke…

Place for our second meet he chose by himself, and the place was a disaster. Cold, empty, dark and with lousy drinks. And to make it worse, in that place, he confessed to me that he had a list of girls with whom he had close relations and now there were 120 girls from 50 countries. No comments.

To save the evening, I offered to go somewhere to play billiards. We headed to Maadi, but as he missed some turn we had to take a long bypass road. The night was so beautiful, roads were empty, NileFM on… Just we had nothing to speak about. My lame attempts to start some topic failed. That 1 hour in the car showed me that even if a guy seems to be smart, funny and handsome, it doesn’t mean you match or even can enjoy each other’s company.

Entering the pub, he assured me that when we finish he would drive me home. I tried to insist on the taxi, but he told me that he was not one of those shitty guys who could do that. We finished late at night and I played my favorite trick. I told him that it was very late, he had work next day and was tired and as we were in Maadi, his area, it would be better if I took a taxi. He easily agreed! NEWSFLASH! This guy isn’t worth a damn. As soon as I got home I deleted him from Facebook as well.

6) Bodybuilder

Pictures of his profile looked like a model’s pictures. Very beautiful, professional and showing that his life was far from boring. In one picture he was kissing a wild cheetah, in another he was with surf, the third one was while skydiving… Nevertheless, there were two problems: he was a bodybuilder and I didn’t like them, secondly he was handsome but somehow not attractive for me. I always try to fight my fears and stereotypes and that was the case. I never had friends among bodybuilders and perhaps my attitude to them was wrong. I liked his profile, he liked mine. He wrote me first, but he always seemed to be a bit reluctant to talk. And when he spoke to me, it felt like if he was doing me a favor. We chatted on Facebook for about a month before he invited me out. And all our conversations consisted of my questions and his answers. He loved to be “interviewed”. And frankly speaking, it was hard to ask questions right along. But I did it, partly because I wanted to meet him, partly because I wanted to challenge my imagination. After I passed the “conversation” period, he invited me to meet. I waited for a month till this day and then in the restaurant I waited for him for 2 hours! He got stuck in the traffic, or in other words, he didn’t care much to be in time. I don’t know why I waited all that time, probably as a self-respecting girl I should have left after 30 min of waiting.

First thing I liked about him when we met was his black leather jacket, and a nice black leather jacket will always make one look like a rock star. He was not wide as a wardrobe, and I already was happy. His voice was sharp mechanical and loud, very suitable for his huge body, but not to my liking.

Our conversation was smooth and easy going, though we did not agree on any point we were discussing. When he was getting angry or annoyed, he was just slowly turning his head left or right – that was the cutest part in him! After our dinner, I came to the conclusion that he was crazier than me and I admit, it scares me. He did not drive me home as he was in a hurry to go to the gym. That says a lot.

To understand him better, I agreed on the second meet and it was going to the cinema. We had plenty of time to chat before the movie and after. That plenty of time clearly showed me that we don’t have any emotional connection at all. We could speak, joke, laugh, but I did not feel him and I didn’t enjoy our communication. So, khalas, no more outings with him.

I met these 6 people during 2 months period and I can say that Tinder is a great app and it’s a way to bring some diversity into your life! Well, we don’t keep in touch with the guys I met now, but I never regretted getting to know any of them. First of all, I conquered my fear of meeting new people. Before, I was scared to have a cup of coffee tet-a-tet with a stranger as probably we wouldn’t like each other or we would have nothing to speak about. Now, I feel quite comfortable doing that. But what I value most as an outcome of my Tinder adventure is that I felt a real connection between a person’s appearance and their character. But this is another story.

P.S. I did not delete the app yet..

  • Nour

    Hey there, great article ! I like how you analyzed every single situation and every single action. I am pretty curious about a lot of things including how safe is tinder in Egypt?
    do you think there is a stereotype here in Egypt that all the females on the app are hoes? Also is the idea of meeting people online worth it? Its good and all for one two three meetings with the person but would it lead to any true long lasting relationship/friendship ? I am very interested in the topic if you are down to connect.

  • Nour

    Hey there, great article ! I like how you analyzed every single situation and every single action. I am pretty curious about a lot of things including how safe is tinder in Egypt?
    do you think there is a stereotype here in Egypt that all the females on the app are hoes? Also is the idea of meeting people online worth it? Its good and all for one two three meetings with the person but would it lead to any true long lasting relationship/friendship ? I am very interested in the topic if you are down to connect..