In the world of online dating, people can portray themselves in a multitude of ways. A profile only gives a glimpse at who a person is, yet, red flags can still be caught on them. Tinder is a popular dating app that many students at Minnesota State University, Mankato have used and seen their fair share of red flags on.
Asmund Wilhelmson, a senior at MNSU stated, “if they don’t have an actual picture of their face, that’s a big red flag.” This concern was echoed by several other students.
Another popular red flag was group photos. If the user can’t decipher who the person in question is, it’s a left swipe. Wilhelmson also noted that, “If there’s a lot of thirst-trappy photos, that’s what I would consider a red flag.”
Kaylie Schwartz, another MNSU student said, “guys that have their shirt off in any of the photos is just an immediate red flag.”
Hailey Vail, a staff member at the women’s center added, “or the fish pics,” to Schwartz’s concern. Schwartz continued, “if they have random videos of music edits or them vaping, that’s a really big red flag.”
However, red flags expand beyond just the photos.
Sam Bloomquist, an MNSU junior claimed, “There’s so many red flags. Not having a bio is another one. How are you supposed to know anything about them?”
Jakob Rusten, another MNSU student reported that an immediate red flag was political opinions in the bio. According to him, “People that say ‘if you’re left or right swipe this way.’ Tell me where to swipe and I’m already swiping left.”
Similarly, Amina Hude, a freshman at MNSU stated, “Religious views are fine, but if they’re like, ‘you have to be a certain religion’ in order to date them, [it] would be a red flag.”
Upon discussion of red flags, a student who would like to remain anonymous confided a Tinder horror story.
They began by saying, “So, my friend matched with this guy on Tinder, okay?”
They proceeded to explain how a Tinder match had attempted to handcuff their roommate to their own bed and made other unwanted and uncomfortable advances.
“He was doing stuff to her that she did not like and so we had to file a police report and now he has charges against him,” they said.
MNSU students received a sexual assault email related to this incedent earlier this school year.
The anonymous speaker provided advice, saying, “Keep your guard up. Don’t just invite random people over.”
Vail stated that, “not everyone has the best intentions,” and thus explained she uses the Life 360 app so her and her friends can track each other while on Tinder dates.
Yet, not everyone has bad experiences. If practicing safety and watching for red flags, bonds can form.
Rusten shared, “I dated a girl for a year that I met on Tinder.”