Let’s say you see a cute person on Tinder who’s also in your writ 101 class. What do you do? If you swipe right, you’re leaving yourself open to rejection. The sofcore kind where only you know about it, but rejection nonetheless. If you swipe left, you may never know where you two stand. Maybe you were soulmates. Maybe that person swiped right on you and think that they repulse you now. There’s always the third option of talking to your crush faceto-face and arranging a coffee date, but what? Are we in the ‘90s or something?
Chances are you’ve seen your classmates, teaching assistants, and in the most cringe-worthy circumstances, professors, on a dating app. PSA to those professors: Are you seriously trying to bring your student who is fresh out of high school out on the town? Are you trying to introduce them to your colleagues? Get it together; Y’all need to set your age range to 30 and up, like, yesterday.
With professors, the protocol is simple: swipe left. Even if they’re not your professor, even if you have some professor fantasy, even if they’re relatively young, swipe left. Remember the catch-22 of hooking up with an authority figure: If they’re willing to cross that line, they’re sleazy and are thus no longer worthy. Missoula is also a small town and you never know what networking opportunities you can ruin. Shouldn’t staying away from students be the responsibility of the professors? Absolutely. As a young woman, am I held accountable for grown men’s actions? This is America, isn’t it?
TAs are a little more nuanced. They’re practically your age, and in some instances, super hot. I totally would’ve slept with my French TA if he wasn’t somewhat responsible for my grade, and to be frank, just not into me. I would recommend waiting until the semester is over. Then they’re just another grad student, not the liaison between you and your professor. Their profile will still be there.
Fellow students are where things get messy. What does a Tinder match even mean? I know people who match with everyone they know and it means nothing to them, to which I say, “Why?” Who is using Tinder as another way of contacting your friends? Add them on Facebook messenger. Call me old-fashioned, but I think that a match insinuates some level of mutual romantic and/or sexual interest. Obviously there is no obligation on either end to become involved, but you can’t be that surprised if your match starts flirting in real life.
How you want to date in college, with or without Tinder’s aid, is up to you. There’s no right or wrong answer. I don’t engage with people I know on dating apps because, frankly, it gives me anxiety. Conversely, Tinder might be the most comfortable method of communication for you. As long as you stay safe and steer clear of your professors or bosses, you’re doing just fine.
Happy Tindering, ya little rascals.