The next time our parents ask us annoying questions about our dating lives — especially when they involve the ever-elusive context of apps and the scary online, we’d do well to remember we asked an awful lot of questions as toddlers. (“Why is the sky blue,” for example. “How are babies made?”) Sure, parents can have a knack for asking questions with answers so obvious our knee-jerk reaction is to nap instead, but technically, after our “Why” years, we kind of owe them answers.
To avoid frustration and repay our parents the insights they deserve, Man Repeller teamed up with Badoo (an online dating service with over 365 million registered members and a name that’s sure to add yet another item to the list of things that confuse mom, dad and grandma) to make an FAQ to forward to your beloved childhood caretakers. Whenever you cannot handle another question without tearing your face off your face, refer them to this guide.
Bold = parental figure
Below it = a very calm you
“I always hear people say ‘swipe right.’ What does that mean?”
In the world of online dating with apps, “swiping left” means you’re saying “no thanks” to a potential date. Whereas “swiping right” means you’re saying anything from, “Meh, why not — clearly my dance card isn’t full,” to, “Weird, I think I know this person — I wonder what they think about me,” to, “Yes, please!” The term itself has become part of our lexicon: To “swipe right” on someone IRL (in real life) means you like them, or think they’re attractive.
“How do you know the person isn’t a creep?”
Well, you do your research. All you need are two facts, a search bar, a drink in hand and a mission. But, Badoo asks users to verify themselves through a Facebook profile or a phone number, so it’s harder to catfish potential suitors.
“What’s a catfish?”
When someone takes on an entirely different identity online. If you’ve been chatting with one another for a while, and he or she won’t meet in person or do a video chat date, that’s usually a sign something fishy’s going on. Also, I’ve heard the WiFi’s terrible underwater so that could also be part of the problem. (<-That one’s for you, dad jokers.)
“What if people see you on Badoo or other apps? What if you see someone you know!?”
Well, actually, this is a good thing: you can “vet” people by asking your friends in common all about them. It also provides a great jumping off point if you need some conversation fodder. You probably will see someone you know, so you prepare yourself. And you pretend you didn’t just see your finance class’s assistant professor.
“Okay, so you find someone you like. Then what?”
Then you talk! You start the conversation just as though you were chatting at a bar. Pick-up lines help. “How was your weekend?” is safe, and for the risk-taker who doesn’t mind a little controversy: “Do you prefer to be big spoon or little spoon?”
“Can they see you through the phone???”
“Don’t people talk about sex on those things!?”
Er, some. Don’t say “sex.”
“Aren’t you scared to meet them?”
No more scared than any other potentially disastrous first date. You tell your group chat the time, place and location just in case — especially if you need an early out.
(Plus, chatting on Badoo gives you a lot of opportunity to vet them properly before you jump in.)
“Can I see your profile?”
“Do you ever do this together with your girlfriends for fun just to see what (or who) is out there?”
It’s always more fun to swipe in large groups, and it’s most fun when you let those who are not single use the app on your behalf because they take it as a serious, vicarious experience.
“Who does the asking out?”
It depends. It’s democratic, doesn’t really matter, and usually ends up being whoever gets sick of small talk first.
“Sooo have you met anyone off it?”
That’s all the questions we have time for today! Mom, dad, grandma, love ya!
…But if you want to try Badoo for yourself, download it here!
Illustrations by Juliana Vido.