This week the harsh reality of what many women have to deal with in online dating was driven home by an Instagram account called Bye Felipe, which highlighted various men’s reactions to being turned down for dates, mostly via Tinder and OKCupid. The reactions are offensive, shocking and so ridiculous they are in many cases funny.
Perhaps the most disturbing element is how rapidly messages go from normal pick up lines or date requests to misogynistic and hateful insults. We’ve talked about the time pressure associated with Tinder and related apps before, but here that time pressure to respond now, make a date now, hook up now, is very evident—as are the potential consequences of moving too quickly with someone you barely know.
As the creator of the Bye Felipe account commentates after receiving yet another insulting message back from a man who was romantically courting her just moments earlier:
“Dodged another psychopath.”
The scary thing is that in many of these instances, the author of the site makes clear that she simply fell asleep between messages or was otherwise distracted from responding right away, which the men in question took for radio silence and then unleashed their tirades upon her. Their true personalities showed after only the smallest perceived slight.
If it wasn’t for this type of “fortunate” misunderstanding, the author could have found herself on a first date with a real-life psychopath, or at least someone unable to control his temper over minor disappointments.
The #ByeFelipe controversy only reinforces a point we have made repeatedly, that in online dating it’s best not to rush into a first date until you have a good idea of whom you’ll be meeting. This is why we have cautioned against the Tinder hook-up mentality. It’s also why we encourage to be vigilant for scammers and engage potential online dates in messages and to review their profiles and photos for inconsistencies before meeting up.
As part of this vigilance, making a background check part of your screening process can make sense. While a background check won’t detect a bad temper, it will highlight any major inconsistencies, including a history of criminal behavior that may make you choose to say, “Bye, Felipe!”