Mostly Uncensored Dating App “Rules” by a Horse Chick, Kind of Seeking a Horse-Tolerant Guy

I had been very gingerly toying with the idea of posting about online dating, mainly for laughs. But Lauren beat me to it with her hilarious, relate-able, and open post on She Moved to Texas! Many aspects of her experience resonated strongly for me, and I even shared with her my “list” of things that turn me off on dating apps. She encouraged me (thanks, lady!) to share it and even make it into a blog hop (So she gets all the credit for that idea. Unless y’all don’t like it. Then I’ll take the fall.), which judging by the response on her post, this could be a rowdy, funny, silly, poignant hop. I am too lazy to figure out how to use those link-y thingies, so just post a link to your own dating app experiences here in the comments to share and commiserate if you feel like it.

So what I’m posting today is a working (long, long) list of rules that I’ve made for myself, more out of trial and error (and abject horror at what’s out there) than setting out initially with any kind of plan. This is pretty much raw, mildly to significantly embarrassing, shows my weaknesses and narrow-mindedness, how judgmental I am, and generally that I might need to branch out more, but is also a good reminder of taking dating online with a grain of salt, and pepper spray. And it shows that a lot of guys are dumb. I know I will offend people (and don’t much care), but I hope I can also make y’all laugh with me and at me. Don’t take this as advice. Mom, stop reading. And oh yeah, I do break these rules sometimes and I’m sure they will change over time. I don’t think I need to point out that I actually prefer being single … or that I’m neurotic …

Things that result in an automatic left swipe no matter how good a guy looks (left swipe means “no”):

Bathroom mirror selfies

Car selfies (unless there is a cute dog!)

Gym selfies

Face tattoos

Moderate to extreme body modification

Pictures of the guy’s chest w/no face (Dear guy who does this: I applaud your brazen offering. I know why you’re here. Good luck to you, sir.)

Mirror selfies generally

Poses with big cats (unless big cats are somehow his job, in which case awesome)

Poses with Tigers specifically: I am willfully obstinate about not getting the meaning of this. So unless the guy is Leonardo diCaprio, who gives millions to save tigers and not exploit them for some kind of sexual innuendo, I am swiping left.

Poses with dead animals except fish (I’m okay with hunters, I just don’t want to see the visual evidence)

Poses with children

Car selfies with children (never not creepy)

***Why are you putting children on Tinder???***

Most/all of guy’s pictures are in sunglasses and/or a hat

Service/hospitality industry (schedules won’t jive)

Lack of fitness

Not white (Sorry. I am just so despicably racist in my romantic inclinations. But there you have it. Tinder taught me a little something yucky about myself.)

Name I can’t pronounce or obviously fake name

Mentions of Jesus or God or praying or religiousness

Lots of camouflage clothing

Noticeable jewelry other than watches (AWKWARD, guys)

Chain wallets

Military (Go USA! But I don’t want to move that much if this were to, against all odds, “work out.”)

Short(er than me in heels)

Married/open marriage/open relationship/swingers (But if just “polyamorous” is listed that is not an automatic left swipe if it’s listed thoughtfully amongst other attributes like “vegan” or “NPR listener” or “dog person” or it’s obvious that Dan Savage is being evoked somehow. Because this is Tinder, aren’t we all implicitly a little bit “poly” right now even if not practicing much?)

Cats (Pretty much. I might make an exception but I doubt it.)

Pictures of places or things, with no pictures or only one picture of the person

Bad grammar or spelling

All the pictures are of the guy and his buddies and I can’t tell which one he is

420 friendly

Doesn’t drink at all ever

Doesn’t drive/no car


Long hair

Explicitly seeking or shows interest in marriage or children (divorced and/or older kids not a problem at the outset)

Patronizing attitude in description, e.g. “Have your shit together.” Why do guys write that? Do they think it will attract women who actually have their shit together? Do they mean strippers with bank accounts and up-to-date mortgages?

In drag (Unless the guy is a professional–then I want makeup tips)

Highly probable (but not automatic) left swipe:


Alcohol in every picture

Enjoys seafood (I have a shellfish allergy)

Poses with fish unless it’s actually an impressive catch or it’s ironically toying with the “good catch” metaphor, like a really tiny fish

Too into bicycles (I do not ride bicycles)

Blue collar employment (Hey, I’m also classist. God, I am an asshole.)

Self-employed, unless financial stability is indicated (I foolishly think I can tell from a profile picture? Really? Am I so deludedly bourgeois?)

Too cutesy with the description of self or what he’s seeking out

Stupid hats


Educated at a for-profit/vocational school

Too much facial hair

Keg stands (Sometimes a keg stand is totally warranted, but a picture of it is not)

Somewhat leery of but not totally ruling out:



“Sales” jobs

Personal trainers and chefs

Obscure movie quotes, whether I recognize them or not

Not so fashionable clothing–update your jeans, guys


Things that work well in profiles (“work well” meaning I will consider the profile for more than a second and might look at all the pictures, but this guarantees nothing, not even a right swipe):


Listing travel and outdoor activities as interests (Although, are dudes on to this, that chicks see the outdoorsy stuff as a positive? Like, all guys are so into rock climbing right now. Or maybe Tinder knows to show me those guys…)

Show of interest in or participation in sports



Pictures with women (unless they are clearly overtly sexual)

Pictures with or of dogs (Did I say I like dogs? That I am a dog person?)

Pictures that are not selfies

Pictures of the guy engaging in public speaking

Professions such as doctors, lawyers, engineers, professors, bankers and financial advisers, real estate, entrepreneurship (Again, classist me)



Blonde or light brown hair

Neat facial hair (Not “neat” like “cool handlebar mustache, bro” but neat like trimmed)

Evidence of good to excellent fitness. Same with hygiene. But no, I do not want to see any more pictures of guys in bathtubs. Ew.

Bonus points for golfing, tennis, surfing, crew, or polo pictures (I have no reaction either way to skiing pictures, but I see them A LOT)

Grew up in a rural setting but comfortable in urban and rural environments (Perhaps I should specify rural in the agricultural, grew up ranching or on a farm sense and not in the Deliverance sense)

Mild to moderate lumbersexual vibe (I was both pleased and flabbergasted that there is a word for basically my “type”)

Slight to mild steampunk vibe

Ultimately, I have a few other criteria that I will probably never disclose to anyone, but the summary is that even if everything looks good on paper, if I don’t like the way a guy looks then I’m swiping left. And there are very, very few guys whose looks I like.

Say I swipe right, and the guy swipes right, and we have a match…

Conversation killers:

Tries to pinpoint where I am by what Tinder says

Bad grammar & spelling (half-assed or quirky punctuation is okay, though, as regular readers of this blog might well be aware)

Responds a little too quickly (Please think about what you are saying, guys)

Asks where I live

Asks what area of town I live in too early in the conversation, but I get that asking after a while is reasonable because of traffic in this damn town

Unsolicited overt sexual comments or requests

When I get bored (Sorry I can’t be more specific, but sometimes it’s just not gonna happen)

The guy explicitly expects me to entertain him somehow

So if the guy can get past all that, I might give him my phone number or agree to meet in a well-lit public place. Even so, getting a second date is tough. What’s really funny is when a guy says he wants to see the horses … then I’m just like “yeah, sure, maybe” but in my head I’m like, “Muahahahahaha you have never dated a horse chick, have you???”

43 thoughts on “Mostly Uncensored Dating App “Rules” by a Horse Chick, Kind of Seeking a Horse-Tolerant Guy

Add yours

    1. I’m just kind of leery of bicycles generally …. they tip over and I don’t have good balance. But if the guy was into them but didn’t care that I will never get on one, that’s cool


  1. We have a LOT of the same qualifications, although I don’t do the lumbersexual thing… I’m still an SEC sorority girl at heart, gimme a boy in Barbour… And if those things make you an asshole, guess I am too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I thiiiiiiiiiiiiink there is a distinct possibility that you and I are, in fact, the same person.

    This is also my exact list of do’s (but mostly don’ts/left swipes)…I guess this makes us both assholes? Although, I prefer the term ‘picky’ or ‘I have standards and know what I like’ then ‘asshole,’ but whatevs. And what is up with guys having almost all of their pictures with sunglasses on? Dude, I cannot see your face, that’s cheating.


    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is my favorite thing ever. My HS bestie convinced me to sign up for Tinder before I met Kyle and didn’t tell me that swiping a certain way meant yes or no. I said yes to a whole bunch of Dbags accidentally and promptly deleted the app. Online dating had pros and cons for me when I tried it.

    So happy to not be in that world. Please share more experiences!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol! Too funny about accidentally swiping right! So far I’ve been lucky and avoided any nightmares, plus the things people put in their profiles can be extremely entertaining…


  4. LOL how does something like “chain wallets” even make this list?! Is that a thing where you are? hahahaha I totally commiserate with this and I’ve got my own list- just maybe not quite as specific, since a few of these would disqualify nearly every male in my state…ugh Indiana…why are you so…Indiana?! I have found some patterns in my choices: if they have a properly trimmed beard, are wearing a suit, have a cat in a photo (I’m a cat person), or are latino (I’m a chronic latino chaser) – I automatically look at their whole profile before deciding.

    In the approximate year I have been on Tinder: I have gone on nice first dates with three guys; become temporary unwilling penpals with two others; and screen-shotted ridiculously inappropriate messages or outlandish profiles to send to all of my friends four times- so, results are mixed.


    1. I have not been to Macu Picchu and I can’t wait to see your list! One time I saw a profile where the guy was with not one but THREE cheetahs. Contemplate the subtext for that shit.


        1. My reaction the the tiger pictures is usually “wtf???” Unless the guy is obviously a zoo veterinarian or something, but then I just want to say that a picture of a red panda perching on the guy’s head would be better.


    1. Oh, for sure. And I’m willing to date up in age quite a bit, but definitely not down by much. Plus no dating app is truly random–it tracks what you swipe right on and who swipes right on you, etc… to determine what profiles you see or don’t see, beyond the specifications you set.


  5. This post made me LOL!
    I will say, I met my husband in our last semester of college, but if he had been on Tinder he would have met every. single. one. of your qualifications BUT grammar/punctuation. He is an electrical engineer, and while he is insanely smart and talented, his brain is more “math” and less “english”. He even pronounced Chamomile as cha-mom-o-mile just a few years ago, HAHAHA! I blame it on playing SEC football and the head injuries that come with it ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

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