Advice from Dr. Blingspice: A dating app guide for the hot and desperate

A person looking at several types of dating applications on the phone
(Aylish Turner | Daily Trojan)

You’re walking through campus in the uncomfortably hot and nasty 95 degree Los Angeles weather. Sweat dripping, back soaking, face getting sunburnt, you begin to wonder if there’s anyone who could possibly help you release steam. Then, you remember the old reliable — dating apps.

It’s that season when you want to remove every possible layer of clothing because of the summer heat, and what better way to do it than with someone else helping you? There’s never a better time to find a fling than now. School is about to end. There are little to no responsibilities. Everyone’s in heat — both literally and figuratively.

Not sure how to navigate dating apps? Lucky for you, I have re-downloaded Tinder, Hinge and Bumble more times than I can count, not because I have found success but because it is an exhausting full-time job. Whether you don’t know how to send your first message or you matched with someone from work, Dr. Blingspice has you covered with the best advice to spark a new digital romance.

I’m new to dating and am having trouble making the leap to message people I’ve matched with on Tinder. It’s all so intimidating. Do you have any advice for good first messages?

Out of pocket is the way to go. Use their profile to your full advantage and make them the punchline of your first message.

The worst messages to initiate conversations have a blandness to them. Imagine you receive a notification on your phone saying “New Match!” and “Joe sent you a new message,” only to find out that it says, “Hey what’s up.” There’s nothing that dries and shrivels your sex drive up more than a zestless message from a sexy person. 

Be wacky and quirky (for lack of a better word) with your first message, maybe even a little raunchy. The goal is for them to open their Tinder and feel like they got slapped in the face. The best messages give your romantic target some material to work with. You want them to laugh, moan, sigh or cackle — anything is better than a sigh after a sad first message.

I matched with my boss on Tinder. What should be my next move?

Why stop at connecting with your boss on LinkedIn when you could match on Tinder and connect with them in a different way? While business and pleasure don’t typically go together, why not live a life of danger? The more content for your memoir, the better!

Knowing there’s a mutual interest, pursuing romance is an option. You just have to consider the potential risks and vibes at the workplace in the case that the love falls through. There’s bound to be awkwardness, especially if you work with the person frequently. 

However, if it is executed the right way, you might have locked in your summer fling. As SZA once mentioned, you can be their 9-to-5, literally. You can be the modern-day Monica Lewinsky but hopefully, without anyone getting impeached or scrutinized.

If you do pursue business romance, be considerate of others and don’t PDA in the workplace. People are there to collect a check, not to watch an X-rated live show.

I’m not interested in hookups and honestly scared of dating apps, but I don’t know how I’d find anyone to date otherwise. Advice on where to get started?

Coming from someone who has deleted and downloaded dating apps dozens of times, I always come to the same conclusion: It’s hard to meet people in person these days. Why would anyone be bold and confrontational when they can resort to hiding behind a phone screen?

Dating apps can be intimidating and a little embarrassing, but at the end of the day, almost every college student is there trying to find some variation of love, whether it be a spark to warm up their heart or someone looking to share some heat.

If you’re avoiding hookups, there are ways to establish what you and your matches are pursuing. You can typically gauge what a person is looking for based on their profile and their diction when they message you. If they have a shirtless picture or message you a simple “hey,” it’s a sign to drop them and run.

Dating apps don’t have to be sexual. It’s about learning to navigate them and keeping your guard up when you interact with people, at least until you know you’re both on the same page. Modern-day dating is digitized with an occasional chance of meeting someone in person. The first step is signing up for an app and letting the people know your heart and ass are up for grabs.

Emanuel Rodriguez is a junior offering advice on students’ most pressing questions. He is also the digital managing editor at the Daily Trojan. His column, “Advice from Dr. Blingspice,” runs every other Wednesday.