Dear Prudence

Dear Prudence Uncensored: The Underage Tinderer

Every week, Mallory and Nicole Cliffe discuss a Prudie letter. This week: A real response to a teen’s fake Tinder profile.



This guy is a loser

Mallory: yeah the letter writer seems to think that the fact he’s “still interested” after discerning their real age is a glimmer of hope

Nicole: Precisely.

Mallory: any 23-year-old who swipes right on an internet stranger and then hears “actually, I’m 17” and responds with “not a problem, I’m very open-minded” is not choosing to live their best life


and that’s the kindest way I can describe what said 23-year-old is doing

this is why adults need to have boundaries, because teenagers are not good at setting them!


Nicole: Exactly. The fact you call making love “pop pop” shows me you aren’t ready, etc.

The LW’s judgment is not great! You have exactly one data point about this guy, which is Willing to Date a Teen.

Mallory: RIGHT! That’s ALL you know about him! When it is in fact, a red flag!

also, you “really hit it off” with him over the last couple of days—this is not some deep, profound connection, you guys traded a couple of friendly messages on a dating app


Nicole: Oh yes.

Mallory: I’m willing to bet that when this LW reaches 23

and sees a 17-year-old

their first thought will be “oh wow, 17-year-olds are NOT ADULTS, this guy was WAY OFF”

i also hate to be a total killjoy but, you know, the age requirement for Tinder IS 18

Nicole: Yeah, man!

Kill the joy!

Also, regardless of age of consent laws in your state, if you send him OR ANYONE nudes of yourself it is legally child porn.

And YOU can go to jail. Rarely, but it happens.

Mallory: I have nothing to say to this but “YIKES”

Nicole: Him asking for nudes would be the next step beyond red flag but I do not trust him at all.

Mallory: yeah, his being comfortable with your age (and the fact that you had to lie about it in order to use Tinder) does not make him a super-chill, open-minded, cosmopolitan sort of dude

the potential pros here do not really outweigh any of the cons

Nicole: There is no upside.

Mallory: unmatch him, delete the app, go do something else, there will be other dudes who don’t immediately signal bad judgment and skeezy instincts to you