The seven types of Cambridge boy you’ll meet on Tinder this Valentine’s Day | #tinder | #pof


Tinder. Love it or hate it, the dating app offers some interesting and often *questionable* encounters with people that leaving you second-guessing our generation’s aptitude for romance. With the pandemic shutting us out of Revs, Spoons, and Life (RIP Cindies and Fez), we can no longer meet our next big mistake on the sweaty dance floor or at the bar. Our best chances now lie on the right swipes we make on Tinder, praying we’ll match with someone half-decent.

Unfortunately, if you’re interested in men, the likelihood is you’ve met these same stereotypical types of Cambridge men over and OVER again. I personally believe that low-quality chat on Cambridge Tinder pervades across precisely seven types of Cambridge boy – have a read and see which one you’re currently (and woefully) obsessed with:

The shark

You thought sharking in real life was bad? You haven’t met the creepy sharks on Tinder. Tinder is a shark’s playing field. Being a year or two older is his one defining personality trait. Yes, we get it, you’re a third-year – do you want me to be impressed? Because at the moment I’m just weirded out.

Sharking gets *intense* when you realise you’re both at the same college, though. You’ll be swiping through his pictures when you suddenly recognise your own college buttery in the background, or the crest on his stash. This sudden realisation scares you into unmatching him, terrified of bumping into him in the plodge the next morning.

Matching with your college dad on Tinder is… an experience, one of which a few of my friends have had and have lived to tell the tale. Awkward encounters and rumours quickly ensue, making you wish you never swiped right in the first place.

I’m too young for you to be smirking at me like that

The ‘I go to Cambridge’ starter pack

It’s not that you shouldn’t be proud of being a Cambridge student (although if you own a University of Cambridge hoodie, I’m swiping left), but it should never become your defining personality trait. This type of guy’s first photo will almost always be a picture of him in his gown, with the background as either a famous bridge, a recognisable part of his college, or King’s Parade. Group matriculation photos are a must, alongside a snap of them in a candle-lit formal.

Be wary of matching with a guy from Trinity or John’s though- their college makes up around 90 per cent of their chat. However, if the bad chat ends in an opportunity to snag a free ticket to one of their formals (or dare I say it, May Ball), I’d say you’ve won.

Rowing is a must when it comes to this type of guy. His profile will either have a picture of him mid-action rowing on the Cam (bonus points for those sunglasses) or wearing his boat club stash. He will make sure you know that he rows by slipping into the conversation at every possible opportunity.

Why would you think this is good chat, mate?

The gym lad

Once spotted in the back of Mainsbury’s buying a week’s supply of chicken breast, the gym lad has now migrated to Tinder, on a mission to flex his gains. A tank top picture in every other photo is mandatory for his profile, as well as mirror selfies by the dumbbells in PureGym to really emphasise that he is on the grind.

To balance out the shirtless selfies, he’ll have a couple of group photos with his mates in the college bar, but of course, every photo will (not so subtly) prove that he’s the most built out of his mates. His bio will definitely read something along the lines of “couples that train together, stay together” (barf), hoping that he’ll match with a girl who’ll join him on daily runs in Jesus Green before a 9 am lecture.

Shopping’s my favourite sport too!

The posh Tory

Cambridge is home to some of the wealthiest, most posh students out there – and these guys certainly don’t hesitate to hide it on Tinder. Common items found in their photos include loafers, Schoffels, tweed caps, and signet rings (it’s almost a game of bingo on Tinder to find a guy with all the above items, except for the fact that you probably won’t need to try very hard).

Don’t be surprised when reading the bio and noticing that most of these guys are at either Caius, Christ’s or Trinity – they are the holy ‘trinity’ (hilarious pun) of Cambridge’s elite.

Besides a photo of him on a walk in some muddy field with Le Chameau wellies, there will, of course, be a classic formal photo of him in his newest suit. Warning: though they dress well and will almost definitely pay for the drinks on your date, they often have extremely poor chat.

He’s definitely from Surrey

The cultured intellect

A personal favourite, this guy is the embodiment of the dark academia aesthetic. His ruffled hair and round glasses make him think he looks like a young Hugh Grant. He also somehow manages to give off the vibe he hasn’t showered for a week through a phone screen which is both impressive and concerning.

He probably studies English Literature, Philosophy or History of Art, giving him license to sweep you off your feet with deep, philosophical conversations about Plato’s theory on dualism or the true meaning behind Orwell’s 1984. His ideal date is a picnic or a long walk in Granchester Meadows, where he will talk at you the whole time and you’ll happily drift off into a daydream about being the love interest in a Hugh Grant film instead.

Besides photos of him reading a book on a summers day in Parker’s Piece, you’ll likely see a picture of him cuddling his dog at home – the perfect way to slide into his DM’s with “I only swiped right because of your cute dog!”. Or, you could start a conversation about his music taste from his linked Spotify account, which will probably be filled with “edgy” songs by The Smiths or Pulp.

Translation: I study philosophy

The Cambridge Blue

Easily found wearing stash in the notorious colour, Cambridge’s Blues can be spotted from a mile away on Tinder. Their profiles will consist of celebratory victory photos, as well as pictures of them and their mates in the Hawks’ Clubhouse.

The biggest bonus of chatting up a Blue on Tinder is the prospect of stealing their stash afterward. Other selling points include being offered a sneaky tour of the Clubhouse for your first date. Either that or he’ll probably ask you to watch him practice – another *thrilling* offer, right?

The one who doesn’t actually go to Cambridge

This can also include Anglia Ruskin students, but mainly I’m talking about someone who’s a bartender working in a central Cambridge pub. These guys are either chill or incredibly horny – there is no in-between.

I’m not on board with this chocolate fetish I can’t lie

The conversation always starts about how hard you find Cambridge, and then, depending on the guy, will probably be followed by a dirty “hard” innuendo.

Oh no, what will this institution ever do without you?

Photos on his profile include group pictures with the lads having a pint in the Pickerel, skating in Parkside, or sitting in the punts at night having a smoke. I have to say, most of these guys are funnier than men in the Cambridge uni bubble, so credit has to be given where it’s due.

That’s our round-up of Cambridge men on Tinder complete. Even though few of us are in Cambridge this term, I’m sure you’ll all still be able to spot the Cambridge boys from several hundred miles away. If the college stash doesn’t give them away, the cringe intellectual banter in their bios definitely will.

Good luck matching, everyone!

Featured image credit: Louis Brettkelly

All image credits to author.  

Related articles recommended by this author:

• Love in lockdown: A guide to Covid-era Cambridge dating

• QUIZ: Tell us how you would act in Bridgerton and we’ll tell you what college you really belong in

• Cambridge degrees then and now: Day in the life of a mathmo





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