When Did Words with Friends Become a Dating App?

I’m a girl who likes words…clearly. So when Words with Friends debuted back in the day, as soon as I had my first smart phone, I was all about that shit. I am also just a little competitive. Just a bit. I love me some Scrabble, folks. It’s almost as good as Trivial Pursuit. I said almost. But I have yet to find a good online equivalent to Trivial Pursuit… so Words it is!

At any given time, I have multiple games going. Often with the same people.

My mom and I always seem to have no less than three games going at once. Do not get me started on the smack talk that ensues with her. For someone who tells me she loves me every time we hang up the phone, she sure likes to tell me I’m a little bitch when I kick her butt during a game. We have that kind of relationship; it’s like when I was seven and she told me to go play in traffic.

Not literally friends… I was never playing in the middle of a busy street during any point in my childhood. The sarcasm gene is strong in our family. Hence the reason I am an anti-helicopter mom to this day. Ask my girls, they will confirm.

Anyhow… I can proudly say that I have never been scolded and subsequently kicked off a plane by a flight attendant because I refused to hold up a game during takeoff ala Alec Baldwin. If you don’t remember this incident, Google it. I’ll wait. I myself had to Google it to confirm when it happened and I was shocked to learn that it occurred in December 2011. Holy crap, that feels like a million years ago… not nine. Clearly, there are some miles on these tires, people.

OK, so now that you know of my love of Words and how I started to play, I must ask the serious question. When did Words with Friends become hookup central? I am all about flirtation and witty repartee, so much so that sometimes I get the occasional nasty look from the women in the room (sorry, not sorry…more on that another day). But during a game of online SCRABBLE?? Listen, buddy, I just want to kick your ass with a triple word score while I get a triple letter for that Q I’ve been hanging on to. I am not here to look for a date and I really don’t want to bang you.

To be fair, I have a long-standing series of games with a former flame. He’s incredibly smart, always gives good game and is super competitive. You thought I was going to say something else when I said he gives good… game didn’t you? Savage. Get your mind out of the gutter.

He always keeps me on my toes, much like he did back in the day; the only difference is that now I’m waiting for him to make his next move, not waiting for him to call. It makes for a much more enjoyable time. It’s been fun to enjoy each other’s company without the stress of our whole David Addison/Maddie Hayes vibe. If you don’t remember who Maddie and David were, we cannot be friends. Kidding… just Google it.

Like my girl Cybil, I always did love a bad boy.

We do enjoy chatting during our games. But our chats are always about the games and life in general; how things are going with our jobs and our kids. Nothing about our past dalliances. Though there was that one game where I used the word “vagina” and kicked his butt. I could not resist saying “Shannon’s vagina for the win!” But it was all in good fun and we had a long chuckle about it. Nothing implied on my part and he didn’t use it as an opening for a way to hit on me again like he did all those years ago in a scummy bar.

That’s not the case with the random men who request games as a guise for looking for love (or some reasonable facsimile). And it’s not just me… I’ve posed this dilemma to many other women and they say the same thing. My mom has been hit on in Words, same with my sister and so many others I’ve talked to. In my own experience, the pattern is always the same. Random dude requests a game and then immediately starts a chat. The chat usually flows as follows:

Random Man: “Hi”

Me: “Hello”

Random Man: “Are you single dear?”

Me: Game over

Or this one:

Random Man: “Hi”

Me: “Hello”

Random Man: “What are you up to?”

Me: “Not much; enjoying my day. You?”

Random Man: “I’m really horny”

Me: Game over

With so many dating apps out there… Tinder, Bumble, Match.com, Plenty of Fish, eHarmony, Our Time, Farmers’s Only, how did Words with Friends become a pickup site? Sometimes the conversations get beyond those exchanges above, but you kind of know it’s coming when you get a game request from a complete stranger and then the the initial “Hi” message.

I sometimes play with their heads a little bit before ending the chat and the game. You may say it’s cruel, but I cannot resist. It’s funny to me that these dudes honestly think women are that clueless. It’s like the randos that dm you on the book of faces. All of them in the military, stationed overseas and looking for a “friend.” Riiiiigggghhhht. Back right out of my inbox, pal. I’m not interested and I’m sure not wiring you any money to get home. Also, if I wanted to cruise for dudes, I would be all about one of the above dating sites. Or maybe all of them; I’m a girl that likes to cover her bases, and would even consider hooking up with a nice, muscular farm boy (wait… now there’s an idea…). But I’m not looking for love on Words with Friends, end of story.

Mittens: too sexy for his basket

I thought that perhaps my profile pic was too provocative and that’s why I was getting the moves put on me. That theory was blown out of the water when my mom told me she got the same come-ons and her profile pic is of her CAT. And while Mittens is a damn good-looking cat, I do not think he’s attracting that kind of attention. To be honest, I don’t think my profile pic is all that provocative anyway – it’s just a selfie of me smiling in a hat. Don’t forget my love of hats, people. So I’ve got nothing; it’s not like I’m trying to be all OnlyFans or anything. I just want to play freaking Scrabble. It’s probably a very good thing that the chat function in Words does not include the ability to send a pic. You know what that would mean, ladies; unsolicited dick pics coming out of the tiles. Yikes.

So friends, the moral of this tale is nothing more than to tell men to stay in their freaking lane and try to be a bit more subtle and a lot more classy. Know your audience.

I am all about chatting up strangers; hell, I thrive on it. In my quest to resist invisible, I will freely say that I am more open to conversations with strangers in grocery stores, the middle of the mall, while walking out of Target, or in any other social situation than ever before. I have the kind of personality that says “approachable” because I usually have a smile on my face. I love to talk to people; a born extrovert, I get energy from others. But get to know me before you go in for the kill.

So feel free to request a game and feel free to chat. But how about we start out as friends first?

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