Mr. Rochester

Mr. Darcy

Heathcliff

Jay Gatsby

To date or not to date

The leading literary men of yore were hunky, tortured — and not necessarily timeless. Gents like Mr. Rochester and Heathcliff might have made all the 18th- and 19th-century ladies swoon, but what was seductive then could be, well, creepy now. We revisited four classic romantic heroes through the ultimate modern-day lens: how they might present and fare on Tinder.

Jay Gatsby from "The Great Gatsby"

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Tinder profile: Work hard, play harder. Started from the bottom, now I’m an Oxford man.

I throw killer parties. Maybe you’ve seen them on Instagram (#influencer)? No big deal if not, though. It’s not like I posted them for anyone in particular to see.

I’m so great that if we meet and hit it off, I will literally die for you. Also, it’s fine if you’re already in a relationship. You won’t be for long.

Looking for: A sweet girl who appreciates extravagant gestures and is identical to my ex (but better on the road).

Not your type? A lot of people agree with you

Modern-day analysis: Everything Gatsby does, he does for love. His passionate nature is seductive, but he bestows his emotions upon a woman because he's blindly infatuated with what she represents — and in love with an unrealistic version of her that she'll never live up to. Being held atop a pedestal is exhausting, and while the attention and gifts may feel flattering at first, Gatsby's single-minded obsession with getting and keeping his girl is alarmingly stalker-ish. It's only a matter of time until this guy ends up with a restraining order.

Verdict: Swipe left, old sport (but, fine, take your friends to one of his parties first). Then move on, and not across the bay.

A lot of people are also hoping for a match!

Modern-day analysis: Everything Gatsby does, he does for love. His passionate nature is seductive, but he bestows his emotions upon a woman because he's blindly infatuated with what she represents — and in love with an unrealistic version of her that she'll never live up to. Being held atop a pedestal is exhausting, and while the attention and gifts may feel flattering at first, Gatsby's single-minded obsession with getting and keeping his girl is alarmingly stalker-ish. It's only a matter of time until this guy ends up with a restraining order.

Verdict: Swipe left, old sport (but, fine, take your friends to one of his parties first). Then move on, and not across the bay.

Heathcliff from "Wuthering Heights"

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Tinder profile: Admin note: This account violated community standards by posting inappropriate photos of another user in an act of revenge. It has limited privileges for the next 60 days.

I like long walks on the moors and the evening romance of the cemetery, where I’m very respectful and don’t tamper with anything.

I’m a great listener and will always pay close attention to the first part of what you say — enough to get the full story.

Newly back in town after some time away to reinvent myself. Don’t get mad, get even.

Looking for: My heart's darling. A soul mate for eternal life.

Not your type? A lot of people agree with you

Modern-day analysis: Lock up your dogs, er, daughters: Heathcliff is an angry, emotionally manipulative man who's not to be trusted around children or animals. (Or ghosts or women or . . .) Now is not the time to protest that he's a hottie with a (revenge) body, or that you're a sucker for orphans. Find a less vengeful one! Heathcliff is sadistic, obsessive and motivated by revenge; he hates as deeply as he loves, which is insatiably. If the "2 Become 1" ringtone didn't tip you off, he's codependent, and the relationship will inevitably self-destruct. Which is fine — tagging along to anger management every Thursday night was getting to be a drag, anyway.

Verdict: Swipe left.

A lot of people are also hoping for a match!

Modern-day analysis: Lock up your dogs, er, daughters: Heathcliff is an angry, emotionally manipulative man who's not to be trusted around children or animals. (Or ghosts or women or . . .) Now is not the time to protest that he's a hottie with a (revenge) body, or that you're a sucker for orphans. Find a less vengeful one! Heathcliff is sadistic, obsessive and motivated by revenge; he hates as deeply as he loves, which is insatiably. If the "2 Become 1" ringtone didn't tip you off, he's codependent, and the relationship will inevitably self-destruct. Which is fine — tagging along to anger management every Thursday night was getting to be a drag, anyway.

Verdict: Swipe left.

Mr. Darcy from "Pride and Prejudice"

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Tinder profile: It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must sign up for Tinder. Or so I'm told . . . my friend made me make this profile.

Not into the club scene, but down to “books and chill” in the comforts of my personal library.

It recently came to my attention that I’ve been selfish and overbearing in the past, but I’ve done a lot of self-work to correct that. If I previously swiped left on you, maybe because you’re only tolerably attractive, I’m sorry and I’d like to try again.

Looking for: My feelings for an intellectual equal with fine eyes cannot be repressed.

Not your type? A lot of people agree with you

Modern-day analysis: Darcy 2.0 — or, Fitzwilliam already on a personal-growth journey — is self-aware and willing to work on his flaws, but he isn't right for everyone. If you're looking for a lively, easygoing companion who will charm at parties, keep swiping. Darcy can be socially awkward — easy to mistake as standoffish — and slow to warm up, and he struggles to find the right words. (So don't expect him to make a great first impression when you meet IRL.) Once you've earned his trust, he'll reveal himself as fair, loyal, generous and a good friend.

Verdict: Swipe right.

A lot of people are also hoping for a match!

Modern-day analysis: Darcy 2.0 — or, Fitzwilliam already on a personal-growth journey — is self-aware and willing to work on his flaws, but he isn't right for everyone. If you're looking for a lively, easygoing companion who will charm at parties, keep swiping. Darcy can be socially awkward — easy to mistake as standoffish — and slow to warm up, and he struggles to find the right words. (So don't expect him to make a great first impression when you meet IRL.) Once you've earned his trust, he'll reveal himself as fair, loyal, generous and a good friend.

Verdict: Swipe right.

Mr. Rochester from "Jane Eyre"

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Tinder profile: No hookups, please. I am absolutely not involved with anyone else and expect the same devotion I’m ready to lavish upon the right younger woman. Open and honest — there are no skeletons in my attic, er, closet. Speaking of the attic: Just so you know, you might hear sounds coming out of it when you come over. I think it’s haunted.

Also, don’t be crazy, my little friend — I’ve had enough of that. And it’d be cool if you like kids. I have one, though she isn’t necessarily mine-mine.

Looking for: A polyamo . . . wait, no, true love. Completely monogamous true love.

Not your type? A lot of people agree with you

Modern-day analysis: Edward Rochester: tortured bad boy with all the red flags. If you date him, your family will implore you to hurry up and dump him — especially after the Halloween party when he switches costumes in the bathroom and pretends to be someone else to trick you into revealing things to him. ("It just proves how much he loves me!" concerned friends and family are told.) Rochester might, in fact, love deeply, but he doesn't treat women well and enjoys making his paramours jealous, and his anger is often channeled into cruelty. Don't try to save him; doing so will come at the cost of your own emotional well-being.

Verdict: Swipe left. Reader, don't marry him.

A lot of people are also hoping for a match!

Modern-day analysis: Edward Rochester: tortured bad boy with all the red flags. If you date him, your family will implore you to hurry up and dump him — especially after the Halloween party when he switches costumes in the bathroom and pretends to be someone else to trick you into revealing things to him. ("It just proves how much he loves me!" concerned friends and family are told.) Rochester might, in fact, love deeply, but he doesn't treat women well and enjoys making his paramours jealous, and his anger is often channeled into cruelty. Don't try to save him; doing so will come at the cost of your own emotional well-being.

Verdict: Swipe left. Reader, don't marry him.

Angela Haupt

Angela Haupt is a freelance writer and full-time health editor in D.C. Her pieces have appeared in publications including Express, various Washington Post sections, Women's Health magazine, USA Today and Vice.

Credits

Illustrations by Helen Green for The Washington Post. Design and development by Madison Walls.

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