My mother has always told me that I have the dating mentality of a man – I love the chase. And it is true. I definitely do. But I think it would be fair to say that I love dating in general – all the uncertainty, the awkward flirting, the usage of my Victoria’s Secret collection, the challenge to see how long I can be with someone before confessing my love for Obama. Dating on Tinder is no exception. I love it. Nearly a year ago, I wrote a blog titled “7 things Tinder has taught me“. I still stand by all of those points. Obviously I have no qualms in talking about being on it, because I really do not see anything wrong with it. Yes, I go out very frequently and meet a lot people organically and occasionally date them, but Tinder can also be a great way to meet people. I am not the type of girl who is interested in hook-ups and, believe it or not, there are many guys on there who are the same. However, there are pros and cons to using Tinder to date, which I will share below. Buckle up.
My Tinder history
Firstly, I feel like I should disclaim my Tinder dating history, without giving away the juicy bits like names and intimate details (that will be saved for my tell-all book when I am 50, unmarried, still on Tinder and desperate to make a buck). I first went on Tinder in May of last year. I have met four guys from it since then – none of which tried to catfish or murder me, so what more can I ask for? 🙂 In all seriousness, they have all been great guys. Interestingly, the range to which I dated them varies dramatically. I am not looking for this list to grow much further, so I guess time will tell. It is all about quality over quantity.
The first guy I met sent me one of the best opening messages I have ever received on Tinder. This definitely set the tone for how well we would get along. We dated for a couple of months and it was wonderful, but bad timing in both of our lives led to it not going any further. We remain good friends and still regularly keep in touch.
My experience with the second guy was amazing. After dating for a few months, I entered into a serious relationship with this guy and it lasted around seven months – with the majority of that time being while I was away in South Carolina. To be clear, I was not still on Tinder during this time. I absolutely loved being in a long-distance relationship with him, but some difficulties arose when I came back to Australia and I had to end it.
I only went on two dates with the third guy. He was lovely, but there was no major connection. And I was taller than him. I know height is so superficial, but I hate feeling like the BFG.
The fourth guy and I only met very recently, so anything could happen at this point. All I can say is so far, so good. I think I definitely know how to pick smart, funny, sweet guys on this app – so I would like to think my opinions about Tinder must have some merit.
The pros of Tinder
1. The good catches
It pains me to write something this boring as the first point, but it is the entire motivation behind this post. There are good catches on Tinder (I mean, hello, I am on it). The app has become so commonplace that there is someone for everyone on it. It attracts all crowds. Fortunately for me, this means there are the occasional gems on there who love to travel, have a firm grasp of the English language, like to have a laugh and can appreciate my lingerie addiction (hopefully with those last two things not happening at the same time). This point trumps everything further I have to say, so to be honest, you could stop reading now.
2. Can vet someone before you meet
The beauty of Tinder is that you can gauge as much as you want about someone before deciding whether it is worth your time to meet them. I think I have a decent track record for doing this well (see above). If u spell lyk dis, then we are done. It also gives you a chance to run background checks. Kidding, not kidding (yes, it is possible to cyberstalk someone without their last name).
One thing some people forget about Tinder is that it says how far away you are. So, if a guy uses the excuse of going interstate for the weekend to avoid going on a date with a girl he met through Tinder, he will look like a fool when his profile says he was online 11 minutes ago, 15 kilometres away. Welcome to amateur hour. I am speaking from experience with this one.
4. Easy to judge someone’s level of desperation
Tinder’s “moments” feature allows people to send photos to all of their matches, who can then “like” or ignore them. This feature is brilliant for highlighting which of your matches wins the award for being the most desperate. I am talking about those guys who post a minimum of three selfies per day. It is the equivalent of a guy constantly pinching your ass at a bar for attention – moderately amusing at first and then quickly becomes plain annoying. But at least you can delete them off Tinder. If only real life had the same function.
5. Can do it from the comfort of your own home
I absolutely love going out, but I also like the fact that I can connect with new people while I am in my pyjamas at home. And then I can decide whether they are worthy of the effort of me getting dressed to meet them in person. Need I say more.
The cons of Tinder
1. The disposability of people
In my opinion, this is the biggest downside of Tinder. Hands down. It simply makes people disposable. Oh, you do not feel an instant connection with this person? Not to worry. Do not bother trying. There are a million more people at your fingertips. I think it makes you more inclined to quickly give up on people. I try to make a conscious effort to avoid doing this, but it can be hard (the third guy I dated probably fell victim to this).
2. The game of when to delete Tinder
If you are dating someone from Tinder and things are going really well, when are you expected to delete Tinder off your phone? It is the age-old question (or, at least, the question since Tinder was birthed in 2012). If your expectations for this are misaligned with the person you are dating, then there could be problems. They will be simply fixed with a chat about whether you are exclusive, but meaningful conversations are a rare commodity these days.
3. The “only communicate via text” trap
On that note, it is easy to fall into the habit of only communicating via text with someone when your contact started that exact way. This is probably more reflective of society in general and not just Tinder, but it can be a trap. The concept that mobiles can make phone calls quickly becomes foreign. And things (like my hilarious sense of humour) can be easily misinterpreted over text, so it can be a recipe for disaster.
4. The sifting
Yes, it goes without saying – the majority of people on Tinder probably will not interest you at all (or will simply weird you out), so you have to be willing to sift through them in order to get to the ones you do like. There are no fancy algorithms in place to find you your best match – just a guaranteed way to develop RSI from swiping left. But hey, it sure provides some great entertainment. And it is a free app, so you cannot expect your true love handed to you on a platter. How will you be successful in life/online dating if you are cheap and lazy?!
5. Snap judgements
Again, this one is obvious. Tinder can be very superficial. It can be all about how attractive you look in your photos. God bless Photoshop. That is why bios are important. I try to avoid anyone who has not written anything in their profile, because they are clearly just on the search for someone hot to bang (plus, I like to be sure that they know how to spell. That is not superficial. That is a life skill, people).
At the end of the day, some people will never understand or like Tinder. And that is okay. It is not for everyone. But for those of us who can see the humour in the weirdos, have the patience to deal with the jerks and can appreciate the good ones, there is some fun to be had – and I’m not talking about the “here for a good time, not a long time” crap. I may have listed an equal number of pros and cons, but the pros definitely win.