I mentioned recently that I had joined Tinder and some people were keen to hear more about my Tinder adventure. So let me tell you my story, swipes and all.
See, I was recently talked into joining Tinder by a dear friend who was concerned about my potential post-break-up malaise. A bit of a serial monogamist, she feared that I would not embrace the ‘era of dating’, that elusive, casual social-state that, in its optimal form, embraces the indefatigable optimism of Miss Carly Rae Jepsen. Because, hey, I just met you, but maybe we could spend a bit of time together? Maybe? And so I downloaded the app.
Tinder is marketed like a game, which I really like because it mirrors my feelings of fun and frivolity when it comes to dating. You ‘play’ Tinder – Tinder doesn’t have to be for keeps, you don’t even need to take it seriously, because it’s a bit of craic (that’s the over-arching message, but of course the potential is always there to meet someone you really like.)
And I like that it’s themed like a game would be – the flame logo, you ‘match’ with people, the swiping is like striking a match – all very clever. And, as an added bonus for any of us out there with less than 100% confidence about dating online, you only get informed when you and the other person have both hit ‘Like’. Which means that no one who has hit ‘Nope’ to your photo ever finds out that you’ve hit ‘Like’ to theirs! You’re home free!
It can sometimes feel a bit like a meat-market, which is likely a product of how up front and direct some of the people ‘playing’ Tinder are about what they’re there for. With some it’s relationships, a bit of a date, the usual. And with others, they’re in Dublin for two nights only so it's more of a, eh, fluid thing.
Now I've previously made the mistake of blindly hitting ‘Like’ based on the picture, only to then click on the actual profile and see ‘Up for a night of passion, baby? Me too, baby. Here for 24 hours baby. Let’s meet. Baby. Baby.’ This kind of profile always conjures up a mental image of the gent in question dancing in flowing white satin to the Barry White song from Ally McBeal. And not in a good way.
And yes, to be clear, sometimes you will match with people who think it’s appropriate to send you photos (on Tinder they’re called ‘Moments’) of their erect how’s-your-father. I cannot tell a lie, this happens. But either you’re into that or you, like me, exclaim ‘eeeeeew!’ to your girlfriends, show them the picture, and then unmatch the guy. But sometimes you match with someone funny, who you enjoy getting messages from, and get a bit ‘swooooon-y’ over.
I find after about a month of Tindering, I’ve become quite ruthless about the choosing. For instance, I never ‘Like’ a topless picture of a bloke, especially one taken alone in front of a mirror, because I can’t fathom going out with someone who takes topless pictures of himself for the internet. I never ‘Like’ any pictures of a big group of blokes where I can’t tell which one is which – because, effort. And I never pick ones with a man and a puppy. Don’t pander to me, bro.
Ultimately these things are meaningless, totally subjective, instantaneous, and fairly shallow of me, I know. But I have become somewhat used to the fast-paced swiping and as such make a lot of speedy/reckless decisions based on snap judgements.
I’ve been on a couple of Tinder dates, and I can say that initially they all feel like that awkward flat-viewing you went to where you wanted them to think you were fun, sound and normal, and you were nervous that they didn’t. But after a glass of wine and a bit of craic, I enjoy the dates. It’s nice meeting new people, even if it goes nowhere, and the girly-girl in me enjoys having yet another scenario to dress for.
Ultimately, I shall remain on Tinder until I don’t find it fun anymore. I think my good friend was right – for me, it is a good thing to learn how to ‘date’, and after the end of a long relationship it’s helping me have a bit of fun too!
Have you jumped from frying pan into (Tinder) flame? What did you make of it? Any advice to share?