I finally gave into the hype and downloaded Tinder. As someone who writes about dating, I felt obliged to experience this phenomenon that has changed the way we date. For those living under a rock, Tinder matches you to those within proximity of where you are and then presents photos of singles to you. Within three swipes to the right, matches started to come through. I had dinner my my married guy friend the other night who said he wishes Tinder existed when he was single: “Dating would have been SO much easier” he said. When I told him that it had a notorious reputation for being an app for people to ‘hook up’, he shrugged and corrected me – Tinder is whatever you want it to be. Turns out, all of his colleagues were on it, for various reasons. With that in mind, I gave it a go with no expectations. Like that guilt-free 3am Mc Donald’s indulgence, Tinder has the instant gratification of a Big Mac, convenient, satisfying and quick to deliver.
It Never Looks The Same As The Photos
That succulent Big Mac you see on TV with the succulent lettuce, hearty beef patty is always a little bit of a let down once it’s in your hands. Similar to Tinder where all you get is a photo (by the way, girls are way more ept at taking selfies than guys are), many of the guys I’ve met don’t look like their photos at all which defeats the whole purpose of online dating…unless you’re employing thte catfish tactic. Add to that, most photos don’t have a description, just a name and photos so it’s superficial. You could argue it’s the same as meeting in person. After all, it’s not like people have “Hi, I’m Sean, I’m 28, have three cats and am looking for love…” on their forehead when you see them at a bar. The only difference with meeting someone in person is that you’ll know instantly whether you like them or not.
Sometimes Pick Up Lines Need to Be Creative
Notice how Maccas is always reinventing the Big Mac? You’ve got the Angus Burger, the Tex Mex burger… It’s the same burger with a few added ingredients yet we get suckered into all the marketing hype. Yes, it’s marketing hype but in an online world of generic opening lines, sometimes creativity can help you stand out.
My first match was friendly, chatty and not overly flirtatious until 3 texts in and he suggested I go over to his place to make his morning ‘a little more productive’. To that, I said no thank you. Not the line I was after. *Sean was now blocked. *Matt was nice…nothing out of the ordinary but after a few texts back and forth about our weekend, the conversation fizzled out. Then came a string of texts that began with ‘Hi, how are you? How was your weekend?’…all lovely but so unoriginal I could have just copy and pasted the same response to multiple people. Should I have been more cheeky and fun in my replies? Probably so but it’s hard to strike up a conversation based on a few pictures (unless those pictures included a cute puppy, an extreme sport or one hell of a fancy dress). With that, the superficial chit chats all fizzled. My Tinder success rate? A zero. Note to self: spend more time on marketing next time.
Where One-Liners Don’t Work
Finding someone takes a bit more effort and patience than figuring out when your next 3am meal is going to come from but that doesn’t mean you can’t find someone online. I recently read that 30% of couples get together from an online dating site and genuinely believe you can find love (or something like it) online. But typically with online dating sites, you have profiles, personality tests as filters – so you can screen out anyone who can’t spell, uses bad grammar or whose hobby is studying rocks (no offense to rock lovers out there). With Tinder, you get a picture and a line of text for context. For me it was just a whole lot of work just to screen out the guys who were looking for a short meaningless fling. If a fling is what you’re after, Tinder is kind of perfect for you. But I do know many guys and girls who are on it to find something more. They may not be looking for something serious but they’re open to the possibility. I’m not convinced Tinder is the avenue for it. Perhaps I should have given it a few more days because like dating in real life, it’s a numbers game.
Either way – 2 days of swiping later, I deleted Tinder and then went out for a Big Mac with a side of fries.
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Photo Credit: Jerry Huddleston