What Tinder Taught Me About Dating






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OK, everyone is abuzz about it, and I know I’m late to the party. But the other day, I said to my productivity, “Hey, workflow, let’s take an unexpected two-hour break and check this out.” “This” being Tinder: a dating app that’s like if hotornot.com (remember that?!) had a lovechild with match.com.

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Basically, Tinder is a location-based app that pulls info from your Facebook to create your profile, and then pulls up matches that meet your age/gender identity/location criteria. All you see of these potential matches are a few photos, any mutual friends or interests (according to your FB profile), and one tagline. Then, you “swipe right” if you’re interested in them, and left if you aren’t (bonus: when you swipe left, you get a satisfying stamp across their picture that says “NOPE.”) From there, if you also fall into their criteria (age, gender, distance) and they find you attractive. you match. Then, you can chat, swap numbers, meet up for a date, etc.

Naturally, I had a lot of questions: what are people doing on here? Is anyone normal? Is it just a hookup app? Has anyone actually ended up with someone this way? Is it too superficial? Dangerous? WILL I BE THE FIRST TINDER MARRIAGE?

The danger aspect really got me. The fact that you can tell when someone is “less than a mile away” made me believe that I was one mis-swipe away from ending up in some guy named Xenon’s trunk never to be seen again all because he had a cheeky tagline and a photo of a puppy in his profile pic.

What started out as an experiment got me thinking about what this app says about dating in general. Is Tinder simply a microcosm of what we do in real life ( that’s what its creators profess)? File people away as attractive or unattractive, make split-second decisions based on minimal facts, trust complete strangers? Do we really need to know tons of information about someone to know if they’re a good match?

Thus, I drafted a list of dating app truths… many of which are true about dating in general:

  • If you didn’t know you had a type: you do, hence the quick-fire way you can absolutely hate or love someone’s face.
  • There is no smooth way to start a conversation with a total stranger with whom the only thing you have in common is the belief that you both are not ugly.
  • It’s OK to dislike someone based solely on the Facebook friend that you have in common.
  • People have apparently not learned that it might be misleading or confusing to highlight pictures of them with their nieces or nephews.
  • A clever opener goes a LONG way.
  • You never get a second chance at a first impression.
  • Apparently, 80 percent of men like to “work hard, play hard,” have many leather-bound books and apartments that smell of rich mahogany, and know approximately one phrase in Latin.
  • If they seem too good to be true, they probably are. 
  • Take this as an opportunity to delete profile pictures that you didn’t know you had of you and your ex. Nothing more confusing than a Tinder pic of a guy snuggled up to a girl. The same goes for “interests” you may not know you have selected on Facebook. I just saw a guy with whom the only thing we had in common was our shared interest in Buitoni Pasta. What?!
  • If someone is less than a mile away, put your phone down slowly—very slowly—and run for your life (OK, this one is just me).
  • Everyone loves traveling! And working out! And trying new things! And food!

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