Taking on Tinder

This whole dating thing started innocently enough.  C and I decided to have an evening of wine, pub food… and more wine. We were at the pub (and a bottle of wine into our evening) when the subject of Tinder came up.  I had just watched a hilarious Conan O’Brian video spoofing Tinder and I wondered if C had ever heard about it.  She assured me that her single friends loved Tinder and the next thing I knew I was downloading the app as we ate our burgers.  It was time to get into the dating scene and Tinder was the modern way to do it!

If I’m honest I had never dated previous to this moment and perhaps Tinder was a bit ambitious for someone completely new to the dating scene.  Or perhaps it was the perfect introduction.  But the app downloaded, I allowed it to import my Facebook photos (big mistake!) and away C and I went, swiping left and right like our lives depended on it.

For those who haven’t used Tinder… Tinder is an app that allows you to display photos of yourself.  You select an age range and distance (“I’d like to see men ages 29-39 within 30km of me”) and the pictures of the men (or women) within that range display.  You swipe the people that you are interested in (read: people you think are hot) to the right and you swipe the people that you are not interested in to the left.  If someone you swipe right also swipes you right… suddenly you can text.  It’s quick, easy, entertaining and completely superficial.

As the night went on I was amazed by how many matches I had, how many men considered me to be “hot” and how easy it was to strike up a conversation with these random people.  But then the questions started to get weird… “Are you looking for a third?”, “What’s with the pictures?”, “You are so hot, does he not satisfy you?”.  I realized suddenly that the profile pictures that had been downloaded were those of my sister’s wedding… And that my beautiful sister and her new husband were front and center of most of the photos.

This is the perfect example of a typical Tinder conversation… strange, hilarious and vaguely threatening.

I explained again and again that, no, I was the blonde in the background of the photo and found that, again and again, I was “unmatched”.  It was depressing but kind of hilarious.  My poor sister probably didn’t want her wonderful wedding photos on what was notorious for being a hook up site and I didn’t want to misrepresent myself.  It was also a good introduction to the sexually open nature of Tinder (and, I’m finding, today’s dating world in general).  People really put themselves out there.  They say “I’m interested in being the third in your marriage” or “I’m looking to cheat on my wife, are you looking to cheat on your husband?”.  It shocked me and yet it was also refreshing.  People here were honest!  I could easily say “no thanks” and they didn’t take offence!

It took a few days to get used to the Tinder thing and to get my profile pictures sorted out.  As someone who hasn’t let anyone take her picture for years and years it took some searching to find any (let alone decent) pics of myself.  But I got it up and running finally and it became a very entertaining way to pass a boring hour.  I’ve even gone on some Tinder-dates (more on that later).  All in all, Tinder was the perfect way to dip my toe into the dating world.


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