It’s easy and sorta-fun to open the app and see who shows up. It’s a little hit of possibility that gives us a tiny rush of dopamine.
Okay, so we’re all getting in on the game of Tinder. (see: She Came On Like a Freight Train – The Woman Who Says “Yes”) But it’s more game than dating, in my experience. Swiping left or right might be a bad metaphor for relationships. If your response and requirements are so superficial, perhaps you are looking for something different than I am.
Online dating is hard enough. With most online dating sites you get photos and a few words to determine if the person is a potential fit. LESSON #1: 99% of “matches” are not.
Okay, so what do we have to go on with Tinder?
- Number of mutual friends on FB (um, if you haven’t figured this out yet, you can easily FIND the actual person on FB once you have a picture and mutual friend, duh!)
- Some FB similarities
- Filtered only by proximity and age-range
- A “am I hot or not” swipe system for saying YES or NOPE.
There is very little about Tinder that is really new. But it’s the new thing. The idea of it being a hookup tool for younger users, might be true, but as us older folks jump on, we’re looking for a new “dating app.” And if less is more then Tinder might be for you.
I have to admit, I was encouraged by my first Tinder experience. I mean, wow. The first MATCH ever followed through within a day and we were kissing on the first date. Wow.
Here is how my impression of Tinder has changed over time.
A. My initial impression before I got a Match. “Um, yeah this is good for the hookup kids.”
B. My impression after my first YES and eventual MEH: “Hot damn, maybe there are more just like her.”
C. My impression now after date #2 and #3: “Yeah, it’s worse than Match.com. I’ve got nothing more than a photo. And the superficial selection process is somewhat demeaning.”
And yet… After all that, Tinder has something going for it. Simplicity. There’s something sort of thrilling at opening up the app and seeing the little concentric circles going radiating out from your picture, “Finding people nearby.” But of course, that promise is quickly brought back to reality. The women in my sphere are not looking for a hookup, as the “nearby” might suggest. And that’s fine, that’s not really what I’m after either.
So I keep coming back, I keep opening the app and watching the little circles do their magic, like some magical searching mechanism, that I keep encouraging, “Find me the girl, Tinder. Find her now!”
But once you’ve gotten over the initial rush, and I have to admit my first experience *was* extraordinary, you’ve got a dating app, with *much less* information than you have on other sites. The newness of the swipe grows old as the app opens up to “everyone” within your radius. Once you get going (I think Tinder rewards frequent check-ins) the blur of Tinder-ites becomes more of a tedium than a thrill.
You’ve got the same problems as any other online dating site, but you have less information. My second Tinder date was an amazing looker in her pictures, and when she arrived at our coffee date, disclaiming that she was “coming directly from the horse barn,” it was as if she were trying to look unattractive. I couldn’t make the connection between who I was seeing and who I had swiped right. And my third Tinder date was just… boring. Zero connection. Zero game. I guess I should’ve taken notice of how quickly she wanted to meet without any banter.
Banter is good. Banter and the art of the selfie, may be the two sharpest indicators of a match for me. If she’s got no verbal game I’m done. If her pictures are glam shots (I’m swiping left anyway) or don’t match up with who shows up, I’m gone. With Tinder, you’ve got very few indicators of who you might be setting up to enjoy or waste time with.
I’m really done with the boring “hello” date. My criteria for a face-to-face meeting these days is “amazing.” If she’s not got some quality or fantastic attractant I’m not going to follow-up. I’ve got over 2,000 “hidden” women profiles on Match. That’s a lot of filtering. If I had to swipe 2,000 women to the left, my finger is going to get tired real quick. Tinder, check it out, but don’t be surprised to see a lot of the same faces from Match or OK Cupid.
Perhaps Tinder’s real winning application is travel. If you’re heading into town for a music festival, for example, and you’d like to meet someone for drinks, Tinder might be your winner app. It’s easy to open when you hit the ground. You are likely to see a lot of potentials in your proximity. And if that’s what you’re looking for, who knows, perhaps adults are hooking up on Tinder as much as the kids are. I’ve not travelled with Tinder yet, but I think it might be a neat experiment.
In the end the simplicity is the pro and con of Tinder. It’s easy and sorta-fun to open the app and see who shows up. It’s a little hit of possibility that gives us a tiny rush of dopamine. But the thrill quickly wears off after you’ve been swiping for a while without any YESes. And sad when you get no matches at all. Maybe #4 is going to be a hit for me. That’s always the thought with online dating sites, “maybe she’s out there NOW,” I’d better go check.
Give it a go and let me know what you think.
The Off Parent
back to On Dating Again
- The Happy, the Fit, and the Beautiful
- My Casual Sex Experience – First Lesson
- Crossfit Sex
- An Early Frost: Dating Options and Casual Sex
- If Age is Just a Number Why Do I Still Want to Lie About My Age?
image: almost every girl on tinder, post memes, creative commons usage