Not long ago, digital dating was considered a last resort, reserved for those who were socially inept and unable to form meaningful connections in real life. Nowadays, the advent of smartphones has ignited a diverse pool of dating apps, with Tinder at its forefront. The increased selection of online dating apps has gradually normalised the digital sphere as a place where couples meet.
In case, you’ve been living under a rock, Tinder is a dating application where users can select who they want to ‘match’ with based on age, gender, pictures and location. Tinder filters potential matches based on your desired criteria but it is ultimately up to you which profiles to pursue. Unlike hitting on people in real life, Tinder provides you with some degree of certainty. When you approach strangers on the street, you have no idea what their reaction will be and whether or not they will welcome your pick up line. On Tinder, you only match with someone if you have both swiped right or chosen each other.
Browsing through digital archives, you’ll find a flow of cynicism from those who judge Tinder from afar or are bitter former users. There are numerous complaints of “low-quality candidates” that populate Tinder. There is also a growing frustration towards ‘matches’ that simply want to do the deed and nothing more. Also beware, after a Tinder induced ‘heartbreak’, victims say friends rarely offer solace. There’s an expectation that Tinder is a hookup haven and those who expect more are considered delusional.
Complaints of a constant Tinder victim
Rachel Chapman* says she lost her virginity to a guy on Tinder who promised her they were forever. After the deed was done, despite his passionate two-day courtship of her, he promptly ghosted her.
Rachel also has a problem with the type of men that dominate Tinder, “Most of them couldn’t even spell. When I brought that up as a legitimate issue, guys would say I was too harsh and to expect less. I’m not expecting the world, I just want someone who can spell words properly.”
Another Tinder match annoyed her because he would repeatedly yell “Weee, Weee, Weee” in public. “It’s endearing if you’re five, but not when you’re 25,” she says. Her latest Tinder date had resulted in a guy telling her that she possessed a “sexy pussy”, before requesting they forgo protection. “We only met once and I told him to take a STD test first. He declined and proceeded to tell Rachel, “you need some STDs in your system, sister.”
I offer her a solution: “Maybe meet guys in real life?” Rachel looks at me with tired eyes. “I honestly can’t tell if the problem is the quality of men on Tinder, or men in general.”
A success story
Although dating in the digital sphere is a lightly dip-dyed taboo, there are those who manage to find their happily ever after. Edita Lin*, had to weed through over 200 matches to find someone who would commit. “Most people on Tinder are just there for a good time but occasionally you find the gem who is looking for stability, as opposed to flings. The secret? Be honest up front. Let them know in person that you’re looking to develop a connection. Emphasise your disdain for one night stands and never agree to physical relations before you’ve formed a bond.” Edita says Tinder isn’t too different from navigating the every day dating scene. “You pick who you like, you meet up, you go on dates and see if you vibe.”
Edita is now engaged to a rare Tinder gem. Their timeline? Her fiance said he loved her on their third date. He presented her with a 10,000 AUD limit credit card on their second month. He proposed to her after three months. He bought a car for her on their six month anniversary. He took out a mortgage for a million dollar property, in Northern Sydney, after one year. You didn’t think a whirlwind fairy-tale romance could be birthed on Tinder, now did you? Edita says, “Persistence is key on tinder, you’ll experience heartbreak, but eventually you will uncover a needle in the haystack.”
*Names have been changed to protect the individuals’ privacy.