Tinder’s got it all. Hot singles in your area? As long as you don’t swipe past them too fast you’re bound to find a match. Don’t want to take online dating too seriously? Oh, it caters for that too. Since Tinder links with Facebook, there’s no hiding; it adds photos for you, you can’t lie about your age (as long as you haven’t already on Facebook) and it seems to be more reliable as a result. As a simplistic app, it has rapidly become a pyre of popularity. But does it really work? Does it really help you find a partner for life?
I downloaded Tinder, sat back and waited for the matches to roll in; at least enough matches to spark a roaring fire.
There are some unwritten rules of Tinder, which I quickly discovered. Firstly, it seems to be the usual etiquette for the men to talk first. God help the confident girl who wants to start a conversation. Another trend seems to be revealing your height in your bio. I suppose some people might have height preferences, but surely true love defies height prejudice. Online dating should let the vertically challenged breath easy. Another more practical rule is that you must not put too many group photos in your profile, in case people can’t tell which one you are. Many of these apply to Tinder only, which is why this type of dating seems so far away from real life.
In addition, if you’re looking for horrendous chat up lines or 50 Shades-type erotica in your inbox, you’re in the right place. I had the lovely experience of fending off a young male who’d sent me five screenshots’ worth of erotica for me to ‘analyse’ because I like literature. You should also be careful in case your embers of warmth turn into wildfire, and you’re left trying to kindle all the different conversations. If, however, your reality is a similar deal, I both envy you and feel sorry for you. How do you know which one is your soul mate when you don’t have time to really get to know them? This is the reason why I don’t think Tinder works. It might be okay for a booty call but if you really want a life long love, look elsewhere.
If you really wanted to take your search seriously when scrolling through Tinder, you would have to select and study in detail each potential date, examining each photo. Perhaps you’d talk to every single one of your matches, probe them with questions, even assess their use of emojis, collecting enough tinder to start a camp fire at least and a bonfire if you’re lucky. Even so, online personas are rarely reliable. You may get on better online than you do in real life. Maybe you think you like one person, but you discover that they’re different to who you thought they were. At the same time, you may have swiped past someone who you would have got on really well with; a potential soul mate or someone you knew when you were a child but didn’t recognise initially.
Strange how a simple swipe can dictate one’s future relationships.