So, I have been asked about Tinder. Most of you will have heard of it, Tinder is a dating app, it links to your Facebook account and then, based on 5 pictures, mutual friends and shared interests and anything you want to write about yourself you get to ‘like’ or ‘nope’ the guys who come up within your age/location search criteria. If you like him and he likes you you get a match and then get to message each other.
This app is really good if you are a singlette with the following thoughts:
“I’m not attractive enough”
Given that Tinder mainly bases matching on photos, the guys who like you are finding you attractive! And trust me, you will have plenty of matches – so it’s a great self esteem boost and something you can remind yourself of whenever that nasty thought comes up. Please do keep in mind that this app is designed for least-effort dating, so just like the guys are doing, you’ll need to go through a bunch of different profiles and like a bunch of people before you start getting matches… It’s quite addictive so just go with it and don’t think too much when you are ‘liking’ or ‘noping’… remember, you don’t have to marry these guys! I recommend that you go by the rule 'If I could imagine this guy fitting in to a dinner scenario with my friends' then like him. You are first and foremost looking for a good friend in a partner and so selecting based on similarity is a good first strategy.
“Meeting men and dating is too hard”
Ok, so I don’t count Tinder as dating really, you aren't dating until you are actually in front of someone. However, if you have been burnt by the effort involved in meeting new guys, the ease of this app will be refreshing for you. There is really little required of you and you will find it surprisingly easy to get into the ‘liking’ and ‘noping’ zone and make matches. It could be a good ‘warm up’ if you aren’t quite ready to do more involved forms of online dating.
“There are no single guys left/ all the good ones are taken”
It is virtually impossible to get through all the guys on Tinder (yes, I tried!). So, if nothing else it shows you how false and unhelpful the ‘man drought’ idea is. Now, I’m not suggesting that all the guys on Tinder ARE actually available or ‘good ones’, in fact, I’d hesitate a guess that a high proportion of them are on there for an ego boost and for the excitement of flirting with new girls. However, if you keep that in mind and use a good screening strategy then you'll be easily able to find the good ones. What screening strategy? If you get a match, ask a simple opening question. If he replies have one or two topics of conversation and then ask him to catch up for a drink. Delete the match if he doesn't get back to you in a couple of days. Delete the match if he becomes lewd on text. And delete the match if he makes excuses not to meet up.
As I wrote in my post The End of Courtship? there can be pitfalls in dating with modern technology. The lack of vulnerability and lack of investment required makes it more likely that you will meet guys online who are ambivalent about meeting a partner or actually unavailable, and also more likely that the contact you make won’t go anywhere.
Tinder is least-effort dating. The guys who ‘like’ you put in about 2 seconds thought into making that decision. They don’t know anything about you really and you are one of a bizillion girls they have ‘liked’ and ‘noped’ that day. This is Ok, because it is also what will be happening on your end too!
However, because this is the case, have reasonable expectations. If you start messaging try using one of two strategies
a) The ego boost strategy – give yourself permission to use the app to flirt with hot guys and feel excited by this, but don’t expect it to go anywhere.
b) The ‘let’s see what they are made of’ strategy – rather then engage in inane flirtation, cut to the chase. Ask them one or two questions about themselves and, sooner rather then later, ask them if they would like to meet you for a coffee or a drink.
Something like: “Hey, I know a lot of people use this app just for fun. I’m actually interested in meeting someone to have a relationship with, are you as well? If not, that is cool, I’d just prefer to know now”. If they say they want a relationship then, as with other forms of internet dating, suggest you meet in person. It is the only real way to tell if a guy is genuine and if you have enough in common with him.
Tinder is also one of the most common ways ‘players’ try to get booty calls or begin sexting. So, if you are not interested in something casual, please protect yourself. Suggesting coffee, not responding to late-night messages, having a friendly more then flirty tone will help you filter out the guys who only want to get off. If a guy starts messaging you in a way that is overtly sexual and you feel uncomfortable with, give him a warning “Hey, I’m not that sort of girl and you saying that makes me uncomfortable” and block him if necessary.