Tackling the Tinder Taboo

Everyone in their twenties who has ever used Tinder will have a disaster story for you. The guy who would not stop sending nudes. The girl who was actually in a relationship. That one person who turned out to be double the age they said they were.

They’re fairly normal in comparison to some of the experiences I’ve heard about, some of which are funny and some of which have every level of creepiness covered.

The basic format of swiping the people you like the look of one way and all the people you find unattractive the other is shallow. Most people aren’t looking for commitment – let’s be honest, even friends with benefits is a bit too intense for most Tinder users.

Except for the fact that it isn’t.

I’ll admit that the reason I first downloaded the app was because my friend was having boy problems, so all the girls in our flat got it together and spent a night together having a bit of a laugh at the whole thing. Since then, I’d repeatedly deleted it, then downloaded it again when I was drunk, desperate or bored.

The thing about Tinder is that it’s easy to just mindlessly swipe right on hot people, chat to them for a bit if you match, then never make contact again. If you’re sat in watching TV re-runs on a weeknight and trying to pass the time, it’s entertaining to see what chat up lines people come up with. And yeah, it gives you a bit of a confidence boost that people think you’re attractive.

So the first time I got asked “do you fancy meeting up for a drink?”, I honestly didn’t know how to respond. My first instinct was scepticism – I presumed it wasn’t really their intention to have a few drinks and get to know each other, it was a precursor to sex. That’s fine, but just not my thing.

It took a while but I got over myself and have been on a few Tinder dates. Some were obviously just looking for a one night stand, and I left pretty quickly after my gin and tonic (never mid-gin and tonic though, can’t waste a good drink).

What surprised me was that some of the people I met in real life were genuine. They were on a dating app to date. Absolutely shocking behaviour.

A few of them have turned into second dates. A couple became third and fourth dates. That’s kind of been it for me because they lost interest, or vice versa.

Tinder is a bit of a guessing game. Correction: a massive guessing game. A selfie or two, a line about where someone is from and their age… That’s all you get to judge whether you’re interested. You might get a match, you might start chatting but they could literally be anyone. And if they are being honest in their profile, you still have no clue what they want or whether they’re anything close to what you want. Tinder is an effort and you can’t blame a girl for being a pessimist.

But, and this is a big but, it’s possible to get a real-life relationship. Amidst the guys and girls trying to find someone to sleep with, there are a few of us who are looking for something else.

Yes, desperation probably drove us there and we’re really not hopeful that anything will come of it. We’re not really committed to the search for a relationship otherwise we’d be paying for match.com, but it’s nice to flirt and date a bit when you don’t know how else to meet people. Pathetic as it sounds, I don’t really care about putting that out there. A relationship has never been the be-all and end-all for me, so it’s not like it’s a last resort to find The One (even typing that makes me vomit a little). You can’t look at someone’s profile and attempt to work out if they’d be a good boyfriend or girlfriend because come on, that’s ridiculous and you’ll never find anyone that fits your “type”.

When it comes to dating apps, don’t knock it until you try it. At the end of the day, if it ends up being horrific, at least you’ll get a funny experience to recount to your friends (with exaggerated voices and everything).

Everyone has a Tinder disaster story, true, but I think everyone has also heard at least one success story too.

I’m going to my cousin’s wedding in September. She’s marrying a guy she matched with on Tinder.

Have you ever used Tinder, or any other dating app? What’s your best story from it, good or bad?

Best wishes,

Siobhán

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