Tinder. By definition, it’s a dry, flammable material used for starting fires. By practice, it’s a dating app that can either set your love life en fuego or blow it up in smoke. Lately, I haven’t even had a fire to burn.
I’ve been a practicing Tinderer for more than a year and a half and in that time, I’ve acquired a lot of matches. Well, a lot for someone who is entirely too picky, I suppose. But, in that year and a half, guess how many dates I’ve been on? Two.
Two dates. Out of the thousand or so guys I’ve matched with, I have only ever been on two Tinder dates.
Sure, it’s partly because I think that any and all of them will murder me in a back alley somewhere and then the NY Post will write a tragic story about the aspiring screenwriter whose life was cut short. But, the real reason is because truthfully, none of the guys seemed worth the time.
The conversations were fine, as they usually are on dating apps, but no one was jumping out at me as someone on whom I just needed to waste a Friday night. I always felt that if the conversation was lackluster, it was okay, because another guy was only a swipe away.
And therein, I thought, exists the problem. Another guy was always a swipe away. If I wasn’t satisfied, I could have another guy in a minute — less than a minute, actually.
I didn’t have to focus on truly getting to know someone because if I didn’t like one thing about the person, moving on was as easy as scrolling through six pictures and then swiping right.
Choice became my downfall. Too short? Left. Ugly clothes? Left. Picture of him on a boat with a fish? Left. Nice biceps? Right. Funny bio and not ugly? Right. Famous? Right.
It became less about trying to find someone with whom to match and more about a game – in the next 10 matches, would I find a tall brunette who worked on Wall Street? If I didn’t win, I’d simply just play again tomorrow.
I had less interest in actually getting to know these guys and more in trying to see if all the stupid middle school humiliation was invalid because these guys DO find me attractive.
Could I get six matches in the next six swipes? Yes? Boom. Who cared about the person on the end of the match? I felt attractive.
I started to use Tinder as a way to boost my confidence instead of finding a guy to maybe, possibly, meet up with for drinks or dinner or whatever the kids are doing these days.
Tinder, to me, wasn’t a dating app so much as it was a self-esteem game. And slowly, I realized that it was becoming a problem.
I shouldn’t need validation from John Doe to have confidence in myself — obviously, I need to find that on my own. And, if I wasn’t using the app to go on dates, what was the point?
Sure, the occasional funny pick-up line from a guy is great for screen shotting and posting on Instagram with a funny caption, but in practice, it wasn’t doing anything for me.
Tinder was an ego boost, plain and simple, but an actual app that could help me find someone I’d be interested in dating? Unlikely. Maybe it’s the romantic in me (or the delusional), but I believe in finding someone the old-fashioned way — through friends, at the grocery store and, in a perfect world, at a bookstore.
I need to stop trying to control this aspect of my life and just let it happen. Tinder is an artificial way to control who you meet and if you don’t like the cards you’re dealt, you can get a new hand.
Too much choice can be great, but more often than not, it just leads to a sinking feeling that the grass is greener somewhere else. Maybe ignorance really is bliss.
The bottom line is that we need to start letting life happen instead of trying to control every aspect of it. Otherwise, we’ll never be happy.
If Tinder really is the only way for me to meet someone then so be it, but I believe there’s a better way. Heck, maybe I am wrong, but I’ll never know unless I try.
So, sorry fellas of the world, but if you were hoping to find me on Tinder, better swiping next time. Guess we’ll just have to leave it up to chance.
Photo Courtesy: We Heart It