I’ve had a love-hate relationship with Tinder since I started using it about two years ago (aka, I’m still single).
Navigating the waters of dating apps can be tricky.
I’ve used a handful of different apps, but I always come back to Tinder.
Although I’ve had my share of WTF moments, I’ve also had some pretty good experiences.
I have yet to actually have a Tinder hookup, and I’m not just saying that because my mother will read this.
Believe it or not, you can use the app for other things:
1. Making New Friends
The last city I lived in had about 150,000 people.
So after living there for 10 years, it’s safe to say I already had a well-established circle of friends.
Meeting new people was becoming a bit more difficult.
You fall into a routine of hanging out with the same people, going to the same places and having the same conversations.
So, what do you do when your friends start marrying themselves off and popping out babies?
You find new friends.
My first Tinder encounter ever was a hike with a divorcée.
He had his life way more together than I did.
He was a geologist. He picked me up in his SUV and told me about his house renovations.
We had talked briefly about his divorce and meeting up just as friends, and I was fine with this.
We had a lovely hike, but he never called me again.
But the good far outweighed the bad.
I met another guy for coffee, and we ended up chatting for hours, well into the evening.
We’re still friends and we still chat, but it just so happens we moved to other sides of the continent.
So that didn’t really work out.
But still, it could have.
2. Meeting Other Travelers While You're Traveling
My favorite Tinder match was in Hawaii.
I matched with another Canadian who was living on the Big Island.
He was a professional motorcycle racer and spent half his year in Hawaii building houses on a volcano.
Um, dreamboat much?
We hung out at the beach, and then we went to dinner.
However, the timing was bad.
I was getting ready to fly home, and his parents were in town.
But there was a definite attraction, and after traveling on my own for weeks, it was nice to share an evening with a really awesome dude.
Another time in Prague, I matched with an American guy.
We went to a craft brewery, and then we somehow ended up in a bizarre Cuban bar drinking buckets of mojitos.
The key is to make it clear in your bio that you’re just looking to hang out.
You’d be surprised how many people use Tinder for the same reason (or so they say).
3. Discovering Cool New Places
I’m now living in Berlin.
In a city of freaky expats, Tinder is a gold mine for weirdness and awesomeness.
On the other hand, it does get kind of frustrating when you’re looking to make some solid connections, but keep matching with people just visiting for the weekend.
Anyway, for the most part, people are willing to impart their wisdom to you.
I’ve gotten killer recommendations for everything from restaurants to underground clubs.
Sometimes, you’ll even wind up with your own tour guide.
This only ever went wrong once for me.
I hit it off with this Greek guy, but he suddenly went from nice to super pushy and aggressive really quickly.
When I told him to stop groping me, he got mad and stormed out.
4. Actually Finding Love
I can’t speak from personal experience on this one, but I do have a handful of friends who found their happily-ever-afters via Tinder.
I think the most in love couple I’ve ever met was while sailing in Croatia last summer.
They had been together for a year, and they were ridiculously happy.
How did they meet? All thanks to Tinder.
So, yeah. Maybe you have to wade through a lot of bullsh*t to find a little nugget of happiness.
But hey, sometimes it actually does work out.