Ugh, the dating scene. Of all the places I want to be right now, dating is ranked just above colonoscopies and root canals. I am completely and utterly apathetic about love and relationships at the moment, which means there is no better time to do a deep dive into Tinder. My cynicism is high and my caring is low.
With nothing but time on my hands for about a week, I threw a pity party for one and wallowed in bed with potato chips and Tinder. I am here to tell you ladies that while it provided me some seriously good laughs, it’s a total dumpster fire. If you’re thinking about jumping into the world of online dating for a serious relationship, I highly recommend you run, don’t walk, away from Tinder. Here’s why:
Being Fresh Meat is Not Fun
When I first created my account, I had no sooner thrown up a picture and I had 30 likes. By five minutes I was maxed out at 99+ likes. The catch, I couldn’t see who those 99 were unless I paid $40/mo to see them. The price went down if I committed to six months, but honestly, six months on Tinder is like a sentence in hell. That flame on the app is far more symbolic than you can imagine.
I haven’t paid for a single life on Candy Crush in 2000 levels though, so paying for Tinder is not in my future—even if I get a “super like”. And neither should you. Tinder is going to show you all the guys in the geographic area you’ve determined for free, and you can decide which way to swipe. All those guys you’ve swept left on though? They’re in that group of 99+ and you’re just paying $40 to be disappointed.
I’m not on Tinder for love though and I’m not there for a hook-up, I literally have no horse in this race. So I let go of all my “types” and mindlessly start to swipe right on bald guys, guys with man buns, guys younger than me, guys older than me, guys more high maintenance than me, but not short guys. I draw the line at short guys because even when no actual meeting is possible, I can sense the height through the app. This makes me a terrible person I know, but we all have our thing.
Everyone is Just Browsing
If you’re even remotely tech savvy and aware how apps play to your psyche, it’s clear from the get-go Tinder is looking to hit you up with a dopamine hit. Do not fall for it. You’ll receive notifications that you’ve been “super liked”, and when you click on the app, Tinder will ask you to pay a fee to see who that is. Fuggedaboutit, and just keeping swiping because eventually you’ll see who super liked you in your feed. And then the conversation will end up like this.
If I was truly searching for love though, it’s not too hard to see why more women than men are choosing the single life. My first conversation on Tinder set the tone nicely.
Him: Attractive, great shape and killer smile. Nice.
Me: That felt like a Yelp review.
And that was the end of that convo.
It’s clear that because I don’t have a bio filled out, I’m getting every guy with a pulse liking my picture. And I don’t blame them, I’ve literally disclosed nothing about my personality, so I’m getting guys like this:
And like this:
Based just on the vast difference of what you see above, it’s easy to see why Tinder gets boring fast. One evening, I wiped off my greasy potato chip fingers and purposely swiped left on 300 profiles in a row. I still had that 99+ likes waiting for me.
It was time to add some personality and honesty to my profile.
Something I Said?
That’s when things got very, very quiet on Tinder. Still, there’s always that one guy who is going to come in hot no matter what warnings you throw up. So here he is, in a story.
Him: “I’m feeling frisky tonight.”
Me: “LOL! Well I hope Tinder delivers for you.”
Him: “Wait, this is how it works right? I’m new here.”
I pause to go check my profile to ensure “Tinder Ambassador” hasn’t somehow made it into my bio. Nope.
“Dude, what makes you think I would know?” Unmatch.
I fear for this guys future. Also, pro tip. Never, ever use the word “frisky”. Ever.
I do have to give props to the guys that volunteered to be story material. A sense of humour is probably the best thing any guy (or lady) can have on Tinder. Trust me, you need one.
Do We Have to See Every Fish in the Sea?
I’m not sure why, but men seem to like to confirm their hunter/gatherer status on Tinder by profiling themselves holding up a giant slimy fish. Also, cute dog pics. Guys, you really want a lady to swipe right to meet you, not your cute dog.
To be fair, apparently the ladies aren’t faring much better with some of their pics. A few guys were good sports and shared their feelings on Tinder with me in private conversations. Apparently cat pictures, food shots, and pictures with kids are immediate turn-offs.
At the end of the day, Tinder is like walking into your favourite discount store; one of everything on the rack but nothing in your size. Frustrated rifling through the racks, you leave, but go back the next week hoping you’ll find that diamond in the rough at a bargain basement price.
I have no doubt there are seriously great people on Tinder, there are just too many on the app for there not to be, but swiping fatigue is real, and no one wants to be an item on a menu.
Pity party officially over, I’ve deleted Tinder off my phone to focus getting my dopamine hits in more constructive ways. I’m not sure what the answer is when it comes to dating but my gut tells me that looking up from our phones and out into the world, is probably still the best bet.
Quick note: I also took a look at Bumble which is touted as a kinder, gentler Tinder where the woman initiates the conversation first. It’s no better in my humble opinion, and all the same people are there. But if there was a dumpster fire that burns even brighter than Tinder, it’s got to be Facebook. This app actually shows you potential dates and indicates who you have mutual friends with. It’s not hard to then pop over to your mutual friends list of friends and search them out. From there you have their first and last name! Talk about a privacy nightmare. I would say avoid that one at all costs.