I tried to make it a full 14 days on Tinder but deleted the app with 5 days to go. I can’t completely knock it, but it’s just not for me. The app was highly entertaining and addicting, I made a ton of observations and even got asked on a date. But first, let’s start with age ranges and what you’re getting yourself into.
21-25: Who’s looking for a good time? Because this crew will not disappoint. Swiping right on any of these potential mates will guarantee a memorable evening of hanging with the bros, bonging beers, and lots of sex. This crew LOOOOVES older women- tell them you’re divorced, no kids, and have a 401k- trifecta! They’ll be eating out of the palm of your hand in no time, mostly because they want the chance to brag to all of their friends that they nabbed an older woman. Just go with it, and take that bar you have raised and just lower it- and keep lowering it. There will be no punctuation at the end of sentences and no text will ever be grammatically correct. But they will be more than happy to let you know that their job is to please you and you shouldn’t worry because- they’ve been with older women before. You can and will get away with anything that you want with this group and they will do nothing but feed your ego. Have fun, ladies! Oh, FYI they will ask for pics by text number two. These ones are quick.
26-29: This is what I like to call The Land of Confusion or Mind Fuck Central-it will come as no surprise that this is where I spent most of my time swiping right. I blame it on my love of bro tanks and Fireball. We all remember our 20s and this age range is the epicenter of life’s shit storm. Despite the fact that this crew is unknowingly experiencing major life changes, the pieces of the puzzle are starting to come together. They’ve had big boy jobs for a few years, have finally gotten rid of their dorm room furniture, have new cars, nicer apartments, and they’ve started to travel to other places besides Put-In-Bay so they’re a tiny bit more cultured. The only obvious piece they’re missing is the lady. You can expect an upgrade in communication (periods at the ends of sentences, they’ll spell out “you” for the first few messages) and you’re guaranteed a Saturday night adventure that includes ripping shots at Townhall and Dive Bar- because this group lives and dies by “work hard play hard” it’s the only quote in every single one of their profiles. There is fun to be had, but not without putting in some serious work. If you’re on a mission for love with one of these charmers, you’re going to have to differentiate between the outliers and the game players and it’s hard to tell the difference between the two because they don’t even know! You’re in for a wild ride, may the odds be ever in your favor.
30-35: One successful date and you might as well update your Facebook relationship status to “married”. For the most part this crew is no nonsense and the majority are ready to settle down. Careers are solid, passions and habits are formed and they know that courting someone has nothing to do with our judicial system. Any bro from this group is going to take you on a lovely dinner date or maybe even a day date! You’ll go to a wine bar, maybe Little Italy, and you’ll for sure be stopping at the roof top bar at Greenhouse Tavern. Date conversation will mention at least one, if not all of the following items- Pearl Jam, Tupac, Saved by The Bell, Crystal Clear Pepsi, and why Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake should totally get back together. You will have a bit of work to do, you’re going to start to get into the kid zone and the divorced zone. Avoid anyone that’s been divorced 0-6 months. Ticking time bombs.
36-40+: If you want to live in the suburbs and be a step mom this group is for you. Kids for dayyyssss! Every picture involves a child. These guys are upfront and they will tell you that they are a package deal, so no messing around. You’re in for some serious wining and dining- think XO, Blue Pointe, Reds, Luca- they’ll order bottles of wine and actually know what they’re ordering. Conversation will be intellectual and diverse- life experience will lend itself to that. No need to update your Facebook status, these guys don’t care about social media, they’re only on Tinder because- well, I have no idea why. I swiped left on every single one of them.
Now that we got the age range breakdown out of the way, let’s talk about matches! I had 30 matches in 3 days and that’s where I stopped. I was extremely selective about who I swiped right on. Besides the fact that I wanted to throw my phone and break it because it kept going off with more and more messages, I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised. The vast majority of guys were actually interested in getting to know me and having mature, well rounded conversations. A few actually came right out of the gate and told me they were actually serious about finding someone to date and would like to know my intentions before moving forward. There were only a handful that were gimmicky and it was entirely easy to deal with those.
Yes, one of these conversations did land me a date. Judging from his pictures he seemed tall, attractive, and confident. In person I realized that he’s one of those people that takes great pictures and he just didn’t cut it for me, he was a nice guy but he wasn’t my guy. It was my immediate sign that I couldn’t do this, I couldn’t judge people off of photos. This was not my type of dating.
Next observation. Everyone that’s on Tinder that says it’s just an app used to hook up with people is full of shit. It’s a new version of online dating and everyone on there is swiping right hoping to find the needle in the haystack. They want one person they match with to turn into a person they can spend more than one night with.
Here’s where things get difficult. You both swipe right and can agree you have a mutual attraction, the girls wait for the guy to message because they need the man to come to them. The guys won’t message because they’re afraid of getting rejected. It’s a stalemate.
The worst part comes when you actually make it on the date and you have a great time, it’s unexpected and then it all becomes very real. What started as a fun game of check-yes-or-no has just turned into something that could potentially turn into a real relationship. Which is typically where things end because nobody knows what to do next. Nobody wants to work to make something real, we live in a world of instant gratification and online dating has made it way too easy to avoid the seriousness of a relationship and the possibility of getting our feelings hurt. The swiping addiction has formed and getting a quick fix keeps everyone fulfilled for a short period of time. Just like any other addiction, you wake up and reality sets back in. You’re still lonely and your short term answer isn’t the long term solution.
As if it wasn’t bad enough that people validate themselves by how many likes and comments they get on social media, it’s now moved on to Tinder matches. I’ve listened to people talk about how many matches they have and it actually makes me cringe. I understand that it’s flattering when you do have a match with someone, it means someone thinks you’re attractive. But it’s not real, I’d say 75% of the people on Tinder are playing the game of odds and swiping right on every single picture. It’s all meaningless and emotionless and it’s used for validation, but unfortunately I don’t think the group in their young 20s sees it that way. This has now become the dating norm for them and its actually kind of scary, especially for those that are serious about finding something real. Beware of the serial swiper.
My problem I had using Tinder was that I felt like I was 14 again and stuck in an AOL chatroom having conversations that were going nowhere. I love going out and meeting and people and it’s what works for me. So when I say I struggled with Tinder, believe me I struggled, I was definitely out of my comfort zone.
Before I wrote this I was standing in line at Starbucks behind this rough biker dude. He had to be in his 50s, had a crazy long beard, long black hair, his arms were covered in tattoos. We smiled at each other in line and when he finally got his drink he walked past me and said, “Excuse me, angel.” I blushed and giggled like a school girl and remembered this is what I love. I LOVE human interaction and even though this guy wasn’t a love match, it was still a connection, a very real connection and a reminder that there are very nice and kind people out there. And that’s what I’m addicted to, finding and talking to those people and I actually think I have a knack for it.
I can’t entirely knock Tinder. I know people that have actually ended up in real relationships and I get it. There’s an element of it that does work. But you need to have a lot of patience and you’re going to have to develop a thick skin. You get what you pay for, and it’s going to take some time to sort through all of the people to gauge who’s serious and who isn’t, and you’ll inevitably end up on a few disappointing dates, but if you can take it all with a grain of salt, you’ll get to where you’re going and it’ll be worth it.
I’m glad I tried it but it’s not enough for me, I’m better at real life Tinder. So, I’ll just continue to dodge left and dodge right at the bars- and rip shots and fall in love on dance floors. Plus I feel like non-internet daters are a dying breed and I’ve got to keep hope alive so people know it’s still possible to meet someone and fall in love in person.
Oh, ladies, last piece of advice. There’s a Cleveland guy on Tinder that says he’s only interested in a one night stand. I’d discourage you from checking out his profile unless you’re into dick pics. Lots and lots of dick pics. -__-