Are You On Tinder?

Young smiling woman dressed in yellow using phone near the window in the dark interiorTHE DATING GAME

From Cinderella to Tinder-ella

The game has changed since the ‘60s and ‘70s. From the days of free love and psychedelic rock, we now work, live and love in a completely different society. Sure, fashion comes back around, tie dye t-shirts and high-waisted denim are back and bigger than ever, but can the same be said about the dating scene?

In my parents’ heyday,  my father not only had to prove to my mother that he was worthy of her affection, he had prove it to her mother and father. As well as the awkward, “Can I date your daughter?” conversation, my father was also expected to discard of his prized motorcycle, long hair and left ear piercing, which was not going to surpass the strict house rules.

App Dating

You could say a significant difference between dating then and now is the induction of online dating. Progressing past the boundaries of the original website profiles and matches, we now introduce the ‘swipe right’ ‘swipe left’ method, that is, Tinder.

What is Tinder?

Tinder is an online dating app. Originally it was viewed as a hookup/casual sex app because it finds your potential matches based on their proximity to you. However, now everyone seems to be on there, young and old, in search of their modern day Romeo or Juliet.

How does it work?

You simply download the app to your smart phone, link to your Facebook account (don’t worry, nothing about Tinder will ever be posted to Facebook), choose up to six photos of yourself, and write a brief bio. That’s it!

Tinder finds your location using GPS, and shows you photos of singles based on your preferences (gender, age range and preferred distance). You swipe left if you don’t like the look of them and swipe right if you do. If someone you like also swiped right on your photo, the app immediately informs you, ‘It’s a Match!’ and urges you to begin chatting.

No need to meet face to face. Actually, no need to even look up from your screen. The app’s tagline says it all, ‘Tinder is how people meet. It’s like real life, but better.’

tinder_app_screenshot

The Tinder Reality

Instead of responding to a suggestive nod from across a crowded bar or a chivalrous return of the fruit you accidently dropped in the supermarket aisle, we now receive a notification that you have in fact both ‘swiped right’ and found your match. No flirtatious smile, no lingering eye contact, no subtle graze of the hand. Some people may struggle to see the appeal…

Although us singles hate to admit it, the popular flame logo has found its way amongst our mobile apps at least once or twice. Even those already coupled up have got involved and helped their friends scroll through potential suitors.

Facing the sheer embarrassment of coming across a few familiar faces and having no luck with others, it’s common practice to delete the app. But a few days later we all realise, we’ve got nothing to lose, it’s better than going out every weekend, and it’s actually kind of fun. Treat it like a game – find matches and start conversations.

So, are you on tinder?

THE PERKS

• With the link through Facebook, you have access to people’s age, hobbies, favourite places to hang out, and most importantly, mutual friends. This means you have a list of ‘references’ before you meet in person.

• It’s quick and easy to sign up and start using – you’ll be swiping in a matter of minutes.

• It may seem shallow at first, ‘liking’ based on looks, but admittedly, it’s no different than finding someone attractive at a bar at first glance. ‘Man hunting’ with your girlfriends is actually worse when you’re sitting at a busy restaurant, blatantly pointing out the ones that tickle your fancy.

• The layout is clear and simple, and as an app designed for mobile users, it’s easy to use on the go. The perfect way to fill in time while you’re waiting for the bus. 

• The embarrassment factor and risk of rejection is low. As you sit in the privacy of your own home, no one needs to know that you ‘swiped right’ for ‘Robert, 29’ and he didn’t ‘like’ you back. This also means it’s easier to start conversations, you know your match is also interested.

• You have the ability for people to see you in your best light. Cue favourite profile picture! I don’t mean pretending to be someone you’re not, but maybe just not the disheveled girl nine drinks deep at the end of the bar.

• Zero ‘stalkers’. Unlike other online dating sites, only someone you have liked can like you back and start a conversation.

THE NOT-SO-SURES

• Who are you really talking to? Just as many online dating sites have revealed, Peter, 29, may actually be Bob, 56 or Sarah, 35? Tinder is connected through your Facebook, so you do have the ability to see your mutual friends and even have a harmless FB stalk, however when you have no mutual friends, you may have a fake profile on your hands.

• Who will speak first? Sometimes you can sit in anticipation for days, even weeks with not even a hello, thinking to yourself, why did they even swipe right in the first place? Many guys still struggle to make the first move. You can be left with lots of matches and nothing else.

• It can still be difficult to sift through those who are only interested in a ‘casual hook up’ and those who are looking for a serious relationship.

• A bad experience with a complete weirdo who you had invested some back and forth with can really put you off altogether.

• The reality that your matches are most likely talking to five other girls can be disheartening (but then again, this is similar to other dating sites and let’s face it, you’re most likely doing the same thing).

• Be on the look out for clues about height – as a tall girl myself – it is concerning that age is the only vital stat we receive so it can be a bit of a gamble.

• It’s incredibly addictive! Meaning it turns into more of a game and you may actually forget about that 10/10 you matched with a few days ago.

How to get noticed on Tinder:

1. Pick a variation of photos – include ones that share something about your interests or personality.

2.  Reduce the number of trout-pout ‘selfies’ and bikini shots– it is important to be yourself and attract the right kind of guy. I know I personally don’t want to see a portfolio of shirtless mirror selfies.

3.  Try to be creative with your messages, skip the ‘hey’ and opt for a comment about one of their photos, interests or what they did on the weekend.

4. Make sure your first photo is your best photo. It’s the one to make them pause and take a closer look.

Did You Know?

New research shows that there are 50 million active users on Tinder, who check their accounts 11 times per day and spend an average of 90 minutes per day on the app.

Swipe Right Success

With all that time spent looking for the perfect guy or girl, the choice to swipe right has led to something everlasting. Two lucky ladies share their tinder success stories…

Luke Pip - SA Style Magazine - tinder storyPip + Luke

“Luke and I met in July 2014 on Tinder – my first and only Tinder date. We both agreed it was the best date we’d ever been on! Sadly, Luke’s visa ran out on New Year’s Eve of that year and we committed to a long distance relationship from UK to Perth. Luke then moved to New Zealand in February 2015 to be closer to Australia, and we were able to visit each other more often. After nine months long distance our relationship was even stronger. Luke moved back to Perth on a partner visa, where we both now happily live, more loved-up than ever. Thanks Tinder!”

Maddie + Scott

“Scott and I matched on Tinder two years ago and we recently moved in together. At first I had no interest in joining Tinder but was convinced by friends on a night out. Scott was first to initiate conversation and suggested catching up for a drink. We had a couple of mutual friends so I was quick to do a ‘background’ check before agreeing to meet up. After a three-hour long date, I was very excited to see him again. We have managed to cram a lot into the last two years, holidays, houses and new jobs. I am looking forward to what the future holds for us and often wonder whether our paths would have crossed if it weren’t for Tinder.”

It’s important to keep an open mind, after all, he is out there, whether at the local bar or at the swipe of a screen. Put yourself out there and most of all – don’t be afraid to make the first move!

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