About a year ago, I’d come out of a relationship and was at the point of feeling as though I should be trying to date again (totally wrong feeling for many reasons but I’ll save that for a later post). I let the pressure and views of people around me make me think that I should be ‘putting myself back out there’. As a busy, working, 30-something who doesn’t have the opportunity to meet new people very often, I was encouraged by friends to set up a profile on Tinder.
For those of you who have been living under a rock, Tinder is a dating app. The basic premise is that as human beings we are totally superficial and so desperate for convenience in our lives that being able to quickly view photo after photo (usually with minimal profile details) and accept or dismiss them with a swipe of the screen is a highly-favoured method for dating in the 21st century.
With an estimated 50 million users worldwide, you can’t deny the widespread popularity of Tinder though. I therefore presumed all those millions of people might be onto something so I, too, joined the masses and downloaded Tinder.
Here’s what I learnt about Tinder:
1. There is an extraordinary proportion of men aged 28-35 in a 25 km radius of where I live in Birmingham who identify themselves as ‘self-employed’, ‘entrepreneur’, or ‘managing director’.
Now, don’t get me wrong, Birmingham is a successful city with a bunch of excellent business incubation and start-up support facilities and organisations but Jaguar Land Rover also employs more than 20,000 people in this region let alone all the other manufacturing and industrial organisations that the West Midlands thrive on so I’d expect to see a few more machine operators, production assistants, logistics team members, etc, at least.
Guys of Tinder, please just be more honest in your profession – women aren’t all looking for doctors, lawyers or self-made success stories but they are looking for honesty and integrity.
2. When a guy uses only group shots for his photos, he’s always the worst-looking one in the photo.
Guys, you are making it harder for yourself if you’re highlighting a direct, better-looking comparison in your photos. Don’t show us photos of guys we can’t swipe right for and don’t make us try and guess which one you are. Give us photos of you and who knows, we might still like what we see and swipe right for you.
3. Too many guys need to put their clothes back on, step away from the mirror and just ask a mate for help in taking a decent photo.Shirtless, sort of blurry, reflection in the mirror so we can see that you have an iPhone 6 (this doesn’t make you unique – Apple sold more than 70 million in the first quarter alone after the release date) photos aren’t going to win you matches. I also can’t deal with those who use photos which are so blurry and old-fashioned looking that it’s as if they were taken on one of these…
4. Men still seem to be convinced by the tv and movie lie that kids and dogs make them instantly more attractive to women.
The *kid in the pic isn’t mine, it’s my niece* sentence in a profile is maybe one of the saddest and frankly most worrying things I’ve read (and I’ve seen it quite often). Not only are you using a child to try and make yourself look better on a dating app, but you’re using a child that isn’t even yours – does your brother/sister know you’re selling yourself using their kid?
I’m uncomfortable about people uploading photos of their kids to social media as it is but I find it especially weird that people would use photos of children on a dating app. The dog situation is a little different but still just shows how tricked men are by the Hollywood idea of how to win a lady over.
5. The world is a small place, although not small enough it seems.I find it really weird when someone comes up who I have loads of friends in common with but yet I don’t recognise them at all. Guess it just shows the power of Facebook and all the hundreds of ‘friends’ people have who they maybe aren’t particularly friendly with in the real world. It also makes me really question why if he’s single and you’re single and you have so many friends in common, why aren’t any of those friends thinking “oh, John and Jules are both single, they’d be great together, I’m going to set them up on a date”.
6. It doesn’t matter how long you chat with a person you’ve matched with, they’ll still be very different in real life.
Being the same person online and in real life is something I’m very aware of – maybe because I blog, I’m really conscious about making sure my writing still sounds like me and my personality still comes through clearly. I have not experienced this as being true when it comes to chatting with matches on Tinder.
My advice would be to exchange basic pleasantries across a few messages and then just meet up for a lunchtime coffee or an after-work cocktail. That way, you haven’t had time to build up an image of what they’re like based only on how they text as it’s likely to be fairly off the mark anyway.
Ok, so I quickly realised I wasn’t a fan of Tinder – I think dating apps in general are just too weird for me. But I have some very entertaining experiences from it (again, maybe for another post) and I hope my remarks above have given you a chuckle.
What do you think about Tinder (or other dating apps you’ve tried)? Please share your funny or romantic stories with us in the comments below. Did any of you find the person you’ll be spending Valentine’s Day with on Tinder?