"Tinder is how people meet. It's like real life, but better."
For those of you like me, who have been around the ol’ Tinder wheel of misfortune, you’ll know that real life is actually better. Tinder is a fucking nightmare. It takes time, effort, a drop in dignity and a slice of mad delusion.
When you meet someone at a bar, party or Bar Mitzvah, you physically see him or her in real life and have a chat face-to-face BEFORE deciding to go on a date. Online dating jumps over that fairly informative step and instead you end up meeting complete strangers in date-like situations not knowing whether they’re there to talk existentialist philosophies or to tell you that you’re ‘fatter than your photos’. It’s a place to grieve for the real world.
Before you couples yell at me about how you and your smug little loved-up friends met the loves of your life on Tinder, let me assure you that I was a fan of it myself. In fact, I find myself back on it in times of naïve hope and optimism – life is too short! Don’t sweat the small stuff! Inevitably, I am quickly forced to renounce my delusions.
Tinder is an app. Let me stress that. A fucking app. Primarily, although we often forget this part, it was created to make money. A shitload of money. Tinder is reportedly worth billions. Money may not be able to buy you love, but love can sure make you a lot of money.
Tinder is not really there to be serious or life changing. It is meant to be fun and something you do when you’re on your third merlot and cursing your friend’s #blessed hashtags on their joyful Insta feeds. But it can be soul-destroying. If you find yourself crying into a half empty whisky bottle as you swipe left for the thousandth time at 3am on a Tuesday – and hey, no judgment here – then delete it. Take a break. Come back to it when you have that naïve youthful vigour back again.
For those of you who have yet to swallow your pride and take the plunge to Palace de Tinder, note that you will likely experience a series of emotions when you first sign in. I call them the Seven Steps of Tinder Guilt. (It’s okay if you don’t, you may have a divine talent for online dating. In that case, good for you. Just please don’t tell me about it.)
1. This is so superficial! It’s like a human sushi train that never ends!
2. I feel bad swiping no! What if they don’t look like their photos? What’s with the all the fish/bikini/motorbike/finding self photos?
3. What’s the point in swiping yes if no one will chat to you? Why don’t they answer back? This thing is bullshit.
4. Why does no one want to meet up? Why are they so obsessed with chatting? Do they want to be my pen pal?
5. This person is great! We may have something!
6. Fuck me and everyone in the world. I’m dying alone.
A few weeks later...
7. Maybe I should give it another go. It can’t be that bad. I might find someone…