As a single person, it can sometimes be quite difficult trying to meet new people – especially new people who you would actually consider dating. Honestly – WHERE do you meet these people??
This was my question. I mean, I knew plenty of single guys – but none of them were people I would have considered as a potential partner (they were all great, just not for me). And I was meeting people – just not the ‘right’ kind of people.
Luckily for me though, all non-singleton friends and happily married couples LOVE to give their opinions and advice on the delicate matter of how to find the ‘right one’ .
“Join a club.” They told me.
But what kind of club? I suck at sports – I actually make people ANGRY when I play sports – and I’m pretty sure that making someone angry as a first impression would not work in my favor or end in a romantic getaway in some cabin up in the Alps (yes, this is the dream).
I also doubt that I’d meet an eligible partner at a drama or pottery-making club (not that I make pottery – I’m just saying. And I don’t have anything against making pottery… again, I’m just saying).
“Go to church.” They said.
I tried that. I tried out just about every church that I felt held even remotely similar beliefs to my own in my city (not just to meet someone, that I considered to be a ‘perk’ if it did happen).
But, no such luck there.
I didn’t meet a single guy I would have wanted to date (again – nothing wrong with them, just not the right fit for me).
“Go out! Get out there – go to pubs, bars, clubs.” They suggested when church failed me.
So my girlfriends and I ‘went out’. We frequented the local bars, and occasionally the odd club. I was approached a few times by men who tried to buy me drinks (or who actually did buy me drinks) but they weren’t exactly the type of men I would want to date. I think most of them were just looking for a good time for the night (which, to their bitter disappointment, they discovered that no matter how many drinks they bought me, this was not going to happen).
Come year six of being out of high school, and having spent most of that time being single (3 of those years being HAPPILY single), I’d become quite comfy in my singleness and independence. I was no longer trying to meet people, I was just happy as I was.
Just me and my German Shepard, Sammy.
Life was good.
Then one day within the space of a week, three of my friends independently told me I should get on Tinder, as they had each found wonderful men on the app, and were now dating them.
I was skeptical. I didn’t want to meet someone on an app! Especially an app with a reputation for uniting people for one night stands. I’d always dreamed of the way I would meet that special someone – and, in my dreams, he would find a lost shoe or something of mine and come to my rescue (because a girl with a lost shoe needs rescuing… duh), or we would bump into each other at the beach just as the sun was setting dramatically…..
However that daydream went, it never exactly involved Tinder.
But then I thought: This would make a great article – which ever way it turns out. Let me try it (SOLEY for the purpose of an article, of course).
So for 5 days I went on Tinder.
I quit it after day 5 because I actually couldn’t handle it anymore. It was too addictive and too time-consuming.
But after 5 days, I had matched with at least 6 guys who I thought were ‘dating material’. I matched with others too, but didn’t bother to get to know them. I met 5 of these 6, and of them I’d say I would have dated 4 of them (the one guy, it turned out, actually had a girlfriend, and was looking to have some fun on the side.…. RUUUUUN!!!).
They (aside from cheating guy) were great guys, but I could tell they were not quite the right personalities for me.
After I deleted the app I continued on with my blissfully happy single life together with my German Shepard, Sammy, thinking I would never go on Tinder again.
But, as they say, NEVER say never.
Because about 4 months later, during a long road-trip where myself and a friend found ourselves bored BEYOND tears, I went on Tinder to pass the time and to have a bit of a laugh. I mostly just messed with people, saying awkward and weird things, because I wasn’t taking it seriously and I certainly was not looking for someone to meet up with or date..
But life has a funny way of bringing people into your life when you least expect it. This time I matched with quite a few guys I definitely would have dated… but since I genuinely wasn’t interested in dating, I didn’t meet any of them… until…
…until someone on Tinder offered to take me out for sushi.
It’s the way to my heart: raw fish and rice.
So, of course, I said yes.
I would never turn down free sushi.
Yet, even when I agreed to meet him, I still thought ‘this will come to nothing’ because I wasn’t expecting anything and I had no real intention of dating him. To be honest, I was literally just going for the free sushi (I was a broke student. So OF COURSE I’d go for free sushi. Also, he was really cute, so what’s a bit of harmless flirting with a super good-looking guy over prawn tempuras and wine?!?).
This sounds terrible, I know.
Try not to judge me.
As it turns out, when I met this guy I met the closest thing to a ‘perfect match’ I’ve ever experienced in my 26 years of living.
After an hour with this guy I felt like I had known him my entire life.
We had the same views on just about everything, he was interesting, smart, kind and funny. He was (and still is) probably the closest thing to the perfect guy for me.
Now, I’ll spare you the details of why it may not work out due to us both traveling in different directions, etc (quite LITERALLY opposite sides of the world…. WHYYYYYY?!?!).
But the point is: I met a perfect match not in real life, but on Tinder.
And even though we have mutual friends, frequent the same places, and live down the road from each other, we had never met. We probably would never have met if not for Tinder.
Of course, now with my faith in Tinder restored, I tried to convince some of my perpetually-single friends to try out the app too.
Nobody wanted to because of the ‘reputation’ of the app (and I think for fear of being rejected).
So I decided to do a bit of a ‘social experiment’. I asked singles to participate by going on Tinder for a week to see how many matches they found that they would consider to be ‘dating material’.
As expected, most people who were religious declined.
And some of the others were already on Tinder.
But I managed to convince a few hesitant people to try it out, and this is what they said: (Also, some people who found out about the experiment but who are no longer single wanted to add in their two-cents worth.)
“Well I’ve been in contact with two really amazing guys on there (Tinder) both looking for the same things I have been. Meeting foreigners on there like myself made it special as we appreciated getting to know each other more seeing as though we were not from that country. Personal life stories were shared, we skype and chat daily, calls get made from Dubai and I’ve just found that bond is closer than to guys I’ve met here .”
– Female, 26
“It might be that I’m not putting in all the effort I can, but I’ve also came across my fair share of assholes on Tinder.
Let’s just say I’m not going to meet my next boyfriend on tinder.”
– Female, 20
“Prior to being on tinder I was embarrassed and didn’t know what to expect. I was on tinder before this a month ago for a week. I met around 2 or 3 women I would actually date.”
– Male, 24
“Ironically I was on Tinder before this for about 4 or 5 months.
I have not met anyone through tinder although some profiles did look promising. I have seen that it isn’t as ‘desperate’ a place as I thought, however it hasn’t proven to be most successful for me.”
– Male, 18
“I was on Tinder for like two or three weeks but I really think it’s not the way to meet people. Some people will disagree, like my friend and her sister – they both met their men that way. But I think it takes away the excitement of meeting someone totally, because it’s not unexpected. You see them before you meet them, and so I became bored with it. It’s the lazy guys way to meet a girl. He doesn’t want to go out and try his luck, maybe he doesn’t want to spend money, maybe he is just shy, but you get a lot of guys just wanting hookups – which I hate. But then you get people who meet their soulmates on there. My opinion, you have to be excited by it otherwise it’s not going to work. If you like technology then you will like apps but I’m very old fashioned so I didn’t like it! I did meet a guy that I chat to and that is nice, but he wasn’t very keen to meet up but he wanted to talk about cuddling.”
– Female, 27
“I initially felt uncomfortable with the idea of Tinder and meeting someone on it. This was my first Time on tinder and I was on it for a week. There was no one I met on tinder that would be ‘dating’ material. Tinder is very interesting haha. I don’t like the idea though of swipe left for no or right for yes. It’s not easy to gauge someone’s personality and character from their pictures.“
– Male, 22
“So how was my week on Tinder? First off, it was awkward. I’ve never been on a dating site/dating app before, in any kind or form. And I must admit that I was a bit skeptical about going on tinder.
I live in a small village, so there was a pretty big chance that I already knew a lot of the people who were in my area. I didn’t want to find my best friends younger brother and the like popping up as potential dates. Plus I didn’t really want people I know to find me on tinder. I don’t really know why, but that’s how it was. I’m not really looking for any dates, and I’ve never done the “dating-thing”, so tinder wasn’t something I’ve ever considered trying before this experiment. That, and the fact that tinder has a reputation as a hook-up app.
For the second half of my Tinder week I was visiting my sister, who lives close to Oslo, and that changed a lot. Suddenly there was a lot more people, and not all of them were talking about how much they like hunting and fishing.
Out of these there were two guys I felt I had some sort of connection with. By this, I mean that they seemed like guys I would like to get to know. Whether or not I would consider them “dating material” I don’t know, but it’s possible. Maybe some of the other guys could be dating material too, but I’ll probably never know.
I also got the impression that there are a lot of people looking for a lot of different things on tinder. Some are more honest about it than others. I came across profiles that were purely looking for kink partners or similarly those who were looking for no strings attached-sex. And of course there are those looking for a serious relationship, and those who are just curious. And those who are participating in a social experiment, like me.”
– Female, 26
“After meeting and dating girls the ‘natural’ way for years, I was tired. Tired of dating girls who just didn’t quite do it for me. After breaking up with a girl who I’d been dating for a while but was never quite crazy about, I thought “what the heck” and went on Tinder just to see what it was like.
I ended up meeting my dream girl on Tinder and we’ve been together ever since. “
“Before I downloaded and started using Tinder, I thought “Eww, that’s for the desperate and lonely!” But then the months ticked by and I became a little of both those things and decided just to see what it was all about. So I hesitantly downloaded it and waited for the magic to happen. I had been on Tinder prior to this challenge, since about early March. I saw one or two really nice faces that I would consider dating… But the ones I considered the “best” or most appropriate matches a) didn’t “like” me back, or b) it turned out they were big drinkers, or not that, shall we say, bright.
Since I downloaded the app, I think it’s pretty alright, actually. There are plenty of chancers and low-lifes, but that’s life, and the dating pool is bound to have more than its fair share of floating leaves and frogs in it, but there are also the decent blokes and fellas who are looking for a decent lady. I think it’s a neat, safe and user-friendly way to meet potential dating-material if it is used wisely.”
– Female, 25
“I have been on tinder since about November. I think it’s a nice way of breaking the ice before meeting somebody in person for the first time. Only ever met one person as a direct result of tinder and we have hooked up and still chat/hook up to this day, but she moved to Cape Town shortly after we met.”
– Male, 24
“I went onto Tinder because friends had recommended it. Most hadn’t found ‘the one’ on it, but were happy to keep looking. I therefore wasn’t necessarily expecting to meet the perfect man for me! We all hope and wish and dream. But when it happens… When you know, you know. I think it was love at first sight for both of us. We just knew and never really had to discuss whether we were dating or not, because it was clear as daylight that we loved each other and wanted to be together very early on. For our first date we met for two drinks, and didn’t stop talking. Luckily because we had already broken the ice and gotten to know each other on Tinder, it felt natural and exciting to meet in person. He paid for our drinks, even though I offered. He messaged me after the date that night and said he wanted to see me again. We met two days later.
Both he and I had gone on one other date with other people, and although they were nice people and perfectly fine dates, these people were just not the right ones for us.
He lived 3km away from me for years and little did we know that our future partner was so close by. Even though we love to do the same stuff and enjoy similar activities, we would never have met without Tinder. We are different ages, have different friends and different careers, yet luckily Tinder brought us together. Neither of us are the sort of person to do online dating but somehow society had accepted Tinder and it was socially acceptable to look for a mate with this particular dating app.
It feels strange that we met through Tinder and have lasted 10 months, considering all the bad date stories we have all heard. But I suppose it doesn’t matter how you meet, as long as you finally find each other and can be happy together, because I have never been so happy, nor met anyone as amazing as him. I’m grateful and feel lucky. It’s tough out there for a singleton! Believe me I know. So it is a relief that a huge bundle of love, happiness and mutual respect leaves me content that I have found a keeper and the one I want to be with forever. I couldn’t have chosen, picked or found anyone better, even if I tried.”
-Female, 26 (and her boyfriend, 32)
So with all of this considered, what do I think about Tinder? Is it the way to meet your soul mate or perfect match?
Well, each story is unique. You cannot create a formulae for meeting your perfect match.
HOWEVER, in today’s age where everything is driven through technology and apps, why should meeting someone be any different?
Sure, perhaps it’s not the romantic fairytale meeting you’ve dreamed of your entire life, but I can say with certainty that: When you actually meet that person, it no longer matters HOW you met. You are just so incredibly happy to have met them.
I’ve had the fairytale meetings and stories, but they were just that: fairytales and stories… because none of those relationships lasted. You can’t base the legitimacy of a relationship on HOW you met. It’s what happens after you meet where the magic and potential truly lies.
Some people do find their ‘perfect match’ in real life, but perhaps others of us find it through apps like Tinder… So I’d say you might as well just give both a shot!
One thing, however, I would like to touch on is this:
Whenever you are using any kind internet/app based site, it is important to be wise and knowledgeable enough to be able decipher what is legit and what is not.
On Tinder, there are people who want hook-ups, others who are just curious, and others who are looking for a relationship. You should learn to recognize the signs for each of these so that you do not get involved with someone who is looking for something different to yourself.
If someone is keeping it largely impersonal and talking about ‘cuddling’, it is a clear sign that he or she is seeking a cuddle-buddy/hook-up and nothing more.
If they are genuinely interested in you, the conversation will reflect that.
For more on how to tell if someone is genuinely interested in you, check out: 6 signs someone is genuinely interested in you.
Happy Tindering! (or… not..?)