After listening to an episode of Hack on Triple J a few weeks back, and with my promise to start being a bit more pro-active on the dating scene, I downloaded Tinder.
Tinder, for the three people who don’t know, is a dating app. It’s a simple construction, you generally log in through Facebook and the app takes your photos, descriptions, interests and friends from there. From this information it builds you a profile (which you can amend as needed):
Once you’ve built your profile, you choose your “discovery” preferences – ie the parameters for the guys/gals you want displayed.
And then the app finds people “near you” (aka whatever distance you put in your “discovery” preferences).
You’re presented with a photo and you select the red x for “No, thanks” (swipe left) or the green heart for “Yes, please” (swipe right). Once you’ve selected, you move right on to the next profile. You can keep going until you run out of men/women within your parameters.
Some people obviously don’t know that this app is 100% judgey and that your main picture counts! If I can’t see your face, it doesn’t entice me to click on your picture to find out more details about you. Unsurprisingly, these guys got “red crosses”:
If someone you’ve “green hearted” also “green hearts” you – you’re connected and can start messaging each other (similar to texting).
So I signed up for Tinder on Saturday night and started swiping. I ended up spending quite a lot of time on there (more than I’d like to admit) and found it addictive in a “who’s next?” way. The thing I found really great about Tinder was that you have no really manifestation of rejection – perfect for someone like me who is terrified of rejection. Sites like RSVP offer more two-way communication, when you send someone a “kiss” they can reject you and that can bruise your ego (and if you get too many rejections – like I did – it can turn you off internet dating). Whereas, with Tinder, if you “green heart” someone, but they “red cross” you, you never know. As my sister said “either they’ve said yes, or they just haven’t seen my profile yet”. I liked that and I felt much more comfortable using Tinder than I did with RSVP.
I woke up on Sunday morning to find that I had “matched” with two guys. I was honestly shocked, and then confused about what to do next. What do I say? I’ve never done this sort of thing before, in case you couldn’t tell. I’m also a very extroverted person – I could talk anyone’s ear off in a bar, but I never know what to write to people I don’t know. ‘How’s the weather?” etc
Thankfully one of my matches took the lead and asked me how my weekend was going. Phew. Thanks be to *****, for being the first person to actually talk to me in the online dating universe. ***** and I messaged a few times Sunday and Monday and he was lovely: he was well mannered and seemed intelligent, he had an interesting life (including travel) and he liked food and wine…all good things! We spoke about what we were doing, how our day was going, a little bit about work and our favourite coffee places.
But by Monday evening, I was bored. Not with *****, he was a nice guy, I was bored with the whole set up of Tinder. I came to realise that I’m not really designed to flirt/date/talk over text type communication. I am a chatty person and I like to speak to people face to face – I use it as an opportunity to read people’s vibes and mannerisms. It sounds really random, but how someone speaks to a waiter, or just how they interact with people around them, is a big indicator of their personality for me – I’d need to visualise these things before investing any time in someone (especially given all my hang ups, they have to really be worth the effort).
And so, as quickly as I started using Tinder, I stopped. Perhaps I will return to it one day, and I do really prefer it over most of the online options – but for now, I am content to try the face-to-face thing. How? I have no idea yet.