Have you heard of this app called Tinder?
You have, and I’m sure you’re on there. You just don’t want to admit it. Lord knows, I wish I didn’t have to admit it.
It’s a shameless thing, really. You sign up with your Facebook account, and then populate the app with 1-5 photos of yourself; preferably your hottest ones from just the right angles, duh. If you’re feeling extra spunky, you’ll write something in the form of a bio, and then get a panty dropping result like this:
Once you’ve created your profile, you can get to doing what you came here to do; which is judge people of the opposite gender (or same, no judgment) based off their factor of doability. You’re given profile after profile of people within a certain age and distance restriction that you determine, with the objective of making it known whether you like or dislike what they have going on. A simple swipe of their photo to the left is a big fat “Ew, you nasty,” while a swipe to the right is “MY LOINS ARE YOURS!” Nobody gets to see who they’ve been swiped left by, but if someone you’ve chosen also chooses you, you’re both notified. From there, what happens next is up to both parties.
While the concept isn’t exactly new (think of Grindr), it’s certainly genius in its simplicity. Give people the chance to let someone know they’re interested with relative anonymity until that person reciprocates. It’s all every insecure teenager named Jared could have ever asked for!
I’ve been on Tinder for about two weeks, doing some “tests” and “research”. I’ve actually met a couple people, and no, we didn’t bump uglies. They were, in all honesty, quite lovely human beings who were just curious about meeting other quite lovely human beings.
But there’s no denying the “hook-up” feel of Tinder. You get a few good looks at someone who’s close in proximity to you, and then give them a virtual wink of the eye. You’ll get what you want out of it. If you’re looking for a hook-up, you’ll find it. If you’re looking for a relationship, and so is someone else, you’ll probably find each other.
Tinder isn’t my first foray into the online dating world, as I’ve tried out such sites as Match.com—and sad to say—Plenty of Fish and OkCupid. Christian Mingle and eHarmony were never serious contenders, though I did give them a minute’s consideration. (Hey, I might have been desperate, but I wasn’t eHarmony desperate.)
I’ve gone on a number of dates with women I’ve met online, and so far none of them have turned out to be terrible decisions. No, I’m not currently with any of them, and only a handful did I see beyond the first date. They just weren’t my type.
At first, I chalked the type of women I was meeting up to the fact that I’m in a new part of the country that has a different culture than I’m used to. I’m a good old fashioned Midwestern boy (at least according to the women I’ve met here), and this is the West Coast. Life is different. There’s no doubt an abundance of incredibly gorgeous women in this city, but there’s also a rampant superficiality that I’m not accustomed to.
That’s what I tell myself, at least. Yes, I believe it’s also true, but the fact of the matter is that I choose who I go on dates with. I’m pretty good at figuring people out rather quickly, and I’ve long been able to sum someone up with just a few bits of information about that. One would think that online dating would make it incredibly easy for me to weed through the type of people I would enjoy getting to know more, and those I wouldn’t let touch my heart (or penis) if my dog’s life depended on it. That being said, most of my dates and the women I’ve met have been incredibly…subpar. That’s my own fault, really.
I don’t care if I sound like a jerk. You either have a connection with someone, or you don’t. Everyone has a “par” for their own course, and quite frankly, most people SHOULD have to meet a certain level of expectation and requirement. I definitely don’t meet the expectations and requirements of a number of women, and thank God for that, because I’m not for them. And they’re not for me.
I grew up in a fundamentalist Christian environment, attending a fundamentalist Christian high school, followed by attending a fundamentalist Christian university, where I studied to work in a predominately fundamentalist Christian field. Needless to say, my concept of dating has changed quite a bit since those formative years. I grew up thinking that in order to achieve “God’s Plan®” for my life, I had to find the perfect wife. And I better do it fast, lest people think I’m a lothario; or even worse, some sort of gay.
What I’ve since learned is that if you marry your high school sweetheart in a church with a steeple amidst a field of lilies, then hooray for you. What I’ve also learned is that if you’re well into your 30s, 40s, 50s, and so on, and you’re still single, then yippie-kai-yay, motherfuton.
The point is, find what works for you. There’s nothing wrong with experimenting with that, because Aphrodite forbid you actually find out what you’re looking for in love. It doesn’t matter if you find that person on Tinder or at your church singles group. It’s your heart. Do what’s necessary for it.