A couple months ago, I was introduced to yet another online dating portal called Tinder by a friend who met her boyfriend on the convenient smart phone app. The concept of Tinder is controversial as one might think it is a shallow app. How it works is the app links to your Facebook profile and uses GPS location detection to give you options of men and women in your area. If you have mutual Facebook friends, it will show these details too which for some, adds a little comfort in the initial get-to-know-you phase. Once you’ve set up your profile, which consists of up to 5 photos and a one line write up, if you so chose (which most don’t) you can get to swiping. Yes, swiping. The app sort of reminds me of Hot or not; it’s where singles go to be judged. You see a photo, you click “Yes” or “No” and you hope for the best. If you have a mutual like, then the gates are open and you are able to chat through the app.
As far as any dating site or app goes, I’m always willing to give it a try, and so I did. Because of the mutual like feature, which is based solely on initial attraction through photos, it at least eliminates all of the creeps I’m used to meeting on other sites. Basically, you only engage in conversations with those you like, and you don’t get those awkward follow up messages when you don’t respond to a message, saying things like “what, you don’t like what you see?” I tried the app out for a while but mostly I used it when I was bored and wanted to see what kind of men were available near me. The one thing that deterred me was the fact that you really don’t know what another person is looking for because there is no dating profile as traditional online dating sites offer, and as a result I got a lot of invites to hook up only (I’m beginning to think Vancouver men are sex addicts) Nevertheless, I politely declined those invitations.
I’ve been doing the online dating thing for nearly two years. I’ve tried a total of 6 sites including apps and pay sites. The process is much the same across all platforms and quite frankly, a little redundant. You read a profile and get a sense of who the person is and if you like what you read and see, you pursue further. The one major pro about Tinder to me, was that it provides a more traditional dating forum that allows for that mystery to build, instead of offering most of the details of your life up front. Sometimes chemistry is king above being matched with someone with the same interests, so I have cashed in my tokens of experience and disconnected from the online world. To my surprise, days later, I got a date the old fashioned way; by giving out my phone number on a late sunny Sunday morning to a complete stranger whom I had a great face to face chat with. Instead of the usual text message, he made a proper phone call and made a date with me for this Friday night and is actually picking me up, which is a nice change from meeting people from online at a “safe, mutual” place. Oh, and he’s a total babe so that a nice bonus 🙂
Overall my online dating experiences weren’t completely terrible, but I feel as if because of all the choices and constant flow of chatting and dating, people online keep their options open for much longer, which would explain why sites like Match.com and eHarmony offer memberships in yearly increments. It also explains why so many men are waiting much longer to commit, with a catalog of options in the palm of their hands. There are a lot of great people out there who are not online dating, and are still open to dating the old fashioned way so online dating isn’t necessarily the only option, it’s just an immediate solution if you are seeking some type of companionship. To me, the idea of online dating is to start the process of dating in attempts to find one person to have a relationship with however those lines are now blurred with so many people using these sites and apps as gateways for casual sex and non committal dating, which is unfortunate for people like me with a more genuine intent. Getting a person you are dating to disable their dating profile is the new marriage. So basically, I’ve decided online dating isn’t working out for me… and even if the process of dating slows by taking my chances on physical land, I’m happier doing it.