27 August 2015

Tinder and the state of modern dating

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: Random

Currently I’m reading Aziz Ansari’s book “Modern Romance,” and it’s a frighteningly real, fascinating and frustrating look at how romance and dating has changed since our parents were “courting.”

But before I started that, an article on Mashable caught my eye about the CEO of Tinder getting pissed about an article in Vanity Fair (Tinder and the Dawn of the Dating Apocalypse) where the brand was mentioned, and subsequently went on a tirade on Twitter blasting the magazine and article.

Naturally, this only solidified that I would read that article. Because if a grown man can have a public temper tantrum about it, it HAS to be good (or that true).

Thus, when my issue actually arrived, I went right to it and dove in.

First, Tinder has a reason to be pissed, but if the CEO took 5 minutes to step back and actually LOOK at what the article is saying, Tinder isn’t the bad guy. The bad guy is the general app dating culture, and the proliferation of this category’s growth as a whole (Hinge, Match, Ok Cupid, Bumble, etc.) Tinder is just the generic “Kleenex-like” brand that gets slapped on the dating app discussion.

Second, that article has to be the most fucking depressing description of modern dating. Either a) I’m that out of touch about dating or b) dating in NY is truly a Hunger Games meets Lord of the Flies like situation. Or it’s a bit of both.

Third, Tinder doesn’t like being painted as a “hook up” app, but in reality, I know few who go on Tinder thinking they’ll find real love. They look at it as a necessity to be on, a curiosity of who they would get paired with and a reality of, look no serious guys are probably on there en mass.

In fact, in a post-Vanity Fair article segment on the Today Show, the CEO said that if you ask users, they would say the perception of Tinder being a “hook up” app is not the reality. But then the reporter talked to three of the most popular profiles in LA on Tinder, who said it’s basically shallow. So…okay. And while I was in Australia, the majority of my roommates and people I talked to in the dorms were using Tinder themselves to find local girls to have sex with, or guys to buy them drinks and hook up with after. Fortunately, none of that happened in my room. But on the other side, I have a friend who met her current boyfriend on Tinder and they have a good relationship.

But the Today Show (shockingly) made a comment that, IMO, hit on the larger issue that Vanity Fair tried to raise, that the “high tech, low commitment swiping culture” as the actual dating apocalypse.

Tinder isn’t the actual sign of it. The reality is that this culture has been building for a long time. But Tinder, who brought the “swipe right” feature to the mainstream, is by default going to be part of this larger category, like it or not.

Let’s be honest, the basic concept of romance and dating is very much almost dead. And it’s both men and womens fault. I strongly disagree with a comment in the Vanity Fair article that says it’s women’s fault that romance is dead. Wrong. It’s both sexes fault. Why? TOO MANY OPTIONS. Too many apps to cruise through, too many photos to view, too many people on the line to talk to or reply to or text back or schedule a date with. There is no need to really be present and settle down or look at someone as a viable partner because you have 15 other people on the app you can be flipping through. Why settle down when you could play the field?

It’s more than a full time job, it’s become a non-stop lifestyle of swiping, texting, emailing and going out. And ultimately being left (most times) with nothing to show for it than maybe a good story and hopefully not an STD.

And while both parties are to blame for dating and romance dying, men are especially to blame for being LAZY. I am a progressive, independent woman, but I don’t want to be the one having to initiate a date, or making plans. Not all the time. If I’m talking to a guy I may dance around getting together but I ultimately wait for him to ask. If he doesn’t, it’s his fucking loss because he’s clearly not that interested in me. If you’re interested, you ask them out. It’s that simple. Letting it get in to a benign, useless text conversation about random stuff, is just filler.

But I know a lot of people who will be matched with a guy, initiate conversation (fine), engage in conversation with them (fine) but then get impatient with them not initiating going out and do it themselves saying “so do you want get coffee next week?”. And the answer is usually the same from the guy, “oh yeah that sounds like fun, cool what day?” What day?? Take initiative! How much more work do we need to do? Sounds like you have something better to do, or you don’t really want to meet up. BYE.

The flip side to this is that, as you get in to your 30s, as a woman, you don’t want to wait around for this bullshit to continue but the overall options of men, especially in a city like Chicago, are smaller. So you almost have to tolerate lazy male behavior in order to have the option of a date. Some women feel this way, but I don’t. I have zero desire to date boys, only men, and a guy who is ready for a mature relationship and doesn’t want to stick his dick in whatever woman seems to walk by, will man up, ask me out and make plans.

And if that means I’m single for a long time, I don’t care. I’m not going to settle for crumbs.

Aziz’s book seems to hit on this stuff a lot too, so there may be more to share after I finish that book, but for now, I just could not hold this in.

May the dating and online dating app force be with you.




  1. Caz says:

    Interesting as I have been talking about Tinder (and online dating as a whole) with increasing frequency in the last year as it’s recently been a focus of mine. I agree with many things you say, and the articles say, but it just sort of is what it is. There’s not much I can do about it. I’m single. I can be on Tinder etc. to possibly find someone, or I could not (which would drastically reduce my odds simply by drastically reducing the number of single/looking people whom cross my path). I’m 29 and most of my friends are married/coupled. I don’t WANT to try to hang out with only single people, or try to game the singles scene at bars/clubs/meet-up groups or whatever. I adore my friends, I want to continue to hang out with them, and so Tinder, something that can be done in the down-time moments, helps. The odds of meeting someone on the bus, while everyone is looking at their phone with earbuds in is unlikely. The odds of swiping someone on Tinder, while on the bus looking at my phone, and maybe talking, is significantly higher.
    I don’t love it. But I guess I don’t hate it either.

  2. You know, I have mentions this tendention too! I am sure in some years it will pass but now it is the great trend indeed! I an ready to buy some essay on this topic for my own blog

  3. Amy says:

    Agreed. I’ve been out of the dating scene for a little over two years, but that was my precise experience with it. Online dating was horrible. It was too many options. I recall a few dates where the guy met up with me, but then ditched out inappropriately early never to be heard from again. Thankfully I met my guy in more traditional way of somewhat being set up. He’s also 14 years older than me and I suppose that made a huge difference in our initial dating too.

  4. Lacey Bean says:

    I’m so glad none of this crap was around when I was dating. Sheesh. And I thought meeting Dave on MySpace was borderline creepy!

  5. Jeanna says:

    The article is spot on to dating in SF … It’s that bleak here. I think being single in your 30s is the smartest thing you can freaking do and getting married young is so dumb. The next 60 years, 65,0000 meals, 100 vacations with one person?! I’ll take my mind choosing that, thanks! Google the article about “why people choose the wrong life partners” and it’ll make you think you’re the luckiest, smartest woman alive.

  6. Nikki says:

    So I have followed your blog for a few years. I am actually exceptionally fascinated when you claim that the options for men in Chicago or smaller. As someone who has lived in a lot of cities in the U.S., I don’t find that to be true to maybe you can talk about it more on your blog as it really didn’t resonate.