|A black and white version of the photo that I used for my Tinder Bio. Photo Credit: Emily Sacra Photography|
Many of you who have been long-time readers of my blog know that I have yet to have a serious relationship in college. I have been on many a casual date throughout the past three and a half years, but circumstances beyond my control always prevented things from getting more serious with the two boys that I could have given my heart to during my college years so far. (Then there has been plenty of unwanted male attention, especially during my freshman year at my former college, but that's a whole separate blog post! Haha.)
But with all of that said, by the start of my senior year this year, I was getting a little tired of being single. (Actually, a lot tired). I hadn't been on a date in over six months, and the last guy that I had gone out with was someone who I had much greater feelings for than he had for me. I knew that it was really about time for me to move on from that situation, but I didn't know how to. I go to a college that has a much higher population of female students then males (another reason why I haven't dated that much in college), and no one was catching my eye at school at the start of the year. I'm not the type of girl who will force myself to like a guy just so that I have someone to go out with, and I wasn't about to start doing that with the guys at school.
So I started to consider Tinder. I had heard so much about it over the past couple of years, as it really came on the scene during my college years. At first Tinder was only known as an app to find people nearby who wanted to hook-up, but over time the connotation of it began to change. I started hearing more and more stories of real relationships that were formed because of Tinder. By going to school in a city as large enough as Charlotte, I started to wonder about the population of guys on there, and if there might be guys on the app who had similar lifestyles and religious views to me, and who might be looking for relationships instead of just casual sex.
When the stress of sorority recruitment started really getting to me by mid-September of this year, I decided that I needed a distraction from recruitment (and needed it FAST), so I thought that downloading Tinder would be the perfect distraction. I thought that maybe talking to some new guys, going on dates, and the possibility of maybe meeting someone amazing would be a great way to get through the recruitment season.
Tinder did end up being the distraction that I was looking for. I do have to give the app credit for getting my head out of the sorority mindset a bit! But was it the healthiest distraction? I don't think so.
All in all, I probably only talked to maybe eight to ten guys in the couple of months that I had Tinder. This might sound like a lot, but with the way that the app works I was probably swiping through literally hundreds of guys within the time that I had it, so I really am very selective. And out of these eight-ten, I only went on two dates. Neither resulted in a second date.
Both of my dates were in restaurants during the dinner hours. Both restaurants were popular places and in very public areas- when meeting someone for the first time from online, safety is always key! One date was right in Charlotte, and the other was in a suburb.
The first guy that I met up with was back in September, during my sorority recruitment season. We had a really nice conversation on the app, and I was genuinely excited to meet the guy. The good news about our date: he was cuter in person than in his pictures. The bad news: he was also monotone, boring, and quite rude. We had no connection in person at all, and what little conversation there was felt very forced.
My second date was about a month later, with a guy who was a few years older than me. He was the opposite of the first guy, in that he was very nice, and we were both able to hold decent conversation throughout the whole date. He was also a Christian and enjoyed talking about his faith, and I liked the fact that I had been able to find an openly Christian guy on Tinder.
However, even though the second guy was both a lot kinder and also a Christian, we still didn't "click." After meeting him in person, I realized that his goals and priorities in life were currently a lot different than mine. Perhaps it was our age difference, perhaps it was our different backgrounds... I'm not really sure. I honestly attribute it to the fact that it's very hard to get a true sense of a person on Tinder. You can learn facts about them, sure, but getting a sense of their actual personality and demeanor is a different story.
A couple of my best friends strongly encouraged me to delete the app after my second date. They saw how bummed out I was from both of these experience, and thought that even though Tinder wasn't an obsession for me, it was still bringing more negativity then positivity into my life. And I realized that they were right!
So now that I have shared my experiences with Tinder: here is my conclusion on it. It isn't always a bad thing. I honestly think that it is pretty cool that we live in a society that's technologically advanced enough to have dating apps like Tinder around! I do know of people, both in Maine and North Carolina, who have gotten into actual lasting relationships thanks to Tinder. So it's definitely not all bad.
However, while I do think that giving it a try and seeing how it works for you isn't a bad thing, it needs to be treated with caution. Both for the obvious safety reasons, but also to protect your emotions and heart. I didn't let myself develop strong feelings for guys that I was just talking to on an app, so I thought that I would be totally fine with it all, but I never even considered how much it would disappoint me when both of my dates didn't go well! Just like my friends told me, if Tinder is bringing more negativity then positivity into your life, it might be time to re-evaluate why you need the app.
This post is titled "A Christian Perspective on Tinder" since I am a Christian, so my last piece of advice regarding Tinder or any online dating is to pray about it! God will give you a sense of peace if the timing is right. And always be sure to use things like Tinder in a way that honors God- I never would have used Tinder for one of its uses, which is just for hook-ups, I was actually on it to try and meet someone that I might pursue a relationship with!
Lastly- possibly my favorite thing about Tinder... something everyone can enjoy whether you're using the app or not, is the Instagram account Tinder Nightmares. Real Tinder users submit screenshots to this app of conversations gone wrong, and honestly it is the funniest thing in the world. Their Instagram posts always brighten my day. They just released a book of the best Tinder Nightmares of all time recently, and I would love to get my hands on it!
Now I want to hear your thoughts! Have you ever been on Tinder? Are you on there now? (If so- do you have any date horror stories or Tinder Nightmares of your own?!)
xoxo Miss ALK