This post is very much a reaction to an article that appeared in the September 2015 issue of Vanity Fair, which can be read in its entirety here. It is also our take on the perceived “Dating Apocalypse” we’re now apparently facing.
In the article, reporter Nancy Jo Sales both observes and approaches groups of twenty-somethings in different bars, on varying nights in Manhattan, as they swipe through Tinder, either complaining or joking about their experiences.
It should be of note that the groups are never mixed; they’re either all male or all female. We’re not sure if this would have changed the perceptions of anyone interviewed, but having someone of the opposite sex there may have driven the conversations further.
We’ll let you read the article and make a judgement call for yourselves, but based on things Sales heard, and our own experiences, here are our thoughts on this Tinder (and other dating apps) situation, if we can even call it that.
Then why keep swiping? If it’s not doing anything for you, delete your account, put your phone down, and actually have a conversation with the person/people you’re with. There’s this notion that Tinder is only for hookups (not true) and if you want more than that you’d better give up on it.
Rack ‘em up
One of the more disheartening comments made surrounding the use of dating apps was about competition between guys and sleeping with as many women as possible. To each their own, and a woman inviting you into her bed is just as responsible as you are by inviting her into yours, but we read all of these articles about how the Hookup Culture has ruined dating, yet we’re the ones not stopping the cycle.
Look, if you’re not looking for commitment, and you make it known first, do whatever you want, but then you have no right to complain when you can’t find Mr./Miss. Right. On the flip side, we should never be considered prizes to be won, or just numbers on a scorecard, have pride in yourself and how you choose to live your life.
Thank the Internet
There was a time when the majority of people met their significant others through family and friends, but the Internet changed the game. Now, it’s the number one way people meet. We see nothing wrong with this. But, online gave way to mobile dating, and the game changed again. There’s really no wait time, especially when a Tinder message can appear as quickly as a text.
The content of the messages is a different story entirely, but does perpetuate the idea that dating is dead. You may have liked a guy’s profile, which doesn’t state that he’s only looking for a hookup, but when you receive a ‘Netflix and chill?’ message, you have your answer.
Not looking for commitment
The door swings both ways on this one. We’re living in an era where young people are putting their careers before committed relationships, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. However, this doesn’t mean they want to ban intimate human contact until they’re ready for a relationship, and that’s where dating apps come in.
Here’s the thing though, if you’re looking for commitment and find someone who’s not, don’t engage. You both know what you want and you’re not going to change the other person’s mind. Find someone who has the same wants and needs and you’ll find yourself living more comfortably knowing that you align in that way.
Those were just a few examples from the list of topics surrounding dating apps, and here’s another noteworthy thought, it’s not all bad. Both A and one of her friends met their current boyfriends using Tinder.For A, curiosity got the best of her and one Sunday afternoon she found herself creating a Tinder profile, expressly stating that she wasn’t looking for a hookup, and swiping (mostly) left out of sheer boredom. “I really wasn’t sure what I was looking for, but I knew what I wasn’t looking for, and that was a hookup.” When she came to profiles without pictures or any sort of bio it was an automatic left swipe.
If a guy talked about his love of travel or had written something that seemed interesting, she’d swipe right. “If we matched, cool, if not, whatever, and if we started messaging and I lost interest, there was always the handy ‘unmatch’ button.”For R, boredom lead into her Google Play Store and tapping “install” on the Tinder app. While it was downloading she was laughing to herself thinking she’d probably just delete it right away, but then curiosity got the best of her and the swiping began.
She had a similar outlook to A: thinking ‘I’m not sure what I’m doing here or what I’m looking for (if anything!), but this is pretty amusing and hilarious.’ (And let’s be honest, R was just as big a fan of the ‘unmatch’ button as Alyssa. We can’t pretend that option didn’t almost wear out because of the comical view R had when it came to this app and the less than desirable “hellos” from the guys with whom she matched.)
When it comes to this Dating Apocalypse, A doesn’t think it exists. She believes that dating has evolved, just like this generation’s educational, career, and overall life priorities. “Just because it doesn’t fit the norm of what our parents knew doesn’t mean it’s wrong,” and neither she nor her boyfriend are ashamed to admit they met on Tinder, without it, they’d more than likely have never met.
This is where R’s story differs from A’s a bit. A little over a year ago, while swiping (quite bored, discouraged, and not very amused) she swiped right on a man she is now madly in love with.
It goes to show that even though these apps carry a stigma, many find laughable and many prove to be true, there can be some hope. (Now, we’re not saying hold onto this hope desperately, but to be open to chance.)
Another thing to remember is that not all relationships are romantic ones. An old coworker of A’s met a guy on Tinder, nothing romantic ever came of it, but they did become really close friends, and they’re not the only ones, plenty of people have used these apps to meet new people without any romantic or hookup intentions from the beginning.
Why do you think there’s such a stigma surrounding dating apps?
Have you ever met someone and developed a meaningful relationship because of it? Tell us in the comments.