Confession: I have never used Tinder before. In fact, I had never even laid eyes on the UI of the app, nevermind signed up for an actual account – until I decided to do this blog post.
The reason for this is because by the time the app was common knowledge, I was already in a long-term relationship. And because my single friend who hasn’t had much success with the app won’t let me manage his Tinder account on his behalf, I couldn’t try the app through those means.
Over time I became more and more curious about the app as I hear about my friends’ experiences – and realised it’s apparently an app that’s not just about dick pics and one night stands.
And so I embarked on my own Tinder journey to see just what the app is about.
Here’s what I learnt…
Note: Swipe right = ‘like’, swipe left = ‘reject’
1. Tinder is not for making friends
From its seedy origins as a random hookup app, to its more recent assertions that it is a legitimate dating app and that you can find friends – one thing is clear…Tinder is not for making friends.
Sure, if you chat to someone and decide you don’t like them romantically, you might end up with a friend.
In fact, everyone seems open to making friends (I still got swipes while my profile said I wanted for nothing but conversation).
But one thing soon became clear in the chats – even if you say you’re not interested in anything more than friends, if you mention you’re in a relationship, people don’t take it well.
When one guy realised I had a partner (cause you know, I told him), he proceeded to tank the conversation.
You see, even if people say they want friends, many still want there to be a chance of romance. Once that chance is completely ruled out, many users tap out of the conversation…
I understand, most people are there primarily for dating – but then don’t swipe right on accounts that rule out romance.
There are a few cool people out there who just want to chat – but they’re in the minority. So rather use Tinder for meeting people if you’re single, rather than using it for meeting people if you’re in a monogamous relationship. There are actually friend apps now.
But there is one popular exception when it comes to people in relationships on Tinder, which brings me to my next point.
2. Threesomes abound
Quite a few profiles on Tinder are joint accounts from couples, looking for a another person to turn their twosome into a threesome.
And I’m not talking about one-in-a-million, there are a significant amount. I noticed more of them when I set the filter to show women only.
I’m not one to judge anyone else’s kinks, but I was still surprised. I guess Tinder has more uses than it advertises…
Of course, not everyone is as nice as these couples. In fact, Tinder has a lot of idiots floating around too…
3. Knobs abound
Some Tinder profiles bring a new meaning to “kissing a few frogs”. Some profiles are more like wading through the sewer of humanity, kicking away horny DTF narcissistic mutants to occasionally meet a fellow traveller who too has been struggling through the muck.
I’m not talking about the people who say they’re just around for casual hookups, I’m talking about the Grade-A jerks that are usually used as an archetype for the douchey ex in any rom com.
In my short tenure as a Tinder swiper, I found quite a few of these ‘gems’.
There was the guy who took a moment to talk about why his car is better than women. “Seriously though my friends say im addicted to my car but I Just look at it as she ain’t gonna take all my money and then fall pregnant”.
There was the guy who was confused as to how people didn’t realise that treating women like penis receptacles is really his way of showing he cares.
“For some reason I show a girl I car about her by wanting to be intimated with her instead of giving a crap abut her ‘life’. I get how wrong that might be but why does it seem so right n like a much deeper way of caring in my head?”
He then sprinkled it the rest of his profile with cliche quotes and ended with “any bi nymphs?”
If you refer to someone’s life in quotation marks, you’re not gonna fool anyone that you actually care about them as a human being.
I can’t decide if he was my least favourite profile I’d come across, or the gem that was ‘Bernard’.
“Will only talk to people who use their ‘super like’ on me…If you’re super literal about everything, conservative, spineless or treat meeting new people like a formal job interview – fuck off.” I can’t say I was in any of those categories, but I chose a hard pass on that profile.
4. Catfishing is harder than I thought
Initially I didn’t want to use Tinder with my own Facebook profile, in the event that someone I knew came across my profile and thought I was trying to skip out on my partner.
But simply creating a separate account or a duplicate account that’s not your original Facebook profile is more difficult than you would think.
I guess it’s quite comforting – though that hasn’t solved the supposed problem of female bots on the platform.
5. Accidental likes and superlikes are a real problem
I can say in my short time on Tinder I accidentally swiped right or super liked at least five profiles I didn’t mean to. The worst is, Tinder informs those you super like, so they usually match up with you and ask about you super liking them. Cue crawling into a hole and dying from cringing.
You can also accidentally swipe left on someone you actually wanted to chat to. Alas, that person is lost – unless they randomly appear in your queue again (which isn’t very common) or if you pay for a premium package for Tinder. So pay up or say goodbye to that hunk/hunkette you so foolishly dismissed.
6. It’s not just for young people
While Tinder is considered to be a millennial product, there are actually quite a few older folks on the platform.
There are a lot of silver foxes on the platform. Even if you search for 55 years +, quite a few profiles pop up.
However, there are not many older women on the platform. With my filters set to female, 55 years +, no results often pop up.
There is also a weird trend of some people setting their age as over 100 – and these are usually young people. I’m not sure if I’ve stumbled across some elite cult or club, but I decided to not investigate further.
So would I recommend Tinder to those yet to be initiated into the app? I guess it depends on what you’re looking for.
It turns out the app caters to quite a large audience with diverse intentions.
One great thing about the app is that while you can message people you’ve matched with, they can’t send you media through the app. So I’ve happily emerged from my experience with no dick pics plaguing my phone.
I guess the only way to find out if it’s for you is to try it out yourself.