(Ted is a fictitious name for a very real Christian friend of mine, age 30)
Hope you are well! I enjoyed our conversation about Tinder the other day and thought it might make for a good post. In a nutshell, you think it’s superficial and leads to hook-ups. I think I met an amazing fireman, who happens to be the best guy I’ve ever dated, thanks to Tinder.
(For those of you readers who don’t know what Tinder is, it’s a free phone app where you have one chance to view 5 photos, age, and general location of a person. You have to immediately decide if they are attractive or not. If the attraction is mutual, you then have the opportunity to text through the app and start a conversation. At any point, you can easily block a person forever.)
(If you are a single female with any reading retention skills, what you’ve learned is “THERE ARE FIREMEN ON TINDER.” If you have any life skills, you have stopped reading this blog and are busy signing up for Tinder)
Back to you, Ted!
So you are not pleased with Tinder and don’t think it’s the kind of thing a Christian girl should do. Here are my thoughts.
Should Christians Go On Tinder?
To this I’d like to say, RELAX. Stop weirdly reading into things. Tinder isn’t good or bad. It isn’t saying anything. It’s like money, power, or sex. Sometimes we humans use these items for good, and other times for bad. You don’t have to use Tinder as a hook-up app, but you can if you’d like. You don’t have to only try to talk to the hottest of hot people. It’s up to you. And let’s be clear, people can use others for hookups and be extremely superficial in how they date at church just as easily as they do online. Personally, I found it much easier to spot and avoid these types on the app than in real life, too;)
Is Tinder Superficial?
I’m assuming it’s the idea that you only decide to move forward with a person based on pictures that has you concerned. People refer to this as a game of “Hot or Not.” This is actually one of my favorite features of Tinder. Why? There is a word for people we connect with but are not attracted to- FRIEND.
Friends are great.
Friends are not for dating.
If you think dating is superficial, take it up with God. He created the whole attraction system.
Personally, if I somehow found out that someone I was dating said or thought something along the lines of, “I wasn’t attracted to you at first, but I liked your personality and pushed through.” I’d be hurt and embarrassed. I would certainly not be impressed or proud of him.
A few Words About Why it Worked For Me…
Fast, Free & Fun.
Tinder is my only experience in online or non-traditional dating. Taking on sites like Match and eHarmony felt like too big a step and a lot of work and money. I think Tinder is a baby step that feels easy to try.
I liked that Tinder didn’t feel like a big deal. It was funny and entertaining. I understand and support people who prefer the serious and intentionality that sites like eHarmony and Match can provide. People simply don’t take Tinder as seriously and that will frustrate some. For me, this was a strength. Tinder was something easy to try for a few days. A Huffington Post article said, “People don’t think of Tinder as online dating, they think of it as a game.” I think Tinder draws in a new crowd of daters the other sites weren’t reaching and I’m glad both option types exist.
Uniquely, Tinder feels most like how dating works in the real world. People compare it to a digital bar or coffee shop for a reason. If you are attracted to someone, you still have to approach him or her, or respond when they approach you. In every dating scenario, it takes more than physical attraction to get something off the ground. With Tinder you have to have some kind of spark or connection when you talk via the app or it goes nowhere.
No one knows anything about you on Tinder. Not your job, school, hobbies etc. I liked that when I went on my first date, it felt like a real first date. We didn’t show up for that first meet up with a whole profile on each other. Instead, we had to take get to know one another’s likes and dislikes over time like in traditional dating. It felt like a very “normal” first, second, and third date.
Deciding to online date is a thing. It just is. Every unmarried person I know thinks about whether they will or will not online date. Is it worth the effort? Am I ready to admit I’m online? Is it giving up? Are my kind of people on there? Personally, I think everyone should be encouraged to do what they feel fits them without judgment.
I’m not saying Tinder is for everyone. I was on it for a few days and met someone. And while that won’t happen to everyone, according to ABC News, it has led to more than 15 million matches and Cosmopolitan says over 1000 engagements. It really is working for some people beyond the superficial hook-up. Many of my friends are on it and are encouraged by all the prospects. Browsing all the guys posing with tigers, in handstands, and embarrassing selfies is a delightful bonus.
Finally, if you’re like me, deep down you don’t want your love story to be that you met your someone online. I get it. I’m a writer for goodness sake. Did I go on Tinder expecting a serious relationship? No. Was it fun and worth it? Absolutely! From our first exchange, he stood out and there was a spark. It was fun and exciting and I wouldn’t change a thing.
I’ve had lots of great meet up stories in my life. I’ve met someone on an airplane, while traveling abroad, and even once while buying matching humidifiers during cold season. But guess what? All those great meet up stories had bad endings. The great meetings were never helpful indicators of how the rest of the relationship would go.
At this point, I’m way more interested in meeting the right person and creating a great life story together. That’s the important story.
Whatever you do, I wish you all the best and a bit of luck.