I’m thrilled to welcome confidence and relationship coach, Laura Yates, to my blog, giving us her honest, witty take on the truth behind Tinder. Just a simple dating app? Brace yourselves …
I’m a big believer in being real and despite part of my work being coaching in the areas of relationships, I think it’s important to be transparent about the fact that no, I’m not in the perfect relationship – whatever that is! But through my experiences of past relationships and what I’ve learned, I’m in a very positive place of being single. I don’t want to create any smoke screens though, which is why I feel compelled to share with people snippets of own journey into the murky waters of dating. It’s actually proving quite an enlightening and fun experience – especially when you get back on the dating horse from a place of being content, happy and fully accepting of yourself. Believe me, it makes all the difference.
I’m all for approaching things with simplicity so decided to jump straight on the Tinder wagon. I know, I know! It lends itself to cynicism but it seemed a nice straightforward way to get started. It’s certainly being an eye opener!
So ladies and gents, here are the top 10 Things I’ve learned about Tinder -:
1) Let’s start with the most positive thing I’ve discovered. Contrary to popular belief, not everyone on Tinder just wants casual ‘encounters’. There are genuine human beings on there who are looking for exactly the same thing as you (if you aren’t looking for casual encounters, that is). It’s easy to get caught up with the idea that online dating sites are crawling with catfish and lunatics but let’s face it, even social networking sites are becoming like dating sites in their own way. We mostly interact online or through some sort of technology and if you’re online/app dating, then that’s testament to the fact that it’s fair game!
2) Ladies looking for men – 75% of them are tiger enthusiasts, keen skiers and have a penchant for guns. (If you want proof of the last one, check out the tumblr ‘Guys with Guns on Tinder’.)
3) A further 20% can be found lurking in bushes (seriously), in gym changing rooms taking topless selfies or with who you can only assume to be an ex girlfriend/wife. I even stumbled across someone who had his wedding picture on his profile. The remaining 5% might have normal photos or at least ones with their cat. Remember that Tinder is linked with Facebook so it pulls a selection of your pictures from there. Those friendship group shots can really leave you guessing!
4) It’s as simple as you can get. No need for a friend to help you out as there’s no profile to fill in. Oh, well except a 140-word bio if you feel like it. Swipe left for No, right for Yes. Yep, it’s that shallow!
5) If the men on Tinder do have a bio, somewhere within that they almost always say they’re 6″2. This is interesting giving I hardly ever see any men that tall around my area. The rule of thumb is to always assume they’re at least a couple of inches shorter than they say because apparently, height is the one thing men mostly lie about on dating sites.
5) Watch out for the ‘YOLO!’s if they’re writing YOLO in their bio, you probably won’t want to date them.
6) It’s amazing how when you get a match, neither person tends to message, which does seem lazy when you think about the no-effort nature of Tinder in general. About 75% of your matches you’ll never interact with. If you really like the look of someone, don’t wait days for them to message you. Go ahead and instigate a conversation. Tinder isn’t the place for game playing!
7) At the other end of the scale, be prepared for people who don’t seem to be looking for anything other than a textual relationship. You might also get a few er…colourful messages too. That is why these particular people are on Tinder because they’d never say that kind of stuff in real life. And guys please, we don’t need to see any picture messages above a PG rating. We show/send them to all our friends and they might end up on some blog along with your identity (not that I’d do that but it does happen!). So keep it classy.
8) Tinder finds potential matches in your area. So, if your local friends are also on Tinder be prepared that you might be matched with and messaging the same people – eek! Believe me, this has happened within my friendship group on more than one occasion now. Oh, and I’ve also known people to be matched with their ex or a family member so watch out for that too.
9) Because of the above, you’ll very likely see people you know, which can put the fear of God in you and encourage you to delete the app with immediate effect.
9) Much like texting, messaging can get misconstrued or just lost in Tinder translation. Your opening line to a match may sound hilarious to you but might get completely lost on the other person. Best to keep it simple to start with.
10) There are lots of things about Tinder than you can apply to business and economics. The importance of advertising, the law of returns, human behaviour etc. So if you still feel uneasy about using it, you can claim it’s purely for biz development or educational purposes!
And so have I had any luck of the romantic kind as a result of using Tinder? Well, I’m pleased to report that I’ve gone on a few fun dates with a couple of nice guys. (If you play Tinder as a numbers game by the way, you could easily line up a date every night for the next year but I’m way too fussy/old for that.) Both exactly who they said they were which is encouraging. One not so successful given that he looked at me like I’d told him I eat kittens for breakfast when I asked him his star sign but I don’t think I can blame that on Tinder. Overall, it’s been fun, a confidence boost and actually quite interesting. The best way to approach Tinder is to keep your expectations open and be very light hearted about it!
Laura Yates is a coach and mentor from the UK. She coaches in the areas of relationships and confidence and believes that when you give yourself permission to step towards what you love, amazing things can happen.