Last summer, my friend managed to convince me to download Tinder. She had been pestering me for days and honestly, I wasn’t interested. And the constant reminder to download the app was only doing the opposite for me. I was a stubborn ox till I eventually relented last year. And boy, what a fun ride it has been.
I don’t exactly recall the number of dates I went on, but in the last year, I did go on plenty of them. I met men of every age, race, and nationality, and it was both a fun and terrifying experience. So, a year later, as I sit down and reminisce, I can’t help but realize that this has been an educational experience as well, thus, why not share with others the great insights I have achieved? I may not have found Mister Right yet, but here are some things I learned dating casually on Tinder:
Tinder is Definitely Not the Real-life Bachelorette
As human beings, we are all weak to some flattery every now and then, and I am no different. It is not too awful when someone sends me the first message by saying something like “You have beautiful eyes”; it definitely boosts my self-esteem even though I am left scrambling to send an adequate response. This flattery gets bothersome, however, when messages like this keep pouring in from like twenty other men. Then, there’s the fact that if you receive too many messages, you kind of lose track of what you were saying to who. I am pretty sure I told the story about the squirrel in my closet to the same person four times.
Anonymity Does Not Translate to Being a Creep
There seems to be many out there who think just because we may never meet in real life, they think it is perfectly fine to be creepy and degrading. I have had strange questions asked to me like what is my shoe size or if I lived alone or not—and honestly, why would they need such personal information anyway? Then there are some who will leave rude comments on your appearance or if you call out on their rudeness, they will take that chance to be even more offensive. If a girl will not respond to a question like “hey pretty, you’re so hot, send me nudes” on a subway, what makes them think she will respond to such things on Tinder?
Not Everyone is Here to Hookup
I feel like there’s a difference between hooking with someone attractive you only met once at some party and arranging to meet someone after talking to them online for the sole purpose of hooking up. Though I do draw a distinction and think hooking up can slide anywhere between just kissing to sex and I think the former is more spontaneous than the other because if you feel a spark, you just feel it, you know?
Of course, there are some who are simply on Tinder for hookups, that is their sole intention, so I wasn’t surprised when I got ghosted when I answered every “why are you here?” with my own reasons and not just the words “hookup” or “sex”. On the other hand, my answers brought me closer to some who turned out to be genuinely interested in me, so there’s that, which confirmed for me that maybe not everybody is here for just hooking up.
Dating is Not a Chore
Since I was on such a mission to date as many people as I can, I was getting tired of it, and even started dreading it. I was repeating conversations and forgetting names and places—in short, I was losing interest and it started to feel like a chore. Dating, especially, casually dating should be exciting and fun, but here I was on my third date in a week, wanting nothing more than to go home, change into my pajamas and never go outside again. If you think casual dating feels like a chore for you, then maybe it’s not for you; I did manage to bounce back and stop scheduling multiple dates in a week, and it helped a lot.
Set Your Own Terms and Time
Just because I am single doesn’t imply that I need to date right now or I will die. That is not why I joined Tinder—sure it was just plain curiosity before but then I started having fun, it allowed me to understand my needs and time. Sometimes you just want to come home and watch some TV; sometimes, you want to go out for drinks after work. What I am trying to say is that it allowed me to do the things I wanted to do without feeling bad about it. You should be doing what you want to do to, and if casual dating entices you, then you will find the time for it.
Keep an Open Mind
I could have convinced myself to not join Tinder, to not reply to the messages I was receiving, to say “no, thanks” to every guy, but I really wouldn’t have known how interesting casual dating would be if I didn’t try it for myself. When you keep an open mind, it is going to help instead of hurt you. Obviously, you should practice discretion but say “yes” to the things you feel is right and it will pay off in the end.
Prevention is Better Than Cure
As the saying goes, better to be safe than sorry, so even if this seems like me encouraging you to be paranoid, but when you go on dates with guys you meet online, do let someone in your friend circle or family know. I am sure 99% of guys don’t wish to kidnap you but if something does happen to you (which I so wish it never does), you’d rather have someone know. You can share your location through your phone or text them.
If you are delaying signing up for Twitter because you have doubts, I hope this helps you make up your mind.