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-Anoushka Manidhar

My recent trip to the ‘Wonderland of Tinder’ has made me decide to take a break from posts of men’s profile picture fails and provide my thoughts on how Tinder has changed the face of dating for the modern single.

Tinder has made dating so much easier and accessible for singles (and sometimes not so singles too).  The number of potential mates is exponentially larger than what a single person would have had 10 years ago. In that way, it’s great.  With everyone being so busy with work and other activities it can be hard to meet someone outside of work and many times you may not want to mix dating with work (who needs that drama?). So, without the aid of dear Tinder, matching you with other ‘singles’, it could appear you’d have a better chance of finding that one person you want to spend the rest of your life with. I am starting to believe the prevalence of online dating is decreasing the chances of finding that ‘one’.

The following reasons are why I believe the increasing use and reliance on online dating by singles has doomed them to more stress, confusion and being single longer.

  1. Constant hope for a better match:

With the ability to just keep swiping through thousands of singles or always wondering if tomorrow you’ll be matched with the perfect person, you do yourself and anyone you’ve started communicating with or had dates with a disservice.  You aren’t really investing the interest you would have otherwise into getting to know someone and seeing if they are someone you could foster a relationship with. With so many people to choose from, like at a buffet, you take a little bit of everything because you’re hoping for something better on the next counter and you don’t want to miss out on a probable good option. Unfortunately, this just means you’ll never be able to appreciate any one item, and nobody ever stops at the one item they discover they love because they have to see if anything else is better.  By the time you get through it all and want to go back to that one you want to keep eating, you’re too full or there’s none left. With all those potential mates being offered to you, it’s easy to just stop communicating. So, ruling people out and always being on the lookout for someone better seems like a convenient option.

  1. People are not always who they appear on the screen:

After committing the blunder of dating through Facebook, I have realised that it’s very easy to be anyone you want online and enhance your strengths while diminishing traits you feel are unappealing in your matches’ eyes. Sitting behind a screen gives people a sense of confidence and also a mask where they can freely project anything they want. So, when you finally meet them in person they aren’t usually the same as what you had kept such high hopes for. Also, communicating via text allows a person to think about and analyse what the other person is going to say or how he/she will respond. I’ve had this happen many times. While texting they seemed amazing, said everything right and there was this tech based chemistry. In person, everything fell short of expectations in terms of how they behaved.  Their true personality and thoughts showed only after meeting and there was no chemistry.

This also happens physically. We tend to post the best and most impressive pictures we have of ourselves, not necessarily realistic or current ones. I mean, I don’t wake up looking like those pictures I uploaded on Tinder. I look like anything but a fitness model so if I were to post those, it could create disappointment and a sense of feeling fooled in the eyes of my date. They’d most likely shut off and eliminate me automatically after meeting or even seeing me.

  1. The confusion of where this relationship stands:

So, you’ve been talking to a partner you met online and they seemed amazing, and everything about them seemed to match what you were looking for in a partner. You meet and have a great first date followed by several more and regular communication. It would appear that both people are mutually attracted to each other and are really liking the other with both wanting to work towards making it something more solid and serious.  Well if only it were that simple!

Online dating can barrage you with matches and make potential relationships far more accessible so you’re left wondering about how many other people are they also dating. Do they see you as something potentially serious or someone to just pass time with until their other serious person comes along? Of course, you never want to bring up the subject for fear of creating pressure or scaring the other person off. Bah! Such a vicious circle. Most of the times, you end up wasting time with someone you want when they don’t really want you and end up forgoing or letting go of some other great potential long-term mates.

Overall, you might think that Tinder is great for a modern day single person however in hindsight, I don’t think it really is. Logic would make you believe that since you can now connect with so many more people who are also looking for love or lust, and that you would statistically have more chances of finding ‘the one’. Based on what I’ve come to discover, I truly believe the way online dating is making ‘the one’ vaguer, and the journey to finding them time-consuming, confusing and almost futile.

Although I still think it’s a great tool with busy schedules, I strongly feel we all need to take a step back and stop constantly thinking there is always potentially someone better out there. We need to learn to give the proper attention to the people in front of us. We need to be honest about who we are and communicate directly with what we want from someone.  If you’re not upfront even from behind a screen, then it doesn’t change who you really are and when you do meet your partner, you’re not going to be the person they were attracted to. More importantly, we must balance the time we spend interacting through matches and the time we spend with friends and family and especially with our own selves.

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