Feeling timid about Tinder? Maybe don’t bother

Online dating has long standing been the latest “trend”, even in the prehistoric days when Covid wasn’t a thing; people have been meeting strangers off the internet for years. Exchanging a few short messages on an app like Tinder and meeting for a drink with said person is essentially meeting a complete stranger. I find it curious how this way of dating can be so hard to navigate, and in the end, it is more bother than it’s worth. 

Mika Baumeister / Unsplash

Now, aside from the obvious danger that your handsome 23-year-old hunk could in fact be a 15-year-old boy or maybe a 40-year-old woman, the biggest issue is the awkwardness. How awkward it is to have actually looked at a photo of someone, based on literally nothing but physical attraction, and swiped them either into your romantic interest or not. You have decided you find them somewhat attractive or maybe the bad joke in their bio got them the pity vote but they have done the same for you. Two people, both deciding they like the look of one another. Then what? The standard “hey” or “what’s your favourite colour?” or my personal favourite; “what do you study?” Of course, my only personality trait is the degree I’ve chosen to study. Perhaps I’m biased or have had terrible luck, but somehow, I think that Tinder is just a gateway into judging people. I can spend countless hours swiping left on the many bachelors in Falmouth without a second thought, and no one would say otherwise, but does that necessarily make it a good thing? 

Success stories are all around. Some of my closest friends are in the most stable, healthy relationships, having met that random stranger for a drink and now they get to call them their other half. But is that just dumb luck? Like all dating, there are successes and failures. For uni students I find it curious that we are all desperate to meet new people, go on dates, have fun, kiss strangers and enjoy every moment. So why does it feel so unnatural having to do this through a phone screen? If I had a pound for every time I’ve made my “new best friend” in a night club toilet I could pay off all my student debt. It feels so easy when you have the drunken confidence slightly skewing what could otherwise be an awkward interaction. I’m the same with dates, not that I go on many, but the ones I do end up on take at least half a pint of Dutch courage. I find it so incredibly daunting that this stranger could have already built a perception of me in their heads, only to be let down by the real-life version of me. Or worse, what if I dislike them? Maybe the photo on their profile was a few years old. Anyway, no matter the outcome that initial meeting, do you hug, do you ask them if they’re vaccinated? It’s all so awkward it makes me shudder just thinking about it.  

So why put yourself through it? Is Tinder just a place for randomly hooking up, nothing more?

It feels exhausting, we’re in a small town and in my experience there’s people looking for love, people looking for sex, dates or just casual fun. It’s hard to meet someone who shares the same intentions and interests as you. I think at this point in our society there is going to have to be some communication via text, which is sad but really it is the only way to contact someone. You could try sending love letters by pigeon but then you wouldn’t get the read receipts. What I’m trying to say, without being too pessimistic, is that the dating game seems to be rigged with too-good-to-be-true stereotypes that end up disappointing you or those who never impressed you to begin with. Never settle. We need human connections to live and survive, but maybe those connections don’t come from lads using the top 10 worst chat up lines, sure it’s endearing but we’re too young for all this pressure. Be yourself, be open, be wary but see it for what it is, it’s just a date. Ask them out. What’s the worst that could happen?  

Wiktor Karkocha / Unsplash

So why put yourself through it? Is Tinder just a place for randomly hooking up, nothing more? The sad truth is, this may be the case for at least a few bachelors on the app, but never assume anyone’s intentions. I went on a date a week ago with a lovely guy who ended up meeting my Granny, Mother and sisters on our first date. We got along so well we assumed it wouldn’t be weird. I awoke in the morning with not only a hangover but a message from my dream man saying he couldn’t see me again as he didn’t want to pursue anything. Now I have to tell my family the knight in shining armour they all adored was actually terrified of commitment. But that’s the beauty of Tinder, we had a great night, it’s a funny story but nothing more. Maybe it will work out differently for you, I hope so but either way keep swiping and keep having fun.  

This article is in our Opinions section. As such the views within are those of the contributor and do not represent an editorial stance.

The views expressed in this publication are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views of Falmouth University, the University of Exeter or Falmouth & Exeter Students’ Union.