So I Finally Tried Tinder

A few days ago I decided to step into 2014 and try Tinder.tinder-android

All of my 40 and older male friends swear by it. The reviews by women I know, however, have been a little less glowing.

I resisted for a long time because I assumed that Tinder just wasn’t a viable option for a woman my age. I was also hesitant to use an app that required that I link it to my Facebook page.  I learned that my fears were unfounded. All that Tinder displays is the short bio I included on my FB About Me page and my primary photo. I try to avoid posting photos of myself to social media. Even good ones. I’ve grown increasing uncomfortable with people (friends and acquaintances and “friends” commenting on my appearance. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very appreciative of supportive comments. What I fear is that I’m posting the photos with the intent of getting likes and comments. I also don’t care for men who write offer opinions on my photos or looks as though they’re entitled to voice an opinion on such matters.

I had the ability to edit the short bio and choose additional photos from my Facebook account. My original About Me blurb included a link to this site and the various publications where I appeared. Part of me just wanted to say screw it and leave it as is.  But I knew that would only impede the whole process as guys might think I was on there for material. I was also concerned that it might attract the status-seeking types. I don’t really care if people know my name or can easily find me. If someone is determined enough, they can figure out who I am. I’ve long since stopped caring about that.

For those of you who haven’t tried Tinder, here’s how it works. You choose your search settings based on age and location only. Up pops screen shot after screen shot of people that fall within your selected preferences.  The only information you are given is their first name and age (as listed on their Facebook page) and a very brief bio. Some people don’t even fill that section out.  You can either select X for not interested or the heart if you are interested. Or you can swipe left or right respectively.  You can only communicate with someone if they also choose you as a match. The app sends a push notification/alert when you and someone you liked are  a mutual match. People are not alerted to the fact that you liked them. Only if they randomly come by your profile and swipe right, too, are you and they alerted that there is a mutual match.

So, what has my experience been? Well, I have to admit that I was quite surprised by my results.

  • I have gone through about 200  profiles and selected about 30 men. In 3 days I’ve matched with about 10 different men. Compare that to OKCupid where I might send out 15 messages over a few weeks and hear from maybe 1 person.
  • There are a good number of men 45-55 in NYC to choose from, which I wasn’t expecting. My search range is 38-52.
  • The app appears to refresh and find new matches frequently.
  • Tinder requires much less effort than a regular dating site. There’s nothing to pour through and there’s no pressure to create original intro messages.
  • You don’t hear from anybody unless you want to hear from them. That means that 100% of your emails are from people you’re interested in.
  • Profiles display mutual Facebook friends and interests that you and they have selected via Facebook.

Of course, there are a few down sides to Tinder.

  • Users don’t have much info to go on when trying to determine compatibility. All you have is that bio, their age and the photos they’ve chosen to include. That’s it.
  • Since the information you have is limited, you often end up having to exchange a number of emails so you can properly introduce yourself to your match. As someone who loathes this kind of thing, that’s a big detractor for me.
  • The number of pointless back and forths that go nowhere is higher with Tinder, at least for me.
  • The number of Fades after one or two messages was higher for me.

Some things to consider:

  • Since my response rate on Tinder is higher than it is on OKCupid, it makes me wonder if something about the content of my profile or my profile details are getting in my way. I post the same photos – including 2 full body shots – on both sites/apps, therefore it’s unlikely the pictures are the problem. I’m wondering if other people have had a similar experience.
  • With the popularity of Tinder on the rise, how will this affect traditional online dating sites and the user experience? We’re moving towards only requiring photos at this point to determine interest. Will people eventually grow intolerant of having to write and read full profiles? Will their attention spans grow even shorter?
  • For people who still require all the steps and personal info, will they be able to survive with all the changes in the digital dating landscape? My answer is no. But then, I think that’s an example of self-selection. They will be weeded out of the process. Which is probably a good thing since those people – the ones who are so selective or suspicious – probably aren’t available for relationships in the first place.

Have you tried Tinder? What are your thoughts?

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13 Responses to “So I Finally Tried Tinder”

  1. AP Says:

    Nice to hear your take on it. I finally gave in myself, and have been on there for 2 weeks exactly, thanks to a friend grabbing my phone during the ever boring Superbowl game & downloading the app. I’m 40, and have set my age limit to 35-49 with a 5 mile radius. I’ve matched with 85 men during this period (no idea how many I’ve picked since it’s so easy to slide right & left) and have been out with 3 men so far.

    My general observations:
    1) I was told this was a big hookup site, and so far, I haven’t had any suggestive messages of that sort, to my surprise. Had I known this, I wouldn’t have waited so long to get on-board
    2) I have not initiated any conversations. And I notice only about 1 in every 5 men do. So just because there’s a “match” doesn’t mean it will be pursued. Sometimes both parties just let it go.
    3) While I do find scanning profiles tedious, I do wish there was some basic info available like height, whether they have kids and occupation. It’s annoying to go back and forth to find out that there is no lifestyle match.

    Now as to the actual dates, I’ve been surprised by the quality and generosity. I may have beginner’s luck, but the 3 guys have been a physician, COO and Entrepreneur respectively. I’ve had a bottle of wine at a Spanish restaurant, an expensive West Village top chef dinner and a high-end brunch as first dates. Maybe these men aren’t as jaded as the ones on the dating sites, but I’ll say all have been very positive in attitude & pleasant. I got taken to a Broadway show for a second date (which was a bit much and I didn’t want to accept, not knowing if there were expectations that came with a price tag. But he didn’t even go in for a kiss)with one and am going to a movie tonight as a third date with the other. And I actually like Mr 3rd Date, so who knows….maybe this CAN work.

    I do think the original dating sites may become obsolete as apps of this nature take over, especially with the younger generation. But I definitely would recommend this to my fellow women who are in their 30s and 40s – try it before you knock it.

  2. DrivingMeNutes Says:

    I like Tinder – and it exploits the same strategy that I use on other dating sites – I only contact people who’ve viewed me, rate me, winked, etc.

    But my experience with it is similar to the commenter above in that I don’t actually communicate with most of the people I match with. Having just someone’s pictures, age and a name, it’s hard to find common ground to make and maintain compelling conversation. Even on the rare occasion that I reach out and say “hi,” usually the conversation goes nowhere. I matched with a ton of people on Tinder but I have a much better “match and MEET” rate on other sites.

    I don’t think it’s a “hook up” site at all, though there are definitely “professionals” on there, and people looking for threesomes, etc. For the most part, if you’re a man at whom women throw themselves all day, every day (like a celebrity), you’re going to have a similar response on Tinder. For the rest of the guys, it’s just another way to meet women.

    On the other hand, I’ve had a few experiences with those “upgraders” – where you set up (or start to set up) a drinks date, and the woman starts suggesting other things, like a sit down dinner, etc. Of course, it’s hard to generalize that it’s just a “Tinder thing.” But maybe women on Tinder are trying to take advantage of those men that apparently think it’s a site just to get laid.

  3. Dark Sarcasm Says:

    Just joined this weekend also. I like that instead of a woman being bombarded with emails she doesn’t want and being overwhelmed, there’s less of a chance they’ll give up on the online dating process altogether. It gives more us guys more of a chance to connect that way.

    As a side, one fella must have filled out his tinder incorrectly, and he ended up in my ‘women only’ feed. One of his pictures is a selfie of him flexing in a mirror with only tighty whities on. Ladies, you officially have my sympathy.

  4. Damien Says:

    What a coincidence. I was reading a blog by some comedienne who was posting her experiences on Tinder. In her words:

    Before Tinder, I had never online-dated. Why would I? I love being single. What I like about Tinder is that it replaces expectations of falling in love with hopes of a cool drinking buddy, one you might want to make out with at the end of the night. As of today, I’ve been on 35 Tinder dates. I’ve slept with three of them. I don’t think that calls for the S-word, do you? Since being on Tinder, I’ve been flown to Boston for a date, kissed my first transgender person, had my first threesome and finally slept with a very special friend who’s been in front of me this whole time. Let’s not obsess over being “single” or “taken.” I challenge you to love something we should all be loving. Love life. Bring a Tinder date. It’s a good time.

    Here’s the blog. It’s interesting to hear other feedback.

  5. Noquay Says:

    Wondering how this works when you HAVE to go way outside of your town/region. For a like-minded professional. we’re talking 100+ miles. Dropped Faceplant because I kept getting hit on by creepy locals. Since I am kinda exotic looking and live in a unique sort of passive solar home, I am really easy to find. My faceplant”friends” were mostly colleagues and similar folks.

    • K Says:

      it lets you search up to a 100 miles from wherever you happen to be at any point. that’s useful if others are searching people in that parameter as well. if you live a rural area I imagine that would be the case. I live in a big city and wouldn’t match with a lot of people 100 miles away, although I know people who still set their parameters here that far out.

  6. Freddy Says:

    Hmmmm…haven’t tried it yet, but im wondering if you’ll have lots of surprises. By that I mean people putting up old & flattering photos

    • K Says:

      if they put up old and flattering pics on facebook then yes they can use them on Tinder as well. I guess there is always some risk of that online (less on Tinder compared to traditional online), but most people in say their 40s haven’t been on facebook that long and shouldn’t have super old pics to pull from.

  7. PGHGal Says:

    I have been on for about a month and met 2 guys. I’ve had a good like to match ratio (may be 6 out of 10?). One is consistent and we’re having a fun, casual relationship. The other I met once and had a fun convo with, but no chemistry. I’ve got lots of messages from hook up guys, on all ends of the age spectrum. I think some of that may be due to the large college community near where I live and guys who still have that mentality.

    But it’s a fun way to pass some time when you’re bored and you never known who you might meet. Variety really is the spice of life.

  8. AC Says:

    I tried Tinder for two months andfound it to be a gigantic waste of time. Lots of matches? Sure! How many dates materialized? None. At least with &OkCupid the dates have come pretty consistently. Yes, I might sends 10-15 messages and get 1-2responses, but the likelihood of actual date being set up is tremendously higher. Tinder, on the other hand, seemed more like a video game than a dating site. I noticed my experience seems to be different from others. Why? I can’t say. However, we were asked to share experiences that was mine. Even though Tinder free, I found it to be useless.

  9. tinderella Says:

    I’ve been on Tinder for a couple of month, my girlfriends and I entertain ourselves with the hot or not app. I’ve made lots of matches, had several conversations and I’ve been on two dates. The first was a big wig TV exec, who’s also sex addict (boo). The second date, cute nice guy, that I will see again. I have a few dates lined up next week and one guy who I think might be perfect for me. I like that if offers instant connection. I’m not looking for hook up. One girlfriend met her boyfriend via it. I’m over 40 and I think it’s a nice alternative to Match. com + POF.

  10. ThatFatBish Says:

    I’ve had greater success on Tinder than I ever had on OKC. It’s been nice. A refreshing change.

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