I’m not ashamed to admit I have a thing for Tinder. “We met on Tinder!” I’ll happily tell anyone, much to horror of my Tinder friend. I swipe like a mofo, and I’m entirely fascinated by the social psychology of how and why we swipe the way we do. This incredibly interesting article by Buzzfeed says that we’re all classist assholes, for example. (Although I’m an anomaly apparently because that first dude is totally appealing to me. I guess that’s why I’m single.)
I started using Tinder last year while travelling through Greece. I was lonely, and not making any friends because I literally was the only person travelling in the world. I was on Naxos island at the time, in March, and needless to say…I didn’t meet anybody. The language barrier was a little difficult too. I was chatting with dudes on other islands and arranging to potentially meet up with them. And then I realized how alone I was and I figured I didn’t wanna become another statistic, so I stopped.
And then a year later I picked it up again.
I figure if you still swipe right after this photo, we’re golden.
90% of the time I’m not even meeting the guys I’m matching with. It’s like I need self-validation to know that I WILL match with somebody, because let’s face it, my dating life is pathetic. It’s not just my fault, either. Almost nobody initiates the conversation first…at least not here in St. John’s. And honestly I’m bloody tired of doing all the legwork, and the most popular prospects that pop up on my phone are guys with tattoos on their faces or dudes with their main photo featuring them suggestively posed with a pretty lady. Pro tip: DON’T PUT YOUR GIRLFRIEND IN YOUR MAIN PHOTO. That’s St. John’s, though.
I went on two dates before Christmas with two different guys who were both incredibly awesome people whom I might have kept dating if I hadn’t decided to run home to Bay d’Espoir for five years and then Hawaii forever. And then there’s also the whole thing where I just booked a one-way ticket to Berlin for August and commitment is not something I need right now (YEAH I DID IT BTW! AUGUST 2ND BITCHES!).
CAN YOU IMAGINE THE SWIPING FUN I’LL HAVE IN BERLIN?
And although we can all whine about how meeting people isn’t the same as it once was, some people are actually meeting their partners via Tinder. I know of at least two people (out of 500) that were successful, so hey, it works for some.
I also kinda feel like using Tinder in new destinations gives you a little insight into what the dating scene is like there. In St. John’s, for example, it’s mostly skeets and polyamorous lovers. You gotta weed through the photos of snowmobiles for hours to get to something half decent.
Or people like this, who is clearly a fake.
But in Honolulu, it was a lot of dudes showing ripped muscles and telling me how tall they are, for some reason. Because apparently that’s important? I don’t know. I felt like it matched my impressions of many folks I met around Honolulu and Waikiki: looking good is a big deal. They’re not necessarily shallow, but they care a whole freaking lot about appearance. Okay so they’re shallow. Obviously I am too.
On Big Island, though, I met a super rad guy from Ottawa who’s a professional motorcycle racer and spends half his year working on his volcano home. He told me all this AFTER we met, and I’m like, “Dude, why didn’t you LEAD with that?” He showed me around, we went to a cool beach, had a beer, etc. I met his friend Gigi and some other travellers, and we all went out for Mexican grub on Valentine’s Day. It was hella unromantic and awesome.
So if you ARE using Tinder while travelling, here are some things to be aware of.
First of all, obviously, always meet in a busy place.
Secondly, don’t tell said person where you’re staying.
Thirdly, state CLEARLY in your profile that you’re just visiting and looking to make friends, not hook ups. (Unless you are. That’s totally cool.)
Don’t swipe right to everybody you encounter because I assure you they will annoy the SHIT OUT OF YOU.
Is Tinder shallow? Abso-freaking-lutely. But in reality, when I’m travelling and trying to meet people, I’ll approach certain people who look or behave a certain way in much the same manner. And I can guarantee you that I will NOT be swiping right if your profile is nothing but hot girls, liquor bottles, and bad grammar. The same goes for in real life. Am I a classist?
Have you used Tinder in your travels? Do you have success stories?