What have people learned from the hot dating app? Turns out, there are some key dating takeaways.
When Tinder, the geolocated dating app, is not giving me a small glimpse of hope that my future husband is just one swipe away, it's giving me gray hair and acid reflux. I've had the app on my phone for about seven months. Sometimes I try my "luck" once a day and sometimes I don't even open the app for weeks. The number one excuse I often hear about dating, and the number one excuse that has become my go-to when people ask me "Why I'm still single," is this: I'm too busy.
That excuse is one of the reasons I think Tinder is great for a working 20- or 30-something who puts dating at the bottom of their to-do list. That is, if they use it properly and learn from others' mistakes.
For just as many weird stories I've heard from Tinder users, I have heard success stories. It's worth a try —and as you'll see from users below, you could learn a thing or two about dating in general.
Lesson #1: Don't Waste Your Time
After you match up with someone, if the conversation turns weird or uncomfortable just stop chatting with them. Don't over analyze a bizarre question or rage with anger over an absurd comment. Simply just laugh it off (or screenshot it to share with your close group of friends) and move on.
Lesson #2: Don't Judge
It may sound silly to tell you to not judge someone on the app when all you have is a few pictures and possibly a tagline, but for Arielle, 21, it was a takeaway from using the app. "I learned not to discount someone just because he's a dude you started talking to on Tinder. These guys are real life men (for the most part) and some of them are really great. One of them could be your next boyfriend if you're looking for that. Just don't ever settle. I stopped using Tinder last September when I met my boyfriend through the app. He makes my life easier and more enjoyable on a daily basis. And to this day we tell everyone we met at a bar."
Lesson #3: Go With The Flow
Without lengthy profiles, a membership fee or long sign up process, Tinder is low-maintenance and low-commitment, which creates a casual environment, especially for those who feel too much pressure from dating. For Emily, 21, the lack of information on potential matches helped her loosen up. "Tinder taught me to go with the flow in a no pressure kind of situation." Michelle, 26, agrees. "It's so low-pressure; you just have this 'whatever happens, happens' attitude. And because it's so relaxed, you don't get lost in fantasizing over someone you haven't even met yet. I went in with low expectations and was pleasantly surprised to have met some cool people and go on one really fun date."
Lesson #4: Be Honest About What You Want
As we learned recently, guys and gals may be using the app for very different reasons. But for Mary, 25, even knowing this, the app helped improve her dating skills and be honest about what she was looking for. "It teaches girls how to be okay with saying NO to things that we don't want to do. Not all girls are great at that but experiencing different guys who may or may not be looking out for your best interest is empowering."
Lesson #5: Get Feedback From Friends
Tinder can feel like more of a game than a dating tool, so sometimes friends are needed to keep you on track. "The people you swipe right to when you are demonstrating the app to your friends are always the best matches. I'm constantly showing off the app to my friends in relationships, and they get quite the kick out of watching me go through piles of men, swiping left, swiping right and so on. I've tended to find that when people are watching me play around on Tinder, I make better decisions about my swiping. Swipe while supervised," advises Devon Zdatny.
Jen Glantz is the author of All My Friends Are Engaged, a book of dating disaster stories. She's the heart behind the website The Things I Learned From. She'd love you to say hello: @tthingsilearned or firstname.lastname@example.org.