I used to host speed dating events. On any given night, forty to fifty people would show up hoping to meet someone amazing within the span of a four-minute date. It was kind of a strange idea at first— meeting twenty guys in one evening to see if anyone had potential. But it was efficient.
I sifted through more and more guys each week who weren't quite right, never really getting to know anybody past a cursory conversation about where he was from or what he did for a living. After a few months of this, it became not only exhausting, but routine. Instead of finding the right guy, I was becoming bored and distracted, wondering who else was out there.
Dating on Tinder reminds me of this. It's efficient like speed dating— you get to swipe left and right, rejecting anonymously and not having to spend even four minutes talking to someone you're not attracted to. You get to see a few photos and basic details and make your decision in seconds. Sounds perfect, right?
In terms of efficiency, yes. In terms of getting to a relationship, no. Let me explain.
I get the attraction of Tinder— it’s kind of addictive. You can be on a date with a perfectly nice person having a good time, but then as soon as it’s over you're back on Tinder, seeing who you might have missed.
And why not? Potential dates are just there, waiting.
But this is the problem. As I mention in my new book Date Expectations, dating isn't about checking all possible options. It's about being courageous and taking chances. It's about deepening your relationships with the people you meet, seeing where they could go, instead of perpetually moving on to the next. It's about stepping out of your comfort zone of scouring your phone for photos and really getting to know the person sitting in front of you. And here's the really scary part— allowing them to know you, too.
So before you login the next time, ask yourself what it is you really want. There's nothing wrong with hooking up and moving on, as long as you’re honest with yourself and your dates that this is your goal. But if you want a real relationship, then you have to be willing to put yourself out there, to see where a second or third date leads. How would you know if the person sitting in front of you might be the most amazing relationship of your life unless you just go for it?
And so Tinder, maybe it is time to move on.