I'm In An Emotionally Abusive Relationship With Tinder

So it's time to break-up. And trust me: It's YOU, not me.

Emotionally Abusive Relationship With Tinder

Dear Tinder,

We really need to talk.

We’ve been seeing each other for a couple of years now. In that time, we’ve grown pretty close: I find myself searching for you when I’m waiting in line at Starbucks or when I need a break from editing at my beloved job. I often think of you when I’m heading to the ladies room or when I feel that small, haggard, terrified voice in the back of my mind that’s politely screaming: where the hell is he? 


I thought it was a genuine love.

You made so many promises when we first met one another: You encouraged me to talk about my interests and you gushed over my smiling (yet subtly sexy) poses. The one where I’m in a bikini in Mexico, the one where I’m on the merry-go-round in London. The classic, stereotypical one in front of the Eiffel Tower and, of course, the one of me trapezing by the pier, looking graceful as I sling myself toward the ground, dangling by a cable.

You found my snarky one-liners to be enticing.

"The South made me sweet, the North gave me sass." You even liked that I was upfront with what I truly wanted in someone in a kind-hearted way, of course: "Most of all, I’m looking for someone who wants to go on adventures. I’m someone who will always keep you on your toes and hopefully, you’ll make me stand on mine."


After all was said and done and we solidified our status, the true fun began. I was so amazed by your variety and the amount of opportunities you presented. You showed me that there were truly 'available' everywhere: in every neighborhood and city around the world. Maybe it was because you were always willing to be there for me — especially when it was late at night — I convinced myself that if I didn’t talk to you or at least put some effort into our relationship, I might quite possible be alone forever and ever.

But now that so much time has passed, so many matches have been made, and so many dates have failed, I’m starting to question my feelings about you, Tinder. It’s not that I don’t see you for what you are or that I doubt your ability to bring people together based on zip code (and now, for a price.)

It’s that you never saw me for me, Tinder. You never loved me ... for me.

Because NO: I don’t want to sit on your face. I don’t want to come over to your place. I don't want to be looked at as a piece of ass that's waiting aimlessly in your database to be called upon after one too many gin-and-tonics or when you're rebounding from 'the love of your life.' No, I don’t want to be sexualized and victimized by harassing, inappropriate questions and statements about my body and what you want to do with it.


I don't want to work so incredibly hard to create conversation with you after a very long day at the office and all you can come up with is "Hi." Or possibly, "Wassup." And Tinder, when we did go out, it was never anything special. We had long, meaningless conversations based on rhymes and quick wit that never fostered into anything more than a pointless way to pass a Friday night. You never remembered my birthday or asked how my dating life was going or if you were helping me to find love.

But when I was with you, Tinder, damn it, I felt like I was putting myself out there. But in reality I put on 10 pounds last winter, waiting for you to come up with something more interesting than happy hour drinks. (Which most of the time you canceled.)

And another thing, Tinder: I don't like who I am when I’m with you.

You don't make me into a better person. When I’m around you, even just for an evening or while I’m waiting on my friends to meet up with me, I suddenly become obsessed with you. I look at you as my only ticket into the future that I see so brightly. If I don't swipe with you right this very second or look at my most recent match (who could potentially be my husband), I’m missing out on what I want the most. And then, even when I’m at my favorite place with my favorite people, I can’t help but stare anxiously at my phone when you present someone who, on-screen, is everything I’ve ever wanted.


But that’s also a problem, Tinder because you make me so judgmental. You’ve given me the ability to examine differences in heights and body size, based on extreme scrutiny over every single detail of every photo. You’ve made me into someone who swiftly dismisses other people based on insignificant factors I would usually never notice in person.

You’ve made me feel angry and bitter and unworthy and used. You’ve gotten my hopes up time and time again, only to shatter them out of nowhere when someone blocks me. Or sends a dick pic that I didn’t ask for. You make me the type of person who thrives on instant gratification: a dating druggie who needs a quick fix of self-confidence.

But when I’m with you, Tinder. I’m not meeting men in real life. I’m just swiping them and wasting time.

Tinder, I survived the dating world without you. And without all of your friends: Hinge, OkCupid, Happn, Group. In fact, I was happier then. I went on more – and better – dates. I wasn’t so angry about being single and I certainly didn’t cringe at the thought of going on a date out of fear that what you told me wasn’t actually true.


So, Tinder: it’s over. It’s been over for a long time but in the dead of winter, I couldn’t let you go. But now that spring is here, I can’t imagine another day in this unhealthy, emotionally abusive relationship. I’m going to try my luck out there in the wild, wild west of real life.

Thanks for a couple good memories and for a few free drinks. Maybe it wasn’t you after all; maybe it was me. Maybe I needed to realize you can’t give me what I want. Because what I want doesn’t decide if I’m "worthy" enough to date in a split-second based on a few photos and sentences.

There’s more to me than that. And I need more from someone than that. I deserve it.

So good luck, Tinder. You’ll find some more suckers out there. But not me. Not anymore. Never again. This time, it’s really over.




Lindsay Tigar is a writer, editor, and blogger living in New York City. She started her popular dating blog, Confessions of a Love Addict, after one too many terrible dates with tall, emotionally unavailable men (her personal weakness) and is now developing a book about it, represented by the James Fitzgerald Agency. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.