Self, Sex

No, Tinder HASN'T Killed Dating Unless F*cking Strangers Is "Dating"

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Couple on a date making duckface in a selfie

No, Tinder is not "the end of dating."

I can't begin to count the endless, idiotic thinkpieces that have been written about how "dating" is taking a backseat to hookup culture. And now that Tinder is officially a "thing", they're even more rampant.

The thing is, they're bullsh*t.

There are plenty of men and women out there who are interested in pursuing meaningful long-term relationships. Except, you probably won't find any of these men or women at your local college bar or on Tinder, Grindr, Hinge or Hot or Not.

If those are the places you're looking for serious relationships, then sure, dating is dead to you. But that doesn't mean it isn't still thriving for those of us with common sense or self-respect.

You can't blame an app for your lack of common sense and low standards.

This isn't to say there's anything wrong with hooking up for the sake of hooking up. If casual sex is what you're after and you and your partners are honest and safe with one another, have at it! Be happy! Get laid! Do you (or whoever gives consent)!

But if you're having casual sex in the hopes of locking down something serious, chances are you're going to fail. If you aren't interested in hooking up and are looking for a genuine connection, you need to ask yourself why you're f*cking people you just found on your smartphone and have never met previously.

By doing so, you're sending mixed messages to your partners: "See? I'm the cool girl/guy with no strings! I won't be clingy like other girls/guys! But also, please love me. Please? Let me love you!"

It reeks of desperation, not to mention a bait and switch: your actions say one thing but your attitude screams another.

You're settling for whatever you can get from someone based on physical attraction and hoping to change his or her mind, instead of holding out for someone with whom you share not just a mutual attraction, but also goals of a future and a commitment.

Think of it this way: If you're really craving a delicious full steak dinner of a relationship, complete with dinners out, affection and commitment, why are you digging in an Arby's dumpster for it? (If you want free fast food, however, do you.)

If you want to find men or women out there who are interested in actual dating, not casual sex, you need to make your own intentions clear from the start. And not just with potential partners, but also with yourself.

You need to change scenes. Instead of going home with someone who thinks you're hot at 2 AM, make plans for lunch next week.

If he or she doesn't bite, that person wasn't for you anyway. Instead of swiping on Tinder constantly, spring for an eHarmony membership, where there are more potential partners invested in finding something long-term.

And maybe put your damn phone down for 10 minutes. You'll be more likely to make eye contact with a hot stranger who just might buy you that steak dinner instead of bringing you cold pizza at 3AM before expecting fellatio under the guise of a Netflix binge.

Greg Behrendt (yes, the He's Just Not That Into You wizard) has an entire book devoted to this, and my favorite adage from it is "What you settle for is what you'll get."

Seriously, don't settle for cold pizza or casual boning unless that's really, truly what you want ... because if you do, you'll never have room for that porterhouse and ring you're really craving.

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