I came to a realization the other day when considering using Tinder following the most recent “breakup” (which, yes, started on Tinder). Time and time again, I am left with the awkward silence from a friend following the usual “what happened?” And “wait, where did you meet him?” lines of questioning.
Although I would love to write all of these off as just bad Tinder experiences, I and I alone (ok, and my heterosexual life partner, Emily) know that this isn’t the case and if being a woman and a feminist means being true to yourself and honest, then I’ve got to own the fact that not only have I dated a lot on Tinder, but it actually gave me the most high quality pool of men I could’ve imagined (I imagine your jaw just hit the floor).
Truth be told, I had an epiphany when yet another Tinder-venture had presented itself and wanted to share the mental process I subsequently went through.
1. The capacity for a relationship to “work out” is not directly proportional to the means by which you meet someone.
Granted, meeting someone at a strip club may not be the most intelligent thing to do (clearly not a good idea) but you get the point. The use and involvement of Tinder doesn’t have to affect the type of person you meet or the relationship you have, unless you let it (read on).
2. Like dating anyone, it comes down to the communication.
Online dating is your chance to be as real as you want, and as real as you should be at all times. This person could be a chainsaw murderer at the other end of your phone, so before meeting, you need to get certain information out of the way.
3. Mention random deal-breakers.
And not your “must not own white sunglasses” deal-breakers although that is on my shortlist, and I feel very strongly about it. I am referring to the statements you make that say a lot about who you truly are and what you’re about. Whether this includes talking about the fourth wave of feminism and how you’ll never be a stay-at-home mom (also mine) or how strongly you feel about the next election and bipartisanship. Whatever it is, this is your time to chit chat through the things you would like to feel comfortable about prior to meeting a stranger in person. And I must encourage you to be aggressive. By aggression I don’t mean be a bitch (although that is highly enjoyable as well), but just be real and straightforward. You’re going to be much more willing to meet the guy who not only let you rant about why you become so aggravated to anyone’s reaction of “oh, chick music” when you try to explain that Sarah McLachlan’s music has defined your life, but also then asked which album, in your opinion, is her best. Especially when, before you meet, he has already listened to your song suggestions.
4. Be your realest self.
It’s kind of like the type of online dating you pay for (but are too cheap to get): if you’re not promoting your realest self, you won’t find the right caliber of matches, and you’re ultimately wasting your money. Clearly Tinder can, has, and will be used for hookups, but you can use it however you wish. And if you meet the nice guys who claim to not be looking for the next one night stand, take it as a sign.
This may seem off topic, or maybe you thought I would end up talking about all the guys I met and how amazing they were. Sure, I came upon a sicko, a man-child, a (possibly) bisexual man, as well as someone I slept with the first meeting (and proceeded to ignore afterwards). But generally speaking, I have met some highly intelligent, funny, interesting, and down-right sexy guys on Tinder, most of whom I have dated for a short period of time. These were all guys who knew off the bat what I was about from my confidence, honesty, and possibly off-putting sense of humor and use of cursing over the first few times of Tinder and text messaging. Dating can be a crapshoot no matter what, but if you remain true to yourself, even if you don’t know where this Tinder chat is going, you will not only educate the dating pool, but you will be making sure only the best fish are swimming in yours.