Ask any New York City
girl woman if they consider themselves a Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda or Samantha and you'll have an answer before you blink. We NYC women, a subspecies of the traditional female, have looked towards Sex and the City for guidance and comfort in the miseries of dating. Unfortunately, the '90s hit show is a bit outdated for the dating scene of today and for the generation of undergrad/post-grads gallivanting around Manhattan. Rather than the courtesy of a phone call, or even a Post It note, we have text messaging, Facebook stalking, and the new (and my personal favorite) dating iPhone app: Tinder.
The recent application has burst onto the 20-something scene and is most commonly viewed as a "game" or "joke." However, there are a few select individuals who swipe left and right not only for silly entertainment or the ever so classy "booty call," but are actually interested in finding a relationship. I am one of them.
I can shamelessly say that I have been on multiple "Tinder dates," and while that fact might not be rare, the outcomes of those dates are. Out of these dates, two turned out to be seemingly successful matches, and I even dated one of them for a month. Yes, I found relationships on Tinder. I am living proof that it's possible and that it happens. (They didn't last but that's a whole different story...)
The reason that I was able to find a man on the screen of my iPhone is because of my attitude when utilizing the app. Unlike the majority of its users, I swipe with the intention of a date, rather than a one night stand. I also begin conversations differently when matched. Instead of the usual "I only have one night in the city," or "What are you doing tonight?" I begin a conversation about where my match lives, works, and where he is from; slowly making my way to the exchange of last names (for FB stalking) and phone numbers. After that, I continue with my initial confidence and ask the guy out for drinks. (Ladies, close your mouths.) Yes, I initiate the date. Instead of being timid, I take full advantage of the anonymity and protection of cyberspace/my iPhone and go in for the kill. It works. Trust me. While I haven't gone on every "mini-date," every guy that I have asked to meet for drinks has happily accepted. Think of it this way, they already swiped you yes! You already know they're interested! So being shy and waiting for them to make the first move is a waste of time.
The first guy I was with, (for privacy purposes let's call him Andrew) Andrew and I met for drinks the same night we got matched up. I know that sounds a bit fast or even "slutty" but imagine meeting someone at a bar. You are technically "getting drinks with them" after just meeting, so it's essentially the same situation. While Andrew and I turned out to be incompatible, Zach wasn't. Our first "Tinder date" turned into a second, third, and we begin spending weeknights and mornings together. The only awkward part of the relationship was when people asked how we met. An iPhone dating app. To me, there's nothing wrong with it, but the majority of the tri-state area and the country don't seem to share my opinion.
My defense: is it really any different than if I met Zach on JDate? Or Match? Or eHarmony? or OKcupid? The various online dating websites all come with far less judgment than an iPhone app, when in reality it's the exact same concept in a more appropriate and innovative medium. Our entire generation is obsessed with instant gratification and choosing the simplest route. Tinder is exactly that.
We are stuck in limbo between adolescence and adulthood. With all of this "growing-up" to do, it makes sense that the majority of us get lazy when it comes to relationships. Tinder has given us the opportunity to quickly scroll through potential mates in the same superficial vain as eyeing out possible matches at a social gathering. However with tinder, we can do it from the comfort of our shallow solitude.
And let me tell you, my tinder dates have definitely been more enjoyable than the ones set up by my Jewish Grandmother: all blind dates with grandsons of my Grandma's friends from synagogue, book club, and nail salon. Grandma obviously has good intentions, but her main goal is to get a ring on my finger and great grandchildren in the near (FAR OFF) future. Dear Granny isn't looking for my soul mate. Now I'm not saying that swiping through a guy's Tinder photos is going to reveal that he is the "one," but it definitely gives me much more control (and comfort) over my potential dates. It's easier and more productive to scroll through an iPhone app than scan a limited (key word) number of men at a bar. Everyone is on Tinder, even if they don't use it the way I do.
In all honesty, the Tinder method seems much more proactive than applying makeup, a tight dress, and uncomfortable heels to go scope out prospects. Instead, I can lie in bed, in my pajamas, eating ice cream -- oh who are we kidding, this is New York, non-fat froyo -- and swipe away. And this method is certainly way better than leaving the matter up to fate and hoping (praying, wishing, dreaming) that the gust of stale New York wind will thrust my knight in shining armor through the subway doors and into my arms. (Hey, a girl can dream.)
So since the only thing that I actually encounter on a daily basis in the above scenario is a smelly homeless man asking for change, I'll stick to Tinder.