Why Tinder Deserves a Second Chance

At the end of summer last year, I found myself unexpectedly single. I was over a year out of university with a handful of friends, and – break-up woes aside – when I realised this, a fear struck me: how was I ever going to meet someone else? The prospect of getting together with someone you meet in a nightclub was neither likely nor desirable, and Hollywood meet-cutes don’t exist in real life. The only random male attention I get is from decidedly creepy men who stare at me unblinkingly on public transport or shout obscenities from their car window as they drive past. Romantic, yes?

So… Tinder. It happened. I went there. And I’m sure most of you will understand my initial reluctance to download the thing. Even though it somehow manages to avoid the Lonely Hearts-esque sadness of “meeting on the internet”, Tinder still has a reputation, and a sleazy one at that.

I was ready for slimy Nice Guys, crude chat-up lines, and crotch shots flying at me from every direction (remind me why I signed up again?), but in reality, my experience with Tinder subverted all expectations.


I feel like Tinder has totally dodged the internet dating trope. Three years after its initial release in 2014, the “swipe right” premise is now nestled in pop culture to Lorelai Gilmore heights. It doesn’t feel like how I imagine internet dating to be; it feels like a game. And with an estimated 50 million users a month, 1 billion swipes and 12 million matches a day (source), as well as being readily available in thirty languages, it’s clearly working!

You can’t ignore its sleazy underbelly, though, which I think is part of the assumption: you know, you’re on Tinder so you must be looking to hook up. Even Tinder itself had to take notice in June 2016 when it raised its age limit from 13 to 18 (source) — an R-rated adult content warning isn’t exactly necessary!

With those kind of statistics, it made me wonder: surely not every Tinder user is on there only wanting one thing? I decided to do a bit of my own research for this post with some Twitter polls, so here’s what I found out:

73% of these poll-takers have used Tinder before, the majority of whom would do so again (43 votes).

So 56% of 16 poll-takers haven’t used Tinder before because it’s sleazy, and yet 66% of 43 people who have or would use(d) Tinder would be looking for relationships rather than hook-ups? Interesting.

One thing I was wary of when I first started using Tinder was meeting up with people, a leftover cautionary effect from all that Stranger Danger scariness at school. There’s also the common understanding that Tinder dates are awkward as hell or a comedy of errors waiting to happen, right? Well…

(FYI, personally I’ve met up with three people I got talking to on Tinder — but more on that later!)

You know how I mentioned dick pics earlier?

Not trying to sweep any horrible experiences under the rug here. I know of some people receiving some truly awful, hurtful, pigheaded messages, and sending a stranger a random photo of your privates is not only straight-up weird and disgusting, it’s also illegal. I have been very fortunate: the only remotely explicit message I’ve been sent out of the blue is the crass attempt at self-depracating humour in the form of How many drinks would it take for you to sleep with me? Gross, yes. Upsetting? No.

This is what I finished on. Out of 30 people who took the final poll I sent out, only 7% (two people) described their Tinder experience as mostly bad. Thirteen people voted for mostly good, and fifteen voted for somewhere in the middle — so much better than I was expecting!


Obviously it has its horror stories, like Alice’s:

I matched with a guy that worked in Waterstones and he always used to ask me to go in and see him, but I always said no because I was busy a lot of the time. Then he was like, “I’ll come visit you at your work,” so I was like, “Ummm, if you want?” So he comes into Boots and I recognise him straight away, so I go to say hi and he just walks off?! So I thought, okay, maybe I’m not as good-looking in person, so I don’t bother messaging him. Somehow he finds me on Facebook (he doesn’t know my last name and we have no mutual friends), and he says, “I’d love to meet up with you again,” and starts sending me all these dirty messages?! Never blocked someone so quickly in my life. @queen_of_goths

But it has its fairy tales too, like Lauren’s!

 I think it’s simply a great concept you have to take with a pinch of salt. If you are looking for something short and sweet, to put it politely, you’ll probably be successful (just be safe, okay!). If you’re expecting the greatest modern love story of the technological age, you’re probs not gonna get very far. But if you go into it with the view to have a chat, maybe have a bit of a flirt and receive a little ego boost along the way, you’ll get exactly what you want if you’re able to tune out the losers. Something good could come of it.

Have you ever used dating apps before? Tell me about your experience!


I'm Juliet and I'm a twenty-something Creative Writing graduate based in the U.K. with a love of books, cats, and cosmetics.

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