Entering the dating pool after a marriage’s end can be scary. That said, the day after my ex and I officially called it quits I jumped in anyway. Two plus years later, I have spent more than my fair share of time (and money) looking for love and companionship online. Have my efforts been successful? That depends on how success is defined.
Whether online dating remains the most efficient or best resource for finding a satisfying relationship is debatable. Recalling the countless men I have spoken to (I actually cannot anymore), and remembering (or choosing to forget) those I ventured out to meet, my online endeavors nonetheless acquainted me with people I wouldn’t have otherwise met. But having yet to find the meaningful relationship I desire, and looking back at the endless hours spent in front of my computer searching for prospects, reading profiles, instant messaging and answering emails, it’s no wonder I eventually tired of the hunt or, as it oftentimes feels, being the hunted.
At the time though, especially for a stay-at-home mom newly separated as I was, traditional online dating sites remained my most viable option for meeting other singles. Excited for a fresh start, I was not only organized in my search but thorough as well. The results were varying.
Recently I decided to give the free phone app, Tinder, a whirl. After only a few weeks, it’s far from what I expected, leaving me not only pleasantly surprised but guardedly optimistic about my future love life as well.
For those unfamiliar, Tinder is a phone app that pares down the detailed and potentially lengthy profiles typical of traditional online dating sites to a few photos and short commentary about oneself, should a member choose to write anything at all. GPS driven, the app pairs members based on proximity and shared interests via Facebook “likes,” in addition to common Facebook friends.
Scrolling through thousands of potential matches one need only swipe right to show interest or left to move on. When the gigabytes align and two individuals swipe right on each other’s profile, a match is instantly made. Either party is then free to initiate contact by sending a text message through the app. It couldn’t be quicker or simpler. Perfect for the single mom on the go.
Though its reputation precedes it as a hookup app, likely out of its similarities to predecessor Grindr, an app designed to facilitate men’s impromptu homosexual encounters, Tinder need not be anything of the sort. Yes, there are those members looking for some good old-fashioned no strings attached fun. But what’s great is that the people who are usually say so up front. Like what you see? Swipe right for yes. No? Swipe left.
Different strokes for different folks.
Because talk is cheap, especially on Tinder, it’s critical to make the most of every photo you post. Looking for a serious relationship? Don’t only say it, show it. Even though many opt to, I personally choose not to post pictures of my children on dating sites. However, I do make a positive mental note when I see a single dad with his children, still keeping in mind the potential for deceptive advertising.
Looking for a casual fling? Those photos of you rocking out, getting loaded, smoking or just looking smoking hot can go a long way toward expressing your wild side and intentions.
As for the bathroom selfie, it still doesn’t compute for me. But that doesn’t mean it won’t for someone else. After all, someone’s swipe left is another’s swipe right. Like they say in tennis, it’s all in the wrist.
What has your experience been with online dating and dating apps?