Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Dating Dynamics: Tinder dun dun dun

It's judgement and thought provoking day on Unspent Thoughts.

I know this is a controversial subject but hear me out, okay?

Now I am no way an experienced person when it comes to the dating world, but I would like to call myself an experienced observer. Obviously I am a conceited person.

Dating or finding a 'significant other' is already hard enough in our day and age. With all this technology, we know everyone but we don't really know anyone.

Tinder. What a controversial topic. Teenagers love it. It's fun and no one really takes it seriously. It is said that it can't be labelled as a dating app, more as just a good time and harmless entertainment. Old school baby boomers who actually know what it is, criticise it for skipping traditional dating rules and missing out on the wondrous aspects of dating.

Me? I understand where both sides are coming from.
But I personally cannot be the one to support this.

If you don't know what Tinder is, don't worry. I didn't initially. It's basically a 'dating' app that let's you look through a couple of pictures and a small bio of the people near you. It then let's you like or swipe away those you find desirable or not. And when people mutually like each other, bam! You've got a match. Most people just chat for fun, others hook up and the unfortunate sentimental ones, try to take it seriously. But with everyone saying "Don't worry, I won't tell people how we met.", is this the best method for dating?

I have many friends who take to Tinder for fun and I get that. It's harmless, a little flirty and no one takes it seriously.

But there is something in this culture that I can't bring myself to just 'touch' the install button in the App Store, no matter how fun it is.

At first I didn't really know why I felt this way. My friends told me to get it, but there was some instinctual feeling that told me not to. I just didn't feel comfortable with it. At the time I just made the excuse that I was too lazy to create a profile. The online predator excuse doesn't work as effectively now because apparently people have forgotten about online dangers.

Now don't yell at me, I'm not saying everyone out there is a creep but I'm just saying you should still be cautious online because everything is being exposed to such a big audience.

But now, I've figured out why it bugs me so much. It's how much Tinder has changed dating dynamics or preferences. I say preferences because close minded Tinder lovers will preach over and over that no one uses it for dating anyway. However, this escalated use of Tinder has warped how we perceive people and 'partner prospects' in real life.

I had always thought, or at least hoped, that it would come down to the personality. And I'm not saying there is a universal perfect personality. I actually mean, the chemistry. I'm not gonna doubt it, looks do matter. But in the long run, it's how happy a person makes you and how you become your best self with that person, that truly decides whether you choose to stay with them or not. While looks play a part, most people try to give everyone a chance. At least get to know them as friends. And then you can decide based on the full package and not just what's on the outside.

At least, that what's my idealist side wants to be real.
On some level, I don't think that ever happened, but on another level, I always hoped that it will or at least, I would meet someone who shared these values.

With that acknowledgement, I've still noticed that the standings have shifted in recent times. You can meet someone who in your eyes is awesome, they share similar values or interests and you have a fun time with them, but you still choose the one that is 'hotter'. I'm not saying the 'hotter' person can't also be the better person. But when you choose someone you barely know, and in your opinion has no substance, and still hookup with them, despite having someone right in front of you who is your perception of the most amazing person in the world, now there's something wrong with that.

I'm not talking about looking at the people you've friend zoned, because anyone can do that rightfully. Often there are great people out there who simply aren't right for you or you just don't 'click' with.

We look for 'love' in the wrong places. Maybe if we take a step back and consider our other 'options' meaningfully, we would find someone truly worthwhile.