“When people ask me where I met my boyfriend, I honestly say Tinder and people always get taken aback by my response,” Dianne Angela, 24, shares. “Most of the time I get swarmed with far too many follow-up questions.
- Why Tinder?
- Why did you agree to meet up with him?
- Isn’t that sketchy?
- Why would you trust someone you met on the internet?
- Are you guys serious?
- Can you even find a serious relationship there?
“Sometimes people don’t question me but I know that they’re just too polite to say anything. And this is because there’s this stereotypical view on online relationships.”
Dianne is among many of us who use/used Tinder since its great boom in 2014, including in the Philippines. Tinder, a multiple dating app awardee, is a location-based online dating app that’s linked to a Facebook account. Tinder allows users to browse through profile cards, ‘swipe right’ on potentially good ones, and ‘swipe left’ to move on to the next card. If two users swiped right on each other, “It’s a match!” and the chat feature unlocks so they can communicate.
“People mostly associate online dating with the weirdos, geeks, desperates, catfishers or even cyber criminals because that’s how it is painted on media,” Dianne expressed her disappointment. “Pop culture doesn’t really give us online daters justice.”
Dianne started using Tinder in Summer 2014. She’d use it whenever she had nothing else to do or if she was procrastinating. She confessed that some times it had turned into a bonding session with her friends where they’d sit around and be like ‘yeah swipe right on that guy he’s cute.’ It was a year later, however, when she came across her now-boyfriend’s profile.
“I was bored and my roommate wasn’t home. Looking back, I probably just wanted to talk to someone.”
She was swiping through random strangers’ faces when she happened to come across one particular stranger. “Seems cute,” she told herself. When she’d tapped on his profile, she found out that they had several mutual friends, mostly from Dianne’s previous college from which her boyfriend graduated.
I swiped right not really expecting anything.
However, it was a match. They chatted. They chatted more often. Soon, their little conversations turned into a date and that first date led to many more and now Dianne and her boyfriend has been together since July 2015.
“I met him in person last week of May 2015 after maybe 2 or 3 weeks of talking. I don’t really remember how he asked me out. I just remember he was really trying to be charming but it worked and I agreed to go out with him. We went out for dinner, went to my area for drinks after, he walked me home and we really just hit it off.”
Dianne and her boyfriend live close to each other so home visits are frequent. They both enjoy staying in and watching shows and movies. They also love cats so a few months into dating, they got a cat together — Beanie — and half of the time they spend together is playing with Beanie, cuddling with him, and walking him (Beanie’s leash-trained).
“I really didn’t expect anything out of Tinder, really it was just a way for me to cure boredom and maybe meet some cool people. In the back of my mind I knew there were people who met there who hit it off and got together but I didn’t think that would happen to me especially after the first few dates I’ve had.”
I asked Dianne what her top five lessons on using Tinder are. She thus listed:
1. Foreigners are more likely to expect a hookup.
“Don’t get me wrong, locals may expect a hook up on the first date too but they will inform you or drop hints before you meet up,” Dianne shared. “I found out this is usually done with a game of 20 questions that will start normal and then progress to risque questions.
“Foreigners, on the other hand may tell you beforehand, but the ones I’ve gone out with didn’t veer into that [kind of] conversation on the app but still invited me back to their place after the first date.”
Dianne later found a thread on reddit in which [a foreigner] guy was complaining about Filipino girls treating Tinder as a dating app when it’s for hook ups. (‘Don’t blame them for not wanting to have sex with you,’ the other users responded in turn.)
2. People will tolerate BS to meet up with someone attractive.
“It’s ridiculous how much BS people are willing to put up with,” Dianne remarked.
“I have a guy friend who uses the app and there’s this one match he got that sent him a long a** message basically saying she sells perfume and can meet up with him if he’s interested to buy.
“One night [this same guy friend] took my phone and matched me with random guys, then forwarded them the [same buy-my-perfume] message. There were a few sketchy-looking matches that were very on board with the idea of meeting up [with “me”] under the buyer guise. He chatted with them for a bit, sending obvious red flags in jeje format but they were still willing to meet up.”
3. People use Tinder as a marketing tool.
According to Dianne, there are many online sellers, recruiters, and club promoters on Tinder.
“I have this one match who always posts moments with the text ‘follow me on instagram @———’. [It was obvious that he was on Tinder] to get a bigger Instagram following. I [also] matched with a guy who was gonna open up a clothing business and was looking for graphic designers so he gave me his contact details.”
Dianne admitted that she was also guilty of marketing herself on Tinder. “[N]ot as blunt as others but if the conversation veers into what I do, I will link them to my portfolio site.”
4. Tinder has become normal but there’s still a stigma on it.
“My bf and I are honest about how we met but then again our parents still don’t know and honestly I may lie about it in the future when they find out. To me, it’s not really embarrassment about online dating, I just don’t want to be asked too many questions.”
Dianne said she knows people who got into relationships with people they met on Tinder.
“A friend’s friend actually married someone she met on Tinder and I’m sure there are many more couples out there. Tinder couples do lie about how they met because our culture isn’t open about online dating.”
5. Tinder’s a great tool for introverts and busy people.
“They like [Tinder] because it takes the pressure off.”
Dianne had observed that the friends she has who are active on the app are those who are introverted, have some form of social anxiety, or have busy schedules that make them unable to meet new people. She also cited herself and her boyfriend as examples.
“[We] hate crowded places and prefer staying at home. We also don’t have time to go to social events and such so we turned to online dating because of the convenience.”
“One of the things people forget about online dating is it’s just a new medium not a separate entity,” Dianne asserted. “If I would like to go from Point A: Manila to Point B: QC, I could either take a jeep, a bus, a cab, a car, or the train. If you would like to go from Point A: Being Single to Point B: Meeting New People, online dating is one option to get to your destination.”
She described how the online world is an environment for meeting new people and dating similar to how one’s school, workplace, a social venue, and one’s circle of friends and extended circle of friends are environments for these activities too.
One of the things people forget about online dating is it’s just a new medium not a separate entity… If you would like to go from Point A: Being Single to Point B: Meeting New People, online dating is one option to get to your destination.
“There are many pros to online dating,” said Dianne. “There’s convenience, comfort, and range.
“Convenience is always something people emphasize when it comes to online dating and how can it not be convenient when your first interactions will take place on a phone in the palm of your hands? There’s no worry about spending money, looking presentable, or all those things you usually worry about during a first meeting or a first date. And that convenience leads to comfort. Not much worries, not much stress, and these two things are what won me over.”
For her, the one greatest thing about online dating is that the user can already get a preview of what he/she’s in for. The user gets to correspond with people on his/her own time and place, anticipate what the other person will be like in person, and then decide if he/she’s comfortable to meet up with the other.
“From movies to TV shows, [they all tell us that we’ll find that someone in a] magical spontaneous moment and any other story that doesn’t fit that standard should be questioned…” Dianne claimed. “Because a story about meeting the love of your life in a coffee shop while you were waiting for your order, no matter how cliché it sounds still seems like a better story than ‘I met my girlfriend online.’”
And that’s why the stigma around online dating is still present, according to her. “Even though we now live in a society where you can barely function without the internet, we still can’t wrap our heads around the fact that you can meet people online and date people you meet online.”
Even though we now live in a society where you can barely function without the internet, we still can’t wrap our heads around the fact that you can meet people online and date people you meet online.
Recently, her boyfriend got an idea for a sort of cat adoption website. He’s started working on the back end portion of the site (he does programming and development) while Dianne is tasked to work on the graphic design aspect of the site once it’s set up. It’s a personal project they’re both excited to do.
“We really don’t have that much in common,” Dianne thought, “I think our personalities just match well and that’s why the relationship works.”
Indeed, she believes that what establishes a relationship is two people who are willing to be in a relationship and what makes it last are the emotions and affections a couple feel for each other.
“At the end of the day,” she said, “how someone met his or her significant other is a small, insignificant aspect of a relationship.”
How about you? Have you tried Tinder before? What was your experience? Share it on the Comments below.
Like this post? Share it with your friends on social media! (Share buttons can be found below.)
Image via here.