The Tinder Generation

I think that the birth of Tinder and its quick rise in popularity can tell you everything you need to know about my generation and its attitude toward sex and dating. And the fact that it has become the norm and an accepted form of online dating has created a ripple effect into dating as a whole.

You must be hot. You must be easy. You must be game.

If you’re not, I can just open up my phone, swipe right and meet up with someone else.

Just like anything else that has been made easier with advancements in technology, why would you want to try and meet people the old school way when you can just shop for people online.

And that is what Tinder is. It’s online shopping for people. There are so many options that aren’t even offered in the store! You don’t even have to interact with someone if you don’t want to! You just swipe, text, and meet! It’s so awesome!

It cheapens dating and makes people seem disposable.

I can’t believe that so many people I know use it and think it isn’t at least somewhat problematic. You can call me a prude, you can call me judgmental, and you can say I’m not hip to the future of dating. But in my experience, the people I know that use Tinder are fresh out of a breakup, need to get laid, or are bored. File all those people collectively under a bold headline that reads: Lonely and Desperate. In the moments when I’ve been lonely and desperate I’ve actually considered downloading it.

If you are lonely and desperate and don’t use Tinder, you will probably find some other similarly impersonal method for getting your rocks off. You might go to a bar and pursue the prettiest, drunkest chick in the room. However, at least you have to exercise some sort of effort and have a decent amount of game. Tinder makes everyone the laziest version of themselves. Guys send out pick up lines to 20 different girls and go with the one that responds. With a never ending arsenal of supply and demand, you will probably never strike out.

I was on Reddit the other night at around 3am, as I tend to do when I can’t sleep, and I came across a sub-Reddit entitled “Showerthoughts.” Someone posted this thought: “The worst part of Tinder is that it only helps you meet people who are at a place in their lives where using Tinder seems like a good idea.”

Many people who commented argued that it’s about being “sexually open-minded” and knowing what you’re getting and keeping your expectations low. In my opinion, it’s bad enough that we are called the “hook-up generation” now we are going to be called the “hook-up with total fucking strangers without any real-life interaction beforehand generation.” We might as well be Joaquin Phoenix in the movie “Her.” Let’s just skip even being with real people and have phone sex with operating systems!

One guy on the comment thread told this story: “a buddy of mine who is about my age – late 30s – met a girl on tinder who is 21, a law student at NYU, from a rich family, and smoking hot.
she came over to his place on a friday night for their first date. they smoked and talked for a bit before she asked him if he wanted a blow job. he obliged. she obliged. now this 21 year old beautiful overachiever comes over on the odd weekend, blows him and leaves.
as a married dude with children i find tinder more awe-inspiring than the northern lights.”

There have always been girls who are like this since the beginning of sex. However, my fear for my generation and especially for the generation behind me, is that in order for girls to compete we feel we must dole out blow jobs and smiles and pretend not to care. Because if not, you’re getting replaced by someone who will.

It may not be that serious of a problem. Maybe Tinder simply amplifies problems for you that are already there. And maybe I really am a prude and way too judgmental. But social media in general makes dating very challenging as it is. I don’t want to have to compete with the 75 strangers’ photos on your phone if I don’t impress you. And I especially don’t want to have to feel like I’m too challenging because 15 out of those 75 girls are DTF RIGHT NOW.

There was an “article” on playboy.com that several of my male friends were reposting on Facebook entitled, “16 Tinder Girls Who Totally Get It” and featured beautiful young women with bios that read like this: “I am the perfect booty call boyzz! I play lots of softball so don’t worry I know how to stroke a bat and play with balls but I mostly like them in my mouth!” This bio was from a 19 year old.

Another one reads: “Kind of girl you would take home to your mom but would blow you on the way there.” This is just a hunch, but she probably gets lots of right swipes.

Sex sells, as it always has. But don’t those make you just a little sad? Because Tinder is based solely on how hot your picture is and how witty and/or sexy your bio is, it’s showing women that it’s the only way men will be into them. It’s like selfies. If you aren’t validated by a bunch of strangers liking your photo it’s probably doing some damage to your self-esteem. It’s their choice to be involved, of course, but how could that not trickle into how they handle themselves in real life?

Just like all online dating in general, I get that it’s an easier way to meet people. But somehow society has managed to meet people and date and get married before there was the advent of the internet so I don’t know why we find it so challenging now. Oh wait yes I do. It’s because, Tinder. People would rather have their noses stuck in their phones swiping left and right then look up and around at all the people they meet on a daily basis.

People will argue that Tinder is only supposed to be used for hook-ups. But so many others will argue that they know someone who met their current boyfriend/fiance/wife on Tinder. Maybe they are true stories, maybe they are just urban myths to make people feel better about themselves for using the app. Or maybe that’s just what we have to accept about our generation. That the sexual relationship comes first now and then comes the real relationship.

Obviously my personal opinion isn’t going to stop people from using Tinder or make it go away. I guess my real fear is that I will be forced to join Tinder just to keep up.

Maybe Emotional Girls Are Better Suited To Be Alone

For creative people, part of the job requires that we feel more and experience more fully. Live more symbolically. Develop the kind of empathy that allows us to relate to everyone on a deep, personal level. How can one expect to create meaningful art if they don’t completely surrender to an open heart?

The trade-off to having those beautiful gifts, especially for women, is that it makes us more emotional. Too sensitive. Unable to handle and process pain. Our soft hearts make us more accessible to both good AND bad.

There is a quote by Alan Watts that says, “We cannot be more sensitive to pleasure without being more sensitive to pain” and a truer statement has never been uttered. And for an emotional person those high highs and low lows are beautiful and honest, but also challenging to deal with.

How can a person like this ever expect to be in a healthy relationship?

I’ve come to this point in my life where I truly feel like I can either be single and healthy, or in a relationship and in a constant state of emotional unrest and hypersensitivity.

I thought things would change once I grew up and matured. I thought maybe the problem was the guys I was choosing. I thought that I just needed more learning experiences. I thought that maybe I could just settle for someone who I felt no spark for.

But alas, I have done all those things and yet still continuously struggle for any semblance of a healthy partnership. Is this my plight in life? Is this just something I have to accept?

Maybe once I meet the one all of this will fall away. Maybe I will just have to work much harder than in the past to constantly keep a level head. Maybe I will have to give in to prescription drugs to numb the thoughts and feelings.

Every guy who has ever been in my life in any kind of romantic capacity I have fought endlessly with. My friends ask me why that is and what do we fight about? I don’t know. Everything. Because for me, once I have reached a level of intimacy where I have fully let my guard down and opened my heart, every single thing he does or says affects me.

There is a line that emotional girls like me know needs to not be crossed, but always does. That line of excusing intimacy as a reason to make everything personal. How can we love someone so much and yet be able to separate ourselves and our feelings from getting in the way of everyday life?

We can’t seem to control what we’re feeling while in a relationship. We’re red hot, on fire all the time. Sometimes, if we are 100% sober and not PMS-ing, we can explain how we are feeling in a calm way. But it’s rare. We mainly operate on two levels when we’re upset (which is a lot): passionate, angry rage, or absolute, overwhelming sadness. Few people can deal with us when we’re like that. We can barely deal with ourselves.

With ex boyfriends if I felt like I wasn’t getting enough love I felt terrified that he would leave me and I would act out. If he didn’t kiss me enough in the course of a day I would feel neglected. If he showed even a remote amount of attention to another woman I would feel an urge to strangle that woman with my bare hands and then want to make-out with another man in front of him just to get him back. Crazy, unstable tendencies.

Sometimes we have issues in friendships too. We will take certain things to heart that weren’t meant that way and it can cause tension. But the major difference is that we are not involved with our friends intimately, so there’s a separation that allows us to function in a healthy way.

So what is the solution? I’m still trying to figure that out. Do we have to be labeled the “difficult girl” the rest of our lives and find a shmuck whom is able to put up with it for a short while until he reaches his breaking point?

When I think down the line of all the life events that might come up with a partner, it gives me anxiety. Can you imaging trying to deal with an emotional girl while she is pregnant? With hormones going crazy? When she is planning her wedding? Dealing with a death?

The only times when I can remember feeling long term happiness are when I have blocked out my feelings so hard that I no longer felt anything. Which obviously isn’t how one reaches ultimate satisfaction, but at least no one can hurt you if you feel nothing. If you aren’t feeling hurt then you can feel free to live your life without distraction.

But by blocking pain, you block everything else too. So it’s not a logistical solution.

The bright side of being with an emotional girl is that she experiences happiness and joy at the same kind of intense level. No one else will appreciate your love more. It’s very easy to make her happy with minimal effort and she will always express that gratitude. Her expressions of love will make you weep at the sincerity and raw emotion, that of which most people never even skim the surface. You will never receive a card from her with a handwritten part that merely says, “I love you, Lauren”. It will be an outpouring of feelings for you.

I’m not the kind of person who just says, “sorry, this is how I am. Take it or leave it”. I am constantly working on myself and trying to be better and more mature. But at this point, I’ve come to wonder if this is just what I have to accept and that I hope someone, someday can deal with me for a lifetime.

But if not, I have also accepted the alternative reality. Maybe emotional people are just better suited to be alone.