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.

Change Can Be Uncomfortable

My acting teacher always says that there are only three constants in life: death, sickness, and change. Death and sickness are obviously terrible and change can seem like it too. But most of the time, if you are patient and open to it, it can bring about new opportunities and better situations.

When I find myself in times of sadness or anger about my current romantic status I always have to check myself. First of all for being a whiny bitch and not being grateful for what I do have and not taking responsibility for why I’m still single, but also because I know that change is only a matter of time. I could be in a partnership by Christmas if I’m lucky. I could be married in 2 years. And so could you.

Almost all of my friends are currently going through a painful breakup. Almost ALL of them. At the same time. It’s so coincidental and forces me to have to play therapist all day long. Which got me thinking, it’s so strange how jealous I was of all of these couples just last year and how much their life is changed now. They are all single again. They are all single again just like me except THEY are single and heartbroken whereas I am single and happy.

So my single friends are going to have to go through many months of self-care and therapy and anger and sadness and sleepless nights whereas I am generally happy everyday and having genuine fun with my friends and enjoying alone time. Both single, but in very different stages of single.

There is NOTHING in this world worse than being in the depressing, lonely, nightmare-you-can’t-wake-up-from fog of heartbreak. Everyday you wake up with a weight on your chest and a feeling of emptiness and slog through the hours of your day wishing you could fast-forward time and erase your memory. That is the shittiest feeling and the reason a lot of people are so frightened of falling in love again. But I digress…

How much better is life when you are just single as opposed to single and sad? SO MUCH BETTER. Enjoy that state of being! If you fit into the category of single and sad then just know that change is inevitable and time heals everything. It sucks and you might be there for quite some time. But you’ll either die or you will live through it and be a whole person again in due time.

I do have some advice though for what to do during that time. And none of it includes rebounding or sleeping around because you know what that will make you do? FEEL EVEN SHITTIER.

People say that the only way to get over someone is to get under someone else, but all that does is transfer the pain. A broken person has nothing to give. Everything that new person does sucks because they aren’t doing it like your ex did it. All of the things that the new person does that is like your ex that annoyed you will make you angry way more than it should. Your ex-partner’s dick was perfect, this new guy’s is weird. He kisses weird. His hair is a different texture. He smells different.

Even if you have NO DESIRE to ever get back with your ex, these are probably thoughts you will still have. When you have grown so accustomed to one person for so long, newness is too different too soon. If you like the new guy it will make you miss the ex. If you hate the new guy it will make you miss the ex. See the problem? Give yourself TIIIIIIMMMEEE. That shitty feeling will go away faster without adding a new schmuck into the mix.

My friend Tara (name changed) has been broken up for all of a month with a guy of 1 and a half years and yet she is already on Tinder and Match.com and setting up 2-3 dates a week. Most of them she ends up canceling, she’s told me, but she decided to go ahead and take the plunge last night. She asked me before the date if she should tell this new guy that he is her first since the ex.

“Um, HELL NO.” I replied. “If you can help it, don’t say ANYTHING about the ex.”

Clue #1 that it’s too soon: that you would even think about bringing up the ex on a first date. WHYYYYYYYY?

Then she preceded to tell me that she hopes she doesn’t cry afterwards.

Clue #2 that it’s too soon: If you think you might cry after your date.

When I was rebounding from The Producer (my only long term relationship) every single time I brought up his name to the new guy I was seeing I started crying. It was completely involuntary. Twice I remember saying to the new guy, “I promise I’m over him. It just upsets me.” I have no idea why he didn’t run for the hills after that.

After the date Tara told me that they had sex 4 times (face palm) and that he rubbed her back until she fell asleep. (P.s. this was a guy from Tinder. So essentiality it was a blind date.)

Clue #3 that it’s too soon: If you are falling into intimate relationship tendencies with someone you barely know.

I wrote a post a while back, which has since been deleted per her request, about a really good friend of mine who was super fresh out of a separation from her husband and how she was handling it (hint: not well). In it, I detailed what happened on the dates with new guys she was seeing. Basically what she was trying to do was skip all the fun of dating and getting to know someone and go straight to cuddle sessions and trips out of town. She was looking for a replacement for her ex-husband.

Clue #4 that it’s too soon: If you are trying to fill a void instead of enjoying the journey.

Change will happen whether you like it or not. My friends were all happy and in good relationships at this time last year. Nobody wants a relationship to end, but it happens. Nobody wants to be single, but that changes. You can be envious of everyone in the world for everything they have but that you could be you someday. Or those people could lose it all tomorrow.

The trick to happiness in life is to enjoy where you are any given moment even if it sucks. There are lessons to be learned and opportunities for growth. Look for the good things you have and don’t try to force anything.

 

xx,

 

Lover Lo