Share via Email 'Tinder is a game of Man Snap — you like a profile, you swipe it one way for Yes and the other for No'. Frank Baron for the Guardian I've been writing these dating articles for a while now, which has led me to follow the advice of readers on tried and tested methods of meeting people.
After a brief fling with someone I met internet dating through the summer , I asked "what's next? However, being big dating news at the moment, it was only a matter of time before a lovely commenter suggested Tinder. The Guardian has covered it a couple of times recently and, unlike other dating platforms, there seems to be a decent amount of people on it outside of London to make it worthwhile for anyone north of Watford.
For those who still haven't heard of Tinder , I've often seen it described as the heterosexual version of Grindr, there seems to be as many people on there looking for dates as there are casual sex, or at least they are doing a very good job of pretending to look for dates in the hope it will lead to casual sex.
Either way, it was worth a download to see what it was all about. It links to your Facebook, which has the potential to freak people out — but don't fear, there are no unsolicited posts in your timeline announcing you are looking for shag.
The settings are simple. The radius in which you are looking to meet someone, the desired age range and if you are a male or female searching for a male or female. That's it, no other deep and meaningful questions that many dating website elves use to filter out your dream partner. As my friend Ellin puts it, Tinder is a game of "man snap", you like a profile, you swipe it one way for "Yes" and the other for "No". If someone has swiped yes to you too, you are a match and can get chatting and see where it takes you.
In the case of Ellin, it took her to meet a Coffee Magnate, who has since taken her on a date "Bean Roasting". My head exploded with euphemisms. Tinder's game-like quality can make it quite addictive, and you come across some gloriously bizarre profiles in the manic swiping. After a couple of days it started to get to the point where I forgot I was looking for a date, and instead started texting screen shots of the most bonkers profile pictures to fellow Tindering friends to see if they too had "had this one?
These included; Man's child holding a machine gun, man dressed as It the clown, man inserting a dildo into his friend's mouth, man signing a wedding register with his WIFE, man wearing a Hannibal Lecter mask and holding a knife up to the camera and Karen, who isn't a man and needs to adjust her settings. Married, Shooty, Stabby, or Karen are not really qualities that I think I'd be compatible with unfortunately, but I did get chatting to a very nice man we'll call Mr T.
Mr T and I shared a mutual friend and according to our shared Facebook likes, a shared appreciation of the comedian Reggie Watts.
As we got chatting, he asked about my height. I hadn't thought about it up until this point, but all other dating sites I've experienced ask you this about yourself and as part of your ideal preferences in a partner. At 5'8" I'm fairly tall and can push 6ft in heels and he was gauging if this would be an issue as he is slightly shorter. Various polls including those undertaken by OK Cupid and beautifulpeople.
But it got me thinking, has this always been the case and should it be so much of an issue that both men and women feel the need to fib about it on dating profiles? Surely prehistoric man wasn't adding 2 inches to his cave paintings, only to turn up to a mating ritual having to sheepishly explain why he only comes up to the buffalo's chin rather than horns like in the picture?
Unlike other crafty popular dating fibs such as age and career that can be hidden on meeting, it's a lie that is outed the minute you meet someone face to face. The waiter may as well set another place at the table for the massive elephant that's also been brought into the room. The responses from the majority of the female listeners involved were that they didn't like being the taller one in a relationship. Giving reasons from feeling unable to wear high heels, liking to feel "protected" and not feeling feminine if they were towering above a man.
The men gave a more mixed response, from some that would never date taller women, to some who found the whole Amazonian feel of dating a taller woman a real turn on. The gay couple present to give their view on how this may translate into same sex couples, didn't give a toss either way. I met up with Mr T for a drink in Leeds and he was as lovely as he came across on Tinder, luckily he didn't turn up expecting to do rude things behind the pub bins and is very much on there for dating. We had a great night and agreed to stay in touch, but the romantic vibe we were both looking for wasn't really there.
If we were both on a regular dating site, we might not have met each other at all. By having all these filtering options available, isn't it just giving people unrealistic expectations that they could eventually filter out a Brad Pitt look alike, covered in baby oil, who saves kittens from trees for a living?
That one person that who makes you crease up with laughter, and your heart drop into your pants every time they smile could be hanging out on a site all along, just a few inches above or below the "perfect match" radar.