After nearly four year of living single in Thailand–where the only visible bachelors around were either socially challenged or self-proclaimed eunuchs–I got on Tinder.
A lot of thought went into this decision and I wasn’t quick to make it. I mean I have been one of the noisiest ‘Tinder is the hook-up app’ shouters that I know. I was not a fan and up until this very recent point I hadn’t even given thought to online dating–let alone Tinder. Plus there was the added hurdle of needing Facebook to be on Tinder.
Would I really be willing to break my ‘no Facebook’ vow in order to find my one-true-love on Tinder?
Yes. I would.
[PSA: I have a Facebook account. I dare you to find me.]
The beloved Jaem, whom I trust as a 21st century dating guru, very clearly expressed to me that getting on Tinder would increase my likelihood of meeting single men in Chiang Mai 100 times more effectively than constant sulking and lamenting. However, during the same ‘dating advice’ session, he also suggested that ‘Christian Mingle‘ or ‘Celibate Passions‘ [it’s a thing] would maybe better suit my unorthodox ideas about sex. (A truer statement has never been.)
After much deliberation I made a profile.
I came to the conclusion that an app is what you make of it, Tinder can only be a hook-up app if I am using it to hook-up, I wouldn’t be… so I’m good.
The thrill of scrolling through the endless ocean of pictures lasted all night. Millions of attractive, age appropriate men–all in Chiang Mai–suddenly at my fingertips! Being the Tinder virgin I was, I literally swiped right on every. single. scruffy faced man bun I found.
I was matching with with men left and right. The line ‘it’s raining men’ had never been a more true statement in my life. By the end of my first night on Tinder I had two dates scheduled for later that week.
Oh poor, naive soul.
After my first Tinder rendezvous (about which I am in the process of writing a hyperbolic account of) I learned that in order for Tinder to indeed not be a hook-up app, certain modifications to my approach needed to be made.
These modifications were as follows:
1. My profile needs to include more than a picture of my hot self.
a. specifically my devotion to Jesus needs to be made known.
b. my profile needs to explicitly say that I am not interested in meeting men that are in Thailand on holiday.
c. ‘not looking for hook-ups’ should also be stated.
2. I need to look at the guys’ profiles before swiping right.
a. don’t judge a book by its cover. duh Samara.
b. no travelers.
c. no information in profile = no date with Samara
d. profiles including photos with high quantities of alcohol and/or shirtless photos will not receive a right swipe.
3. First dates will not consist of ‘getting drinks’–unless, of course, said drink is coffee or water or non-alcoholic smoothies.
The changes were made. If I were to switch now to academic writing and consider my whole Tinder dating experience a social experiment, the implementations of the treatment resulted in the following:
a. A decreased number of matches.
-As I was being much more selective about the men I swiped right to, the endless ocean of eligible dudes was transformed into a murky puddle of potentially ok dates.
-Likewise, as I was no longer just a pretty face to be swiped, but suddenly had standards and criteria, the dudes were no longer swiping me.
b. Sudden out breaks of anger.
-The inclusion of the statement “I love Jesus” seemed to press some sort of religious non-acceptence button within my few matches. Whether or not these matches swiped my picture without looking at my profile or swiped right solely to have the opportunity to let me know how much I offended them, I will never know. But suddenly, instead of offers for drinks I was receiving messages full of angry anti-christian rants and rude comments about my mention of Jesus.
-Someone did send me a message asking me if “Jesus was my dog” to which I responded with “Yea man, we’re real tight.” Not sure if that’s what he was going for. We ‘unmatched’ shortly thereafter.
c. The guys *lucky* enough to actually meet me in person still had some sort of strange expectation of me.
-Despite my efforts, I still had to deflect unwanted kisses from total strangers.
-One person went so far to text me weeks after our one 30 minute lunch and tell me he was ‘disappointed in me as a person’ (direct quote) for not contacting him again. He told me that he expected more from me. …?? I did not respond.
Needless to say, after two weeks of really trying to ‘give it a go’ and putting my pre-conccieved notions aside, I deleted the app.
Jaem was right. Tinder is not for me. Celibate Passions, here I come.