Ashley Watkins Walker / Hilltop Views
The case against Tinder: Save it for fires
I’ve never been in love— let’s start there. Sure, I’ve thought I’ve been, more than twice. But I was never right. So if that depletes my credibility in your eyes, I’d like to save you some sweet, sweet time.
I’m not going to tell you that you should not be on Tinder, because I don’t care, and because as my wise brother once told me, ‘should is bullshit.’ I am only here to tell you why I am certain it could not work for me, in the hopes that you might find it relatable.
My issue with using Tinder to find love is fundamental. It takes two people actively searching for a partner, and that is a problem in itself. It is inorganic, and to some degree, forced.
You open an app, and you see a photo of a person, and you instantly know a few things about them: you know their name, age (maybe) and general location. You know what they look like when they think they look best, and you know what they choose to share with you in zero to 500 characters.
Based on solely this information, you make a conscious decision to be open to the idea of viewing that person in a romantic way. Starting with your very first interaction, you two know this about each other.
I may have never been in love, but it’s supposed to be the best thing in life, right? Well, in my experience, the best stuff isn’t stuff you see coming, and it isn’t stuff you pick. It isn’t constructed or finessed. It’s organic, and it happens whether you’re present for it or not.
It’s watching my cousins dance in their living room. It’s seeing my mom laugh. It’s watching people you love grow up and being absolutely amazed, even though you know that everyone grows. It’s the smell of the deep woods. It’s music. It’s the stars. It’s noticing someone noticing you and being surprised.
Now, let me tell you how I start to like someone, and I mean really like them. First, I need to know them well. I need to see them in a struggle and I need them to see me struggle. I need to see how they walk through life without me.
We need to be really close friends. We need to laugh and I need to be comfortable with them seeing me in all the ways I am in front of people. And only then can I consider making a conscious decision to be open to the idea of viewing that person in a romantic way.
I wish that were true.
If I’m being completely honest, I like someone when I do. I don’t get to pick. All those other things are only true in my dreams, but I’m leaving it in here to show you my checklist before letting myself hold onto the giddy feeling I get when I’m around a guy who gets me.
Maybe I’m incredibly naive to think that this is an efficient way to find a partner.
But why look for a partner? If you’re so focused on finding someone else, how can you be sincerely focused on yourself? And if you’re not focused on yourself, how can you know someone is right for you?
I said I wouldn’t say what you should do, but these things are supposed to end with a ‘call to action.’ So here’s what I would do— recognize that loneliness is an unavoidable feeling at certain points in your life, and who you have around you is irrelevant. Loneliness is a result of not knowing yourself.
So just get to know yourself, and the rest will fall into place. And if it doesn’t, you’ll always have yourself, and that’s the truest love there is.