Tinder Matches: Is Swiping the New Evolution?

OFF-tindercostume

A swipe right for YES and a swipe left for NOPE. This tiny superficial action is the basis for the new dating app Tinder. (I know it’s not *that* new, but it’s new for us over-40s.) And there’s even the, “Oops, she was hot and I swiped the wrong way.” No remedy for that. You’ve got one shot at them. If you fail-swipe they are either gone for ever, or temporarily in your YES column. (Those you can easily un-match.) There is no un-do.

The dating odds are only improved by upping your numbers. Tinder is one simple way to do that.

If you can get the little beast running on your phone, you’re in for some fun. A sort of fun, until the novelty wears off, and it does wear off. There are only three kinds of filtering in Tinder: 1. age-range; 2. geographic proximity; 3. male or female. And from there you are on your own. Jump into a new part of town, check Tinder. Fly to a new city for business, checkTinder. Want a mid-day jolt of dopamine, check Tinder.

But the success at then taking a “match” to an in-person date is a bit more of a trick. There’s simply not much to go on from their Tinder profile. If that’s okay with you, jump in and see what you find. See if Tinder is your gateway beyond the Match.coms and OK Cupids. My milage has varied tremendously.

You have very few clues before you reach out and contact a “match” on Tinder.

  • They’ve swiped you YES (unless it was an accident) and therefore your photos appear to be within their “desirable” range
  • A few photos can give you “some” indication of what they look like (but pictures are easy to manipulate and might be YEARS old)
  • They might have a short bio
  • You can see a few of their mutual Facebook interests
  • You can see how many Facebook connections you have

And it’s this last one that could provide a keyhole into a deeper examination of this “potential.” See, I don’t want to waste a lot of time on near-misses, and I want to spend zero time on “nah” matches. So a little sleuthing can help me determine if there’s any extraordinary in the Tinder match before I reach out to begin the flirtation and logistics portion of the process.

If you want to get a closer look at your Tinder match you can cruise the “mutual friends” section of Tinder and look for someone you know. The better you know them the more likely it will be that you can get insider info on this person. Of course the first step is to find them in the “friends” tab of your friend on Facebook. And since Tinder uses real first names, you’ll probably be able to find your Tinder target pretty easily. And if they have a public Facebook profile, Boom, you’ve got more information than anyone would share on a dating site. What are they into? What does today’s selfie look like? What kind of updates do they post about their interests or themselves?

That’s the beauty of Tinder: it is 100% photo-driven. Either you are a YES or a NOPE to someone.

And digging a little deeper (you can actually do this on ANY dating site) you can take their photos (even a screen grab from Tinder works) and run them through Google’s image search. If there’s a photo that they also shared on LinkedIn or Instagram, DING, you’ve got another source of info about this potential. It might seem like stalking, but if you think people aren’t doing this, umm… maybe you should get off the net. Google spiders everything and if you’ve posted a photo somewhere, and then used that same photo on your dating profile, um… well, you need to be informed that this is happening.

PERSONAL DATING DATA: Go try it on your dating profile pics. Pick one and go to Google.com. Then click on the Images tab and you will see an area you can drag your photo onto and Google will do the rest. You might be surprised, or you might WANT people to find out more about you.  If you’re photos are too revealing, you might select other ones to use on your Tinder profile.

Anyway, we’ve come full circle now back to purely physical attraction as an indicator of potential chemistry. It’s an easy place to start. And that’s the beauty of Tinder: it is 100% photo-driven. Either you are a YES or a NOPE to someone. And perhaps that’s as good an indication (even if wildy superficial) as any of your potential match with someone. A friend was giving me a hard time about online dating, a number of months ago. She was saying how she had never tried it and thought it was demeaning and awful that I would judge someone purely on their photos.

“You might be missing a really great women. The perfect woman for you, in fact. Because you’re so stuck on the superficial appearances.”

“You are right. However, it’s a numbers game,” I told her. “If you have a better suggestion of how to filter down 1,823 potential matches into a few that I can manage, I’d be open to your suggestions. “Curb appeal” is the quickest filter I know, just like in real estate. If you don’t like the way the house looks from the street, you’re not going to be all that happy about living there.

Get it or not, Tinder is booming. And my experience with two actual in-person meetings was surprisingly good. One hit and one miss. Unfortunately the hit turned into a false positive, but that’s also part of the game. You need a lot of potentials to find the next YES. I mean the real yes. The next relationship. I’ve been at it for over two years and the odds are only improved by upping your numbers. Tinder is one simple way to do that.

From there, I take my time before meeting someone. I want to learn more before wasting an evening on small talk with a big NO. And in my new learnings I think a phone call is mandatory. I want to hear her voice and imagine her before I meet her in-person, and that requires a bit more than a photo and bio, for me.

Get your Tinder, Match, or OK Cupid on, and get on with getting it on.

Sincerely,

The Off Parent
@theoffparent

back to On Dating Again

related posts:

image: tinder costume, nathan rupert, creative commons usage (this may be the costume for me, if I had a halloween party)

Tinder Dating is New and Fun and Lacking Most Filters

OFF-tindergirl

Okay, so we’re all getting in on the game of Tinder. (see: She Came On Like a Freight Train – The Woman Who Says “Yes”) But it’s more game than dating, in my experience. Swiping left or right might be a bad metaphor for relationships. If your response and requirements are so superficial, perhaps you are looking for something different than I am.

Online dating is hard enough. With most online dating sites you get photos and a few words to determine if the person is a potential fit. LESSON #1: 99% of them are not.

Okay, so what do we have to go on with Tinder?

  • Photos
  • Pseudo-anonymity
  • Number of mutual friends on FB (um, if you haven’t figured this out yet, you can easily FIND the actual person on FB once you have a picture and mutual friend, duh!)
  • Some FB similarities
  • Filtered only by proximity and age-range
  • A “am I hot or not” swipe system for saying YES or NOPE.

There is very little about Tinder that is really new. But it’s the new thing. The idea of it being a hookup tool for younger users, might be true, but as us older folks jump on, we’re looking for a new “dating app.” And if less is more then Tinder might be for you.

I have to admit, I was encouraged by my first Tinder experience. I mean, wow. The first MATCH ever followed through within a day and we were kissing on the first date. Wow.

Here is how my impression of Tinder has changed over time.

A. My initial impression before I got a Match. “Um, yeah this is good for the hookup kids.”

B. My impression after my first YES and eventual MEH: “Hot damn, maybe there are more just like her.”

C. My impression now after date #2 and #3: “Yeah, it’s worse than Match.com. I’ve got nothing more than a photo. And the superficial selection process is somewhat demeaning.”

And yet… After all that, Tinder has something going for it. Simplicity. There’s something sort of thrilling at opening up the app and seeing the little concentric circles going radiating out from your picture, “Finding people nearby.” But of course, that promise is quickly brought back to reality. The women in my sphere are not looking for a hookup, as the “nearby” might suggest. And that’s fine, that’s not really what I’m after either.

tinder-screenSo I keep coming back, I keep opening the app and watching the little circles do their magic, like some magical searching mechanism, that I keep encouraging, “Find me the girl, Tinder. Find her now!”

But once you’ve gotten over the initial rush, and I have to admit my first experience *was* extraordinary, you’ve got a dating app, with *much less* information than you have on other sites. The newness of the swipe grows old as the app opens up to “everyone” within your radius. Once you get going (I think Tinder rewards frequent check-ins) the blur of Tinder-ites becomes more of a tedium than a thrill.

You’ve got the same problems as any other online dating site, but you have less information. My second Tinder date was an amazing looker in her pictures, and when she arrived at our coffee date, disclaiming that she was “coming directly from the horse barn,” it was as if she were trying to look unattractive. I couldn’t make the connection between who I was seeing and who I had swiped right. And my third Tinder date was just… boring. Zero connection. Zero game. I guess I should’ve taken notice of how quickly she wanted to meet without any banter.

Banter is good. Banter and the art of the selfie, may be the two sharpest indicators of a match for me. If she’s got no verbal game I’m done. If her pictures are glam shots (I’m swiping left anyway) or don’t match up with who shows up, I’m gone. With Tinder, you’ve got very few indicators of who you might be setting up to enjoy or waste time with.

I’m really done with the boring “hello” date. My criteria for a face-to-face meeting these days is “amazing.” If she’s not got some quality or fantastic attractant I’m not going to follow-up. I’ve got over 2,000 “hidden” women profiles on Match. That’s a lot of filtering. If I had to swipe 2,000 women to the left, my finger is going to get tired real quick. Tinder, check it out, but don’t be surprised to see a lot of the same faces from Match or OK Cupid.

Perhaps Tinder’s real winning application is travel. If you’re heading into town for a music festival, for example, and you’d like to meet someone for drinks, Tinder might be your winner app. It’s easy to open when you hit the ground. You are likely to see a lot of potentials in your proximity. And if that’s what you’re looking for, who knows, perhaps adults are hooking up on Tinder as much as the kids are. I’ve not travelled with Tinder yet, but I think it might be a neat experiment.

In the end the simplicity is the pro and con of Tinder. It’s easy and sorta-fun to open the app and see who shows up. It’s a little hit of “maybe” dopamine. But the thrill quickly wears off after you’ve been swiping for a while without any YESes. And sad when you get no matches at all. Maybe #4 is going to be a hit for me. That’s always the thought with online dating sites, “maybe she’s out there NOW,” I’d better go check.

Give it a go and let me know what you think.

Sincerely,

The Off Parent
@theoffparent

back to On Dating Again

related posts:

image: almost every girl on tinder, post memes, creative commons usage

Love at the Speed of Text or Tinder or … f a s t

OFF-dontworry

Okay, texting is not a great method for finding love, but it’s what we’ve got. And at least, if you’re got their phone number you’re a step closer to contacting them for real, maybe “in-person” even. So when you send the

Screen Shot 2014-09-09 at 8.21.06 AM

and you don’t get an immediate response, just chill. However, when you don’t get the message until a second message is sent, you’ve probably already been deleted from “potential” contacts.

plansforsat

And that’s it… It’s that simple to “know” you’re done. Whatever the chemistry was on your end, it was not reciprocated or appreciated. When there is a YES on both ends the delays are short and sweet. So that Match date while exciting is a NO. Oh well…

And then we move on to the speed of Tinder or it’s imitators. (Hinge or LinkedUp) And while I just got my account activated yesterday, I’m aware that this ultra-superficial process is a hot topic. My friend who has had some success with Tinder is a big fan. In fact, one of the interesting trends with these apps is travel. Imagine hitting a new city and opening up your Tinder app to see who in the NEW area might be up for a drink… or who knows…

I’m guessing she’s had better offers from younger and cuter guys. Probably a lot of them.

If we are moving into an era where women’s sexuality is going to be as liberated as men’s then why wouldn’t a woman hit us up on Tinder for a drink and then invite us to their room. It’s happening all around us. I don’t think it’s my bag, and it’s a bit exhausting to be flicking photos to the left for NOPE and right for YES. And as a newbie I have yet to see the JOIN signal on any of the apps. But it’s 100% image driven. And while that’s interesting, the context provided on dating sites is valuable.

I don’t want to waste an evening on a Tinder date any more than I do on a mismatched Match date. Time is currency and loser dates are like throwing $45 and an evening into the trashcan. I don’t mean to be harsh, but something about these “hookup-driven” apps are a turn off for me. Even when the woman says, “No looking for a hookup date, if that’s what your after just PASS,” I’m not so sure that there’s much else possible.

Sure you get a few pictures. And a tiny snippet of content from their Facebook profile. But that’s it. And again, there is a lot you can glean from a texting conversation, but this might be a younger person’s game. But who knows, I’ve not gotten a sweet hit yet.

Slow dating is where my head is at, at the moment. No hurry to meet unless there’s some real magic.

And finally there’s the new girl on Match. Soooo cute and seemingly available.

Screen Shot 2014-09-09 at 8.54.56 AM

Who says “Let’s go” to every one of my emails. BUT… she’s new and she’s about to get flooded with dudes with offers as good or better than mine. Maybe closer to her age, 43, and type. She passed her phone number on to me very quickly and suggested a walk around the lake with her dog, Frank. I didn’t even know her name when we started texting, but I knew her dog’s name.

She sure came back strong and funny. But nothing after the initial flood of conversation and “let’s go” emails.

Needless to say she’s gone quiet. We even exchanged a few texts and she did give me her name. And she kept up the “let’s go” attitude, but I can’t get a “hello” date set no matter how casual and easy I am making it.

In my experience striking for the NEW TO MATCH folks is a good idea. They say all of the good ones are taken, and perhaps the really good ones are snapped up quickly. But for sure, the good and cute and new ones on Match are overwhelmed rather quickly if they are female. We have been trained, as men, to be the aggressor, the initiator. And that doesn’t seem to have changed on the dating sites at this point. Or perhaps I’m not in the target range of any women that are attractive to me. There are certainly a few older women who introduce themselves. And maybe that’s how I appear to this lovely and new 43 year-old.

She sure came back strong and funny. But nothing after the initial flood of conversation and “let’s go” emails. I’m guessing she’s had better offers from younger and cuter guys. Probably a lot of them. I’ll be surprised if I can get a response out of her at all now that she’s gotten the lay of the land.

And this made me smile today.

tinder-yes

Except it was a false positive. No matches yet. Onward through the fog and fury of online dating and the new quick apps.

Sincerely,

The Off Parent
@theoffparent

back to On Dating Again

related posts:

image: giant-tinder-polypore, emilian robert vicole, creative commons image

just for fun, don’t forget to practice safe sex (joke):

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