Meeting Your BF on Tinder Is Only Weird if You Make it Weird
At this point, it seems like more couples meet online than organically. And a lot of those couples meet on Tinder. It’s not a big deal and has literally no effect on your actual relationship — except when someone makes a big deal about it.
Which is exactly what happened when the New York Times wrote all about the ~*phenomenon*~ of the respectable, long-term Tinder relationship, highlighting several couples who met on Tinder and then got married. What’s newsworthy about this? The fact that people are using Tinder for something other than one-night stands, apparently.
Now, to anyone who lives in a major city, this isn’t news at all. But for some reason, a stereotype of Tinder as a sex app is still going strong.
Where does this stigma come from, anyway? It’s never been my experience that people on Tinder are solely looking for hookups. I find that people use Tinder the same way they’d flirt in real life: to meet people and, if they find someone they like, figure out what kind of relationship makes sense for them, if any.
You might opt for one drinks date, a mutually beneficial fuck-buddy situation, or a years-long relationship. The people I know use Tinder for meeting potential partners. If those potential partnerships fizzle out after one night that’s one thing, but people on Tinder seem to be way more optimistic and relationship-oriented than they get credit for.
And as someone who met her boyfriend on Tinder, I’m no stranger to the flustered reactions that I get once in a while when I tell people how we met. But at least I don’t make it even weirder, like some of the people in the Times piece.
Let’s take Shana for example. When describing the details of her first date with her husband, whom she met on Tinder, she made this disclaimer:
“No way was he coming upstairs and he didn’t try — that’s not why I was on Tinder.”
First of all, there’s nothing wrong with having sex on a first date if it’s what you want, but thanks for perpetuating that stigma. And furthermore Shana, no one assumed that was why you were on Tinder! Why’d you have to make it weird?!
Example number two: Shana and her hubby (this girl definitely uses the word hubby) ordered a custom Tinder cake for their wedding. It’s cute, I guess, but why are they making this insignificant detail such a massive part of their story as a couple? Everyone else is over it. Way to make it weird again.
Shana also confesses that she and her husband used to lie to people and say they met in a bar — thus confirming my personal suspicion that anyone who gives you a vague “oh we met at a bar” story is lying and actually met online. Weird, Shana. It didn’t have to be weird, and then you made it weird. Three times.
And it’s not just Tinderellas engaging in this vaguely embarrassing behavior. Guys do it too. We all saw the “Straight Outta Tinder” wedding photo that surely had Eazy E rolling over in his grave.
Then we have a guy who proposed to his girlfriend by text message, because he wanted to do it via Tinder but the app wasn’t working. From the Times:
Mr. Cosgrove, 38, decided to propose using Tinder messages while sitting with Ms. Honowitz on a bench in Central Park during a trip to New York. When he ran into technical difficulties on Tinder (they couldn’t get their profiles to “match” in a different city), he sent his “Tinder message” via text, excerpted here: “Here we are. Back in the place where it all began — a little app inside your phone. But things have changed a bit since we first met here … I suppose after saying some sweet stuff to a girl on Tinder, it would be time to ask her out. … But I’ve got another question instead.”
Honestly, guys, propose by speaking out loud to your girlfriend. That is a really safe bet, no matter how you met.
Anyway, now they’re having a “tinderbaby.” Their word, not mine.
I guess it’s cool that people are embracing the fact that they met on Tinder, but for some reason, when they’re this over-the-top about it and insist on incorporating it into every single relationship milestone, it gives me hardcore secondhand embarrassment. It doesn’t seem like a big deal to me that people are meeting long-term partners on Tinder. The way you meet your partner is pretty insignificant in the grand scheme of things — why not treat it that way? By bringing it up so much, they’re making it a focal point of their relationship.
It’s kind of like how when I’m surrounded by native New Yorkers or Angelenos, I find myself making self-deprecating jokes about being from New Jersey. No one actually cares that I’m from 10 miles north of Snooki’s old stomping grounds — at least, no one except me. And when I bring it up, I’m the one making it weird and putting it at the forefront of people’s minds. And that’s exactly what it’s like when you won’t stop making self-deprecating references to meeting your long-term boo on Tinder.
So fellow Tinder users: yeah, meeting your boyfriend on Tinder is pretty much the relationship equivalent of being born in New Jersey. But let’s get over it. Where you met your significant other has little to no bearing on your actual relationship. If we all stop apologizing for our Tinder use, it’ll stop being a big deal.