The real problem with dating apps

Some thoughts on Tinder & co.

Posted by Breaking Thirty on October 15, 2019

I broke up with my boyfriend a couple of months ago. I’m slowly recovering and probably I’m writing this article as part of the journey. Friends and family have been key in this period. Their love and support was fundamental as this whole thing happened when I was moving to Switzerland for a new job. Some of these friends (and I must say they were all male) suggested me to create an account on Tinder to “speed up the recovering process and have some fun.


Being on Tinder was something I had never considered before. The whole concept was completely far away from me, like one of these admirable things that some brave people do and that one day I might do as well. Like volunteering in Africa, skiing, eating carbs on Mondays and walking bare-foot in public bathrooms. It was only when my male (and I stress male) friends told me to create a Tinder account that reality hit me with an epiphany. Gosh, I can actually be on Tinder! Of course, pondering the possibility of creating a Tinder account triggered some thoughts and considerations. More precisely, it triggered a specific feeling: repellent.


Wait a minute: repellent? This reaction caught me by surprise, even more than the realisation that I could actually be on Tinder. But why repellent? I started digging a bit deeper and investigated what was that triggered “repellent”. Since I’m a scientist -or a frustrated twenty-something girl with OCD, a lot of time to waste and a sex life that just imploded, you pick- to find this out I proceeded with analytical rigor. I first asked myself plausible reasons for the repellent feeling. Then I payed attention to the reaction in my body to see if they felt right or wrong (it worked for Socrates, so it must work for me as well!). Lastly, I motivated and articulated on these reactions. I will detail below these chains of thoughts.

Am I a prude?

It’s a plausible question given that I was born in a Catholic country and I was taught to give meaning to intimacy. However, I don’t think I have anything against going out looking for sex. Casual sex is not what bothers me about Tinder. On the contrary, if I wasn’t too busy obsessing about stuff, investigating each.single.aspect of my life and then writing blog posts about it, I would probably be on the go for hook-ups as well! So, no I honestly don’t think I dislike Tinder because I’m a prude. Next!


Am I a feminist/body-positivist?

Tinder might be seen as another way for women to be selected solely by their appearance and not by their personality and intelligence. Thus, one might think of Tinder as a perpetuator of women’s objectification. Also, one of the mainstream adage of the body positivity movement claims that “all bodies are beautiful, they aren’t a measure of women’s worth and true beauty comes from within”. I agree with that and I consider myself a feminist as well because I believe in equal opportunities for both men and women. However, I also know that attraction isn’t politically correct. If it’s true that men and women choose their partners according to different criteria, then there’s nobody to be blamed here. I’m not sure about what’s going on inside men’s brain (and I really don’t want to know!). But if what us women identify as “objectification” corresponds in men’s words to “I’m attracted to you and you’re beautiful and attractive and that’s why I’m attracted to you” (I mean, should I expect more than a tautology from a male brain?), then please please, you men out there, swipe to the damn direction that corresponds to a yes (I told you I don’t have Tinder!) and go on objectifying me every day of the week!


Am I a nostalgic epicurean?

Yes, finally this does feel right to me! I can feel I had a positive reaction in my body, like the one Socrates had when he asked himself: “Should I be executed?”. I finally found the reason behind my “repellent” reaction for Tinder. Let’s articulate more on this. It’s the same reason why I dislike Netflix, Spotify, and Audible and all the others Cloud-based entertainment services. I’m not subscribed to any of the above because I fear that they would steal from me the pleasure of having something to look forward to. I remember the excitement I had waiting for the new episode of my favourite TV series for an entire week. And I remember how great it felt to watch that only episode after seven days. And I remember how I would wake up the next morning still thinking about it, ready to wait for more seven days. Same thing with songs at the radio and books at the bookstore. I’m afraid that having access to infinite amount of TV series, movies, songs and books would undervalue the single episode, movie, song or book. I still want them to spark joy and not to numb me. The same thing holds true with dates. I’m afraid I won’t value the date enough to be excited for it before, to enjoy it while it is happening and to still be thinking about it afterwards. And I’m afraid I would be, instead, constantly projected towards the next guy and the next date and the next hook-up again and again and not on the present moment… cause, apparently, you’re one swipe away from the next best thing!


Uh-uh I made it! I managed to understand why I felt repellent towards Tinder. It’s because I’m a nostalgic epicurean, how cool is that? Going deep and understanding more about myself always makes me feel so good, no matter how many dates and hook-ups I have missed in the meanwhile! If I’ll ever create a Tinder account, I’ll be able to write “nostalgic epicurean” after “breaking thirty, computer scientist, OCD, Nutella eater, Type A personality, Gilmore Girls lover” and all the other labels I came up with about myself!

Quote Roosevelt

Tell me more about your subscriptions: do you have Netflix, Spotify or Audible? And what about Tinder? I want to hear it all. If you want more of this type of blog posts, please subscribe to the Breaking Thirty Newsletter to be notified whenever a new one will be published.

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