Dear men on Tinder,
I know your dirty little online dating secret. For shame. I'm letting the world know.
When a user matches with someone on this app, you get a notification that reads "Keep playing!" So you see, we are all playing a game of sorts. And many of you men are cheating. I'm sure you don't realize that your behaviour should be classified as cheating, but it does.
I sat across the table on my second date with Craig, and I was very excited. The chemistry was palpable, the back and forth was flawless and funny, our reparté was seriously on point. He was into me. Oh yeah. Fo sho.
"So why did you swipe right on me?" He asked with a twinkle in his eye.
"Probably because you were smiling in all your photos," I said. (You see, guys? This matters!)
Craig grinned and looked a little bashful.
"Why did you right-swipe me?" I followed-up.
Suddenly his expression changed and he seemed almost embarrassed. "I swipe right on everyone."
I had a mini-stroke, but I laughed it off, called him slick or something, and let it slide. After all, the date was going so well and there was so much potential! Why would I muck this up just because of one minor faux-pas that is actually the reason we had gotten started?
And this, people, is an example of ignoring a red flag. Because we dismiss the warning in favour of the butterflies in our stomachs. In the end, four months later, I learned that Craig's true nature was duplicitous. He was addicted to the start of relationships, setting women up for failure, making them feel comfortable and loved, then causing them tremendous pain by pulling the rug out from under them with no warning because he "didn't mean to get in this deep." A real catch.
So dudes, now that I'm back on the market, I'm acutely aware of what you're doing, and I pretty much have all the proof I need, aside from Craig's rather stupid confession.
By swiping right on all users, you (the cheater) get to find out every single person who has 'liked' you. You may then examine your matches and whittle them down to the ones you're actually interested in.
How is this cheating, you ask? Well, the nature of the app is intended to eliminate the sense of rejection. You can only communicate with those that liked you back. When you like, or 'right-swipe,' someone, and there is no match notification, you get to tell yourself that maybe they just haven't seen your mini-profile yet, and you cheerfully move on to the next hot-or-not contestant.
When you pretend to like everyone, you are pretty much outing all those people who liked you even though you have no interest in most of them.
What further evidence do I have, you ask? Well, a few times a week I get that happy little message - "Congratulations! You have a new match on Tinder!" Hoorah! Since my phone is always at my side, I am quick to check on notifications of all kinds, so I'm usually viewing this match within a minute or so.
I'd say about 40% of the time, the match has disappeared by the time I open the app. This means that the person on the other end is going "swipe swipe swipe swipe ooooh a match, let me see, oh... no thanks, unmatch."
The other day I was sending a message to a brand new possible suitor, but he had unmatched me by the time I hit send. Gone from my matches in a flash. The app that was supposed to be bad-feelings-free now has an element of rejection. Thanks, guys.
This behaviour is like peeking behind the curtain of a magic show. Sneaking an early look at your Christmas presents. Reading the Wikipedia entry of a movie before seeing it. It reveals a certain level of impatience and immaturity.
You're in so much of a hurry to make the matches and see who's into you that you don't even care if you want them to be your matches. Instead, you'll pick through the hits later, once you can really see all of your options. It's defeating the entire purpose of the app, if you ask me, which is to make real matches that you intended to make.
This doesn't mean I feel Tinder should be taken too seriously, but come on. Can we all just play by the rules? So men, I challenge you to take your time. Is it really so much to ask? I'm asking you to take those few seconds and make a real decision about the swipe-direction in the moment. Think about it - you're still going to have to make that decision later. It should also be noted that you're wasting people's time. It's not much time, but it's annoying to craft a cleverly flirtatious message only to see that you've ghosted before I could even say hi.
Knowing that Craig did this to me (and other women) has been a real eye-opener, especially with regards to that specific break-up. It made me realize that, when it comes down to it, he outed me for being interested in him by the constant right-swipe behaviour, and just wanted to see how far he could take it. He didn't really, actually choose me; he discovered I had said yes to him and decided to give it a whirl. Craig had the upper hand all along because of that knowledge, and I suppose I was left feeling insecure all the way through the relationship because of it.
So instead of trying to keep the power position for yourselves, guys, let's all save our right-swiping for people we're actually interested in.
The Quirky Canuck