Instant Gratification – How Tinder Almost Ruined Dating for Millennials

Have you ever asked your parents – or better yet, your grandparents, how they met?

Chances are it did NOT go something like this. ‘Well, I saw a photo of your Pops on a dating app, and I thought he looked DTF! So I swiped right, and he swiped right, and we met up at a bar, got fall-down drunk and went back to his share house where we had disappointing, trying-to-be-quiet sex while trying to remember each other’s names’

I’m the first to admit that Tinder and similar dating apps are excellent for that quick, easy and (mostly) drama free style of interaction. It is the perfect fit for our generation – we are the generation who grew up with the world at our fingertips, and a smartphone placed in our hands as quickly as possible. Since we were born we’ve been taught to strive for more. Better grades, better university offers, better jobs, more money, better cars, thinner waste lines. There is a reason that we are the generation who coined the phrases ‘FOMO’ and ‘YOLO’. We are constantly competing to have the most and be the best, while also being hyper aware that our youth will fade and there is no time like the present. Why wait for tomorrow? It is only natural that we date the way we live the rest of our lives – fast, easy, and as much as possible.

But we are also the generation who have been taught to continually question. I am starting to realise that long-term, healthy relationships take time, require nurturing, and, yes, they do require us to leave the all-you-can-eat buffet of choices that exist on our Tinder accounts. I have recently started dating. And by dating I don’t mean a few drunken bar crawls, awkward morning walk of shames and then slowly ‘ghosting’ when you are bored of the eight conversations you’ve had about their favourite pizza topping in two weeks. I mean dating. I mean dinner reservations, kisses on the cheek, a few glasses of wine and driving home – alone. I’ve recently met a man who shatters the concept I used to hold of what dating meant. After the first date (two beers over dinner at a local pub) he gave me a kiss on the cheek and called me a cab. He texted me when he got home to thank me for a wonderful night. I was a little confused as to why, if he’d had such a good time, I was in bed alone… but I thought ‘maybe he is old fashioned. I’m sure I’ll hear from him tomorrow and he will invite me to his place’…… And then I didn’t hear from him. FOR THREE DAYS.

Apparently this is an ancient relic of dating from times long ago. Before smart phones, text messages, WhatsApp, Facebook, tinder and every other means of communication that we use to studiously avoid talking to each other, this three day rule was a thing.

I actually almost cancelled the second date, because I’d had a busy day and I was tired. And dates are disposable, right? I’ve done it a million times, cancelled a date on the day, and met up with them a few days later for a shag instead. But, intrigued by how different he seemed, I went. I was prepared for what I expected to be a night of sexual tension, a few too many drinks, and finally making it home to take off this incredibly uncomfortable (but sexy) lingerie. Imagine my complete shock when he greeted me with a kiss on the cheek, and led me to a beautiful restaurant where he had made us a reservation.

We sat for three hours, laughing, talking, and getting to know each other over a few glasses of wine and truffled lobster. He told me about his family, and asked about my career. We swapped travel stories and talked about our goals. Once we finished dinner we walked out into the cold, and he called me a cab. A kiss on the cheek, a text later that night to say thank you for a wonderful evening, and that was it. I was incredibly disappointed. I had thought it was going so well. I must just not be his type? My male friends shook their heads in sympathy and told me I might have been friend zoned. My girlfriends assumed he must be gay. I was so, so confused.

When asked me out for the third date, I remembered seeing in Hollywood movies pre-1998 that the third date is where things happen. He remembered I had said on our first date that I love whiskey, and had found a whiskey lounge that I’d never been to before. He gave me a kiss on the cheek, and I was embarrassed by the butterflies in my stomach and the oddest sensation of being nervous and excited at the same time. We spent five hours laughing, talking, drinking top shelf whiskey and making long, drawn out eye contact, and I was yet again taken aback by how comfortable I felt in his presence. He hadn’t even seen me naked yet. But here he was, asking about my parents and what I wanted to be doing in five years’ time. As the night started to draw to a close, I started to realise… I didn’t want to go home with him yet. I had only known him two weeks. I still had so much I wanted to know about him before we confused the situation with all the emotions that sex can bring. When he opened the door to my cab and gave me a quick but passionate kiss on the lips, I realised how backwards I had been doing things. Shagging someone to see if I liked them, and if I was still interested after a few weeks then maybe considering actually getting to know them… when did that become how we date?

I went home and deleted tinder. How deeply depressing that the first time someone had acted like a gentleman, and treated me like a lady, I had mistaken it for disinterest. If you want something you’ve never had – you need to do something you’ve never done. If you are searching for more than the instant gratification and ego boost that Tinder can provide, then put down your smartphone, work on your conversation skills and date the way your parents did. It’s surprisingly beautiful.

3 thoughts on “Instant Gratification – How Tinder Almost Ruined Dating for Millennials

  1. Lot of words are fro the boom children unknown and as parents and grandparents we are in away sometimes lost, not knowing what the kids are talking about when they say: “he looked DTF” , or “we are the generation who coined the phrases ‘FOMO’ and ‘YOLO’. ” (No idea what it means.)

    Though we do know when the 2nd World War raced over Europe mankind was terrible shaken and it took many years before we got back on track with healed wounds. As schoolchildren we were happy with the one book we had lying on our bench for three people to use. We appreciated all the small things we could have, though I do agree like any child we also wanted sometimes some more. (Even when I was brought up in the luxury household of a then still wealthy family.)

    Our children and their children got carried away by the media who wanted people to believe they had to “strive for more. Better grades, better university offers, better jobs, more money, better cars, thinner waste lines.” and stimulated the concurrence.

    All the thriving business has taken away the humankind, the normal ethics and laws of nature. Nobody seems to bother about ethics any more, and the God of gods for most does not exist. they have be come wild animal, predators who think mostly only at themselves. Thy not all can not blame their parents, because there where parents who did their best to bring human values to the core. But somehow the materialism took the overhand and even the religiously brought up ones got clinched or entrapped by the cruel materialistic world.

    For years our previous, we and the next generation(s) tried to have the present generation to continually question, but somehow sometimes we do have to wonder if we succeeded. We see that a lot of youngsters do not question. At the other hand we are also happy that there are people daring to question and also daring (much more than we did) to speak out.

    Writing we can find on this site and some others are a necessary witnessing, also when it are not always such pleasant happenings and not such liked subjects by the mainline population. It needs courage to come up wit writings like “The Trials of Being a Woman” and the articles on abortion. also it is nice there are some people wanting to share their feelings with others so that they might help others. Today, like it was not in the open in the past, to many live a life which is not their own. Oh so many are also today a prisoner in that what society is demanding from them. But today lots become caught by the designer and lifestyle magazines, becoming prisoner of designer clothes and brands. In the 1990s the brand issue may have been more terrible than now but it is still a big issue for many. It is incredible how some even want to cue up for hours in the night to have the first new computer gadget or game. We see that many spend a fortune on computers, smartphones, ridiculous gadgets and silly things like stickers or things which present only outer shine. The inner site of man is too often overlooked, and too many people just spent a lot on meaningless possessions and labels.

    We can only hope there will come a strong reaction against the “meat inspection” tinder and other dating sites brought to the present generation who seems first to look at the outside and does forget to much that the inside is the most important. What is in the heart is the thing which should keep us busy and having us to make our choices.

    It is nice to hear calls coming against the ego boosts people want so much today. It would be nice again when there would come youngsters who do not sit all the time asocial looking at their “smart”phones staring at their so called (internet) “friends” whilst they forget to make contact in real life with people who could become real friends.

    Websites as this one in a certain way do give us some hope for bettering. Continue to tackle perhaps not such popular subjects or daring to open your soul.
    I do hope you also shall be able to share some human love and find it worth living in a continues growing society which continually needs voices to come out and awaken others.

    Good luck.

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  2. This is great. And I must say, absolutely loved your intro…made me laugh! I don’t see the shame in online dating, but am quite wary of apps like Tinder…you hit the money on that one–all there is is instant gratification!

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    1. Thanks Cynthia, glad you liked it!
      Ans absolutely – I’m definitely guilty of using online dating to my advantage. It’s good to see the tide turning though, as people start going back to an age of dating that seemed to mean a little bit more.

      Like

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