Why Tinder is Destroying Your Love Life
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As a matchmaker, I spend my days talking to single folks on behalf of my clients, located all over the United States. Often in those conversations, I encounter people who rely on Tinder to meet other singles, but find their dating life unfulfilling or even depressing.
“Everyone on here is only interested in texting! No one actually ever wants to meet up!” One man told me he broke up with the last woman he dated because she didn’t want to stop swiping and keeping her “options open.”
Tinder works well for meeting a bunch of different people. Every time you open the app you see a new crop of fresh faces on an interface that encourages you to swipe. And yet, growing research indicates that repeated “swiping” over time increases anxiety and depression, damages self-esteem, and lowers confidence. These are the very same qualities that can prohibit people from finding the healthy and supportive relationship they deserve.
The rapid response nature of Tinder and other dating apps make people feel like they are succeeding in their dating life when they match with someone, but split-second gratification doesn’t actually serve a relationship long-term.
Tinder gets its users to keep coming back by replicating the same neurobiological mechanisms as a slot machine. When you swipe right on someone and its a match, the onscreen notification provides a small rush of dopamine that fades as quickly as it came, leaving you wanting more.
The neurobiological mechanisms that Tinder uses to keep you swiping feeds primal competitive instincts. The app works well at leading users to believe they are maximizing their desirability and dating potential the more matches they get.
Matchmaker Remy Boyd says that when it comes down to it, dating is a numbers game — but Tinder isn’t helping users win at it. 28-year-old Tinder user Sam says that they have felt as though the app “hijacks” their brain’s reward cycles, rerouting them to a dead end.
“All the anxieties associated with traditional dating like meeting a stranger, claiming your interest, and facing rejection are curtailed with Tinder,” says matchmaker Alyssa. Dating through a phone screen makes it easy to hide from these fears by “ghosting” rather than facing them head on.
Alyssa says that the one-dimensional experience of Tinder sucks the life out of dating because it’s strictly visual. But knowing whether you are actually attracted to someone requires you to tap into all of your senses.
The good news is there are alternatives, like working with a personal matchmaker. They encourage patience by providing clients with emotional support while they seek a long-term partnership.
“Not only do we give you human connection, we are your human connection,” says Alyssa. “We’re your personal coach, helping you navigate the uncharted waters of modern dating, and, perhaps, your next best friend.”
“Dating with a matchmaker requires you to invest time, energy, excitement, and curiosity in a connection,” says Cora, “which gives you a better chance of actually developing into something long term.”
“The matchmaking process helps love seekers be decisive and in control daters who actively go after what they want and get results!” says matchmaker Remy. Matchmakers offer a comprehensive experience - holding their clients accountable to what they are seeking, as well as filtering out matches who would repeat old, outgrown patterns of heartbreak and rejection.
“If you want to window shop, go to Tinder. It’s strictly visual. If you want to play with your other senses — to see, feel, touch, and have a human experience — go to a Matchmaker,” says Alyssa.