Dating with Tinder is the norm in the modern world. If you’re single and looking, not using Tinder is almost like not putting in the effort. For someone who’s never used Tinder such as myself, it is quite puzzling and bizarre.
A few years ago, I had a friend who tried to persuade me to use Tinder when I was already dating a guy for about a month. Maybe she thought we weren’t right for each other and that I should keep my options open. I guess the logic is the more choices you have from to choose, the better deal you can find eventually.
It’s a bit like going online shopping instead of really going out to shop. It’s much easier and faster to look at all the various washing machines available online than it is to go looking for different washing machines in different stores.
Dating has never been so easy before with so many choices of partners that are potentially available to us at our own convenience. However, do more choices necessarily mean better options and a better final result?
It seems more like the opposite is true – too many choices leads to confusion and anxiety and ultimately, poorer decisions.
I think dating without Tinder is not only more rewarding, but also easier in the long-run. Although initially it may seem like more effort, dating is actually a skill that once honed, can make your life a lot better.
Here are some ways to date without Tinder:
1. Give people the validation they deserve
Whether in real life or on Tinder, people go on dates for different reasons. Some people go on dates hoping to find someone they can have a serious relationship with. Others go on dates to escape loneliness or fulfil their sexual appetite.
Whatever the reason may be, most of us can probably agree on one thing: everyone goes on dates to feel a sense of validation and acceptance.
It’s a nice feeling when someone shows an interest in you and wants to get to know you. Real validation is recognising that a person is worthwhile. Making this known during a date is very important.
Some ways to show validation are to listen keenly while the person is talking and to ask questions to show interest. Compliments are also another great way of validating another person.
On Tinder, users get instant validation before the date so it’s a bit like getting the dopamine rush of being asked out on several dates without taking the effort to go out and interact with people in real life.
It’s a feel-good quick fix – a bit like watching porn for a release rather than seeking out sex with a real person for intimacy. The feel-good quick fix is addictive as it is available at your fingertips and saves you the trouble of putting yourself in awkward situations which may be uncomfortable or unnerving.
However, the more rewarding and longer-lasting feel-good moments tend to usually come from putting in a bit of effort to make the other person feel validated.
When people feel truly validated as opposed to superficially validated online, they tend to open up more. Hence validation is an important part of breaking the ice in communication and starting a relationship.
2. Be honest with yourself and others
From personal experience, I find that a straight-forward conversation can avoid a lot of confusion, misunderstanding and disappointment.
For example, on one date I actually asked the guy why he asked me out on a date. I really appreciated his honesty when he told me he asked me out on a date because he just wanted to have sex with me.
Unlike me, he said he wasn’t looking for a relationship at that point because he had just been through a nasty divorce where he had come out battered and bruised.
I completely understood. It was a bit awkward at first, but it was better for both of us in the end. You may not always get an honest answer, but when and if you do, it just makes things a whole lot easier.
Although we both did not get what we wanted that night, we both walked away quite happy as we both felt validated. We even hooked up a few days later because I thought he should be rewarded for his honesty (and I was feeling horny too), and it was totally clear and agreed upon that there were no strings attached.
3. Spend time getting to know people
Instead of just focusing on getting a date, focus on getting to know people and improving your interpersonal skills. As I mentioned earlier, dating is a skill and a major part of this skill depends on your interpersonal skills and communication skills. These two skills will not only help you date better, but will also help maintain better relationships.
The modern world often lacks the depth of real interpersonal communication. For example, in real life, a major part of sexual attraction is attributed to smell and pheromones, which is obviously missing in online communication. Being attracted to someone on Tinder is usually solely based on their physical appearances and how they portray themselves.
Another important part of real-life communication that is missing in online communication is body language. With these two very important parts of communication missing, it’s not surprising that Tinder can feel quite superficial.
Interacting with others also helps us understand ourselves better because it is only in relation to other people that we can truly see ourselves.
It’s quite understandable why people enjoy using Tinder. There’s nothing wrong with looking for a quick fix or a casual hook-up either, but I think people miss out on some of the best aspects of dating when they solely rely on Tinder to find dates or a potential partner.
There’s so much more to a person than a photograph and a few descriptive words about themselves, and you might just miss out on the love of your life or on the best sex of your life because you were too busy on Tinder to notice your potential partner sitting behind you.