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Woman in shock over image and message on Tinder

Is Tinder really worth your time?

While we’re not quite ready to declare Tinder the first step to the death of romance, if you’re looking for love, this app might not be your jam.

Despite its influence and popularity, a quick Google search reveals that tons of singles are giving up on and getting fed up with Tinder. Since its inception in 2012, the app has become infamous. This app seems inseparable from thoughts of creepy dudes, photos we wish we could unsee, and some of the wildest first date and first message horror stories you’ll ever hear. 

Love it or hate it, Tinder and its format are now pervasive in the world of online dating. And whether you’ve used the app or not, everyone knows the meaning of swiping left or swiping right.


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Online dating can be frustrating and time consuming, with limited if any results. Or maybe you just don’t know where to start.

In a highly contested article, Vanity Fair declared Tinder the harbinger of the “dating apocalypse.” While that sounds a tad dramatic, we can agree that Tinder gives the illusion of endless options. And when we think our possibilities are endless, we nonchalantly pick, choose, and refuse.

What happens is we’re likely to start treating potential mates with less respect and as less valuable. 

Behind the swipes

When you think of Tinder you think of hookup culture and the gamification of online dating. There’s no denying it. But what does the app really mean to singles navigating the current online dating landscape? 

Given the sheer millions of users of course there are success stories. Today, a significant number of long-term relationships and even marriages began online (Tinder included). As the stigma around online dating continues to fade, and more 35+ singles turn to dating apps, these numbers are likely to keep increasing.

Is Tinder a useful resource for those in search of serious relationships?

From app reviews to Reddit threads, from op-eds in major publications to psychological surveys, the internet seems to respond with a resounding no. It’s not impossible to find love in a hopeless place, but Tinder is an unlikely first resort.

Researchers have been examining and surveying Tinder usage, habits, and other data to study the psychology of online dating for nearly a decade now.

A study of Tinder users under 30 discovered that…

  • “only around half of the [nearly 400] volunteers had met with any other Tinder user following a match,” suggesting “that many people really are using the app recreationally.” 
  • With both men and women meeting with matches IRL only twice on average, the study also suggested that Tinder’s hookup image may no longer stand.
  • Users don’t seem all that interested in any relationship of any kind.
  • They want to dabble with the app and get a bit of excitement plus a boost of confidence out of matching with attractive singles.
  • Most never take it any further.

And when we think our possibilities are endless, we start treating potential mates with less respect and as less valuable.

What are you looking for?

As we get into our late 20s, 30s, and beyond, we start looking for connections and relationship elements beyond the physical. If you fit into these categories, you might be wondering, should I delete Tinder? The answer lies in why other people are on Tinder and whether that matches your own goals. 

In 2017, another survey found that around 48% of users aged 18-34 joined Tinder simply because of its popularity, while only 8.9% were motivated by their desire to find a romantic partner. 

So if you’re seeking relationships over recreation, Tinder is not the ideal place.

However, it does serve as a reminder that dating online means knowing what you want and staying true to that as you browse and chat with potential dates. 

Tinder does serve as a reminder that dating online means knowing what you want and staying true to that as you browse and chat with potential dates.

The Tinder effect

The problem with Tinder is that it can breed bad habits by encouraging us to treat dating like a literal game, and people like points to be scored on the playing field of instant gratification.

You swipe right, and they swipe right. Your screen lights up, pushing your pictures together and declaring, “it’s a match!” But how often does this lead to a conversation?

Sure, Tinder can be fun. But an emphasis on ease and entertainment often pushes the potential for deep connections to the wayside. 

A bad habit

Speaking of bad habits, Tinder addiction is not to be taken lightly. Do you make a daily routine out of mindlessly swiping for 30 minutes straight on your lunch break or before bed? How does that affect your day, a good night’s sleep, or your outlook on dating? A recent study in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships revealed that compulsive Tinder use led to increased feelings of loneliness and a significant impact on people already struggling with low self-esteem.

You might want to re-think your long-term relationship with this particular app.

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Is Tinder a Waste of Time?

No matter your app of choice, one thing is for sure. Singles are sick of spending tons of time and energy on dating apps with little to no results.

Apps can bring ease and accessibility to the art of dating, but if you’re still single after months or years of swiping, you’re bound to get fed up or even give up. 

So is Tinder a waste of time? It definitely can be.

Not ready to throw in the towel just yet? Try updating your bio to suit your needs. Remember to keep it upbeat, engaging, and positive, but be clear about what kind of relationship you’re looking for. Better yet, get the team at Shift Dating to do all the heavy lifting for you!

Be sure to take a mental break from the app when you need it to avoid becoming jaded.

The emphasis on ease and entertainment often pushes the potential for deep connections to the wayside.

Don’t look for love here

While there’s nothing wrong with casual fun between consenting adults, and Tinder makes it easy from almost anywhere in the world, this app is definitely not the best place to go looking for love.

A majority of users are there for fun, a temporary confidence boost, or in hopes of hooking up.

With Tinder’s free-for-all model, you’re bound to find some duds, but that doesn’t mean all hope is lost. 

When you need a hand, our professional dating coaches will help you navigate and refresh your profile and matches on any dating app. 

But there is a solution

Book your free –first consult and let us set you up for success. Better yet, we can do all the dating for you! No need to lift a finger. Just sit back, do the things you’d prefer to be doing, and watch the amazing matches show up in your inbox.

What about premium?

Maybe you’ve considered Tinder premium version? Does getting past the paywall help clean up your pool of matches or make for a better experience? 

The paid version of Tinder comes with some fun features like Passport, which allows you to simultaneously browse singles from multiple locations, and a monthly Boost that increases your profile’s visibility by pushing it into one of the top spots in your area for 30 minutes. 

Overall, paying users had fun with these shiny new perks, but it didn’t have a significant effect on their match selection or dates IRL. 

The real answer is with Shift Dating. We will work to get you the dates you’ve always wanted.

Join the growing list of happy clients who already have a head start.

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