Love is dead: Tinder and dating apps are killing romance

There, I said it

Whenever I’m at a bar sipping on a cocktail, or hanging out with my girls, someone always asks me if I’m on Tinder. And when I tell them no, they either scoff at me, or roll their eyes and walk away in disgust. There’s a reason why I don’t use the app, and it’s because I think it’s superficial and a complete waste of time.

This dating app, which has over 50 million users, convinces us we can find a soul mate (or a one night stand) by swiping right until we eventually find a ‘match’. Well, I’m here to tell you that dating apps like Tinder are responsible for killing romance.

Call me old fashioned, but the phrases ‘not looking for anything serious’ or ‘not into commitment’, really don’t sound too romantic. Our generation relentlessly glamorises ‘casual’ relationships and hook-ups, like a well established norm. I’m tired of hearing the normalised terms ‘fuckboys’ and ‘friends with benefits’, pretending we’re okay with living by these rules people make for us. And apps like Tinder should be blamed for this universalised ‘hook-up’ culture.

I really don’t agree with how we can order up a lover the same way we order a “special” on a menu. And if it doesn’t work out with someone, there are hundreds of other people from the dating pool to choose from, just as if we were picking sweets from a Pick’n’Mix candy bag.

We have convinced ourselves that we can have la crème de la crème due to the abundance of options that exist. Sex has become so easy that we act as if it was something handed to us on a dinner plate. Back in the day where courtship was the norm, men were more willing to ‘commit’ to women who they respected and valued. My point is, sex shouldn’t be “easy”. At least not with a thumb swipe. We are devaluing ourselves and our bodies. I’m not being prudish, but no one wants to become anyone’s side chick. So don’t be surprised when they tell you they don’t want anything “serious”.

In our digital age, we consider intimacy to be sexting or sending nudes, and we define chemistry as two people sending each other heart emojis. We scroll through profile after profile, judging attractiveness on bad quality photos and basing our interest on cheesy pick-up lines or on the type of pets people have. Pugs, anyone?

If we depend on an app to meet people, then doesn’t that make us more socially awkward? We ‘match’ because we’re too fearful of rejection or too afraid of confronting people about our feelings. Technology lets us avoid awkward situations like breaking up with someone over the phone, which happens quite often – trust me.

We depend on dating apps to hide our insecurities and validate ourselves with the number of people we ‘match’ with on Tinder and the number of likes we get on Facebook. We are taught that appearance dictates popularity on social media, so we work on perfecting our photos instead of working on ourselves. We’re too scared of showing them our flaws, the real us.

We tell ourselves ‘we’re not into commitment’ and we get into ‘casual relationships’ so we won’t get hurt. Technology allows us create this façade of ourselves with which we can lie, manipulate, deceive. Then when that time comes when we get to meet our ‘match’ in real life, most of us get disappointed and we end up feeling lonelier. If we’re basing our interest on two-dimensional profiles, then aren’t we all wasting our time?

At the end of the day, we want someone to cuddle up with when it’s raining, but we find ourselves alone in our beds with Netflix open and cold pizza for breakfast, all at the price of staying “connected.”

University of Warwick