Gemma Styles | Contributing writer | Saturday, 6 June 2015

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I Can Get On Board With Online Dating, But I'm Already Over Tinder

The Debrief: Tinder's dead - I'm all about niche dating Apps now

I've never used to be able to understand how people could form functioning relationships online - especially long-distance ones. Aside from the bedroom impossibility (I just don’t get the whole Skype sex thing), I never believed you could form the same bonds with someone through text messages and FaceTime calls - but then I met my friend Nora, and now I think I could make it work. 

Nora and I have only met face-to-face once,  for about a day and half in New York last year. Visiting a friend of a friend, I was told that she was essentially the American version of me and I was typically cynical about our apparent compatibility. But it turns out our mutual friend was right. We have been (digitally) inseparable ever since, and I honestly forget that that’s the only time we’ve met in person. From drunk bawling FaceTimes to hastily doctored photo cards there’s not much love that can’t be conveyed with a good WiFi connection. 

So what's that got to do with dating? Everything, apparently. In 2015, it’s estimated that one third of marriages start with an online connection and it looks like in the next couple of decades more than half of ALL romantic relationships will begin on the internet. I don’t think that’s necessarily anything to shy away from. From personal experience, moving to London in my early twenties, meeting date-worthy characters can be tough - and time consuming. Enter: Tinder, and now our constant need to multitask can be fulfilled by swiping left and right whilst on the bus home from Tesco. Or when you get home drunk and pissed off and need to nurture some small hope that they’re not all ARSEHOLES (never underestimate how much better a random online conversation with a nice, actually normal person can make you feel after a terrible date).

READ MORE: The Disappearing Men Of Tinder

But the problem with Tinder is… everyone is on it – and surely the beauty of being online is you can filter out all the rubbish and cut straight to the good stuff in way you’d never manage IRL. Which is where all those weirdly niche dating apps come into their own.

I'm In An Online Relationship, by Gemma Styles

All you really know about the people on Tinder is that everyone is feeling pretty amorous - but are they looking for a hook up? For polygamy? For the one? The helpful ones stick it in their bio but that might seem a bit… forward. I can definitely see the virtue of more niche sites like OpenMinded. But if you want to meet someone who is also gluten free? There’s a site for that! Yes actually.

Of course, there is a risk that I’ll get pigeon holed if I go too niche. What if I think I will only be happy with someone who also loves farming while my soul mate is off somewhere else chatting about how he loves to comb his mullet? There’s definitely a stress in the FOMO. 

But I’m starting to think it couldn’t be worse than the eye-roll message on Tinder on an average Saturday morning. 'Good morning gorgeous. You up and active now or is it a naked day in bed?' (why, are these my only two options?) So I might as well go and sign up to find someone who loves bacon crisps as much as me – there’s got be an app for that.

Liked this? You might also be interested in: 

My Name's Gemma Styles And I'm A Phone-A-Holic

The Disappearing Men Of Tinder

Tinder Is Dead: How Has The App Gone from Hero To Zero In Just Six Months?

Follow Gemma on Twitter @gemmaannestyles

Like this? Then you might also be interested in:

'My Name's Gemma Styles And I'm a Phone-A-Holic'

'You Order People Like A Chinese Takeaway' How Tinder Changed Our Lives'

Tinder Opening Lines That Won't Make You Cringe (Much...)

Follow Gemma on Twitter @GemmaAnneStyles

Photographed by Matilda Hill-Jenkins
With thanks to Airbnb

Tags: Tinder, Gemma Styles