If you’re new to the single scene and feel now is the time to venture on to Tinder, the social
networking application for dating, Michelle McBride offers advice from the frontline

2016 has been rung in and many of us have resolved to make changes to our lives. Some of us may be resolutely trying to find love — again. Thankfully, there are a lot more avenues to choose from in 2016 than 1916. But the question is which route should you follow if you are hoping to find the “one” ?

What is it about Tinder that has over 150,000 Irish people playing with fire on a daily basis? What can it really offer — apart from passing the time as you wait at the doctor’s surgery or a queue for the bus?

It allows you do a “lap” of the bar — virtually — and swipe to the right anyone who catches your online eye. Everyone else is just dismissed with a swipe to the left. Tinder also has a digital heart — it spares your feelings by leaving you none the wiser as to who has dismissed you.

But aside from the utterly superficial, what else can you expect from Tinder and how can you make sure you don’t get burnt in your search for a romantic spark?

First Dates

Bars and cafes provide us with the opportunity to watch people manoeuvre awkwardly through the motions of a first date. They are easy to spot and will be on the increase as people try to lock in love before the dreaded D-Day in February. There is nothing quite like a first date.

Tinder has slightly altered the DNA of the first date. They may have made their first impression on you when you swiped right. The problem is the first date usually kills that Tinder impression. The date is rarely who you thought they’d be. You will invariably find yourself on a Tinder date with someone who thinks that offering you a melted Malteser from their pocket constitutes a dinner date. Or feels that the fact that they don’t eat mouldy bread is one of their major selling points.

Tinder dates are not to be scoffed at. The worse the date is the better. As you listen to someone detail the delights of eating raw onion you will sit there mentally preparing yourself to get back into the real world — where you can visually vet a person before having to spend a couple of hours trying to figure out an escape route.

Tinder is also a great first date training ground. Notch up as many as you can so by the time “the one” comes along you’ll have your dating technique down to a fine art.

Keeping Good Company

Tinder is one of the few dating apps that ties in with the age old tradition of being set up by a friend — it just takes the friend out of the equation. You can see if you have any mutual friends with your potential flame and let that influence the direction of your swipe. Common connections can make going on that first date a little less daunting.

Be warned though, if don’t want details of the date to be broadcast, especially if he’s more into you than you to him, it’s best to go with someone with whom you have no common connections.

Face Value

When using Tinder you can’t help but judge a book by its cover. Be warned though, you may be looking at an old edition. That attractive guy with eau de hipster may actually look more like an uncle of your third cousin when you meet. So practice hiding your disappointed face.

All Picture No Sound

Nothing can quite prepare you for how to deal with the “It’s me, the guy from the bar” scenario. So just be ready for the possibility that the handsome fellow you’ve been messaging may not have the accent to match. In fact, there’s a chance you may not understand him at all — which may or may not be a good thing. This is a sound reason for meeting up as soon as you can. You may not fancy them as much upon discovering they sound like Rab C Nesbitt — or maybe it’ll make them all the more endearing? So, if someone is saying all the right things online, don’t delay in organising a face-to-face.

Indecent Proposal

Before the era of digital dating, indecent proposals were confined mainly to the Hollywood screens in the guise of Robert Redford. But Tinder and other such dating apps can make you blush - even if you’re alone at home on the couch flicking the channels. Chances are you will be sent a message inviting you to “swing” with other likeminded ‘tinderites’. But you don’t have to go on every date you’re invited on and these chats are great for a giggle.

If you are one of many people contemplating using Tinder to put the spark back into your love life in 2016 don’t be too worried about getting burnt. Just don’t take it or yourself too seriously.


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