This has been a hot topic ever since the days of Match.com being the go-to for finding love, and with the iPhone age well in process, Tinder, Grindr and Plenty of Fish is where most people turn. Are these people looking for relationships? I won't scoff and say "No it's for a fling!" because there are people genuinely searching for love, but obviously, the vast majority are looking for a one night stand and someone to mess around with. So, I question: is it killing romance?
I won't turn my nose up to the fact that love stories have come out of online dating and dating apps, you hear it all the time, people who met on Tinder when it first rolled out that are now married with kids, to them, Tinder is the start of their love story, that right swipe and first "Heyyy," message is where things started. Was it your witty bio that attracted her or the fact there's a photo of you with a real cute puppy? Either way, it worked out.
There's also the fact that I met my other half online, not in the conventional online dating apps kind of way, but we did meet online back in 2009 (ten!!! years ago). Our relationship is new though, only a year old, but to me it's an important relationship because it's been my most meaningful relationship, and my realest. We talk about the future together and make sweet gestures that we don't do for anybody else, our long distance love is as real as anybody elses love, but we didn't meet on Tinder or Plenty Of Fish.
Tinder and hooking up are normal things people do these days
When I was single I used to hear it a lot, join tinder! You might meet someone there! But in the back of my mind, and I did often say it, is that people are only joining Tinder to hook up. Whether it's in their local area or they're on holiday looking for a one night stand. This was a close minded statement but it's still something that is true. People do use Tinder and dating apps for those reasons, but that shouldn't seclude the users that are genuinely on the app looking for true love.
I see it on Twitter a lot nowadays too, women sharing screenshots of men who have sent them a message complimenting their nice boobs or asking them something a little bit too personal for the first ever message, and it's usually shared with a snide comment about "Is this is what men have come to?" I laugh along and like and retweet the photo because it's funny, but it also has me questioning whether or not men would be so bold if they weren't hiding behind their iPhones and the safety of their home.
Late 90s and earlier 00s movies would probably have me think otherwise to be honest, I remember movies like American Pie creating characters like Stifler who would make these comments to women right in their faces - but back then this was satire, something funny that you definitely wouldn't see on a regular basis or at all. But we've given the internet the opportunity to shine a light on the people in the world who do want to talk to women this way and hope that it works.
But I've been speaking down on these dating apps a lot throughout this article, I've made it sound like I'm anti-Tinder. That's not the case. I don't actually see an issue with people hooking up and finding someone to experience sexual pleasure with through these apps, I think that everybody is entitled to have somebody in their life to mess around with, whether it's a serious relationship or not - the way some people go about it is definitely questionable, but if you're hitting it off with somebody and all both of you want is to hook up, I don't see the problem.
Apps such as Tinder have given people the freedom and time to meet someone in a world where we're all constantly busy.
I really believe that dating apps are something that the busy-bees of the world need. The people with full time jobs that consume their time who need to take a second to find someone to love, or the people that don't get out a lot and it's less likely for them to meet someone simply by chance. There's enough people like that in the world to argue that Tinder and its sister apps aren't killing romance, because people are still searching for it.
Here's the thing as well: Online dating doesn't equal a lack of romance. How is meeting someone in a bar half tipsy on rosé more romantic than just swiping right because you liked the look of someone? Romance comes in all sorts of ways, such as when you surprise your partner to something they like, going out for a candle lit dinner and finishing it off with bowling and going to the arcade like you're both still sixteen. I don't think that because you met someone by sheer chance it's more romantic than exchanging a few flirty texts with someone before meeting up with them for a date.
I also think any new thing that comes in will be quick to be accused of killing romance. Mobile phones and the internet have had the finger pointed at them for long enough, but we're all still getting in relationships and making babies, so what is the point that's trying to be made by nay-sayers?
In the modern age, I don't think that something as simple as online dating or dating apps is a strong enough trend to kill romance, in fact, I don't think that something like romance will ever die. The notion of what is deemed romantic may change over the course of time, because that's normal and our opinions on things do change as time passes by, but Tinder and it's sister apps, Match.com and it's fellow dating websites, they're just not strong enough to kill the notion of romance.