Tinder Might Be Making You Miserable

Have you ever wondered why dating is so hard? You're fun, caring and open to a relationship — you just can't seem to find the right guy. With work, school, family, and friends, there doesn't seem to be enough time to go out and meet other singles. We get it, dating can be time consuming. That's why dating apps like Tinder were created. They're supposed to take the stress away from dating and provide you with an exciting and easy way to meet people in your area. Sounds great... in theory! Are you starting to feel miserable about yourself, and dating all together? It's not you, it's Tinder. Here's why:

Men treat it like a game

The purpose of Tinder is to find someone you're interested in. If you swipe right for him, and he swipes right for you, you guys are a match! From there, you can get to know one another and hopefully meet in person. What could be wrong with that? A lot! According to a study led by Dr. Gareth Tyson, lecturer of Queen Mary University of London, men are swiping right on every profile they see, regardless of if they're actually interested in the person. Some men are using Tinder like a game, and that makes finding a real connection with someone unlikely. Is he really interested in you, or does he just want to see how many girls he can match up with? You can't be sure, and that kind of uncertainty isn't what you need right now.

You feel rejected

While Tinder can make you feel rejected, you might take solace in knowing that this affects both sexes, as this male writer shows in Women's Health. How could it not? People are choosing whether to swipe right or left, based solely off your pictures. Yes, you include some facts about yourself, but the image is the first thing someone sees. Tinder can be hard for women who find themselves with no matches, and hard for men who reach out to a match and get nothing but radio silence. Tinder can make you feel a weird sense of rejection that's coming from strangers online. There's already so much rejection out there, you don't need to add any additional negativity to your life.

Instant validation

You see a guy you like on Tinder and you swipe right. Minutes later your phone shows that you two are a match. Bam! Instant gratification. You're smiling from ear to ear because all of a sudden, you feel better about yourself. A complete stranger swiped right on your picture, and that makes you feel great. We're not saying it's bad to feel good, but seeking that kind of validation from someone you don't know can be a slippery slope. What if you two weren't a match? You'd feel slightly bad about yourself, right? People who are on tinder "may begin to feel depersonalized, and disposable," stated Jessica Strübel, PhD, in reference to research she co-authored about the online dating app. Your self-worth shouldn't be determined by anyone but YOU! Don't let guys you don't even know control whether or not you feel good or bad about yourself.

It gives you low self-esteem

Are you paying more attention to your physical appearance? According to Strubel's research, which she presented at The American Psychological Association's annual convention, tinder users have a less positive perception of body image than those who don't use the app. It makes sense. On Tinder, you're literally being evaluated based off your pictures! You want to look as perfect as possible in order to draw in matches. But no one's perfect, and spending all that time in the mirror is going to bring up insecurities and cause low self-esteem. You might find yourself wanting to change certain aspects of what you look like in order to become more attractive to other men. It's fine to change for yourself, but don't feel pressured to change for other people. Obsessing and constantly worrying about what you look like is doing more harm than good.

First dates don't always happen

So you've matched with someone on Tinder... now what? There are only three options. You could reach out to him, he could reach out out to you, or nothing happens and you two never speak. It turns out that the third option is most likely. Both men and women are often staying pretty quiet once they have a match. Men aren't always messaging first and women aren't either — what's the point then? You're on Tinder to make a connection with someone, not to just stare at all your matches. If he's not willing to speak and you aren't either, Tinder might just be wasting your time.

You're judging, too

It's not just men, women are also guilty of judging a book by it's a cover. It's hard not to, Tinder makes it easy to form a decision based completely off what someone looks like. Men are swiping right for anyone they see, but that's not the case for women. Instead of making snap decisions, women take their time — they're incredibly selective when deciding if they should swipe left or right. Now, this could be a good or bad thing, depending on how you look at it. It's good that women are being selective, but are they taking too much time studying the physical? His hair, eyes, teeth, and so on. Judging a guy's appearance can be exhausting, and it might start to make you feel guilty for being superficial. Though this is certainly not the case for every user, it's worth thinking about: what are you considering before you swipe?

A false reality

The picture you see on your screen might not accurately depict the real life person. Thanks to fancy filters, people can alter the way they look in pictures. There's a good chance your picture on Tinder has a filter on it, right? It's nothing to be ashamed of, everyone does it. But more and more Tinder users are getting upset when the person they meet, doesn't look like their picture. Dr. Jenny van Hoof, Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Manchester Met, conducted a study focusing on how men use Tinder. She found, "Many of our respondents felt let down on meeting a woman and on feeling a visual representation hadn't been accurate." Honestly, we can't blame their frustration, but that's the internet — things can be distorted and you never really know if you're getting the real deal. Don't move too fast with someone you've only "met" on the internet – lies are contagious within that false reality.

Relationships don't last

Everyone is different and it's not fair to say a relationship that started on Tinder won't last. Having said that, Tinder is known for being a very popular app for one-night stands. "There is no dating. There's no relationships," says Amanda, one of the women Nancy Jo Sales spoke with in her in-depth feature on Tinder's hookup culture for Vanity Fair. "They're rare. You can have a fling that could last like seven, eight months and you could never actually call someone your 'boyfriend.' [Hooking up] is a lot easier. No one gets hurt—well, not on the surface." You might go on Tinder with an open heart and endless possibilities, but there's a good chance nothing long-term will come from it. We're not trying to convince you to deactivate your account, just be aware of what you want. "If you want a relationship, remember this: The men you meet on Tinder most likely are not available; they are there prowling and looking for some fun" wrote CNN commentator and author, Mel Robbins. Are you searching for your soulmate? You might want to consider finding another platform.

My experience

My experience with Tinder wasn't a good one. Sure, I was getting matched up with guys I was interested in... that is, until they started to message me. Most of the messages I got revolved around my physical appearance. They'd send, "your body looks amazing," or "what are you wearing right now?" The messages were degrading and made me feel like a piece of meat, rather than the confident woman I really am. Tinder made me miserable because I was focusing too much of my energy on the way I looked rather than my personality. Looks aren't the most important thing. I need a dating app that helps achieve that emotional connection, instead of a purely physical one. And I think that's what a lot of women want, too.