Why Dating Apps Such As “Tinder” Are Unfairly Stigmatized

Jan 27 · 5 min read

“So… how did you two meet?”

This is one of the most asked questions for couples everywhere. Everyone wants to know the backstory behind any given romantic relationship because for some reason the way you meet someone seems to set up one’s beliefs for the relationship as a whole. If the couple in question met on top of the Eiffel Tower during sunset, they are destined to be together for eternity, but if they met at a two-star Dunkin Donuts, they are doomed to a lifetime of passionless misery.

The idea of how you meet the love of their life is so emphasized in our society, that if you meet in a way that is less than wildly romantic and serendipitous, the relationship has more of a chance of facing stigmatization by outsiders. This seems to especially be the case if you meet your life partner on a dating app, such as Tinder.

For those who have been living under a rock for the last couple of years, Tinder is set up to be a “hook up” app yet since there are over 10 million people on Tinder, there is a good chunk of users who are hoping to swipe right on “the one”. To most people, this seems like an impossible task.

“Everyone on Tinder just wants one thing,” countless friends of mine have said to me while I was dating someone off of the app. “It doesn’t matter how cute they are, all guys on Tinder are creeps.” I could never understand this logic though because we were all on Tinder and none of us were creeps. None of us just wanted “one thing”. We were all looking for quality romantic bonds, so who was to say that a handful of men on the app weren’t looking for the exact same thing?

It is now a common thing on Tinder to put in your bio something along the lines of: “When people ask where we met, let’s say etc. etc. etc.” This is because nobody wants to admit that they met in a way that wouldn’t exactly be featured in the next Nicholas Sparks novel. What makes this slightly problematic is the fact that people fail to realize how unimportant the origin story is to any given relationship.

For example, I know plenty of couples who met in the most adorable ways that you’d expect to be featured in Hallmark ads, yet they are terrible to each other. There is cheating and lying and manipulation involved, yet they stay together because of the adorable tale of how they first came to meet.

Because the couples had met in such a Nora Ephron-esque way, they believe that their relationship is “destined” so they hold onto something toxic because of it. It’s not the person that they don’t want to let go of, it’s the origin story.

On the contrary, I know of many couples who met on Tinder and are now happily engaged/married/committed. My cousin is engaged to her fiance from Tinder, and they’ve never fought once in all the time they’ve known each other. It’s clear that they’re absolutely crazy about each other and really seem like the perfect match, regardless of the fact that they met on a dating app that many consider being “trashy”.

But those who are quick to label dating apps as a trashy way to meet someone fails to acknowledge the statistics, that there are more people who are looking for something serious on dating apps than something casual. In fact, over 44% of women and 38% of men are seeking something that is long lasting, while only 22% of men and 14% of women are on the hunt for a more casual relationship.

Not only that, but at least 13% of people on dating apps are already married or engaged. That is a high amount, considering dating apps have only recently become popular in the past five or so years.

Now I’m not saying by any means that you shouldn’t take pride in the romantic way in which you meet your significant other. A lot of times the way you met someone can be a beautiful part of your relationship together. What I am saying though, is it should never define a relationship.

What really matters is the compatibility you have with that person. What really matters is the present, not the starting point. I myself stayed in a relationship that was long overdue, due to the fact that we met in high school and that I always wanted to end up with my high school sweetheart.

On all the sitcoms and movies and books that I’d consume, the characters would always end up with their childhood love. In a way, because of this, I thought meeting your love at a young age meant that it was meant to be. This idea of “growing up” with a person was what I always had desired, so I would value that over how compatible we actually were as a couple.

So in conclusion, It doesn’t matter if you meet your love while riding dolphins under the stars in paradise, or at a dumpsite on Friday the 13th. What really matters is how good you are together in the present. That is what defines whether or not you two are “destined” to be together.

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