Is Tinder Worth It?


What a place.

Great for the thirsty young man or woman who doesn’t feel like going to a bar or after-work mixer to find human companionship.

I first came about the app in 2013 when my buddy brought it up at dinner.

“Have you heard of Tinder?” he asked as I paraded around the kitchen with my shirt off.

“What the hell is that?” I asked him, completely unaware of what he was talking about.

“It’s a dating app,” he said.

“Aren’t those for older people?” I chuckled.

“I guess this one isn’t.”

Curiosity got the best of me and that night I began scrolling through, quickly enjoying the process of being able to swipe on a woman based solely on the way she looked.

A few weeks passed and I was lucky enough to meet a few women this way. The tenor of these encounters was extremely casual, unlike how I had ever dated before, because in the past dating was much more traditional.

In many ways, that was probably for the best because going into a date with little to no expectations is much better than showing up already envisioning how the next few hours will go.

“You’re still on Tinder?” my buddy chided a few weeks later.

“Uh, yeah. It works, bro,” I informed him.

“Online dating is for losers,” he claimed, to which I laughed because as the months passed his frustrations with women mounted (including a run-in with a woman wearing braces who made him decry dating altogether), and my success only seemed to increase, all because of an app on my phone that begins with an ugly-looking flame.

Fast forward a few years and a few heartbreaks, and Tinder once again became prominent in my life. I soon left Minnesota and went on a bike ride across the country, pulling into cities and snagging a couple dozen matches before riding out the next day.

Doing so made the slow mornings when my buddy took forever to get ready more enjoyable. I also liked the ego stroke, and I have no shame in admitting that, but recently I realized how toxic it is to constantly look into rabbit holes of information on the internet.

As great as these pats on the back from random women were, they weren’t doing my mental health any good. Without trying to be arrogant, I’m an attractive man, and it doesn’t take much for me to understand that reality. To reinforce that thought with endless swipes through a dating app only negatively reminds me of what I already know.

By the time my buddy and I reached New York City five weeks later, my total matches grew to over 1,000. My ego loved this. And then jump ahead another year or so, and after a long stint in Beijing, my match total had increased to 3,000.

Ah, the ego loves it! On paper, 3,000 matches seems like a great number to have, but in reality, it’s the exact antithesis.

Here’s why:

3,000 Tinder Matches

Let’s start with 3,000 matches. Off the top, you can slash half of those because some women just scroll through Tinder to pass the time while they wait in line at Starbucks.

This leaves you with 1,500 matches. Still a good number, but again, divide that number in half because out of the 1,500 who likely find you attractive, only half are interested in potentially meeting.

We just went from 3,000 to 750 without much happening. If Tinder was a business, you’ve now just covered your “overhead,” leaving you with little room to maneuver.

750. Out of this number, and without having actual data, I drop this number to about 250, because after a message or two, most women will exit a conversation.

Again, I don’t have raw data to support this claim; only my experiences.

This leaves 250 women who are genuinely interested and vocal about meeting. But scratch off another 100 matches because they all don’t work out. You could argue that I’m not good with women, and you’d probably be right, but no guy, no matter how much they claim otherwise, is turning a high percentage of matches into dates/hookups.

We are left with 150 women. At this point, it’s fair to say that may the best man win. You will likely get 150 dates/opportunities. How those 150 play out is mostly up to you and what you want out of your Tinder experience.

In conclusion:

We went from 3,000 to 150 in a few short minutes. In terms of a cost-benefit analysis, I don’t think it’s worth the time. Maybe I can only say this because I’ve put in the time, but I’m embarrassed to admit that this analysis is only possible because I’ve spent countless hours on an app that again, has a FLAME for a logo. My god…

More downsides:

  1. Talking to women on Tinder is, for the most part, boring – most conversations start and end the same way; there is no real uniqueness to most interactions. I can only tell people how tall I am or that I like to write so many times before I need an Advil. Unless you meet someone who has the same motivations as you, you’re likely to invest in a conversation, only to realize you both want different things.
  2. Not good for the psyche – your brain becomes conditioned to feel happy when you a get a match or receive a message, and then when those become less frequent, it becomes an instant self-analysis of what you’re doing wrong. In reality, just like salesmen have slow months, the Tinder market might just be at a standstill (this is especially true in the winter months in cold locales). Your brain doesn’t know this though, and so you concoct weird theories for why you’ll be single forever or never get laid again.
  3. Your time is best spent elsewhere – read a book, write a shitty blog post, or god forbid, go ask out an actual woman in REAL life. There are a million better things to do than swipe away on Tinder in search of companionship.

Let me be fair: I have met a lot of cool women on Tinder. It’s not that these apps provide no value. It’s just that they don’t provide enough to justify the time needed to get what you want.

My advice to guys, because I still have no idea what women want:

Tinder is like the sugar section at the top of the food pyramid.

You know, the small little triangle on top of a chart devised by people smarter than me?

They advise to imbibe sparingly.

That’s exactly how you should view Tinder.


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