Americans adults are more likely to be single than at any point in our country’s history. In 1960 72% of American adults were married. Today 63% of American adults have never been married. Just over half of 18-34 year-olds have no steady partner at all.
Is it that people just don’t want to be bothered with dating anymore? I don’t think so online dating has surged with apps like Tinder, Bumble, and others occupying more and more people’s phones. Numerous studies have shown that married people are happier, healthier, and wealthier than their single counterparts.
• Married couples rated their life satisfaction 9.9% higher than widows and widowers. • Married couples were 8.8% happier than higher than divorced or separated people. • Singles, however, only reported being 0.2% happier than those who are divorced. What Matters Most to Personal Well-Being UK Office of Natl Statistics
So what’s the problem? Part of it is that we are victims of our own success. Back in the days when you needed a partner to survive marriage rates were obviously higher. Nowadays we can earn enough money to make it on our own. That’s also what’s contributed to the surge in the divorce rates in the ’70s and ’80s.
But most of us already knew that. I’d also like to propose that dating apps/sites like Tinder have contributed to the singleness epidemic.
Is Tinder Good for Christians?
Many Christians want to know if they should use apps like Tinder and Bumble when seeking a partner. After all, ‘everybody’s doing it’. I won’t bore you with hypothetical scenarios about jumping off a bridge but suffice it to say that popularity isn’t the criterion of which we, as Christians, should evaluate something.
When evaluating a dating app we should ask ourselves whether or not it will help us in achieving our goals. As Christians, the goal of dating should be marriage. Dating for too long can lead to a host of problems such as sexual sins and acting like you’re married when you’re actually not. However, I want to go beyond that. There are other good reasons why Christians, or anyone who’s serious about dating, might want to avoid ‘dating’ apps like Tinder.
They Create Paradox of Choice
Ever been rejected by someone who you thought was in your league? Remember, that great feeling you got when you saw that they were still single and looking 6 months later? Come on, be honest I know I do. Apps like Tinder that encourage you to ‘swipe left’ teach you to devalue people. ‘Up she had a mole’ or ‘oh his smile is weird’.
The average person looks at a photo on Tinder approximately 2 seconds. Do you really think two seconds are enough to evaluate a fellow human being? Tinder creates the illusion that there are so many options that we can be super picky. This creates a paradox of choice; meaning that people don’t want to make a choice because they’re afraid they’ll miss out on something better.
Tinder is Addictive
Using Tinder is surprisingly similar to playing the slots. With one pull you could get that $10,000 jackpot. But since you don’t know when the lucky pull is coming just keep pulling and pulling (and paying). Tinder is essentially the same. You may log on and meet that hot guy or girl that wants to a serious relationship with you, but more often you’ll get disappointment and even mistreatment from other users. Since you don’t know when you will hit that jackpot you keep logging on again and again which causes you to get frustrated.
Once frustrated its easy to take it out on other users since the environment is still relatively anonymous. So what you end up with is a situation where you’re addicted to an app that causes you pain and frustration. This is no accident. Free dating apps make their money users clicking on the ads inside the app. The longer you spend in an app the more likely you are to click on an ad or upgrade your membership. That means they’re designed to keep you on the app and swiping as much as possible.
It Can Cause You to Base Your Self Worth on Sex
We all know that many people use Tinder to hookup. By its very nature, the app is superficial. People put the best picture of themselves that they can in hopes someone they like will swipe right. Your entire worth on the app is based on how good your photo looks.
When you meet someone in real life they can get a much better picture of you. They can see your mannerisms and strike up a conversation. People are usually less rude in real life than they are online. They’ll give someone a chance in real life who they otherwise would’ve swiped left on Tinder.
Tinder Teaches Selfishness
When you go on Tinder you’re presented with this buffet of men or women in front of you which gives the illusion of a lot of choices. That’s why when many of us go on the app we just think about what we want and what will make us happy at the moment.
But real relationships don’t work that way. Real relationships are an amalgamation of what both parties want and they compromise to make it work. But on apps like Tinder if a guy or girl doesn’t check all of our boxes we can easily just move on to the next one. It gives a false impression that there’s always something better right around the corner and makes us less likely to stick it out when times get tough with our partners.
It should be no surprise that most Tinder users have only been on one date from the app and that less than 25% are looking for a long term relationship. The bottom line is most people on Tinder aren’t serious.
If Not Tinder Then What?
I hope I didn’t dash all of your hopes of finding that special someone. There’s a lot more than Tinder out there. The best way to meet someone is to meet them in person. As I said before you just a better idea of who a person is in real life as opposed to the best selfie they can take. If not real life there are a plethora of Christian dating sites out there.
Christian Mingle and eHarmony come to mind but there are others. OkCupid is a favorite of many people because its free. I have an entire list of good Christian dating sites for men and for women you can look at. Just remember the most important thing in finding a partner is someone who shares your faith and a person who you can respect.