Tinder as a modern romantic comedy

Gillian LelchukIn this Internet age, where Netflix and chill is basically an extracurricular activity, how is one supposed to find a romantic interest? We don’t live in the pages of a John Green novel or in the foreground of a Katherine Heigl movie, so where are today’s college students supposed to turn for love?

The answer, it seems, is Tinder. This simple mobile app has an unbreakable hold on our Friday and Saturday nights. The phrase “I’d swipe right” has replaced “I’d tap that” because so much of our daily lives rely on that little red flame.

Imagine this: it’s a Friday afternoon and you’re alone in your room, bored out of your mind. You’ve got plans with your friends tonight but afterward you really just want to cuddle up with that special someone. There’s one problem, though: You don’t have a special someone.

So you go on a swiping spree. Left, right, left, left, right, right, right. You’ve got a match here and there but you’re not really interested in them. You keep swiping. Right, right, left, left, left, right, left, right.

“Congratulations, you have a new match,” and you perk up, because maybe something will happen this time. But you don’t message first and neither do they, so the name falls into the pile of other forgotten almosts.

“Congratulations, you have a new match,” and you’re not surprised because you’ve been swiping for a pretty long time and it was bound to happen eventually. And this time there’s a message. Maybe you send it because they’re hecka cute or maybe you get it because you’re a g*ddamn 10. But it’s crude. It’s just a “dtf” or a dumb*ss pick up line and you’re not into that. Or you sent it, and they’re just not looking for the same things as you. And so you bid adieu to another name, another face, another random mutual interest that you liked on Facebook in middle school.

“Congratulations, you have a new match,” and this time it’s the one. You can feel it. This one is going to lead somewhere. You send a message, and this time it’s something real. You mention something from their profile or maybe you’re asking about the dog in their third picture. Whatever it is, it gets you talking. But the conversation never goes any deeper. It doesn’t go beyond the questions about your major and where you’re from. The conversation dwindles and then it ends. Yet another unsuccessful match.

By now you’ve gotten a little discouraged. You’ve got a whole slew of matches but they’re either not looking for the same things as you, can’t carry a conversation or like Nickelback. You worry that you found “The One” but you swiped left. How could you have known?

“Congratulations, you have a new match.”

You don’t expect this one to go anywhere, but a message appears and it leads to a real conversation. You talk about movies you should watch together and music you should listen to together and coffee dates you should go on together. And then you invite them over to watch one of those movies. And they come. And you live happily ever after, right?

Well, maybe. Tinder can actually facilitate a lot of real relationships between people who are open to the idea of meeting someone online. So what if the initial attraction is based on a few photographs? When you meet someone at a party or in a bar you’re basing your first impression off of one moment. Wouldn’t having a few pictures be better?

On the other hand, it can be hard to actually find someone you can get along with. Meeting someone at a party or at a club meeting guarantees that you have something to talk about (i.e., the party or the club). And Katherine Heigl never met the love of her life on Tinder.

But maybe you’re not Katherine Heigl. Maybe you’re Meg Ryan or Tom Hanks in You’ve Got Mail, but, like, in the 21st century. So go out into the world with your Tinder app handy and keep swiping, kids.

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