Could Tinder be good for you? Five reasons to get on it right now.
There's been a lot of discussion about the pitfalls of Tinder, and while at times I have wondered whether it's for me, I've discovered are some hidden benefits to this dating merry-go-round.
1. Real men like to keep us safe.
Firstly, if you are considering joining this app, or any dating site, you should feel that you are completely in control of your own experience. You call the shots. When your gut says no, you say no. The vast majority of men are very aware that we women need to feel safe. They don't take it personally when you say you need to get to know them better before meeting, or that you’re not comfortable meeting them at night, or that you prefer not to meet up with them when they're with friends. If anything, your care for your own safety and comfort only increases their care for your safety and comfort.
2. Everybody’s doing it.
When I first signed up, I felt embarrassed. Internet dating is for lonely losers who can't get a date, right? I soon realised that the only people who weren’t on there, were me and about three others who were worried about who might see them and what they’d think. Get over it. Nobody cares, and if you care, then you’re letting other people’s opinions run your life.
3. You’ll build confidence.
I think sometimes we imagine that we are the only one who finds dating hard. You’re not alone. Take it slowly. You don’t have to do a lot of swiping – this can get overwhelming. And you don’t have to say yes to any dates. Just tell them you’re not up for it yet, that you’re still getting used to Tinder. I was so nervous before the first few dates I arranged that I cancelled them. Eventually I clicked with someone enough to feel like I would be missing out if I didn’t go. With each proceeding date, I felt more relaxed and able to be myself.
4. You’ll get asked out more in real life.
Seriously. As soon as I joined Tinder I was approached more. Guys that you already kind of know (from yoga, the gym, cafes, through friends etc) suddenly realise you are single and will feel confident enough to ask you out. But you’ll also be approached by new men. Being on Tinder is like announcing that you are available and guys sense that energy. If you don’t want to announce that you’re single, refer to the last two sentences of number 2.
5. You’ll learn about yourself and what you want.
Dating is free therapy. When you sit with your therapist you are in a unique relationship in which you are invited to examine your thoughts, feelings and body sensations in relation to, and in the presence of another. You could do this alone, but having a therapist there to witness and receive you deepens the experience. I began to see similar benefits in the dynamic of a date.
Sitting opposite a complete stranger whom I may or may not be interested in, whom may or may not be interested in me, elicits some pretty strong feelings, usually a lot of nervousness. Instead of trying to make these feelings disappear, I started experimenting with them.
I began by just saying to my date "I'm feeling nervous." Invariably my date visibly relaxed as he admitted feeling the same, and we then had a shared experience from which to start.
I then started paying attention to the more subtle feelings and dynamics that were at play. I noticed that I behaved differently with different men, how I shut down in the presence of some and put on a comedy show for others, how I could barely make eye contact with one guy and wanted another to hold my hand. I saw men move towards me and pull away, and noticed how I felt in response. I noticed that I was my complete, uncensored self with some men, and a weird distorted version with others. I felt myself deliberately disagreeing with some guys, and subtly bending my beliefs to suit others.
All of these observations gave me great information. What kind of guy do I feel good with? Who am I myself around? What was it about him that was drawing me in or repelling me? What was it about me that he seemed so interested in? Did he actually see the real me, or just the vague outline of 'wife material' that he's searching for? What messages are hidden (or blatantly obvious) in what he is telling me? Where does my mind go when I'm with him - to the future? To someone else? To what I'm doing tomorrow? Or am I able to be present?
Paying attention like this takes some practice, but you don't have to be a therapist to give yourself some therapy!
Through this process I've formed a really strong and clear idea about what I want in a partner, and I know how I'll feel when I find him. Thanks to all of the lovely men I've met, I know I’ll recognise the one who is ‘the one’ for me. So take this opportunity to get to know yourself and what you want.
Use Tinder to deepen your personal development and your social skills, and maybe even meet someone great.
Pass this on to your single friends - of course, not to help them rectify the shameful state of being single, but to help them have a great experience and use Tinder to their advantage. Or tell us about your Tinder experience, good or bad.
This post is in no way associated with Tinder, other than that it is all about Tinder.
Ever wondered why it's hard to find good friends as an adult?
We have all heard it said that you'll never form friendships as strong and enduring as those you made growing up, but why is this so?
Here's my theory.
Growing up is difficult. Even if, like me, you had it pretty good, being a teenager was hard work. At high school, we were growing and changing, disembedding from our families, and most likely dealing with some form of anxiety, depression, bullying or conflict daily. Although friendships could sometimes be the cause of this angst, they were also our safe haven. These friends were our comrades in arms as we battled through each day. This might sound dramatic - high school wasn't that bad, right? I agree, I loved my high school, my teachers and my friends, but being a teenager is inherently tough, and it is this shared experience that forms the fertile ground for a rich and lasting friendship.
The other part of this is that we established the boundaries of our friendships at a time when we were all establishing all kinds of boundaries. We argued as teenagers, when arguing was something we accepted as a matter of course. It may have shaken us, but everything was pretty shaky back then.
I recently had a disagreement with a "new" friend. I was aghast "I haven't fallen out with anyone since high school!" I had seen a new side of her and it shocked me. I'm sure she would say the same about me. We had crossed one another's boundaries and there wasn't enough shared history and trust for the friendship to survive it.
Some of my dearest and most trusted friends are people that I might not click with if I met them today. But I KNOW them. Twenty years since we met, I know that I can trust one friend to always be late. I can trust one to always cancel. I can trust one to hold a grudge. I can trust one to speak harsh truths that hurt me. I have long since accepted these traits, so I can always let them go easily. I can also trust all of them to meet me in my darkest moments and not shy away when I'm at my most vulnerable. On a recent night out, four of five of us had cried within an hour. Being together and feeling supported, brought all that we had been holding in in our busy lives flooding out.
Maybe sometimes we expect our new friends to be as reliable as our old ones, and maybe, in time, they will be.
With my oldest friends, there's no side of them that I haven't seen. Even as we grow and change, we are still deeply known by one another. They have seen me at my most insecure and horrible and they are still here. That's a love and acceptance like no other.
We'd love to hear your thoughts on this. Are you best friends your oldest friends, or have you forged new and strong friendships? Comment below.
How many times a day do you put yourself down? "I'm not strong enough, kind enough, thin enough, rich enough, patient enough, organised enough". You might be surprised. Even the most normal of thoughts can have a subtle undertone of insufficiency.
See if you can catch yourself in these moments and feel what it's like to be not enough. Really soak it in. What happens in your body when you have this thought? It's unpleasant, but it's important to experience it. See what it's doing to you?
Then find a piece of evidence that proves otherwise (like how you organise yourself and others to get to work/school every day), and affirm yourself with the mantra "I am enough. I am enough. I AM ENOUGH".
Your partner is listening. Your children are listening. Your body is listening. Be mindful of the messages you're sending. Notice them, experience their impact and give yourself space to heal and change.
Feel free to share your experiences and ask any questions below.