To Tinder or Not To Tinder?

At this point it feels like I’ve dated every available guy at my church.

I’m pretty sure that’s not accurate, but since my supposed “Pastor” yelled, “run for your lives” or something similar to two incredibly attractive young men on Sunday, that I had not yet met, I’m pretty sure my feeling isn’t totally inaccurate.

Anyway, after getting kicked off of match.com and finding out that eharmony is literally the dumbest dating website in the world (getting matched with someone who enjoys “live action role play” was a final straw) I thought my dating life had died a quick, yet incredibly painful death.

Yet, I noticed one of my girlfriends was going out on dates all the time.

Yes, she’s attractive. Yes, she’s confident. Yes, she’s gregarious. But even with all of those qualities she was going on an exorbitant amount of dates.

Like almost one a day.

With different people.

What?!

I wanted to know what she was doing and how she was doing it.

And then I heard that fated word:

Tinder.

I downloaded it, tried it for 10 minutes, and immediately felt like a terrible human being.

So I deleted it. Kind of.

Fast-forward 2 months later to a semi-theological discussion with friends, both for and against.

Basically the argument centered around “is it shallow?”

Heck yeah it is!

You’re making a two second judgment on a person, solely based on their looks.

So being the hypocrite that I am, I joined Tinder today.

This is honestly like throwing up the middle finger to Joshua Harris.

Not only am I not kissing dating goodbye, I’m giving it the Miley Cyrus version of a hello.

It just feels like all kinds of wrong.

However, since my last stint with eharmony resulted in getting matched with Mr. Live-Action-Role-Play I’ve come to terms with the fact that I just might need to be physically attracted to someone in order to date them . . .

And yet, I feel incredibly guilty about it.

I remember when I was in college, someone said that you should go out with a guy, even if you weren’t attracted to them, to give them confidence to ask more women out. I never really got that, but as a recovering legalist I did this a few times and then finally thought – wait, this seems dumb. Not only am I leading them on, but I’m also making a highly indebted college student pay for my meal.

Just all kinds of stupid.

So anyway, Tinder.

Is it wrong? Maybe.

But if it’s wrong, I don’t want to be right.

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27 thoughts on “To Tinder or Not To Tinder?

  1. Joining Tinder is more like throwing the middle finger up to God. And His plan. And saying “I’m no longer willing to wait for your plan for my life, I’m going take this situation into my own incapable hands and find true love by judging someone on their looks and going on countless dates offering pieces of me to men who don’t deserve it, at all. Because changing my relationship status is more important to me right now than seeking you, God. And that is the guilt you feel. It’s not because you’re judging people on their looks. It’s because you’ve taken back something you’ve tried to surrender to God. I know, because I’ve “Tindered” too.

    1. Thanks for the feedback. I posted this realizing that Tinder probably isn’t for everyone, and neither is dating for that matter. For me, dating’s really good and healthy – it’s helping me to grow as a person and figure out what I want in a future spouse. Obviously, from your response, not everyone has that view. I think it’s important to have grace with what people think about dating and know that one way isn’t right or wrong. While I dig on “I kissed dating goodbye” a lot, I don’t think that approach is wrong – I just know that it’s wrong for me. Finally – I am grateful that I know a God who is far bigger then Tinder. – “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.” – Job 42:2 – pretty sure Gods plan for my life and relationships is not going to be messed up because I downloaded an app on my phone.

      1. What a gracious reply to some pretty caustic feedback (I mean, really? “Throwing up the middle finger to God”? Harsh much?). I love your reply of “I know a God who is far bigger then Tinder.” 😀 You’re right, God’s plan for your life isn’t going to be messed up because you downloaded an app to your phone. And who’s to say that God can’t actually USE that app on your phone to allow you to meet the right person? Hang in there, sister. And thank you for being so authentic and witty. It gives me hope. 🙂

      2. Fab reply to someone who it seems it just trying to antagonize you. I read ‘I Kissed Dating Goodbye’ and could not help but regard it with scorn and derision, its not right for me. God has his plan, he knows there are many aspects to a relationship, and one of them is physical attraction. By swiping right or left you are not committing yourself to walking down the aisle. Have some fun, maybe you’ll meet someone nice!

      3. I would agree somewhat with Kendra, though the language may have been strong. Tinder seems to have set itself up in such a way that operates in the antithesis of how God’s kingdom operates. Kendra hit upon the major issues. It’s hard for us to admit, but we all operate occasionally in ways that are maybe more “worldly” than “Godly”, mostly due to expediency or because we have run out of patience, guidance, etc.

        Wanting to date and meet people in the process of determining a future mate or finding the right person doesn’t seem wrong – but the ways we go about should also be subject to the values and guidance of God through His word. Tinder doesn’t seem to conform to that last qualification.

  2. There’s a huge range of beliefs within “Christian dating” ranging from “God will bring a man/friend/mentor into my living room” to “let’s go on Tinder or join a meetup.com (WHICH I LOVE…and at least in Ohio, Christian boys do too!) etc etc.” If the result is a Godly husband, why not try something new? I’ve accepted that I want God’s will, even if it means that I won’t have a husband, but that doesn’t mean that I won’t go on dates. I think your path (Kendra) is also admirable. But, for me, going on a few dates doesn’t mean that I give pieces of me/my heart away if I’m not impressed with the guy.

    I do think we have to be cautious because sometimes more dates = more stress and less confidence, but I say go for it.

      1. Haha – I will. So far it is stressful!! So many messages … I don’t know what to do. I’m letting lots of conversations die :/ whoops.

  3. This was as interesting as I hoped! Loved the Miley Cyrus “hello.”

    My biggest beef with Tinder is that you have no idea anything about the person besides what he looks like and whatever he says in that little blurb. (I completely agree that attraction is important.) I really only want to date a Christian, which you have no idea about on these guys, so I guess that’s why I find this idea a bit sketchy. At least with eharmony you can say what’s important in your matches and select what religions to match you with… Although apparently they still send weirdos to you…

    This being said, I don’t get asked a lot and I’ve tried the online thing too with not much luck, so maybe Tinder is worth a try. Have you been out with any of the guys yet? Would love a follow up post 😉

    1. That’s fair – from what I’m learning about it, I think you can make it what you want. If you only want to date Christians, you can say that on your profile. My one friend is not being that specific about who she dates, but she is making it really obvious that Jesus is an important part of her life – so then most of her dates have ended up being with guys who, at minimum, have some sort of faith background. If you’re on the fence, I’d say it’s worth a try. It’s free and you can have it but don’t actually have to use it, and if you feel weird about it, you can always get rid of it.

      I’ll for sure write a followup though – I didn’t realize the intensity of feedback I’d get!

      1. Thanks for the pointers and things to think about. Considering I’ve never used it, it’s good to hear what it’s actually like from someone who has. Not just what I THINK it is. You make a pretty good case for at least giving it a try!

        I had an interesting conversation with one of my labmates who is not a Christian a little while ago. He was looking at Christian Mingle profiles for some reason (I truly have no idea why) and he was saying how all of the girls were talking about Jesus, their faith, etc in their profile. I asked him if he’d be interested in dating someone who clearly placed an importance on that, and he said no, probably not. So my point is, your friend’s strategy makes sense, and I can see it working doubly (attracting guys who also have a faith background, while potentially turning away guys who don’t).

        Anyway thanks again! I guess I have a lot to say too, haha.

  4. This was fabulous, as I expected. I tried Tinder for about 5 seconds, only to realize that it imported all of the Facebook “likes” I’d ever made, which included a lot of lame and embarrassing things from my youth. Anywho after getting past that, I realized that there was NO ONE IN MY AREA ON TINDER. HOW IS THAT EVEN A THING. EVERYONE IS ON TINDER. ALLEGEDLY.

    Anyway, I loved this post and I’m in awe of your gracious response to the first comment. I’m all for following God’s plan, but I don’t see why God’s plan can’t include me dating and (in the process of doing so) getting to know myself better!
    Great. Now I want to go re-activate my account.

  5. Lol. I love this. A few weeks ago I was visiting a (Christian, non-profit worker, in grad school for human services kind of person) friend in DC and found out that she “Tindered”. I was surprised and curious. Since she obviously wouldn’t shame me for my curiosity I asked her to show me how it works…I understand why you feel like a horrible person. It’s horrible to judge a person solely on their looks…BUT a picture is worth a thousand words, Right!? And what kind of picture you would put on tinder betrays a little something about your personality. 😉 Right?
    I think that “Tinder” in and of itself isn’t evil. I think it’s great to get to know new people and Lord knows that when you tap out your Christian circle, it’s tapped out. And who wants to force something!? Yuck. I don’t think that you’ve ‘given up on God’ by doing Tinder. If you go out and start having one night stands then there’s some serious call for concern.
    My opinion is that we need to hold to our values and be in relationship with men who help us become the woman God is calling us to become. But heck…what’s wrong with meeting new people?
    When I’m home for Easter will you help me set up my profile? Hopefully this one will work out better than our attempt at Match 😉
    –Chels

  6. I appreciate your candor and courage in writing about Tinder in this way! I know my comment is a bit late here, but had to comment because the subject is pretty timely for me.

    Oh, if only I had stumbled on this and found out about eHarmony sooner. :/ But I didn’t, and so I tried it (epic fail). In the meantime a good friend of mine has been on Tinder and loves it. She is not as interested in finding a godly man as I am, so I adopted a “well it’s fine for her” sort of attitude about it. Your thoughts, however have challenged that in me. I’ve always been adamant about physical attraction and while Tinder is great for that, it would be QUITE improbable to just stumble onto a godly man of character. I think if there was a search setting to remedy that, I might be more likely to try it again (I too tried it for .75 seconds). 🙂

    Who knows though I guess, God has done crazier things.

  7. Although I haven’t tried it, I think the main risks of something like Tinder are falling into the trap of “missionary dating”, bruised feelings (and we should be careful not just for ours but for the other person), and also for guys I think the risk of seductresses like Proverbs 7 is also present as well (although you can find that anywhere).

    Regarding looks, I don’t see the need for a guilt trip on this, physical attraction is a huge component of our need for a spouse, as it says in Proverbs “let her breasts satisfy thee at all times”….

    Character and the rest are what make or break it, I am looking for a godly woman with a good head on her shoulders, but I cannot be physically attracted to a girl who is not my type.

    I think the main issue and why I’m not sure I will use it is not a question of “does God approve of this, yes or no” but rather is this a smart idea for my life and walk.

    What you are doing whenever you use something like Tinder is giving strangers access to you that they otherwise would never have had… I like when girls smile at me when I am doing stuff in town during the day, but to give any of them a chance to get close to me when I’m not sure about their relationship with God is another story.

    I haven’t made up my mind on using this or not, but the question comes down more to practicalities than anything else. If you look at Proverbs 5, 6, 7, there are all kinds of girls who are skilled at manipulating their way into men’s lives and that is the first thing for me to look out for, then of course there are MANY MANY MANY nominal Christians who do not really know the Lord, and it can be very easy to deceive yourself about where this person’s heart really is, and anyone who has had to leave a girl because she loved them but not the Lord would know how this puts a man in a place where he feels like he is responsible for leading them to Christ, a mistake I have made, and there is always the potential for a girl to pretend to love Christ just to keep you.

    I think the main thing is you are opening both your life and your heart up in an area where you are probably a lot less likely to find a genuinely born again believer.

  8. Wow…………

    I don’t want to be ruled out as some whiny secular universalist. I’m not. I’m a single Christian man who serves at my church, works my but off in my career, loves my family, loves my friends, loves Christ, and actively lives to express His love and keep his commandments. Even saying that, I’ll understand if I get swept under the rug as a phony, but thats the risk of talking to strangers on the internet with no background on you.

    Here it goes. I play roleplaying games, and if someone invited me to play a live-acted one, I probably would! There, I said it!

    Also, just about ALL of the kindest, most loving, most creative, most hard-working Christian men I know do the same, or something else comparatively nerdy. I’m not offended that you don’t like nerdy stuff, or even that you don’t like nerds, but the fact that you state it as if its some kind of a give-in that being a nerd is a universal deal-breaker, even if the guy has other great qualities. Jeez! I’m getting cold just being on this website.

  9. Girl I have been on Tinder and actually met a guy on there. We are now broken up but he was an amazing man of God and someone I had mutual friends with. I would not have been able to meet him any other way so I understand the struggle. Tinder is hard and can put you in a bad place but I think it is all about where your heart is.

  10. Tinder is not the best thing for Christian singles. I’m sorry allot of Christians are deceived if you think it is. Why open your heart up to something like that? Its go againsts gods word. God looks at our hearts not our physical appearance where worldly tinder judges on looks alone. You don’t know anything about the person you are swiping right. I’m at the point in my life where in not going to play with fire anymore did you know that tinder is actually a hookup app….

  11. Hey I just got a Tinder and here are my thoughts on it. Before joining I prayed to God to take control of my hands while using it. And you know what? God isn’t turning away in disgust or acting like He’s too cool to bring my match to me through this app. Christians can be a bit close minded sometimes, they think that God has only one means of bringing your partner to you – but how often is that true?

    How often do you meet that amazing man of God at your friend’s wedding who also happens to be single and attracted to you too? How often do you meet the ‘one’ while you were attending your tiny church one Sunday and ‘so not expecting anything to happen and just concentrating on God’? Now it’s amazing and so romantic if God wrote that love story for you, but if it hasn’t happened for others more often that not he is blocking them because he has another means of bringing two people together. I find there is this holier than thou attitude when it comes to getting into a relationship, I get this message that if some man didn’t fall into your lap by the power of prayer and you (gasp) put yourself out there with a Tinder photo, then you are subpar, lacking faith or not trusting God…when it is always God’s GIFT to you in the first place to let a good man come into your life.

    Anyway back to Tinder mechanics. Of course there are share of sleazy guys out there, just like in real life! It’s so eay act in a way that honors God: I make it clear that I don’t intend to hook up, delete any matches asap when I discover they have a wife/girlfriend, and don’t like pictures of stoned or drunk guys in the first place. God is with me when I’m swiping, sometimes encouraging me to swipe right to respectable looking guys that my flesh quickly says “not perfect enough”.

    Nothing in this life is chance. For some reason, the idea of the Holy Spirit taking control of the mechanics and prompting me to ‘like’ a guy who feels the same, and working through the ‘random’ Tinder system to get us together sounds awesome! Jesus spit into some blind guy’s eyes and rubbed mud over them to make him see. Was that necessary? Maybe not, but he did it anyway. For some people God loves to work in their life in a way that is frankly unusual. There is no situation that God can’t bring His glory into. Including Tinder.

    So in short, I don’t judge a woman for using Tinder any differently than a woman who chooses to sit back and let God do the work.

    Shalom.

  12. I feel like my struggle with Tinder was I’m 0% sure who loved God or not… So I swiped left and I swiped right based off the pic because 9/10 there isn’t much of a description in the bio… Then in the midst of the convo you gotta bring up the fact right from the jump that Jesus is number one and that’s a big detail to date and such. I feel if you’re not upfront with the fact you’re Christian it could lead to messy situations (I know.)

    I’ve went on a handful of dates with Tinder but about 8 months ago I had to give it up because I felt drained… Talking to, too many dudes (this isn’t bragging I just meant there were just too many convos at once) and it felt I had plateaued and wasn’t getting nearly enough attention from the dudes I was talking to, or the convos were dry and useless and meeting for a date was probs not gonna happen.

    I think God was mostly revealing He had bigger plans and a dude just wouldn’t be a fit at the moment, God brought me a mortgage instead. So it all has worked out really… I’m grateful that I did try Tinder because it was an interesting experience for sure and I went on quite few dates which was awesome since I have never done that!

    Sometimes I feel tempted to download it again and test the waters, but something holds me back… Idk what it is but it’s a mix of insecurity (putting photos of me to see if a guy is interested don’t sit as well with me as of late) and hope, that I trust God’s timing because obviously He is all knowing and I don’t need to trip!

    Anyways good article, very funny! I can relate to this blog much too much but I suppose that’s a good thing!

  13. I tried tinder this morning. I don’t think it’s wrong, because there is a short “about me” section that you can read. I basically glorified Christ in that “about me” section so any girl that happened to stumble upon me would know what i’m all about. ……fear of the Lord, living by faith, saved by grace…
    The only problem with tinder is that, without a doubt, it is very secular and many people are just on there for hook ups, and so a lot of the girls pictures are very very sensual, and it’s hard to go through those to find anything even remotely promising. Finding any girl that shows any sign of love for Christ on tinder is like finding a gem in a mine field.
    As long as you are willing to be patient to find that gem, and perhaps start some sort of messaging thing to get to know them better, then i say tinder, as well as any other dating site is fine.
    If the only thing that tinder had were pictures, then i wouldn’t use it. But again, there is a short “about me” section, and that makes all the difference!

  14. I’m sorry but I have to disagree. I think Tinder is shallow and a tool that the enemy can use to deceive a lot of people. I may be old school in saying that I want to wait for God’s plan, but hang on it’s not old school. It is very relevant. People are only downplaying God’s power if they take it in their own hands to go on Tinder. A lot of the guys on there are not godly men, because godly men would trust in God, and would stay far away from Tinder. I will not give in to the lies of the enemy that God cannot find me a great Christian man. I know many young women who waited and were blessed with amazing guys. I am not one to become desperate and sign up for a profile only to be judged within 2 secs on my looks, and then be picked up with cheesy lines. In fact i found out my ex ‘christian’ boyfriend got a tinder,and it was probably the most hurtful insulting thing to do to a person, but it showed more about his character. I do not want a fake pretender. I want the real deal. Godly guys dont have the time to use Tinder, because they are too busy doing God’s work, and trusting in his plans. That is something I want to sign up for!!

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