When you’re over the hill, you begin to pick up speed. Let’s just say that Tinder has helped me do exactly that.
I’ve just turned 55, and I’m starting to find out that there’s not much of a difference between how I felt about myself when I was 35 and how I feel about myself now. But it doesn’t mean that the world sees me the same way. Or that my life circumstances haven’t changed. Because they have.
I’ve never heard a kid say, “When I grow up, I want to be an old woman.” In fact, NOBODY wants to be an old woman; not even an older woman like me. But let’s face it, being over 50 makes dating a little bit more challenging.
That’s where Tinder comes in.
After trying a few other dating apps, I finally decided to try Tinder. It’s the dating app that has forever changed the way people date. Is it working for me? The answer is YES. It will likely work for you, too, my fellow 50-something goddesses, if you keep a few things in mind.
You are your photos.
Tinder is a free, location-based mobile dating app that’s much simpler and easier to use than most dating sites around. All you need to do is download the app to your phone, sign up using your Facebook account, upload a few photos, write a short bio if you want, and that’s it! You don’t have to answer a ton of questions for the app to find your matches. Fast and easy, right?
Well, yes, but this means that you will be judged by potential matches based solely on your photos. So please, do yourself a favor, and choose those photos wisely. Make sure that your photos are a good representation of who you are: The way you dress, the places you’re photographed, your topless mirror selfies — these pictures will speak more about you than anything you may write on your bio. Because revealing photos tend to give the impression that you’re looking for a hook-up, they will, in turn, be more likely to attract people who seek the same. So, ask yourself — what, exactly, are you’re looking for?
Tinder is not only for hook-ups.
I’m not seriously seeking marriage, but I’m not looking for casual sex either. I stayed away from Tinder for the longest time because of what I’ve heard about it. I probably talked to the wrong people and let myself believe the hype. When I finally decided to give it a try, I deliberately kept an open mind, thinking that there may be people like me who are aware of Tinder’s hook-up reputation, yet are willing to try the app in the hope of connecting with someone.
Sure, there are a lot of men on Tinder who are only after sex. They’re easy to spot. Most of the time they’re the ones who have photos of themselves shirtless (regardless if they look good or not). Or a bio that says “I make 50 Shades of Grey seem as tame as the Teletubbies.” Do you swipe left or right? Up to you, my dear.
And now, at the risk of getting carpal tunnel, you’re swiping left and right.
You swipe left if you don’t like them, and swipe right if you do. If the other person also swiped right on your photo, the app tells you “It’s a match!” That sound that signals you have a new match gets more and more addicting, doesn’t it? Oooh, the ego boost!
When you have a new match, the app asks if you’d like to send a message now or keep swiping. What do you do? I suggest you keep swiping. Or do something else — finish that book, wash the dishes, whatever. You don’t want them to think that being on Tinder all day is all a 50-something woman has to do. Your chances of having a love life born out of Tinder is so much more likely if you actually have a life outside of it.
It may take a while before you get messages. Men like to play it cool. They usually wait one or two hours before they send a message. Let’s give them that. Unless they have this urgent need that they think you could satisfy. In which case, they send something like, “Wanna meet?” or “What are you wearing?” You can go with the flow or, if you’re not feeling it, just lie. You can tell them you’re actually in pajamas, with a scary-looking Korean beauty mask on your face.
You’re chatting, so what do you talk about?
This is where you can vet your matches. If it’s not yet clear to you, let me be blunt: Tinder is a judgment-based dating app. Anything you say can and will be used against you. Say the wrong thing and you can get unmatched faster than you can say “But wait!” When I get a plain “Hi” or “How’s your day going?” my eyes roll so loudly I’m sure my boring-as-hell match can hear it.
This doesn’t mean all hope is lost, though. You can still try and steer the conversation towards something that will let you learn a few things about him. Ask questions like “Do you like older women?” or “Have you had serious relationships?” This doesn’t mean you want one, but at least you’ll know he’s not on Tinder merely looking for a porn actress.
If you feel like it’s not going to work out after all but he still keeps on pestering you, you have two options. Unmatch him, or ghost him. At this age, we don’t have to explain to everyone. You have the right to remain silent. Use it.
It’s a numbers game.
Not everybody you’ve right-swiped will be matches, not all your matches will lead to chats, not all chats will lead to dates, and not all dates will work out. That’s just the way it is.
Can Tinder lead to a long-term relationship?
Does Tinder make hooking up easier? Definitely. If you’re looking for it. But it can also lead you to an interesting, attractive, like-minded person who’s interested in a committed relationship, if you’re looking for it. After all, anything is possible in this world.