Happy 10th Birthday To Our Horniest Friend, Tinder

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It’s been a steamy decade of swiping and smooching thanks to dating app Tinder.

The app celebrates its 10th birthday this month and there’s no denying that it has completely changed the way we date. In fact it’s hard to remember a time where the go-to destination for setting up a date wasn’t a fire emoji on your phone’s home-screen.

Tahlia Pritchard is a dating expert and founder of newsletter Shit Straight Men Say. For Tahlia it’s hard to recall what dating looks like pre-apps.

“I can barely even remember now, but I’m pretty sure it just involved being on a dance floor, someone sliding up behind you, kind of grabbing you and then you just hoped that you got along after that. And then you’d be together for maybe five years,” she joked.

Tinder was created 2012, the year Macklemore took out The Hottest 100 with his song Thrift Shop and Julia Gillard gave her infamous misogyny speech in parliament. It was in this context that we started to swipe for the very first time, but with some hesitation.

Tahlia recounted how when Tinder first hit the dating scene no one wanted to admit they were using it.

“We were all kind of like, ah, this is a bit of a joke because there was this stigma attached if you were actually going on dates or if you met your partner on Tinder, which I did in 2013. I was too embarrassed to tell people I actually met someone from Tinder and that I was dating them,” she said.

People who met on dating apps in the early days found themselves in this liminal space: loved up, enjoying the beginning of a new romance but found it tinted with a hue of shame due to its origins being predetermined by an algorithm.

This shame manifests in the need to declare a marriage a “Tinder wedding” or that awkward momentary pause when someone asks “so, how did you two meet?”

The stigma still lingers to this day and Tahlia noted how people on the apps are on the front foot with wanting to hide how they met, even before meeting up.

“I don’t why people don’t want to admit that they met on an app” she said, “even these days people still have bios that say ‘let’s lie about where we met. Let’s say we met in the library.’ But how else are we meeting people these days?”

Tinder has firmly nestled itself into our dating ecosystem with other apps like Hinge and Bumble also being hugely popular as a way to meet a potential suitor.

We also have the apps to thank for a lot of entertaining and horrifying dating stories. From men lying about their height to full blown first date arguments, the content dating apps generate from awful dates is one of the inspirations behind Tahlia’s dating newsletter.

“A horror dating story that pops to my mind is the guy that gave me his phone and made me listen to a country music song that he was going to play for his ex, had he proposed to her,” Tahlia shared.

Many parts of our lives have changed a lot since 2012, like the ways we consume music for example. Platforms like Spotify help us discover new music through an algorithm based on other songs we like and so it makes sense that this algorithm based discovery would bleed over into how we meet up for a date.

Regardless of how you feel about using dating apps it’s safe to say they’ve become a certified pillar of dating in 2022 but something to remember is that dating apps aren’t actually designed to help you find love. They are designed to build a user-base and have people come back to them.

10 years on and many people have reached a point where they’re in a longer relationship with a dating app than with anyone that they’ve met on or off an app.

This is the cycle we find ourselves in. We’re addicted to being on the apps.

Tahlia says that if you’re using a dating app like Tinder to find human connection then you’ll most likely find that, it just might not be your future husband.