What Tinder Is Doing To Your Self-Image

Stephen Hussey

I’ve wondered for a while about how Tinder is making us feel.

For the first time this week, I found some actual research that confirms that both male and female Tinder users report a lower self-image after using the popular dating app.

Scientists asked 1,044 women and 273 men – mostly university students – to complete questionnaires detailing their use of Tinder, and reported the following:

“We found that being actively involved with Tinder, regardless of the user’s gender, was associated with body dissatisfaction, body shame, body monitoring, internalisation of societal expectations of beauty, comparing oneself physically to others, and reliance on media for information on appearance and attractiveness.”

tinder

There’s some irony to this, considering that we are constantly told Tinder is little more a validation-seeking app. Turns out, we’re getting the opposite.

Tinder = 100 tiny rejections

Instead of a confidence boost, those who sit swiping absent-mindedly with their friends, with coffee at lunch, or secretly at the office, are feeling more and more disposable, probably because, for every 1 or 2 matches, it’s hard to shake the feeling that you’re also receiving 100 tiny rejections. 

At least, that was how I felt when I used Tinder.

Aside from the feeling I was burning a pile of hours swiping away when I could have been out with friends or reading a book, or doing anything productive, I couldn’t help but feel that I was being more judged every time I would open up to look at my matches.

This seems to agree with the research, since men were more likely than women to feel their self-esteem lowered after using the app. My guess is that this is because men tend to get far fewer matches than women (at least I’m told) and are probably more likely to treat their results as a definitive scorecard on their looks.

Why Does Tinder Make Us Feel Worse?

By the way, I don’t have any beef with online dating.

Some guys I know love and swear by it. Plenty of women I know use it regularly with varying results. A fair few women at Matt’s seminar events have told me the worst horror stories about it. One university friend of mine told me she’s getting married to a guy she met on Tinder (so clearly it is capable of producing at least some matches made in heaven).

So I don’t think I can sit and moan about dating apps.

But it’s interesting to have something I’ve often felt confirmed by some hard data.

But then the question is: Why does Tinder make people feel worse about themselves?

  • Maybe it’s because in real life we’re not used to facing actual judgment from so many people, whereas on Tinder we have our fears confirmed if that hot guy or girl turns out to have no interest (or if they actually do match with us and turn out to be a huge disappointment).
  • Maybe it’s just exposure to so many attractive people, which causes us to get a kind of “dating FOMO” as we become aware of all the people out there who we’d like to attract.
  • Maybe it just that Tinder makes us focus on our looks too much.

I’d love to hear a woman’s perspective on this, so here are my questions:

1.  Does Tinder make you feel worse or better about yourself?

2. Have you deleted Tinder? Did your self-esteem improve afterwards?

Let me know in the comments below!

Until next week ;)

Stephen

9 Texts No Man Can Resist

83 Responses to What Tinder Is Doing To Your Self-Image

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  1. Sally says:

    Tinder is fascinating culturally. When I’m in Milan or Torino and use Tinder, I feel like the most beautiful desired woman in the world. I get matched on almost every guy I swipe right, and a lot of them actually go ahead and write me right away–and even want to text multiple days in a row in advance of when we meet. In contrast, when I’m in the US, I find it very depressing. Almost none of the guys are attractive–so many out of shape, badly dressed guys at sports games. And my “hit rate” is much lower. When I do get a match, they almost never write. I can get guys 12 years younger than me who just want a hookup and figure if a woman >40 wants to meet up it’s just for sex (which is true), but overall it’s a “bust.” So i’ve had both experiences–it’s been at times a huge ego boost, and at other times very discouraging.

  2. Pat says:

    Tinder was introduced to me by my cousin. I had no idea at the time that it’s mainly for hook ups…

    Fastforward: I met this man and turned out he’s someone a family member knew. We had a relationship but didn’t last long. Deleted my Tinder account after we met several times.

    Factors: 1. Family disapproval (my side)
    2. Lack of communication between us
    3. We both just broke up with our Exs

    In short, we parted ways and hurt each other. This was early this year.

    Conclusion: No matter what dating app you’re into, make sure you’re ready to embark into a fresh relationship and challenges. Love yourself before loving others.

    P.S. We are in contact after almost a year and we’re friends now.

    Cheers!

  3. je says:

    we meet ppl on tinder or bump on them on the street r just the same thing.its the tool to meet up with others.tinder aint cause ppl a low self image,its already in them way before they wven on tinder..
    dont focus on how u meet them,just on how we treat others and self

  4. Su says:

    Hey Stephen,

    my thoughts about Tinder are ambivalent. As exchange student I was introduced to the app in America firstly. Since my friend told me straightforward that this app mainly just gets you laid, I didn’t have high expectations. Till that point I was of the opinion that I was completely undesirable and unattractive to men at this point, so Tinder was just some funny distraction from being single for a long time. I chose to not waste my time with looking for Mr. Right anymore and try to enjoy my single status for the first time.

    In my descriptions I made clear I was leaving the country soon anyways and therefore was just looking for one or the other joyful date with a person who could improve the time I had left.
    The feedback I got was incredible and boosted my self-esteem a lot. Additionally, I successfully hit on a very handsome guy who I hardly knew WITHOUT EVEN USING Tinder. Maybe just because I felt “Hey, I’ve got nothing to loose and seems I am not as horrible as I thought”? I knew the guys I met were focused on sex, but so was I. Each one of them treated me respectfully and I felt comfortable with the solution, enjoyed the last 5 weeks and wondered why I had wasted the last 9 months being without any man? Confused of my sudden ‘impact’ on and easy game with the other gender, I left for Germany. I was continue with Tinder…

    …but here’s the thing: It’s a completely different thing depending on your culture!

    Back here men all of a sudden were impolite, harsh, rude, bored or the other extreme: clingy, pushy, desperate, impatent. I tried to repeat the first good experiences but the ones I thought on dating for sex only acted either disrespectful (you can imagine that these dates lasted 5 minutes only) or were completely not at ease with the situation. They told me they simply didn’t expect to get laid even if they had tried there best to get to this point and yet seemed to be overwhelmed with what they got.
    Tinder became frustrating and infuriating, even just for hooking up.

    To sum it up, I agree with you on a long-term perspective. There are some really nice guys out there (I met some just for a nice talk, but without further attraction there mainly is no other outcome to this). In my opinion the idea to show you WHICH men CLOSE to you are single at all and WHAT THEY ARE INTERESTED IN is a brilliant concept. Unfortunatelly, it turns out to be another online platform that allows impolite behaviour on a regular basis. The bad ones scare away the good ones who would really be interested in getting to know you. And since it’s all about your looks it supports judging people by that standard only. Maybe you heard of the website “hot or not” that once was trendy when I was a teanager. Big mistake!…

    You and your brother are definitely right to point out one should focus on meeting new people in real life and not letting an anonymus, superficial and bored mass judge if it’s worth getting to know you.

    I know I write a lot. Always. I honestly appreciate that you’re both capable of focussing on your statements and cropping them as short as possible for us. From experience I know it takes a while to manage that!

    Thank you guys for your hard work!
    :-*

    Yours,
    Su

  5. Kit says:

    I’d like to think I have a lot to offer in the dating pool, but using apps like Tindr and Bumble has sent my confidence plummeting into a dark abyss. I get matches and hold conversations with a few guys, but at the end of the day, It doesnt feel real.
    From what I’ve experienced, it causes me to go into an almost xonstant state of anxiety. Always wondering if I’m goid enough to compete with tge rest of the profiles on there.
    We as strong, self-suffucient women are being seen and trwated as expendable, because if someone doesn’t like something about you, or your profile, the next best thing is just a right swipe away. It’s very dissapointing. But unfortunately, this is where we are now as a society.

  6. newbie says:

    1. Does Tinder make you feel worse or better about yourself?

    Both. If I have a good ‘run’ (see attractive men, get plenty of likes/messages) it can boost a good mood or improve a bad mood (“yay, there’s hope!”). Likewise, if I visit a site/app and have no new likes/messages and only find unsuitable men your good or bad mood can plummet. I only visit them now when I’m feeling positive because I don’t want to use them as a self esteem tool when I feel low, too unhealthy.

    2. Have you deleted Tinder? Did your self-esteem improve afterwards?

    No, but I haven’t used any dating sites/apps for a whole weekend and instead just focused on spending time with my family and relaxing. Honestly, for the first time I feel at peace with myself since I started using them a few months ago.
    If you want to be proactive in your love life and struggle to meet men and you feel that you can’t get internet dating right – and it’s meant to be a surefire way to at least meet *someone* even just for one night – it can be demoralising.

  7. Emma says:

    I completely understand your perspective, but felt as though Tinder (at least in my case) was actually quite a nice way to receive validation after getting out of a long term relationship. I used it as a stepping stone to test out the dating waters again when I felt ready.

    Though I never met many people in person I felt were a right match, it was at least fun to see that I can still be a fun datable person that men are attracted to. (After 4 years in a dying relationship you really begin to wonder)

    App is now deleted, because it was taking up too much time away from things that are super important right now. I’m sure I’ll be back once life calms down, but I suppose the main drawback is the amount of time you need to spend on the app just to get to an actual in person meet up. It’s time consuming, but I think it can be done in a positive way if you have the patience for it.

    Lovely as always!
    Thanks :)

  8. Londoner says:

    I use Tinder and Bumble (similar) and find it to be an emotional rollercoaster, but I can easily feel like that about life anyway. I make a point of only checking it once or twice a day so that I can focus on my ‘real’ life more and so a match doesn’t become a big deal for me. I also recognise the reasons I stop replying to people are not a negative representation of them (unless it’s because they’re rude, don’t ask questions or are needy), but it’s a reflection on us a a pair who may not have much in common. I know so many people in long term relationships through online dating that I give myself a little boost if it gets on top of me. Don’t take it so seriously. The great thing is, unlike ‘proper’ dating sites, with Tinder you don’t have endless boring facts about hair colour and shoe size to read, you just go with an instinct and see what happens. You also don’t have a list of those you like sitting there unmatched. You forget who you’ve swiped so don’t dwell on it until they appear in your matches page. My confidence comes from being discerning; ditching the ones who annoy me or seem inadequate, just as I would if speaking in real life.

  9. Om says:

    1) Tinder made me overall feel worse for myself.
    For awhile, my self esteem was up because I was able to get good matches – by good, I meant guys who were good looking. I already knew that it’s now reputed to be a “hook up” app. Just had one date over it and it was a bad one. One sent me a dick pic. I didn’t get any good connection even with any of my matches. So it made me feel like…am I just good enough for hook ups?
    I know one friend who got a boyfriend over Tinder so I should not shut it down. It’s a way to meet new people but just have the lowest of expectations.

    2) Yes, I deleted it and my self esteem was the same as it was before Tinder.
    I was on Tinder for study and a dare. So I tried,,,then I knocked it. In real life without Tinder, I have met some guys who are interested in just hookups. The big difference is at least you get to see them, talk to them, know how they smell, etc.

    Self esteem is built with or without dating apps.

  10. Cindy says:

    You are exactly right! I don’t know “Tinder” but use a similar app which the FIRST thing they see is your age. Whereas in (real) life, I don’t have that problem –noboday goes around with a banner around their forehead with their age pasted upon it– on the on-line dating* site there is simply no way around it unless you want to lie about your age and…why should I?
    *By the way, I find the term “on-line dating” a in itself a contradiction in terms: if you’re “on-line”, you’re not “dating”, any more than “on-line dining” would fill your stomache with great food!

  11. Diane Coley says:

    I used it for months, with only two dates. which was nice fun guy never spoke to again and the other was just looking for one thing….I passed. I didn’t feel that it affected my self esteem at all. My issue is that there were so many self absorbed a**holes on it. I’m in South Florida.

    I never deleted it, just don’t use it right now. Contemplating going back to it…

  12. Kat says:

    Actually I never felt less attractive. However it did bother me that almost no one seemed to read the text below the pictures – the only way to show / tell something about yourself beside the looks.
    I deleted Tinder because at the end of the day I felt like only my looks count. And everything else is so not of interest. Or scaring people away. I know, matt told lots of times that guys aren’t afraid of smart / successful women but in my experience they are. Ok. Could be that I only picked the wrong guys (but I’m not only talking about Tinder here). When I meet guys it often goes like this : smalltalk, followed by a nice conversation. Then they learn eventually about my work / education. The look on their faces : surprised to frightened (I’m a chemist. With a phd. Maybe they think I’ll poison them if they annoy me lol). Then again some conversation in which they tell me how impressive my cv is followed by “u know, you’re a really nice and interesting person. And also hot. We could have friendship with benefits but I’m not looking for a rs” – when 24h before that they told me they’d in principle be open to one.

    So, no. I’m not feeling worse about my body or looks. I seriously questioned my personality. That’s even worse I guess.

    Hope somebody reads this sermon lol

  13. d86856316@yahoo.com.tw says:

    1. Does Tinder make you feel worse or better about yourself?
    When i was use Tinder, it makes me feel unrealistic, the more I using the more I feel empty inside, although you get plenty matches but its just not what i want i never get serious or willing to having a deep conversation, i feel worst when i use Tinder. Feels like i have to using Tinder to get to talk but then it’s not the way i want to talk,its just not helpful.
    2. Have you deleted Tinder? Did your self-esteem improve afterwards?
    I use it for a quiet long time, for like a year then i deleted it,after i deleted it i never feel like that free before, suddenly i can do a lot things instead based my life on searching matches or talk to those people i’m not even insterest, i learn how to be alone instead being lonely, and my self esteem did improve, its hard to get rid of Tinder at the first month you try to focus on other things happens in real life instead focus things happens in internet life, its makes me such a different person, and i’m proud of myself did a good choice.

  14. Ineke says:

    Hi Stephen! The first thing that comes to my mind is to reverse the reasoning: aren’t people who use Tinder already less confident than people who don’t use Tinder? With that I mean: I don’t understand well enough from your writing whether the research compared levels of self confidence BEFORE and AFTER use of Tinder, or whether it examined the self confidence of Tinder users. I’m assuming it’s the first, but it’s an important distinction. From my perspective, being a confident 27-year-old, I don’t need the validation of Tinder to feel good about myself. In other words: I wouldn’t let a dating app influence my self-esteem, because my self-esteem comes from within (this sounds a bit woolly, I admit). Also, I think the time spent on Tinder (weeks, months or maybe years?) might be indicator. I’ve spent a few weeks online there, and then deleted the app because 1) I prefer to make new connections in real life and 2) I have other things in my life to focus on right now (career). I consider going online again at some point, might I feel the urge I’m not meeting enough fun guys in real-life, but that’s not the case at this point in time :) (partly thanks to the wisdom of the Get the Guy book, so thanks guys ;) ).

    To also answer you questions:
    1. Neither – I’m not really bothered by people’s judgements about me unless they know me really well (read: my close friends).
    2. Yes, I did delete Tinder. However, I just used it for 2 or 3 weeks. That was neither a long enough time to influence my self-esteem, nor would I hope any app would influence my self-esteem (positively or negatively). I believe my self-esteem comes from real-life connections with true friends.

    Keep up the good work here, I enjoy the blogs and videos, even though this is my first comment here ever ;)

  15. Mona says:

    I agree with Inna and like her have been on and off it for the past two years with mixed success – mostly negative outcomes actually if I’m to be honest.. Before Matt’s retreat I was only meeting guys on dating sites including Tinder.

    Having put myself out there to start meeting guys more naturally through socialising with new groups of friends, common interests and at the gym – decision I made following lots of realisation at Matt’s retreat in May- I have noticed however a massive change in the quality of guy I am mixing with as a result of coming off the app. As Inna mentions below, it’s so easy to conjure up an image of the guy you meet online only to be sorely disappointed after meeting them in person. Although occasionally the person you meet can be better that what their profile suggests, it’s a risk you need to be willing to take. The stakes are just as likely to go one way or another in terms of outcome on whether you’ll meet your life partner I feel.
    I recently went back on, only to get hurt quite badly again but I think this was more to do with my personal approach to dealing with rejection if I’m to be really honest. I know at least 3 friends who are in current relationships with guys they met on the app and 1 married couple.. So in summary id say it’s just another possible means of potentially meeting someone IF you use it properly (assuming readers here are looking for meaningful relationships longer term) which means only swiping right to those who are clear about what they want and have full written profiles. It should be one other method to finding someone.. Not the only one.. And your head has to be in the right space.. Or else the risk of lowered self- esteem is too greater one to take… As someone who is taking time out currently- that to me is the most important factor..

  16. Inna says:

    I’ve been on and off tinder for more than two years (currently off it) and this is how I see it:

    It’s based on pictures, obviously. I’d read the bio of a person if they decide to text me, because I don’t really keep my attention on somebody for more than 3 seconds (that’s how long it takes me to swipe either left or right). Sounds pretty bad, but that’s how it is and it’s not just me.
    You can’t go on tinder with the idea to impress with your great personality.
    And that’s the downfall. Online dating is a trap most of the time.
    We all had this guy or girl we were texting tor ages, getting into them and their personality, their images, the way they think… But this is like a tunnel- you see only them towards you. No social behavior, no reactions, no habits. And because we are humans, we start to imagine all those things.
    With a head in the clouds, of course, we imagine all the best things….
    And then the date comes and there is this person that doesn’t smile exactly the way we thought and doesn’t really react to the waitress the way you’d like to. Instead of falling for all those small things in a person, we compare the perfect image in our heads to the reality. And this is how the chemistry dies.
    You meet a brand new person for the first time. But it takes a lot of effort to forget the person you expected and liked and adored, and start all over with a not that perfect version of them. Most of the people are not bothered because they think that it’s catfishing.

    in my opinion, there are much better ways to find a partner. Id be much more impressed by a man or a woman in an art course, with passion in their eyes, than a bunch of pictures.
    Don’t take this freaky app too serious.

  17. Sarah says:

    Hi Stephen!

    There are many facets to Tinder, from reasons of use, to affects it has, and I could discuss them all day. I find it fascinating.

    Tinder makes it incredibly easy to “meet” people and date and I think that’s the problem, laziness. I know I am guilty of downloading it in my pyjamas, food down my front, Bargain Hunt on the TV, just to see what’s out there. Possibly even whilst I’m still dating a couple of people… I’m already not putting the effort into these interactions that I would do when talking to someone in person after spending a couple of hours getting ready for a night out.

    I think the answer is approach. It’s a bit of fun that may end up in something amazing, but most likely it will end up in an amazing story. Don’t take it seriously. Meeting someone in person is like spending a few hours cooking yourself a slap up meal, Tinder is a Pot Noodle you eat standing up in the kitchen. Treat it that way.

  18. Nokomis says:

    Hi!
    I understand the point of your article but i wanted to share my point of you which is different.
    I am a curvy woman(people tend to prefer that word instead of fat lol) and never got the attraction i always wanted from men. I did got a few but not as much as my friends.
    Then i started using tinder…and turns out… there are way more guys that are into curvy girls than i thought! So for me this was a real boost of self esteem and since i started using it i got more confortable with my body (even completely) and i learned how to love myself the way i am. Of course you get rejected but i prefer to look at the bright side of this app.
    I met amazing guys on there… and i still believe that it can create some magic. Girls just have to make sure they arent getting involve with the bunch of assh*les that are there too unfortunately.

    All the best for the future ;)

    • Lisa Young says:

      Wow Nokomis This Is Such A Cool Response!! I Know What You Mean, I Have A Much Softer And Curvier Body Than What Mainstream Media Pitches As Skinny/Buff = Perfect And Hot Too. It Wasn’t Until I Was out Of High school That I Learned A Lot Of Guys Find A Natural Womanly Shape Very Luscious And Sexy. I’m Happy Tinder Helped you Embrace And Happily Celebrate Your Natural Shape, I Think True Happiness And Self-Acceptance Produces An Infectiously Magical Glow And You Definitely Have It!!

  19. Samantha says:

    I have tried a few dating apps and initially it was a great boost having all these men say how pretty I was but a few failed meetings later the negatives started to outweigh the positives. Thoughts of what’s wrong with me that I can’t find someone, the frustration of not feeling the same in person as you did online and then the rejection or guilt when you or the other party end it after a few dates or worse just disappear without any explanation just when you thought you’d found ‘the one’. As you said in your article I am not against Internet dating but unfortunately in my experience it has caused me more harm than good.

  20. Maria says:

    Dear Stephen,

    (sorry for my english…am german….and l did not answered your questions perfectly, but tell a little story about my experience there)

    l did not use tinder, but sth similar though. And it turned out, that l actually fall for a guy. But as it was that web site, he told me, that he would never really consider dating a woman who uses this site.
    We had an affaire…a short one…and each time l saw, that he was online but would not contact me, it hurt. And l also couldnt distract myself with other guys….l actually really fall for him.
    Than l talked to one of the guys, who constantly contacted me.
    And we had a straight talk. lt was so much fun.
    He said, that men there just want to fuck. They dont care about the looks, they just need to fuck. He made laugh a lot. And he asked me not to judge him. I said: we are here for the straight talk now!
    We looked at the profils of women and l could reald in between the lines, that most of the women where looking for love and affection. Than we looked at my profil and he explained, how he would read it. It really was a cut in the heart.
    So l could also see how easy l could be played. How obvious it was, that l had bodyshame. Eventhough l seem to look kind of good, because l get enough attention from men. Well l am curvy, though… and l could read in my text, that l appoligized for it.
    Than l met a guy, who asked me in the first minute, if he would be my type. l told him, that he wasn´t, but l reallyy like his directness. And if l would be his type. He sad: no. I offered, that we would tell us all our funny stories, that we had on that forum and that we could be super honest and it would be fun.
    He was lame, though…
    In the end he texted me, that he wants to feel his penis inside me…. Irgh. l asked him why? As l was not his type. So he sad, that he was unfucked and needs to get rid of all the tension.
    Oh my god….
    So there are guys who are just out there for easy sex. They are not interested in connection. They are some strange women, too. Who are kind of nymphomaniacs. But what l heard from, they all must be in strange psychological conditions.

    Ans l realised, that l enjoyed the attention from a lot of men. l could easily get in contact and they were nice.
    (The “straight-talker” sad sth hilariously funny: on that site, ugly women become arrogant!)

    Also l would think, that there are men, who really use, that usually you never ask them: hey. what is going on between us. lt makes it easy for them to have an affaire without anykind of commitment. And l guess most of the women want commitment. Whether they use tinder or other sites/apps. Women seem to have a tendency, that when they have sex, and the sex is good or can develope, they want a closer relationship. A friend of mine (male) uses tinder regurlarly. He told me, that he has 3 women now. He also uses viagra, because he has to perform and be good. He does not want to see one of them for a longer time, because he does not want to fall in love…
    My selfesteem grew in matters of conversation i generall and awarness about what l want and need.
    I still use the site everyonce in a while.

    In the end l found out a lot about myself (6 months of using it). Some experiences have to be paid with tears. And you can train all the things your brother is preaching all the time. Like have a fun conversation, ask interesting questions and so on.
    But when you use these kind of sites/apps as a woman, you better know, what you want! And you better not forget it.

    There are men, who are also looking for commitment on these kind of sites, but as it is a strange place and you see when people are online and “searching” for sth better, it is not a good basis for trust. At least if you do not talk straight forward…(and who does in the begining?)

  21. Kate says:

    Tinder has been a mixed blessing. I should preface this by saying that I live in a foreign country and have a job that has odd hours. When I first downloaded it, I was pumped at being able to take initiative in European country where men tend to be reserved compared to what I’m used to in the states.

    My self-esteem did waver at first. But then I met my ex-boyfriend after about a year of going on one underwhelming date after another. He and I were together for a year that taught me so much about relationships and myself.

    So I’m back on tinder and feel much more immune to rejection. Why? Because meeting so many duds before meeting my ex reminded me that (1) having your picture rejected is not the same as real rejection, (2) it’s fantastic practice for being assertive about standards and investing time in someone who treats you well and (3) it’s just a facilitator. You still have to see what happens when you meet in person — and there are only so many hours and so many days in a week. Even if you matched with 100 fantastic guys, how many are you really going to meet in a month? And, of those, how many are you really going to like? Just got to be patient and remind yourself that none of these people can reject you bc they don’t even know you.

  22. Shreyashi says:

    i tend to delete Tinder after 3-4 days of using. after 5-6 months when I want to distract myself I tend to install and same thing happens. i tend to uninstall because I hardly see response from matches which I would like to continue conversing with. its mostly the creepy ones who initiate the conversation and its kind of annoying

  23. Abby says:

    I’ve been using Tinder for 6 months now. I’ve got quite a lot of matches (just a little over 100), but hardly any of them actually chat, even if I say hello first. And the ones who do chat get into the sex talk straight away. If you refuse to indulge them and ask them to tone down the sex talk at least until you’ve gotten to know each other a little better, they unmatch you. If you don’t say yes to a meet-up straight away after you’ve been matched, they delete you.

  24. Diddy says:

    Hiya! (from The Other Place)
    I recently started reading your articles, your material is beyond great!

    I was on Tinderland for two months in total last year.
    1. I stuck to University people for safety reasons. Even so my overall experience on the dating part was negative. On one hand, some guys would undermine themselves telling me I am “so far ahead” of them. On the other hand, others would grunt on the fact I don’t do rowing or other sport and just jog to de-stress.
    2. I felt pressured because I knew whoever I speak to is probably speaking to a dozen others. I have never feared competition, but the attention jump from one person to the other within a single day is not my style.
    3. After these two months, I met the perfect man for me in real life (at a hackathon!), and it’s mutual and fantastic. He has supported me through the best and worst times and respects me in every way. Tinder went to the bin asap. Actually, I’ve been watching Matt’s videos for the last 1.5 years. The concept of “getting out there, meeting at least 3 new people” got me where I am now, in addition to the other tips, which resonated with me and made so much sense. His free advice was more than enough for me to find love I didn’t know existed. (so yes Matt, you helped 2 programmers find each other :D, and I owe you lots of green smoothies, not suggesting alcohol as we gotta keep healthy)

  25. Cassy says:

    I used Tinder for close to a year and I really enjoyed using it. My self esteem went up, and although there was a little disappointment in non-matches or failed dates, there was another match/date not that far away that would take my mind off it. And those little disappointments weren’t even noteworthy- they were part of the experience for me. I was bullied all the way through school and i was always the one to go after the guy, but on tinder, I had guys coming after me. It was a huge confidence boost and it was a nice change. I became a lot more comfortable in my own skin and I felt great about myself, which in turn had me out and about being active a lot more, which made me feel good… Endorphins or something? ;)
    I met a few crazy guys (and a stalker) that weren’t worth my time, but I also met some really interesting and fun guys who I had a great time with.
    The only reason I stopped using tinder is because I met a guy I fell in love with. That was 2 years ago and we just got engaged.

  26. Juliana says:

    I used tinder for a while and what I found sad and disappointed was the sweeping thing. I felt bad judging guys just for a picture (what if they have an awesome heart and sense of humor??) and that feeling was worst thinking that they would do the same with me!!!!

  27. Arundhati bhattacharya says:

    Tinder or any social dating apps are not good for people who are constantly seeking validation and acceptance from others in this society.
    People seek such sites basically due to body shaming either they are fat , dark etc
    Yes felt quiet relieved after leaving this app.waste of time and energy

  28. Jazzmon says:

    Tinder made me with really good when I would match, but when I didn’t it kind of really sucked. I deleted tinder because I had matches and I wasn’t sure how to talk to them all and I sort of had a falling out with a guy I was talking to on there. It made me feel good to be rid of the app because it made me feel pressured to try. And there was just to many. I’d rather focus on one.

  29. Jami says:

    I’ve never used it. That being said, my friends here in So. Korea normally use it to find other foreigners. I’m too busy teaching on the week days and on weekends, I always have plans. The app would be a waste of time, I think. I’m in a lovely country; I want to explore it.

  30. Denise says:

    I think it actually helped my se esteem, but definitely got the impression that it was just for hookups so that didn’t appeal to me. There’s weirdos on all of them, this one included.

  31. lan says:

    I’ve only heard of the app, never used it, but it sounds quite naive. photos don’t look the same as real person, when a person animates it makes so much difference, even videos not quite the same as real person, cuz when a person actually interacts with you personally it also makes a lot of difference.
    what matters is their attitude, basically every little thing, attraction is quite subtle.

  32. Jenny says:

    1. Tinder doesn’t make me feel worse. I’m fairly confident with my looks. I do wish more people would say hello once matched. Nearly all of the men i swipe yes on match with me. I guess is a numbers game. I’ve met some great people and havnt had any creeps. It pays to be selective. A girlfriend has met her fiance through Tinder.

    2. I’ve got off Tinder fir awhile but not because of my self esteem taking a battery. Just thought the may be more legitimate dating websites to use. I’m currently chatting to a great guy. Well meet up soon.

    • Stephen Hussey says:

      That’s a fair and balanced perspective Jenny. Like I said, I’m not interested in bashing Tinder or telling anyone not to use it, I just thought it was interesting how it may be affecting our psychology.

      Good luck with this new guy! :)

  33. Sondos says:

    I met the worst men I had ever meet before or in my future through tender I notice its only for physico ppl whos hiding them self or having bad self conference that they can’t know ppl or meeting ppl in real life ..I really fealing sorry for them must of them looking only for hookups im talking about Dubai tender

  34. Donna says:

    I am 52 and live on an island in the Pacific that is a popular tourist destination where 60% of the population is 18 or under. Do to my location I don’t think on-line dating is an option. I just downloaded Tender a few days ago in hopes that I may come across an interesting English speaking mature local or visitor. So far I have not found someone that meets my criteria and I have been swiping left all the time. Funny enough, I had a 24 year old who was interested, but I wasn’t. It was fun to see who swiped right. I check at the time of day that people would just be arriving to the island. I try to do all my swiping before most people would look. I think it is my defense mechanism. Just started using it and with my age range and location I don’t have very high expectations of find very many people. So I don’t think it will have much influence on myself esteem.

  35. Sarah says:

    Hi Stephen,

    I’d like to offer an alternative perspective. I haven’t been able to find the original article online (a link would be very much appreciated!) but from what I’ve read, the study is purely correlational, I.e. the participants that use tinder have lower self esteem etc. Without a proper experimental study, you really can’t say that tinder is the cause of that difference. It could well be that single people have lower self esteem in general, or that the category of single people who turn to dating apps do so because of their lower self esteem/body image.

    I’m a tinder user myself, and honestly enjoy the app for what it’s worth. I also think this is important research in to a new area, but I’m wary of allowing it to tell us more than it does. A study of self esteem/mood/attitudes towards men or women measured before and after a swiping session would be very interesting! You could also then factor in the amount of matches received, and the ‘rejection rate’ to see if that mediates the results.

    Food for thought.
    (Can you tell I was a psyc major? )

  36. Diana says:

    Maybe I’m wrong but I feel that Tinder is for desperate men, therefore I will only find desperate men there. I have never used it, I rather go out, I would feel desperate using it..

  37. Belinda says:

    Hi there. I had a 3 week stint on tinder & throughout the experience I noticed a significant drop in my self esteem. The energy it takes to respond to so many people & the disappointment waiting to hear back from the ones that might be compatible was draining.
    I felt my “self” being lost to this unknown world that was based on superficiality. How can one judge a person based on a look?
    I’ve been dating website free for 2 weeks & whilst I’d love a partner to share experience with… I’m not giving up myself to an app that is so shallow.
    Hey… I get it, it works for some… Just not me

  38. Lindsey says:

    The only time I felt bad a on dating app is when I’d been out with someone and it wasn’t flowing well, and then I saw him on the app, or could tell he’d been on it. If I started dating someone, then I’d block them because I didn’t want to know if they were still on – it didn’t make me feel good. That’s why I got rid of these apps.

    I live in a rural area and there aren’t clubs or even many coffee shops so online felt like the only option. I had the most luck with plenty of fish – I met tons of nice, quality guys on there. Tinder was okay. I’d match with ppl but then not really be interested in talking to them. I only went on one date off tinder & he was a huge, persistent asshole. Huge.

    The guy I’m seeing, I met on match.com. I don’t really tell ppl that. We are getting super serious. I picked out my ring, he wants our parents to meet, he wants to meet and hang out with all my family, I get all shy & flustered sometimes because he’s so damn sweet & sexy, even after ten months. He is crazy in love with me & treats me so well! I feel super lucky.

    It took a long time for us to be together after a couple dates and I was dating other ppl because I wasn’t going to wait for him to come around – but I had a huge thing for him, so I was really happy when he wanted a relationship.

  39. Jess says:

    I deleted the app because it didn’t help with my already average self esteem. And there were a few disrespectful, disgusting guys on there that made my skin crawl. The app gave me that sleazy feeling the entire time I was active on it. I’d rather meet someone in person first, who knows, maybe I’ll try again later when I’m bored.

  40. Nicole says:

    I did feel pressure to put my best photo’s forward, and I don’t take a stereotypical beauty shot, I’m a bit more funny in photos. I did feel my personality was bleached out.

    I deleted it as I was just meeting people for dinner and small talk and I couldn’t find any meaningful conversation or like mindedness.

  41. Maria says:

    I used Tinder for a short period of time,but I didn’t let it affect my self-esteem (as far as i’m aware).
    That’s because Tinder showed me just how many attractive men there are around me, and I only need one ;) So even if 95% of them swiped left, the 5% that swiped right are more than enough.
    Nobody likes being rejected, but I don’t think rejection is always a bad thing so that didn’t bother me. I understand that people are attracted to different things and if 100 swipes don’t like me – there are many others who will.
    Conversely, I think people (particularly men) like to inflate the number of matches they get ,if it works in their favour, and that makes people feel invalidated when they only get 1 match for every 10 swipes, while their barely attractive mate Barry gets 9 matches for every 10 swipes.
    My validation comes from within, so I am not affected either way. Perhaps the self-esteems most largely affected are those who joined Tinder seeking validation. We know that ,in society, men are rarely complimented as much as women and they may have signed up hoping that societal norms would be broken since they are not face to face i.e maybe the woman would say hello first, or at the very least reply , but these norms still exist within social media , and that surely makes men question themselves if it happens more than once. When the reality is, women are flooded with messages so some only reply to certain people, while men are rarely messaged.

  42. Cleggy says:

    This really resonated with me . Totally made me feel down in the dumps and didn’t give me energy. Got loads of matches but felt false and admin. Ditched it and now I’m feeling back to myself. Let’s go…

  43. Wendy says:

    Yes, after using tinder I felt bad about myself. I was getting tons of matches but no one would hold a conversation. I’ve deleted the app.

  44. lulu says:

    I have been on dates from tinder and met some nice people once in a while ( once in a while is totally accurate). But the biggest problem I find with Tinder is, exactly the opposite of what Tinder is try g to promote. They keep try g to say it’s a dating app but 99.9% of guys I even answer their message to looking for fun and casual ONLY. I find most of them lazy to even message. I get matches a lot, and I mean too many but never thought of it as a confidence booster. Because since most of the guys just looking for fun, they just click on anything remotely attractive.

    But girls are looking for more than just fun, maybe that’s why guys get less matches.

    To sum up, Tinder is great, if you want to have sex 7 days a week with different guys. I have decided to delete it for this reason :)

  45. Tanisha says:

    I don’t use dating sights anymore, but Instagram is like this for me, too.

  46. Steph says:

    Hi Stephen,

    I found Tinder absolutely tragic! I was really reluctant to give it a go because of things I had heard, but one day a friend convinced me to sign up to it.
    Everyone had said most guys only use it for causal hook ups, and I’m not the kind of girl that looks for that. What I found was that if a guy knew this wasn’t what I was looking for, they made the effort to get to know me, seem like they were interested, say all the right things – so that they could get a date and chance their luck on the date.
    When this first happened I had hoped it was a one off and it was just that guy messing about with my mind. But unfortunately it’s happened a few times now. To the point I have came off of, and given up on all online dating apps.

    I’m just going to go with the flow and believe that the right man will cross my path eventually. I don’t want to go looking for him :).

    • Stephen Hussey says:

      It’s really interesting. Men get depressed about Tinder when they feel like things don’t go anywhere (or they don’t get enough matches), while women get more depressed by matching with so many guys who prove to be creeps.

      Don’t give up on looking for him! Just be open to trying many different methods ;)

      • Steph says:

        Yeah, I would say that’s the experience myself, and others I know have had (men and women).

        I’m becoming more open :) but I think it’s harder to find what is meant to be when you are so busy trying to look for perfect!

  47. Jayne says:

    Hey Stephen,

    It was the opposite for me, I get loads of matches so it’s very validating but I still deleted the app as it just drove me nuts having to converse via text with people.
    The other problem I had is that most of the guys on there are SUPER BORING and can’t hold a conversation which is probably why they’re on there in the first place. No kidding, the most simple answers to open ended questions and flirting possible. And when you ask them about their interests you get. Lot of “oh not much I just chill out….” Kind of answers….
    That being said, I live in a city that has a reputation of being a glorified country town so a lot of people are in their comfort zones and don’t do anything new/different and it’s hard to meet NEW people sometimes so it was interesting to actually talk to people who don’t already know people I know etc.
    Anyway that was my brief foray.

    • Stephen Hussey says:

      Interesting Jayne, I definitely think women get much more quantity of matches (even if not quality) which is probably why it doesn’t lower self-esteem in the way it does for men. Definitely agree with your point that the lame conversations are a big drawback!

  48. Wendy says:

    Not even entertained it

  49. Julie MacKenzie says:

    Hey Stephen! Loved the article…but, I would never use Tinder…I have read an article on tinder…& it was actually interviewing the 20..30 somethings that use it…It was not an article praising it by any means…it was showing how sex is dealt with so casually…and it is a *uck site…Pardon the bad word..but, it talked about “*uckboys”..Tindercellas..and so & so on…I would never go on a site that is nothing but a “booty call” site…It’s all bad! I guess I am “old school” …but, I don’t regret it…if this is what the youngins’ are doing…I do have respect for myself & would never participate in a website like that…that is nothing but, swiping through pages of pages of people…for the reason of a *uck! I find it rather disprespectful & degrading..if you ask me…But, it takes 2! Right?? I would never do it! That is NOT romance to me…I would rather meet someone…converse to find out who the person is…& not be expected to “give it up” at the end of the night…That is NOT my style… I am a Hi-Value woman…and would never conduct myself in that manner…Yikes! The youngins’ can have that crap! NOT for this gal! Just saying….Thanks for the article!
    ;) <3 Hugs!

    • Stephen Hussey says:

      lol thanks Julie. I don’t know if *everyone* on Tinder can be be tarred with that brush but I take your point that it can be tedious to sift through all the crap on the way to someone normal.

      Thanks for commenting!

      • Julie MacKenzie says:

        You’re welcome Stephen…I know it is not all about the “booty call”…but, funny…such a coincidence…One of the gals from The Retreat posted an article on our Retreat page…& it was mostly about Tinder..& mentioning the other similar sites…I found it rather eye-opening…Just because I don’t know anything about those sites…Plus, I’m too old to be on sites like that…My Goodness…I am going to be 55 this year…So…I was quite surprised that the 20, 30 somethings that were interviewed …Were so openly blatant about this topic..The true “shocker” was that the young men interviewed said…They wouldn’t bring home a gal like that to meet Mom?? Isn’t that a double standard…still?? In this day & age…So you would “shag her”..but, you wouldn’t respect her enough to bring her home to meet your Mum?? (I know you Brits spell Mom differently)..LOL! A little taken aback about the whole thing…& the young women feeling the same way…Too busy with their careers..not wanting a serious relationship…& happy jumping from bed to bed?? Did I miss something?? Yikes! Just a bad commentary on what’s happening right now! I don’t think that is progress…I think that is taking so many steps back..No wonder why a lot of the young gals are so discouraged with the dating scene?? Dick pics…the list goes on & on… I didn’t even know guys were posting crap like that?? I must be naïve?? Yikes! Excuse my ignorance about this topic…I had NO idea?? Sheesh!

        • Julie MacKenzie says:

          Stephen…If you get a chance…Read this article from Vanity Fair…It’s called “Tinder & The Dawn of the Dating Apocalypse” by Nancy Jo Sales…VANITYFAIR.COM…I was sent this by a Retreat Sister…You might find this article interesting….

  50. Sara Morgan says:

    I’ve come off online dating altogether as my self-esteem suffers when I’m on it. I also get this feeling of settling as I’ve invested time into someone so might as well give it a go. This is not who I am or who I want to be so decided online dating is simply not for me. I’m giving real-life a go.

  51. María Cañadas says:

    I Just happen to love tinder… Whenever I do swipe right I get a match immediately… Then I just get to know them over the app and if I really get an interesting conversation going I will give them my number. Other wise is as easy as “unmatch”. And if after a few weeks conversation is still interesting I’ll set up a date for coffe or a play and dinner or a standup comedy show… I know guys always come up to me for my looks but tinder helps me have them talking to me to realize that I’m not only pretty, but smart and sensitive and entertaining, and I actually made a lot of friends (not boyfriends) tho I’m not looking for a boyfriend right now either… Just someone to hang out with :)

    • Stephen Hussey says:

      Nice María! It’s good to hear from both sides of the spectrum on this debate. I think you’re right that conversation is the best test for the person you’re really getting. My advice is definitely to have a few chats *before* meeting up.

  52. Amanda says:

    Tinder made me feel amazing about myself. After spending 5 years with a husband who mostly called me fat or was cheating on me, I found that on Tinder I could still attract all sorts of extremely attractive guys from 20 up to 40. (BTW I’m 36, 5’10”, 160 lbs). It was so much of an ego boost I ended up deleting it bc I found a guy I actually liked and found it to be annoying.

  53. Carrie says:

    I’ve leaned that when it comes to online dating, I can’t really place any hope or excitement in it. I’ll swipe right and if I get a message great! If I don’t, I’m putting myself out there in one other way in hopes of finding “the one”! Self acceptance comes from within. Using anything, especially matches on tinder, as a source of validation is a very bad idea!

    I have been guilty of what you’re talking about before and it takes the fun out of the connections you do get because they never seem good enough.

    The truth is, the grass isn’t always greener. Get to know the ppl you do match with and hopefully it’ll pay off! :D

    • Stephen Hussey says:

      Wise words Carrie. I think investing in a few people with whom you have a connection is much more effective than always looking for another person.

    • Lindsey says:

      I agree Carrie! I think that’s the problem with dating apps. We dismiss ppl too quickly without investing, as you mention. Women are too quick to hold their standards as a shield and not give anyone a chance. I love your thoughts on this. You are right on!

  54. Marta says:

    Yet, it felt like a shopping catalogue at first. Name, picture, age, job. That’s why a funny profile is key. It makes the guy more human.

  55. Marta says:

    I actually felt good about myself after using tinder. I didn’t get a lot os matches, but At least I liked the ones that I gor. I usually am aproached by man I don’t feel atracted to at all, so I was wondering if there was something wrong with me. In Tinder I pick guys I find good looking enough but also seem to be nice (not the ones whose photos are unnatural, or the ones showing abs that seem to be in love just with themselves… Pictures with friends or doing something interesting are more atractive) and whose profiles make me interested or make me laugh. I wasn’t expecting no matches at all (there was something wrong with me, in real life this kind of guy never aproaches me), so when I got two or three I felt beyond good. Even if none of the matches ended up working out, the possibility of geting to know someone I might like gave me hope

  56. Maggie says:

    I briefly installed Tinder (and also Bumble). I found myself swiping left on people I felt were “out of my league” and too attractive, as I didn’t want the rejection. But I found that most of the matches ended up not responding to messages, or “ghosting” after communicating back and forth, which is far worse of a feeling than someone swiping left initially. After an interaction, when you get rejected, you feel like you must have said or done something wrong, and that has strongly impacted my self-esteem in a negative way. I deleted Tinder, but am still on Bumble – although I’ll likely delete that as well.

  57. ghada says:

    Hi..Mr.mathew..i discovered you recently.. you are great ..thanks alot for your videos.. it is really useful and practical..i will try it all.. thank you very much..

  58. Trudy says:

    It is indeed depressing to use tinder (I live in Europe not in the US), and I have been thinking about deleting my account lately. I do match with plenty of men, I do not feel rejection in the same sense as in the article.

    My problem is that those men do not see beyond physical appearance and they just want sex. I am tired of being looked at as a sex object. Some men are straight forward about it and tell you that they are only interested in sex before meeting you, others expect sex on first date or the second. If you refuse, they unmatch you.

    Those men make me feel abused. Even a tinder text with sex proposals makes me feel violated. I am not a prude, I am just looking for a man who respects my body and my intellect.

    • María Cañadas says:

      From my point of view ALL man always want is sex… Now, it’s up to you as a woman of value to make them see you are not only that. It’s about how long you keep your legs closed and how you address men in order to avoid those situations. Believe me, I’m a model that has been in men’s magazine in my underwear, what they see at first is sex, you just have to let them down on that and show them all the other great things you have inside. Xoxo!

  59. Becca says:

    I used tinder once. Just to check it out and understand it, since I’m not looking for a hook up… It was disappointing. I found myself rejecting guys who seemed to have nice personalities but who I found unattractive. The ones I found attractive I had nothing in common with. It’s a very surface level, shallow way of judging ppl.

  60. Tae says:

    I wasn’t on Tinder but a similar dating app, and YES I absolutely felt like crap when I was on it. I felt judged and the interaction I had with guys made me feel disposable. Almost all of them ended as ghosters, and I really believe it has to do with that mentality that if there are so many others why stop at this one? I was only on it for a few months, but that was enough and I deleted it. Since then I’ve felt my self esteem is back to normal. I feel happier and I’m feeling hopeful about guys again. I think this will carry on to going out more and just meeting guys in person.

  61. Aj wells says:

    Yep got rid of it and I’m dating more people with out it

  62. Zisele says:

    I used Tinder before, and I deleted the apps off my phone while ago. Having a lot of matches (and really it’s a lot), I could tell it was a little of confidence boost for me when I started using it. Then it became a tool to meet variable of people so I could have more sense with people and my surrounding. As I got a little wiser, I know my self worth, and I swear by the fact not everyone is everyone’s cup of tea, so I did not get discourage from being rejected. It actually helped me getting use with not being chosen and I’d just shrug shoulders and say next. I’d say it’s more of the mentality of users. Some might be discouraged and lowered self-esteem by it, but if you believe strongly in yourself, nothing can affect you. :)

  63. Emma says:

    I have never used Tinder, but I have tried dating websites and it made me feel crap, and ironically I also would display the same behaviour I was experiencing.

    It is not something for me, but I know a lot of friends have had success online…me I need connection and looks as I am vain.

  64. Iselin says:

    I must say I do feel kinda worse because of it and have been thinking about deleting it for a while. It’s not that I don’t get matches with guys I’d like to get to know, but I feel so replaceable. There are so many guys just looking for one thing, and you don’t exactly feel that good about yourself when they don’t even want to get to know you.

    • Zisele says:

      I think it’s the social norm now that you are courage to date multiple people to find what you really want. So the guys are pretty much replaceable too. I guess you’ll get used to it after a while

  65. Lily says:

    It didn’t bother me that much when I didn’t match with someone as often I would match with a bunch of others whom I’d be excited about. My biggest problem is that i tended to chat with guys who were too often on there to find casual sex buddies or guys who were just looking to flatter their egos.
    It’s frustrating ’cause i’d say that compared to other dating apps, it was the one with the most attractive guys on but the fact that people feel like they have all the choice in the world make them treat individuals as just another profile and it leaves little space for building a relationship.

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