How do you detect a partner desiring only a one-night stand from one desiring a long-term relationship? Tinder.
For the past seven years, the infamous dating app, Tinder, has brought users entertainment, heartbreak and love. However, the app has transformed the way people view dating and helps users discern which romantic partners to pursue and avoid.
Communication professor Anita Vangelisti said that 20 years ago, meeting and evaluating a potential romantic partner was still largely based on convenience. However, initiating the actual date was based more on intention.
“That moment of ‘I want to spend one-on-one time with this person’ had to be more intentional because the individual who was initiating had to do the initiation,” Vangelisti said. “With technology, you still have to do the initiation, but you’re a step away from the person.”
On a global scale, Tinder has altered the way people think about initiating and maintaining relationships, Vangelisti said. Now, Tinder brings awareness to the fact that people have goals of either pursuing a long-term relationship or a one-night stand.
“There’s always been people out there who want to have one-night stands. It’s just easier for them to do it (now),” Vangelisti said. “For some people, that’s dreadful but the good part is that it’s much more explicit now than it used to be.”
This explicitness is just one advantage for Tinder users. Vangelisti said it’s quicker, includes less time and emotional investment, provides more dating alternatives and gives the appearance of more control. Convenience also serves as an advantage, as government sophomore Zoe Kimura said she met her now-boyfriend within a few hours of downloading Tinder.
“All the time (we talk about), ‘Would we have spoken to each other if we didn’t have Tinder?’” Kimura said. “I don’t think we would necessarily be in a relationship the way we are if I didn’t have that availability to just swipe on him and interact.”
While Kimura successfully achieved her goals through Tinder, the app still has some disadvantages for its users. Vangelisti said with more dating alternatives comes a stronger possibility of running into dishonest people. Additionally, associate communication professor Rene Dailey said the expectations for the relationship’s longevity are probably different now.
“People are more open to hookups, short-term relationships or friends-with-benefits types of relationships,” Dailey said. “We don’t have data to compare, (but) we would find those things more prevalent now, and technology has helped with that.”
Journalism junior Maya Vela said she’s experienced this hookup culture surrounding Tinder, which helped her recognize her actual relationship goals.
“(I’ve felt) emotionally hurt, because I realized, ‘What am I doing?’” Vela said. “I realized that I needed somebody to get to know me, because I have certain needs in that department. Now, I just want to foster a relationship.”
Despite whether or not Tinder helps or harms dating culture, Dailey said a few studies concluded relationships still require investment to maintain a relationship.
“Technology makes it easier for us to meet and chat with new people,” Dailey said. “But it still takes just as much effort to build an intimate relationship, regardless of how you initiated the relationship.”