Adventures in apps: Cuddlr, Tinder and, er, 3nder

Dating apps are weird. I don’t care how normalised they have become in the life of the average single twenty-something, there’s still something about a lot of them that rubs me up the wrong way – especially after a recent experience.

I should say at this point that my interaction on these apps is limited, and for that I am grateful. I’ve been going out with a really great guy for nearly three years (smug? Moi?), and I am convinced (convinced!) that had Tinder been operational while I was still single, all hell would have broken loose.

Not that it hasn’t already done so among my friends. One of the girls Googled a guy she was chatting to only to find he was up in court, another had the L-word used on her a week in, and one lad I know has his profile picture used for catfishing purposes on Tinder. The list goes on – it's bleak.

Dating has always been a bit of a minefield, but stuff like Tinder definitely pushes new boundaries – and as I found out, so does Cuddlr. My experience with Cuddlr, billed by its creators as a ‘location-based social-meeting app for cuddling,’ all started out as a bit of innocent fun. Isn’t that what they all say? Famous last words…

Last month after hearing about it, myself and a few colleagues downloaded it at lunch one day for the fun of it, simply because we could not believe that something this ridiculous actually existed. The app itself has a number of glitches and is pretty weird; but still, we sent each other and some strangers cuddle requests, had a good laugh and then went back to work. I totally forgot I even had the app until later that evening, when this notification popped up.

Because of the aforementioned glitchiness, I couldn’t even see who it was from.

I was instantly terrified, but I should have known – it’s location-based, so whoever was messaging me was able to see where my office is. I checked in with some of my colleagues to see if it was any of them, messing – it wasn’t.  I was scared. Cuddlr was deleted straight away, lesson learned. Don’t use Cuddlr unless you’re serious about the whole stranger hook-up element.

Each to his own, but it’s experiences like these that make me totally miss the days when socialising online was limited to the likes of Habbo Hotel and Neopets. I still prefer meeting people the good old-fashioned way – nice and awkward, in person, sometimes with a bit of Dutch courage.

Of course, I’m open to correction; there is no right or wrong here, only experiences. Surely there are happy couples out there who met on Tinder? Has a cuddle courtesy of Cuddlr helped you get through the day?! Let us know!

Oh, and did you really think I was going to tell you all about the time I used 3nder – the threesome hookup app? Nah. I’ll leave that to the more adventurous…

Deirdre Foley is a history grad, sceptic, wearer of red lipstick and self-confessed 'beauty maniac'. She is also the co-founder of fabulous Irish beauty blog, Viva Adonis.