September 12 2012 completely changed the landscape of online dating, when a pair of entrepreneurs launched an app which would connect millions upon millions of potential couples.
Facilitating hook-ups, true love, long-term relationships and the occasional unsolicited WhatsApp dick pic, the app revolutionised the prior preconceptions people had about dating online.
Tinder brought online dating right to our phones, making it more accessible and user-friendly for the millennial generation – and on the 6th anniversary of the app's launch, we're reflecting on six tales of wow and woe when it comes to the app.
'I've had more horror stories than good when it comes to Tinder, but the one that almost put me off for life (almost!) was when the guy in question met me outside the restaurant and quickly explained he'd "had one or two" in the pub across the road to calm the nerves. This was fine. Dutch courage, I get that. But the whole evening was quite bizarre. He kept insisting that I looked like I wasn't having a good time and would I prefer to just go home now? I thought, up to this point, that I had been very chatty and pleasant – I was doing most of the talking! Then our food arrived. He quickly said the food wasn't great (I had recommended the restaurant, so…opps?) and then proceeded to eat the spaghetti – with his fingers. No, I'm not kidding.
Then, dessert time. I politely say I won't have another but would he like a coffee? He says I'll just order another. No, not a drink. An entire bottle of wine. Which he drank. To himself. He stumbled out the door and down the stairs (I don't know how we both didn't topple down and kill ourselves) and to the bus stop, while I wearily went to get a taxi and thought, 'Never Again.' – Anonymous
'As a single-mum taking on the dating scene, I don’t have much time to waste. Friends gave me a gentle nudge to dip my toe back into the water by trying online dating – let the hunger games begin. First off, 90 percent of men, once they found out that I birthed a child, disappeared. Secondly, I was very selective with who I chose to go on a date with, as organising a babysitter (thanks mum), and going out – is very much a luxury for me, so I wanted to make sure I would have a good night. Whilst I did have some success with it and met one incredible guy, we all know you’re here for the ugly – so let’s cut straight to it. I get asked to drinks by what seems like a relatively nice guy, we had spoken for a while and I got those good vibes.
However, the day of the date, I find his Instagram – cue 10,000 shots of him topless – okay, we get it – you’ve got abs to die for. My gut was a little worried about my find, but my brain talked myself around in still going for a scoop (BAD CHOICE). When I finally meet ab guy; the funny, charming and talkative guy online, had nothing to say for himself. I am usually quite talkative and am comfortable around people, but his silence threw me entirely – out came my word vomit and here commenced the digging of the grave for this date. I got more and more nervous to WHY ON EARTH this guy wasn’t saying a word, despite asking him a million questions. – Was it nerves? Shyness? Or was it me? After four hours straight of talking myself into several holes; he announced he was leaving. – Probably one of 30 words he said all night. – THANK THE LORD. BUT WAIT: He INSISTED on walking me to the Luas and thatten-minutee wait for the tram was torture. It’s fair to say we never spoke again, but the moral of the story is to always find their Instagram first and always pick coffee, never a drink for a first date. – That way you don’t waste as much time and you can make a faster escape. The strong and silent type might be for some, but this was unbearable.' – Sorcha
'Tinder is great for the old ego boost but trying to get an actual IRL date locked in was harder than trying to choose a random movie to watch on Netflix. Too many choices involved and no one willing to make any kind of commitment. This date was different though. He was Brazilian and new to Ireland, and new to Tinder for that matter, so before he could know any better I suggested we meet for a drink and he suggested ‘Tomorrow?’ Sold.
The next night dressed in Penneys best, I found myself in JT Pims (a great first Tinder date bar) waiting for my potench new Latino lover to arrive. He walked in beaming from ear to ear, enveloped me in a bear hug and offered me a drink before legging it to the bar. I settled into my seat excited for what I hoped would be hours of fun and flirting.
Two hours later I was making my excuses to leave, but not before he told me that his heart was melting for me, he wanted us to travel around Ireland together, and that he could see himself falling in love with me. He bought me a rose and kissed my hands all over and up my arm and told me I was the most amazing woman he had ever met. ‘Um, I’ve got to go now’ I said edging towards the door, worried that at any moment he would propose or cling to my feet like in some over the top Disney movie. By the time I got home he had liked every single one of my Insta pics dating back five years and had sent me five messages trying to lock in another date. Block. Unmatch. Thanks but no thanks. Back to the drawing board….' – Ariana
'Despite having very little faith in dating apps, I met my last boyfriend on Tinder. Well, not strictly speaking. I moved in to a new apartment with my best friend, and to celebrate, we decided to throw a housewarming party and invite everyone in the building. I knocked on the door of the girl who lived directly below us, and she agreed to attend our little soiree, so long as she could bring her boyfriend.
By the time she and her man arrived, we were all already half cut, and while I thought her beau was cute I paid him little attention knowing he was spoken for, instead investing my time in the makeshift karaoke station we had set up (aka, an open laptop perched on the kitchen counter with lyrics videos playing on YouTube, using a hairbrush and a wooden spoon as mics). We had a quick, polite conversation on the balcony having a cigarette, and that was it – I promptly forgot about him after waking up the next morning with a pounding head and no voice from screeching The Kooks songs all evening.
A few days later I was on Tinder swiping away, and got a message – 'Hey Sarah, how have you been keeping?' After a bit of confusion over the messages' familiarity, I quickly realised who it was and immediately had a crisis of conscious after he asked me for a coffee, wondering was I about to embark on a passionate, ill-fated affair with my downstairs neighbour's boyfriend. However, we went for that coffee, he informed me that they had broken up the night of the party after I presumably seduced him with my tone-deaf rendition of The Darkness' I Believe In A Thing Called Love, and we dated for two years. Without happening upon me on Tinder, he never would have found me as he only knew my first name. We didn't work out, but I do have Tinder to thank for connecting me with my favourite ex-boyfriend.' – Sarah
'Okay, so I moved across the world to study in the magical, Emerald Isle. But I swear my only focus was on studying and travel. There was no room in my life for a man. At least that’s what I told myself. But after a few weeks of loneliness and some late night chats with my roommate, I decided to give the Tinder app a try – for the fun of it. It was a good compromise. I told myself to go on some dates but not have to make a commitment I’d leave behind when I returned home at the end of the year. Then one day, a guy I had matched with sent me a joke out of the blue. Curious for the punchline, I messaged him back and found myself in bits at his reply. If you know me, you know that I love a good cheesy joke. Im talking pure dad-joke material. They’re my favourite. And this total goofball was full of them.
It went on like that for weeks, I think. I found myself looking forward to his texts. This guy, mind you, was shown in those carnival-sized sunglasses and a feathery boa in his profile picture. Fast forward, to a night out in town when we were talking longer than usual and discovered we were both in town at pubs right beside each other. He asked if I wanted to meet up and I agreed, after a few beers in me.'
My heart thumping to the blaring, cringe music in Dicey’s I found him looking for me. And he was wayyy hotter than that dorky picture on Tinder. He claimed Americans couldn't drink more than the Irish, and that was it. My competitive nature took over as I proved him wrong. (We still argue to this day over which one of us won). We spent all night together, talking and laughing amidst the crazy chaos in the club. And we’ve been inseparable ever since, surviving long distance and all the other stuff that came our way for two and a half years. Who knew Tinder was the modern-day Cupid?' – Anonymous
'My first Tinder date was the best one I ever had. It was with the Dutch courage of several few whiskeys in my local that I sent the simple, ''we should meet for a drink'' before he had even messaged me. After my initial disappointment that he wasn't tall, we spent the following four hours talking, drinking, flirting, smoking – it pretty much went by in a haze of tipsy splendour.
What followed were a few months of being inseparable, but my J1 and summer in Boston were looming so we decided to split. It was a lot harder than I thought and after a goodbye letter/email/Skype, I remember sitting in a cafe down the road from my new apartment in Boston, trying to catch the shitty rays of Wifi and crying noisily into my phone to him. We didn't make it, but I'm smiling even now as I'm writing this because it was a happy time.
Tinder, you might seem like you're full of arseholes but occasionally, after a few whiskeys and a risky message, you come up with a good one.' – Aoife