As a single woman who has traveled the world I have tried Tinder in a lot of different places. And of all the places I have been, New York is objectively the worst place to use tinder. Some of you might feel like it’s necessary. After all, how do you meet people?
If you are a twenty something woman like me, you’ve probably gone to bars and been approached by more than a few creepy men. It is so much easier to sort through the trash when everything is online with links to social media.
While I am a huge fan of online dating in general, using Tinder in New York is awful, here is why.
More People = More Problems
There are terrible people on dating apps wherever you go. Everywhere I’ve been in the world, there has always been some guy demanding a blow job. While the creeps are not entirely avoidable, there are far fewer of them in less populace cities. In a city of 8 million people, the potential for creeps increases exponentially.
You might be thinking, “yeah, but with a bigger population there is also more quality people to date.” This statement is both true and untrue. Just because a guy or gal or nonbinary individual online isn’t awful does not mean you want to date them. There are so many people you can go out with who are just okay, or boring, or nice but not your type.
Finding a person you actually want to date or hookup with is not a simple matter of “Are they good or bad?” There are a million criteria every individual person has for what they are looking for. Conversely, when you deal with someone you don’t like it is much easier to sort them. Though increase in people may bring both friend and foe, you will spend a lot more time sorting through the foes than you like.
It Doesn’t Focus on Women
When looking at a dating app like Bumble, we see the desires of women are put first. For heteronormative pairings women have to message first. This significantly decreases the number of creepy messages you get. If I had a dollar for every time a man on Tinder instantly sent me a creepy message, I would have enough money to buy out Tinder and change its platform.
While there are certainly men who receive uncomfortable messages from women, this problem effects women on a much larger scale. Giving women greater autonomy in their dating life is a key step in limiting sexual assault and rape culture. When women have power, they receive more respect, and can navigate their dating lives more safely.
Not so Queer Friendly
While there are certainly queer individuals on Tinder, it is not a place that makes an effort to be inviting for queer individuals. It sticks to a heteronormative gender binary, where you can only be a man or a woman. This forces nonbinary individuals to pick a side, instead of putting down their true identity. In settings you can choose if you want to look at men, women, or everyone, but this follows the same sort of problematic logic. Even for queer individuals who identify within the gender binary, having three options for sexuality is extremely limiting.
There are so many more LGBTQ+ dating apps that are much friendlier to the queer community such as Thurst, HER, or TRANSDR. New York’s bustling queer community deserves dating apps that are formatted for them. Even if you are a cishet individual, supporting other queer friendly apps is a great way to be an ally.
The problem with using Tinder in New York is that New York is huge. Not just population wise, but geographically as well. This problem is not unique to Tinder, but the company has done little to fix the problem. You account will follow you wherever you go, so if you go to Harlem one time to visit a friend even though you live in Staten Island, you will be getting Harlem based matches forever.
This becomes a particularly big problem for those who commute across the city for work, but probably don’t want to commute for their love life. Hinge‘s solution to this problem came through finding matches near where you live. If you live in Midtown it will give you matches in Midtown, if you live in Queens you’ll get matches in Queens. No more flood of matches from that one time you wanted to try a bakery across town.
The easiest solution is to use different dating apps. If you still want to use Tinder because you love the rush, power to you. In today’s world dating apps are a necessity for not dying alone. And if you are sick of looking for your own significant other, check out our article on how to get your friends to do it for you. The most important thing is to be prepared with whichever one you choose and know what you are getting into.