Tinder Dates with Dom

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I’m not a Tinder virgin. Before I started this project, I’d been on many dates and hangouts because of the popular app.

Before starting the project, one of my most memorable dates was meeting a group of guys who were vacationing at the same time as my girlfriends and me. We ended up having a bonfire, skinny-dipping in the ocean, swimming in their pool and drinking champagne while listening to Cherub. It was one of the best nights of our summer.

My experiences with Tinder have been mostly wonderful. Yes, I’ve received the occasional raunchy message, but I solve that problem quickly by un-matching that person. Tinder gets a bad reputation for many reasons.

A Vogue article breaks down how Tinder functions, but I disagree with its notion that Tinder is bad.

The truth is that people don’t pursue romantic relationships with people they’re not attracted to.

Tinder simplifies the awkward friend zone conversation that’s bound to happen if you aren’t attracted to someone physically, while still enjoying many other aspects of their company.

After reading articles about the hookup culture Tinder has created and a slew of bad reviews, I’m here to defend Tinder and give it back its dignity. In my biweekly voice, “Tinder Dates with Dom,” I use Tinder to match with people I find attractive, take them on a date and film it.

The idea of filming and sharing my Tinder dates with the world occurred in a casual brainstorming session with my roommates. Once the magazine staff approved the idea, I created a new Tinder account with a bio saying that I was a journalist for 22807 Magazine. The next few weeks were spent swiping through hundreds of faces — some of them familiar, some of them ugly — until I had a solid base of matches.

Initially, I tried to work Tinder as if it were a machine. I copy and pasted a statement that said something along the lines of, “Hi, I’m a journalist for 22807 Mag. I’m doing a column called Tinder Dates with Dom, would you be interested in being featured on a date?” Most people didn’t like this and either didn’t respond or were initially suspicious.

I had an epiphany and realized that if I wanted this to work, I had to do it for real. By starting off with a real conversation, people were more willing to meet me. Once I set up a date and disclosed all the details, including that my cameraman would be accompanying us, we were ready for action.

Naturally, I met many different people on Tinder. The majority of users I’ve encountered are college-aged students who are interested in meeting new people, with the intention for it to lead to something more, whether it’s a hookup, relationship or even marriage. There’s a percentage of people on Tinder who are just looking for friends, or couples looking for a third person to add to their sexual fantasies. There are also people who use it solely for a confidence boost.

My favorite thing about Tinder is how many options it has and how easy it is to use. Tinder uses your Facebook and Instagram profiles to create your Tinder profile and boasts 1 billion matches.

However, the Internet seems to think this is bad.

Tinder’s connotation is linked to promiscuity, and it seems that people are scared of their significant others not being faithful.

Putting people’s insecurities of their relationships aside, Tinder offers what people in college are looking for. We don’t want to wait. Whether it’s getting food, getting drunk or getting laid, we want it fast, easy and with minimal effort. Tinder allows its users to fast forward past the game of mutual attraction and puts you in contact immediately.

Matching with someone right after you swipe them is exhilarating. Starting a conversation is always the trickiest, but meeting them in person is the best.

People are sometimes not what you expect, and that can be the best or worst part.

On the dates I’ve been on while being filmed, some of the reactions I’ve received are, “You’re taller than I expected,” or “You’re a lot bubblier than I imagined.”

Of course, you can’t know someone after only a few hours, but it gives you the opportunity to make a decision about whether or not you want to see them again. For the people who are too focused on their life to make a life with someone else, Tinder is the perfect opportunity to meet your match.