Dating a trap
While Nicola is constantly swiping right looking for another hit, so is everybody she meets.Nicola reports encountering men unwilling to commit when there is a constant supply of fresh meat to savour and claims the app is killing the art of romance, never mind common decency: “Even my friends have noticed that nobody is meeting in real life any more because it’s easier just to go on Tinder,” she says.
“Why would a man bother buying you a drink and chatting you up when he can take out his mobile to find dozens of women attracted to him?
When I am approached, the guy simply asks if I’m on Tinder so he can add me to the list.“Even then he’d probably end up ‘ghosting’,” Nicola says, describing matches that simply disappear after contact has been made.“You could be getting on really well and even have had apparently successful dates but not only do you never hear from them again, you find they’ve unmatched you and blocked your number.“My dream man now is someone just decent enough at least to let a woman know when he’s not interested.”John Gray’s 1990s bestseller Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, transformed how men and women relate to each other but, in the sexual supermarket of cyberspace, it now feels old-fashioned.
The US department of health says the statistics are reflective of a nationwide trend and cites more common high-risk behaviour, including “using social media to arrange casual and often anonymous sexual encounters”.
Certainly men of either orientation seem more uninhibited using mobile phone apps to communicate.
Gray says: “When things are made easy for men, as they are with Tinder, they simply don’t bond.
As confidence is built through risk, which Tinder is removing from the dating game, men are losing their courtship skills too.I think we have reached crisis point.”Gray is addressing the issue in two forthcoming books, Conscious Men, published this autumn, and next year’s Boy Crisis.“Young men are unable to sustain attraction in relationships,” he says. That dopamine hit activates the pleasure receptors in the brain in a similar way to a fix of heroin.It’s essential in new relationships because it keeps you coming back for more.In the real world it’s modulated by the production of oestrogen and oxytocin that just aren’t stimulated by online encounters, so guys are getting a big hit of dopamine that becomes ever more addictive.”In America, it has also been suggested that sites such as Tinder and its gay equivalent, Grindr, may be partly responsible for more sexually transmitted infections.Rhode Island on the north-east coastline has seen cases of syphilis rise by almost 80 per cent and gonorrhoea and HIV by a third from 2013 to 2014.Another disillusioned “Tinderella”, journalist Elizabeth Cernik, 31, who lives in London, says there is greater “sexpectation” on Tinder, with requests for naked selfies plus unsolicited sexting and explicit photos once phone numbers are exchanged.