Tinder, the Other Online Shopping Experience
Online shopping versus online dating – is there really even a difference? Turns out that no, there really isn’t one. But just like retail, relationships have been revolutionized by the simplicity of shopping for – sorry – seeking a mate. And no matter what you may think of online dating, the positive and negatives are parallel in online retail and online relationship hunting.
Pros of Dating Apps
There are days when you’ve got to buy things you need, and then there are days you just want to shop. On days like this, it’s just about getting out there, taking a look around, seeing what’s on the racks and knowing you’re not in the market for anything – just in the market.
But then there are the days where you can’t be bothered to leave the house, but you still want to browse – and just like your favourite brand’s website, this is where Tinder really shines: just fire up the app and peruse the hottest new items while presenting the curated version of yourself, all while in your slippers and jogging pants.
No Budget? No Problem!
As much as browsing the Zara fall/winter collection might be, you know you’re not going to be able to buy it all, however just browsing is most of the fun!
Well, it’s the exact same with free dating and hook up apps like Tinder– swipe, swipe, swipe and see what’s out there. No expectations, no pressure, just a healthy curiosity to see who’s just a tap away.
Returns are Easy
We’ve all been there before: that black pair of pants looked perfect for you – the style you like, great cut, fantastic contouring, but when they finally arrived and you got your hands on them in real life, you were deflated. The fabric just isn’t right, the pockets non-existent – it’s a classic case of a ‘better in the photos’ situation. And just like on Tinder, you can simply fold it back up and return to sender – no muss, no fuss!
Cons of Dating Apps
You Can’t Try it on First
Even a shopping pro knows that there’s nothing more difficult than figuring out if an item is going to look good on you without trying it on first. Sure, you can predict; there are cuts you know flatter you best, but a trip to the fitting room puts any and all questions to rest.
When you’re checking someone out on your phone screen, you’re really only getting half of the story – and that’s half of the story they’re choosing to share with the world. So what’s good on paper isn’t always the case in real life.
Sometimes, You Just Have to Be There
Let’s face it, some of the best items you’re ever going to find are on the racks, not online. Vintage and second-hand shops are full of gems that you’d never find had you not walked in to the shop on a fateful day. Think of online dating-abstainers as a rack of vintage clothes that you’ve got to parse through to find the good ones; exhausting yes, but totally worth it when you find one you didn’t even know was out there for the taking.
Do You Really Need It?
Dating and shopping online are so easy that we sometimes find ourselves making that purchase without much need or desire to do so. When it’s as easy as a swipe or a tap, why the hell not?
But sometime, we’re just fine alone. Some right-swipes turn into those texting conversations that go nowhere, and meanwhile you could be doing absolutely anything else, like being happy alone and free to do whatever – like shopping online!
Of course, there are no universal truths; after all, Tinder has opened up a whole world of fun, whether it’s just for browsing or taking the plunge and meeting someone. Just remember to swipe, and shop, sensibly!
For Lea, what once was “a European summer abroad” turned into traveling the world and studying sexual cultural differences for the past 6 years. She has a PhD in Gender & Sexuality and has a theory that dating guys in their twenties is an unpaid internship. She’s currently writing from a cafe in New Zealand.