I’ve lived in five different countries throughout my lifetime: the USA, The Czech Republic, Germany, Thailand, and Italy. Each has their own unique way of life and way of dating. I’ve used Tinder in three of the five countries.
I’ll let you try to guess which ones.
Tinder Country #1: My Introduction to the App
I had never used Tinder before. I had heard about it for a while and even helped a friend develop a profile and swipe left and right. It was fun to see her matches and to look at the hot guys. So after a breakup, I decided to set up my own profile.
I used some modeling photos I had taken and, with a few taps and swipes, I was online. I went window shopping through the meat market. There were some really attractive men that I matched with. However, I was kind of overwhelmed by the response and the influx of messages — some were interesting, but most were lame.
Some told me about their lives, others used sexual innuendos that I immediately ignored. I had some good conversations with a lot of them, but most of it seemed to go nowhere. But there was one guy...
Hope stood 6 feet tall and with an adorable accent.
He was handsome, intelligent, and interesting. We decided to meet up one night and get dinner. We connected really well and I had hoped that he would kiss me at the end of the night. Unfortunately, he didn’t and I was too shy to do it myself.
I wanted to come off as a respectable, dignified woman. But as I was doing my nighttime ritual before bed I heard my phone go off. He told me that he had a great time tonight. I was thrilled. I thought maybe I would finally get over my ex-boyfriend and move on.
Sadly though, the story does not end happily. Although, it doesn’t end sadly either. It’s pretty in-between.
He lived a few hours away and would come around where I lived only once a week for work. His attractiveness alongside Tinder and the distance made our romance fizzle out pretty quickly; we messaged a few more times, but I’m sure some girl closer to where he lived snagged him up.
Have you figured out where I was?
Tinder Country #2: Slim Pickings
Maybe it’s my personal choice, but I didn’t find many attractive men in this country. I swiped and I swiped and I swiped, lost in a trance, hoping that I would find at least one person that I could connect with.
Unfortunately, the hottest guy I found seemed completely crazy and was only interested in women who would do drugs with him.
Luckily though, I did find one nice, attractive-enough guy on there. So I met up with him and some friends one day at an outside event. It was summertime so there were always things like that going on.
He was really nice, but a little weird. And by that, I mean a lot weird. I felt uncomfortable most of the time because I just wanted to make a new friend, but Tinder is set up for dating.
There seemed to be this underlying implication that things could potentially go further. My friends wanted to leave almost immediately and so I felt that there was this time pressure. I left pretty soon after meeting him that day, but I decided to message him to say thank you for being so nice.
I was looking more for friendship and he was looking for none of that. He responded that it was best that we didn’t keep in contact and that he wished me well and then he unmatched me.
I felt rejected and confused about what had happened. Worried that I had somehow offended him by leaving early, I made sure to text him later to let him know that it was nothing to do with him. I eventually shrugged it off and deleted my account.
Where in the world was BRiYA this time?
Tinder Country #3: Not Even Close
I didn’t manage to find anyone I found attractive. There were a lot of European-looking men on the app that I didn’t feel an initial connection with. But maybe a lot of it had to do with a recovering broken heart. I was trying to get over some guy that I had dated and was hoping to find a rebound.
Unfortunately, this experiment was short-lived. I swiped around for probably a week but found very few people I thought were interesting and had no matches. So I gave up.
Alright, I’ll reveal the mystery. The first country was Italy. The second, Germany. Last on the list was Thailand.
You might have been able to guess where I was, but more than likely, it was probably too ambiguous. That’s because Tinder and dating are pretty similar all around the world.
People like to use it as a hookup app and capitalize on the fact that there are people from foreign countries just visiting and looking for a good time and story to bring back to their hometown.
But there are also genuine humans hoping to connect with another genuine human being. However, in my experience, they’re few and far between (on Tinder).
So if you’re feeling discouraged in the dating pool where you currently are, don’t worry, it’s discouraging everywhere. But also, there are opportunities elsewhere.
Better Places to Meet People
I’ve found that the best way to meet people is by going out in public. Granted, it’s easier in Europe because there exists a culture that spends time outside whenever possible.
But if you’re looking to meet someone outside the bar scene, go to a coffee shop, go to Meetups, go outside, where you can find someone who has similar interests. And most of all, don’t settle. There are plenty of fish in the sea, whether it’s Pacific, Atlantic, Mediterranean, etc.
I learned that when I focus on my life and doing what I love and working on the relationships that I already have, I’m infinitely happier than staying up late at night staring at a screen swiping away and towards what I hope could be my future.
I trust that the right guy will come along. My job is to make sure that I’m outside enjoying life, and not hiding away in my room with my phone, so he can find me.