This post is not meant to bash Tinder or the people who use it. I do not think it’s wrong to be on Tinder and I don’t judge anyone who is. I actually met two different guys through this app who are both included in the list of my top closest friends. But I think these experiences are the exception, not the norm. So this post is simply to shed light on the culture we live in, and, to be honest, I hope it will enlighten you enough to get you off Tinder too.
I almost didn’t write this post because I thought that the app doesn’t have as much hype as it used to. But then I received this Facebook message at 3AM last night from a girl I barely know:
“Hey are you awake? I need you and the god tonight. And I don’t know how to talk to him”.
Turns out she met a guy on Tinder, has been talking to him for a few months, flew out to see him, hooked up with him, and ended up broken. She was a wreck all night. She couldn’t sleep and couldn’t stop crying. I laid in my bed at 3AM and cried with her from miles away. I didn’t sleep well last night because I felt heavy for her and for our culture. So I guess that’s why I am writing this post.
First of all, I think the biggest thing is the question of why.
As I was swiping endlessly through pictures of boys who probably had no respect for me, I naturally decided to ask myself why I was actually on this thing.
I first got the app because I was in Indianapolis for a week doing a counseling internship. I wanted someone to show me the city on one of my free nights. The reason “why” behind this was fun, harmless, and he is now one of my best friends. I wouldn’t take it back for the world.
But the app stayed on my phone. And this is where I’m going to just cut to the point.
Maybe not the funnest thing to admit, but I can think back to more than a couple of times where I caught myself swiping out of nothing else but a deep sense of loneliness and a desire for someone else to validate my worth and beauty. Maybe my pride tried to tell myself that I just wanted to meet new people or whatever, but underneath all of that was an empty feeling I wanted to get rid of.
And I have decided this is true for the majority who are on the app. In fact, I think it almost always comes back to lonliness. Even for the guys.
I stopped to ask myself the “why” for all these guys. What was their motivation? I think we can all agree that a lot of guys are looking for hookups. So I came to the realization that the chances of finding someone on there for harmless reasons are slim to none. And maybe these guys don’t realize it, but I believe even the hook up culture comes from a place of wanting to fill that same lonely, empty feeling that motivated me to use the app. These guys are just going about “filling it” in all the wrong ways.
And girls can’t be left out of this either. I know a lot of girlfriends who are on the app for hook ups as well. Although, as I talk with them, it is clear to see that their true desire at the end of the day is for relationship. Their true desire is to be loved. They are basically giving guys what they want in hopes that he will end up loving them. I’ve never seen it work out well for the girl who plays this game though.
But male or female, I really believe it almost always comes back to that one motivation: we all want to escape that terrible, empty feeling of loneliness.
I could probably write an entire book on that empty feeling and on the concept that we were created for true intimacy. You weren’t created to be alone so having an “off” feeling when you are alone is very natural. But I will save that for another day. For now, I just want to encourage you to assess why you’re on the app and to be honest with yourself in that answer. If your reason of “why” comes from a place of emptiness, I promise that Tinder isn’t going to be able to help you out with that. It may give you a false sense of filling that void for a moment, but at the end of the day I promise it will only make it worse. I challenge you to delete your Tinder right now if you find this to be your “why”. And to not re-download it when the empty feeling returns – which it will.
On my personal journey I was able to find a healthy way of dealing with my loneliness. Fast forward, and I haven’t experienced it in over 10 months. If you need someone to talk to about this, please PM me. I’d love to buy you a cup of coffee and chat.
So the second side to the question of “why” is this. Why was that girl who messaged me last night so sad and broken? Why does the pleasure of a hook up flee almost instantly afterwards?
There is probably a deeper complexity to that question for her personally which includes her knowing her worth.
But let’s talk about the “pleasure paradox”. Or what philosophers call the “hedonistic paradox”.
“When something good becomes a god, the pleasure it brings dies in the process. Pleasure has this unique trait: the more intensely you chase it, the less likely you are to catch it. The idea is that pleasure, pursued for it’s own sake, evaporates before our eyes. The God of sexual pleasure promises you incredible satisfaction. You obsess over what it would be like to push the envelope, to give into your desires, to grab that moment of ecstasy. But what happens? The god delivers the opposite of what is promised. Instead of satisfaction you experience emptiness and an almost immediate hunger for something more. Instead of closeness and intimacy, you experience a strange sense of something that feels like lonliness”. -Kyle Idleman, gods at war
My friends, pursuing a relationship (in any capacity) for your own pleasure and for what it brings you will never work. We have got to get back to what relationships were intended to be. We’ve got to get back to what love is intended to be.
I will close this up with my last question of “why” which is this: Why has this become the norm in our culture? How did we get here?
I respect differing beliefs. But I recently have a stirring hate for anything that isn’t truth because I am realizing that it effects people too deeply. So I am just going to put these thoughts out there.
I am amongst a generation of people raised in an education system that taught them these concepts as truth: You happened by accident. There is no purpose for your being. You evolved from nothing. Your life is meaningless. You are simply an animal, just more evolved.
And I guess this is what I’ve decided in regards to this: Tell a generation of people that they are no more important than animals, and they will behave like one in all facets. They will live their live’s to merely survive and to gratify their own momentary desires. They will have sex with whoever they please as most animals do. Tell them their life is meaningless and they will live without purpose. They will never reach their potential as individuals and they will never walk in their callings. Tell them that the strong survive and the weak die off (& that’s just how evolution works), and you will create a generation of Hitlers.
But here’s the thing..
You didn’t happen by accident. You were created by Someone. You were given special gifts that no one else possesses and a purpose no one else can fill. You were created to play a major role in a story that is way bigger than yourself – way larger than you could ever imagine. You didn’t come from nothing, and you have a future beyond this fleeting life. You are infinitely loved and Heaven itself and all of it’s splendor was bankrupted for you alone – because that is the equivalent of your worth.
If you believe this truth, it will change everything.
So idk. I really want my generation to understand the truth and live by it. I really want my generation to know their Creator, their worth, and their potential. I really want my generation to experience the abundance of relationships, sex, and intimacy how they were intended to be. I guess this is why I got off tinder.