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Sinead Ryan: Try Tinder? No thanks, I opted to find him the old-fashioned way

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Woman on dating website.

Woman on dating website.

Woman on dating website.

When I decided to re-enter the dating game after separation my nervousness existed on several levels.

Was I too old? How do you go about it? Will I have to resort to the internet?

I know people who have found successful relationships on dating websites, but instinctively it wasn't going to be for me. An expert I interviewed a few years ago only had horrors to share - being ripped off at the very least and murdered at worst (well, maybe not quite that extreme, but you know what I mean).

The main problem seems to be there is no human filter. No friend to introduce you; nobody to say "I know that guy - he's okay", or even any proof he's not already married and simply looking for a bit on the side.

But, despite my misgivings, and significant research (even setting up a couple of fake profiles to 'test' sites like 'Plenty of Fish'- for the article, honest!) at no time did I ever consider Tinder.

Not even after it was explained to me by my kids, who were anxious to get me going, even offering to 'build' a profile and vet prospective suitors on my behalf.

The very notion of 'swiping' right or left based entirely on how someone looks, in a picture that may or may not be even of them, put the horrors across me.

brain

A quick demo confirmed my opinion. And naturally I'd be absolutely mortified if anyone I actually knew in real life found me there.

Appeal, for me, exists in the brain, not the face. I know everyone says this, but as you get older, it becomes even more important - looks will always fade, so there has to be something else there to hang your hat on.

Then again, I'm not the key Tinder demographic. Only 3pc of Tinder's member base are in my age group and I didn't want to attempt cradle-snatching at the first attempt.

With more than 150,000 customers in Ireland, it's obviously immensely popular, and addictive. Research by Ipsos MRBI has shown that the average user spends between 60 and 90 minutes on it, by checking in 11 times a day.

It's been accused of providing a gateway for casual sex and I can immediately see its instant appeal if you were interested in 'only' having an affair.

You certainly don't want to have mutual friends in common if you're playing away from home with someone and Dublin is so small, the degrees of separation are minute.

Tinder is here and now, and perhaps without the 'hassle' of a relationship; it seems to accept the notion that if you're going to meet someone on it there's an expectation you'll sleep with them fairly quickly, which carries obvious and inherent dangers, especially for women.

GOGGLES

Many people appear to favour Tinder for immediate hook-ups, using GPS, in bars or clubs to see who's nearby that looks mildly attractive before the beer goggles take hold.

It's more Sex Nav than Sat Nav.

This removes, by definition, any sense that you might actually get to know someone the old fashioned way before committing yourself.

Perish the thought. So, is Tinder simply a Sex App for the young, free and single, does it turbo-charge infidelity, or is it simply reacting to a generation that expects everything at their fingertips, even love?

With a 'hit' rate of just one in a hundred, despite the one billion 'swipes' every day, I wouldn't be holding out for a hero.

In the end, I stayed away. I only hope my kids do too. Ireland's a small village and it's really not that hard to find someone...as I found out, yes, the old fashioned way.


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