Science has revealed why your Tinder first date is always rubbish

Posted by
Jasmine Andersson
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Tinder, the dating albatross of our generation, is a mapless labyrinth that appears to throw up far more problems than it solves.

Yet in spite of the assault course of perpetual left-swiping, we always find ourselves going back for more.

And, in between exacting the perfect GIF-themed introduction and making sure our push notifications don’t light up our phones in front of the big boss in accounts, our hopes are promptly dashed when we finally make it to the first date and it appears that our suitor is not quite what we expected in real life.    

Valiant Tinderer, you are not alone. According to a recent study by communications experts Sharabi and Caughlin, there’s a scientific reason behind this Tinder dating disillusion.

In the study, in which the academics surveyed 94 participants who went on a Tinder first date, the pair found that the majority of participants were less attracted to a person after they began their communication online.

“Online dating is another setting where certain elements of people’s personalities, behaviours, and even physical appearances may be obfuscated at first, leading to positive illusions that are not always sustainable over time,” said the report.

So, in plain English, because we are putting our best, most condensed versions of ourselves online, we are providing a “honeymoon” offering to our potential match.

As we’ve edited ourselves into a Greatest Hits compilation, it’s not surprising when the other person also features a few dud album tracks.

In expecting the same level of perfection as we do of someone online, we’re setting ourselves up for failure, and consequently damaging our self-confidence in the process, according to the study.

And when we don’t extend an offer of patience to the person at hand, we could be cutting off the opportunity to get to know the person, which is admittedly hard to resist in the frenzy of app-based attraction.  

So, as the experts have it, being your most honest self offline is a better method than hoping for love at first swipe.   

Images: iStock, Tinder and Channel 4


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Jasmine Andersson

When she isn't talking about her emotional attachment to meal deals or serenading unfortunate individuals with David Bowie power solos in karaoke booths, Jasmine writes about gender, politics and culture as a freelance journalist. She wastes her days tweeting @the__chez