I Signed My Mom Up for Tinder: This is How It Went
Let me start this by saying that my mother is not short on dates. She’s in her 50s, she’s been married, divorced, and still treats the dating world like her oyster. Hell, there’s even been times where my mother was dating more than me. She’s secure and confident in who she is and gives off that presence in her everyday life. Therefore, when she’s out in the world she naturally attracts the opposite sex. They see her and are entranced not only by her looks, but also her aura. (It’s kind of amazing to watch at times.)
When online dating became popular, she eventually ended up giving it shot and enjoyed the process. (Somewhat.) I remember her mostly using on BlackPeopleMeet and finding great men on that site. (For my babies who were born in the 2000s: before the world of Tinder, Bumble, and PlentyOfFish…adults used to actually create entire profiles on a website that would match them based on dating algorithms and not just looks. Crazy, right?!)
Eventually dating apps over took the traditional online dating world and now older millennials, like myself, began using those apps to meet other people. Every dating app has it’s own “stigmas” attached to them, but for the most part dating apps were (and still are) seen as “hook up apps”. This happened because the depth that traditional online dating used to use to match people was now taken away, and we’re now allowed to swipe purely based on looks and 1 or 2 sentences in a bio. How tragic is that?
With all of that being said, I felt like she’d be the perfect candidate for a little experiment I had in mind: I wanted to sign my mother up for Tinder and see if she was able to meet a serious contender from the app. I also wanted to know if 40+ year old men took pictures with their shirts off, or had a plethora of pictures with their dog, like the 28+ crowd of men do on Tinder. She, thankfully, obliged to my experiment and allowed me to create a Tinder profile for her. Six months later, I asked her about her Tinder experience, casual interview style in her kitchen. This is how our conversation went:
Christen: Alright mommy, help me remember. When did I set up your Tinder profile again?
Mom: I believe…it was August of this year. Yeah! August.
Christen: And how active were you on Tinder?
Mom: Hmm…I was “on-it, on-it” like two times ,and each time I was active for about 1-2 weeks at a time.
Christen: Can you estimate about how many men you matched with?
Mom: Girl, I don’t know, hell! I’ll just say a good amount.
Christen: *laughs quietly* Alright momma. Basically, you had your options. Got it. Now let me ask; how many dates did you actually go on with the guys you met through the app?
Mom: I ended up going on two dates with two different men.
Christen: Interesting; so how would you say the quality of men on Tinder compare to the quality of men you met on BlackPeopleMeet?
Mom: There was less quality on Tinder, but really it was like a ‘catch 22’. I liked the fact that with Tinder there was less hassle, but with BPM there were more in-depth profiles. I was able to get to know the men more before we connected.
Christen: That makes sense. What type of things did you see in your age group while you were swiping?
Mom: Well, I put 35-55 and I noticed people are more comfortable to uhm…say what they want. There’s one experience that kind of sticks out to me. I took the advice you gave me and would always ask any man I matched with what he was looking for on Tinder. I remember one guy telling me he was never expecting to get into a serious relationship through the app. So…it really seemed like most of them just wanted sex.
Christen: Oh wow. I didn’t really expect that with that age group, to be honest.
Mom: Yeah, girl. Some men just weren’t looking for anything serious and that’s fine with me. You tell me what you’re looking for and I can decide from there if I want to pursue.
Christen: Well alright momma! So let me ask; for the men who did say they were looking for something serious…what type of “Tinder Rules” did you use to decipher whether or not you wanted to communicate with them off of the app?
Mom: Hmmm…well first of all I have to think he’s cute and like his pictures, but he also has to say something. I don’t swipe right on profiles without bios and I never swipe right on men who have their shirts off or a drink in their hand either. Now once we do match, I don’t respond to physical comments in my messages. Him complimenting my body or something like is just unappealing. I also don’t find GIFs of memes cute when you’re initially using it to say “Hello” to me. Beyond that, I like interesting conversation, but I’m also not going to continue to message you on this app! If you don’t want to have a phone conversation with me to get to know me better, then I won’t let it go any further.
Christen: Basically he has to put in real effort in wanting to get to know you. If he doesn’t, you won’t waste your time.
Christen: Do you feel like you found any real potential.
Mom: Ehhhh…yeah. The men I did go out with were pretty nice guys, so if I decided to go out with either of them again I feel like there might be room for potential.
Christen: So now that you’ve experienced Tinder, do you like dating apps or traditional online dating more?
Mom: I like the traditional dating sites better. It allowed me to get to know someone before we even made first contact, but I didn’t like that that they weren’t free to use. Now even though I do like the fact that Tinder is free, I don’t like the perception that comes with it. Either way, I’m not against online dating and would try it again if I wanted to.
So my questions were answered; men in that age group still post plenty of shirtless pics (*shudders at the thought of a 55 year old man showing off his…abs), GIFs are used as a form of communication, and even when a man is in his 50s getting him to have a phone conversation can still be difficult. Now as far as my mother…did I really think she would meet a husband from Tinder? Nah. Was it fun to watch her get excited about swiping? Absolutely. In the end I just want her to be happy, and to quite honest…she’s already got that part covered.
Love you mommy.
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