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The 10 Stages of Tinder


It's the online dating craze that's been taking college campuses by storm. Tinder has a way of weaseling into our personal lives and becoming the main reason we check our phones every five minutes. If you were one of the many girls who downloaded this app "for fun" only to become totally obsessed, then your Tinder experience probably went something like this.

Stage 1: Denial

Your friend’s been raving about Tinder and all the cute people she’s met through it, so she pushes you to get it as well. But you aren’t interested in “online dating” right now (it sounds so adult!), so you brush it off—it’s so not you.

Because you're perfectly fine with your love life, and you don't need assistance from a trendy app.


Stage 2: Intrigue

But through bribery or phone-stealing, you end up with Tinder installed on your phone, and you're a little curious as to what kinds of people you’ll find.

So you start swiping through a bunch of potentials, but mostly, it’s like:

And after passing dozens of people and liking only one or two passable bachelors, you're like,


Stage 3: Boredom

It turns out there are a lot of selfie-taking hipsters, flexing meatheads and frat-tastic bros who are into the online dating scene.

And you feel like you’ve seen them all, so you tell your friend that you don’t get the hype behind Tinder...

...and that it was nothing like she promised.


Stage 4: Excitement

But then you get your first match and you're like, “Wait, someone thinks I’m pretty?”

Is this really how easy (and ego-boosting) online dating is?

Because you could definitely get used to this.


Stage 5: Awkwardness

But, wait! The hard part isn't over yet. Now, you or one of your matched partners has to initiate a conversation...

...so do you wait it out and play hard to get, or make the first move?

You ask another Tinder veteran for advice and she tells you to be the instigator, so you go out on a limb, send the first message and hope for the best.


Stage 6: Mastery

And it’s a success! You maintain a witty and flirtatious convo and eventually even go on a few dates. Dang, it turns out you are pretty good at this Tinder business.

Soon you're striking up convos left and right and juggling a ton of new cuties (and you're kind of loving it!).


Stage 7: Addiction

And the vicious cycle of Tinder officially begins: the more you browse, the more matches you get, and the more matches you get, the more it makes you want to browse.

The heart button is basically a happiness button, as far as you’re concerned.

Because each new match feels like a million dollars (especially when they send the first message).


Stage 8: Desperation

But after a long Tinder spree that leaves your finger numb, you exhaust your resources and get the dreaded “Finding people near you…” message, and you're like:

So you adjust your settings to extend your distance restriction and broaden your age range. Who can really put a number on love, anyway?

And when you're down to slim pickings, maybe you even lower your standards for who gets a “heart.”

Because you missed how it was when you first used Tinder and how it felt to be wanted by someone.


Stage 9: Sadness

But when the honeymoon phase of Tinder dies down and you realize there really aren’t that many fish in the sea, you can’t help but feel bummed out.

Who knew life after Tinder could feel so... lonely?

So you mope around a little (or lot) and wonder how you became so invested in that little fire icon on your phone.


Stage 10: Clarity

After some time to clear your mind, you realize that you need to cut back a little on online dating.

You manage to find a happy dosage of Tinder that's somewhere between being a hustler and a hermit.

You check your matches now and then, but otherwise, your life is the same as it was before downloading the app. 

The euphoria and daily compliments were great while they lasted, but now you're fine with enjoying occasional love and Tinder-ness and the sweet memories of your first online matches.

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