Just remember that on Tinder - no expectation, no disappointment - and now you’re ready
There are loads of Hong Kong apps that we swear by, but dating apps are probably the ones that we find most obscure and interesting (and quite often unnerving). With apps like Tinder, Bumble and Her playing modern day Cupid for people of all sexualities, it’s hard not to succumb to swipe culture – because what’s there to lose? (P.S. check out our story on online dating in Hong Kong in 2021 for a frank look at the current sitch.)
Reasons that I downloaded Tinder
Social experiment. To kill time. And if you happen to meet people that you don’t dislike – trust me it’s hard, no pun intended – possible hook-ups might follow (but I was never there to get free dinner, never). Since basically two-third of my friends are dedicated Tinder/Grindr users, I never thought of dating apps as some sort of promiscuous tool like some might’ve suggested. It’s just a digital platform for people to kill their boredom, whether it’s by farting out an unlimited amount of sexual tension or being super awkward.
My experience (and my friends’) with Tinder in Hong Kong
Not being a compulsive dater like my closest friend who goes out with a new person on a weekly basis, I have only had a few Tinder encounters: I’ve met someone whom I can talk to about anime and tattoos, even though the person was a bit coy (unlike his internet persona), it was a fair and lovely conversation. I’ve blurted out to someone “you’re boring” quite ruthlessly and I still feel bad about it. I’ve met someone who actually knew who Hubert Selby Jr. and David Foster Wallace are, and we had a pleasant exchange about literature figures and underground music. I’ve met someone who – of course – worked in finance, and it was one of the worst dinners I ever had to endure. Last but not least, there was the person who texted me at midnight asking for a Netflix and chill after I had ghosted them for forever.
I was never looking for love or romance on dating apps, and I don’t think we should ever put ourselves in that hopeless romantic headspace. But some of my friends have proved otherwise. You know those Tinder couples that are always flaunting their relationships to everyone? Yes, I do know them, IRL. Some of them have been dating for four years, some who literally just got engaged, married, and some even have a kid – all because of Tinder. Mind-blown. But wait for it… I also know Instagram-famous couples, as well as married couples, who have been secretly cheating on each other on Tinder for years (not so secret among their friend groups though). So what the hell?
Why is Tinder hard to get rid of, and do we have to?
Not going to lie, part of me is trying to substitute lust for self-worth. And the other part of me is trying to enjoy myself by examining the way people present themselves to total strangers – at the very least it’s all good writing material. They can either be an absolute delight to hang out with, or can really suck to a point that leaves you with disgust (and hilarious stories to share with your friends afterwards). The whole going out and meeting random people thing is exhausting, but the easiest way to do it is just to not have expectations and operate it as if you’re playing The Sims. It’s like living your own reality TV show that’s borderline scripted but also requires your constant winging it.
While some of my single friends still think love is on the table when seeking love interest on Tinder – and I very much doubt that – I reckon if you could just be perceptive and open-minded, there is so much more you can get out of it other than just (safe) sex. It could be a connection, a new perspective, a moment of comfort, anything that amounts to something. But if sex is the only thing you want – and it happens between two or more consenting adults – then go for it too.