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The pros and cons of Tinder in the Big Easy

Editors Note: While the previous Miss Match Nola is still going strong with 6-foot-4 Mr. Right from match.com, her newly-single-recently-moved-back-home little sister will be continuing the column as she dives headfirst into the NOLA dating scene.

First, I am 23 years old; therefore I am NOT looking to put a ring on it any time soon … despite the habitual pressure down South for girls fresh out of college to settle down.

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Not that there’s anything wrong with getting hitched at 23 (heck, my parents did it and they’re still going strong), but as a young independent female professional, there’s still a lot I want to experience and figure out before heading down the aisle.

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My dating approach therefore differs in that my attitude is something like, hey if it works out, great! If not, no big deal …

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Which is why I have chosen the infamous Tinder as my foray into the New Orleans dating scene.

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What’s Tinder? It’s like a free hot-or-not iPhone app that links to your Facebook, and searches for singles based on your location. You can upload photos from Facebook and it shows you any mutual friends that you and a potential match possess. You simply swipe left for “no” and swipe right for “yes.” If you both choose the other by swiping right, then you are allowed to send messages back and forth.

While Tinder is global, here are my pros and cons of the app from a strictly New Orleans perspective. Because, let’s face it, dating in New Orleans is a whole lot different then dating anywhere else.

 

PRO: Young entrepreneurial minds are invading NOLA … in a good way.

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New Orleans has recently attracted a fair amount of young (hopefully hot and single) entrepreneurs. Why? Businesses are consistently opening up offices here, rent is cheaper than other major cities (Hi, New York), and I challenge you to find a weekend in which there’s not some kind of party, festival, concert, whatever, going on. It’s a pretty awesome place to live for 20somethings.

Therefore, the good news for we young locals is that we are no longer forced to mingle exclusively with potential mates we’ve known since Pre-K. Because, let’s face it, everybody knows everybody in this city.  Tinder provides a means of meeting new and interesting people in a notoriously closed town.

 

PRO: It’s very popular and trendy right now

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Those who normally would not launch themselves into the online dating world WILL opt for the more casual (and free) Tinder.

 

PRO / CON: New Orleans is a small town, which means lots of mutual connections

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Listing mutual friends you have in common with a potential match provides a double-edged sword. On one hand, you can go into the date knowing that he or she is, in fact, probably not a serial killer. I personally have no such fears when it comes to online dating, but those new to the scene might be relieved that they have some sort of connection. I have one friend who begins every conversation with, “Are you a murderer?” both as a hilarious opener and, most likely, as a precaution...

On the other hand…

Having too many mutual friends can be downright awkward. Just trust me.

 

CON: Guns and dead animals galore

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I have come across countless guys on the site holding a gun, some sort of dead animal, or a mixture of the two. Welcome to the South, I suppose.

 

CON: Tourists, get outa here!

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Because Tinder is based solely on location, that hot 26-year-old doctor could very well live in New Jersey, and he’s popping up on Tinder because he’s in town visiting a buddy for the weekend. I realize that Tinder is often thought to be solely a “hook-up” app, but there are still those of us out there looking for a more long-term situation. New Orleans is a tourist hot spot, making it harder to weed out those actually living here.

 

MEGA PLUS: SAINTS PLAYERS

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I may or may not have experienced a Saints player pop-up on my Tinder page. No, we were not a match. And yes, I’m still bitter about that.

 

Conclusion

Tinder gets a bad rep for being a hook-up app. Yet how is it any different from drinking a few too many and meeting potential matches at a local bar? Although it might sound shallow, creepy and borderline stalker-ish, I actually believe there are certain benefits to Tinder. I’ve already been on two successful dates, and that’s two more than I’ve had without the help of this eerie new app.

Virtually all of my friends have downloaded the app, as it provides hours of entertainment, especially for those who don’t take it seriously, and even get a little creative with it. Just check out this hilarious girl’s take on it: http://howtoloseaguyinonetinder.tumblr.com/

Ms. Match NOLA writes about dating and relationships in New Orleans for NolaVie — and wants your input. Send thoughts, suggestions, questions, observations and anecdotes on dating to [email protected].