Back in the day, when I used to spice up my trips to the toilet by swiping through Tinder, it was always interesting to see people you knew were in a relationship popping up from time to time.
That was second only to seeing people who had been shouting from the rooftops about how amazing their relationship was weeks earlier returning to Tinder, just that little bit more bitter.
Returning to the first point, though, and people in relationships who dabble in some side Tinder. Whether it’s to spice things up, with the consent of their partner, or to get a little ego boost on the down low, it sure is risky business.
The Telegraph asks “Why are so many married people risking it all by swiping on Tinder?”, and they have a point:
According to one recent study of European and American online datingusers by Erasmus University in the Netherlands, 25 per cent of users on Tinder (which facilitates over one million dates in 190 countries around the globe every week) come with many, sometimes hidden, strings attached.
Figures for the UK are unclear, but Elisabeth Timmermans, lead researcher, said “data from the US seemed to imply that over half of users there are already in a relationship.”
Some actively pose as single; some are just browsing for kicks; some…appear to be in open relationships; others are even more explicit: “Yes I’m married, no she doesn’t know I’m on here, that’s part of the thrill…” read another recent gem.
Ah yes, the thrill of going behind your spouse’s back to talk to a bunch of strangers online. What a rush.
The repercussions of this side swiping can be far-reaching:
Family lawyer, Nicola Mccinnes says she is seeing more and more clients filing for divorce after catching their spouse on a dating app. “There has definitely been an increase in husbands and wives going onto an app like Tinder and having a bit of a nosey,” she says. “It might just be for a bit of a giggle at first and then it can turn into something more serious. People start looking and before they know it they’re saying things they shouldn’t be saying.”
Interestingly, Mccinnes sees more husbands who have discovered their wives on dating apps than vice versa (she puts this down to women being “more curious”). She believes that people who turn to apps when they are going through an bad patch in their marriage often see it as an easy, harmless way to test the waters, but that it can all too quickly spiral into a more extreme betrayal. “People like attention, that’s what it comes down to. And if you’re not getting the attention you probably need, you look elsewhere for it.
“It’s almost like checking what’s out there before you actually do anything. But it’s not just like going on Facebook and reconnecting with an old friend, because Tinder is specifically a dating app.”
Instead of private investigators taking snaps with a long lens from the back seat of a car, like in the movies, lawyers are now being handed USB sticks and hard drives with the indiscretions laid bare.
Basically, if your spouse is tinkering on Tinder, things probably aren’t all that peachy:
It’s hard to imagine that beyond that initial ego boost, being chatted up online provides any real gratification, even for the loneliest of spouses.It’s rare to make real connections on a dating app, even when you’re single and above board. But as Nicola Mccinnes says: “Life is quite mundane at times and this is just not real life at all” — and that, surely, is all part of the appeal.
A thrill, maybe, but pretty risky business, especially when Tinder shows you your Facebook friends in common and other connections.
But hey, you do you.
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