By Elizabeth Rowe

Tinder’s been getting a pretty bad rap lately. Considering I have been dating a guy I met on Tinder for almost six months now, I feel the app’s shady reputation is unjustified. In fact, I would go so far as to say that it is the best dating site on your smartphone, let alone the internet. Here’s why:

Tinder mimics reality
Every day as you walk down the street, you quietly assess each passing person as a potential date/mate. Yes, it’s shallow, but it’s also a subconscious process that you may not be aware of until you are faced with a dating app that mimics this aspect of human behaviour.

Based on your geographical location and according to your personal settings for age and gender, Tinder allows you to view the profiles of men/women also in your area. One after the other in a never-ending cycle, you can swipe left to discard someone’s profile, or your swipe right to ‘heart’ it. If that person also ‘hearts’ you, a chat window becomes available. In no other way can you contact or be contacted by other Tinder users.

Tinder is constantly branded as superficial and seedy, but you know what? That is exactly how people operate in reality! You unwittingly play Tinder in your mind on a daily basis with prospective partners.

Tinder is multi-purpose
As Tinder users can affirm, there is nothing more addictive than this dating app. Regardless of whether you signed up to find a relationship or a one night stand, Tinder becomes so game-like that the pure entertainment value is a more powerful word-of-mouth drawcard than evidence of its effectiveness.

‘Tindering’ has also become a social activity. You go to a bar in a new area of town with some friends, sit down with a drink, pull out your phones, and check out the local Tinder talent.

Plus, hilarity always ensues when you come across the Tinder profile of somebody you know or work with—or even worse, a sibling.

Tinder works!
Yes, there are creeps on Tinder who are very blunt about their brief sexual intentions, but as a girl who went out on a myriad of Tinder dates, I can guarantee that I was never frightened, bored or ‘catfished’. The vast majority of Tinder users are there for the same reason that you are.

Above all, Tinder can truly make effective matches. It’s misguided to believe that instant physical attraction is not an important part of a blossoming romance, but Tinder also allows you to pick and choose your partners based on mutual interests (as provided by your Facebook likes).  Indeed, the reason I ‘hearted’ my current partner on Tinder was not simply because I thought he was a hunk, but because we shared the same taste in bands, in film and TV, and held the same interests in other areas of popular culture and contemporary life.

Strange situations often make for the best relationship stories, so do not be deterred by Tinder’s sometimes lewd (and largely undeserved) reputation. The app worked wonders for this particular user!

Are you a Tinder user? What has your experience been like?