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The Disappearing Men of Tinder – A 21st century love story

Fuckboys, (from the Latin word fucc which means “obnoxious” and boii, meaning “bastard-your-mom-would-probably-hate”), are everywhere nowadays. Everyone knows someone (or has personal experience) of the unnecessary agony they spread around them like the venomous cloud of cheap perfume they’re wearing. Could Tinder, the platform you would never admit that you sort of like using, be the reason that meeting your true love seems as unlikely as Trump’s hair being real? Let’s have a look at ghosting, -the online disappearance of guys without explanation- and the threat it poses to love. Fuckboys and men, (cause to be honest, some behaviour patterns never change) be aware, we’re about to expose you.

So, first some statistics. Studies show that only 2% of men and 9% of women have ever formed a relationship with someone they met in a bar. On the other hand, Tinder has led to more than 9 billion matches, up to date. In a hectic 24-hour society with unlimited choices of brands, movies, food and music, it is logical that we expect the same freedom of choice when it comes to relationships and love. The Swipe, deciding with a quick look if he/she attracts you, reflects the same endless Netflix browsing, the “Recommended artists” on Spotify section and quickly ordering that shirt you just decided that you need. In an era of never settling, always looking for that new thrill, dating is no exception. Tinder is just a reflection of our society and the way we are choosing to live our lives.

But, could it be that Tinder also provides a platform for assholes that didn’t exist before? Sure people got hurt, angry, and watched Bridget Jones Diary while eating ice cream before Tinder too. However, a new phenomenon is spreading around the world, called Ghosting. This is the term you use when a guy you’ve been out with (cause to be honest, it’s mostly guys who do this) suddenly stops responding to your texts. He might even go as far as completely disappearing from your social media radar, removing the match on Tinder, unfollowing you on Instagram and removing you as a friend on Facebook (trust me, it happened to a friend of mine. Yes, a friend.)

So what the hell is going on? Why is this socially accepted behaviour? And where do the disappearing men of Tinder go? Let’s be honest. The reason you’re on Tinder is either for the fun of swiping, or you’re looking for a hook up. Regardless, it’s the game that counts. Many people argue that the western world is experiencing a narcissistic epidemic, where people are overly dependent on admiration and approval, while simultaneously lacking empathy for others.

Could this be the key to the mystery? A narcissist loves to swipe and gets his/her highs of the pop-up saying “It’s a match!”. After that, interest slowly trickles of. Not experiencing any remorse when cutting you off completely, after you’ve provided enough affirmation of his/her worth, they circle back to the thrill of swiping. Your casual Whatsapp messages just become an irritating background noise. Let’s face it, they got what they wanted, and now they’re ready for the next hunt.

It’s the combination of the three factors; a hectic society full of rapid choices, an epidemic of narcissistic behaviour and extensive social media use to sooth these needs, that together create the ultimate climate for the disappearing guys of Tinder. And there’s no reason to believe this is just a trend. Online dating has been around since the dawn of Internet, and new dating apps are popping up every day. It’s time to accept that these are the rules now. With that said, there’s no reason you can’t use this information against them. A narcissist believes he/she is basically God’s gift to earth, so what’s better than some good old reverse psychology then? Try acting indifferent, treating them as being one of many or giving masked compliments: “you’re kind of pretty for being so tall “(gee thanks man but I could barely hear you from up here). Does this seem too complicated or tiresome?  Well, you could also consider staying at home with a jar of ice cream, an equally lonely friend and a movie of your choice (as long as it includes a young Hugh Grant) on Valentine’s Day tomorrow. I know I will.

Cover: Wokandapix

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Kajsa Rosenblad
Kajsa grew up in Stockholm, Sweden, but has now moved to Amsterdam to pursue her dreams of becoming queen of the universe, or maybe at least journalist or political campaigner. She designs and makes her own clothing and likes art, books, chocolate and turtlenecks.

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