Tinder isn’t the first dating app that caused faces to blush at the first mention, but it’s the most successful dating app. Christian Mingle and eHarmony were tucked away in the dark for Christians looking for love online. Then four years ago, Tinder drastically simplified the love algorithm with its swipe right and swipe left function.
The public information is still out there, but it’s associated with a much more casual setting of just swiping — swiping left is for un-liking the person, while swiping right is for liking a person. If both individuals swipe right, then each of them are notified and have the opportunity to message each other on the app.
The Bible is unclear about whether you should swipe right or left, but it is very clear that you should walk straight, Joshua 1:7. Swiping straight is a possibility in Tinder, but you would only want to use that if you’re looking to “Super Like” someone — which means that they get a notification that you swiped right on them.
“Yes I’m on Tinder and Bumble where girls start the conversations first. My experience has been pretty good,” Cole Stevens, a junior sports journalism major, said. “I’m meeting and matching with lots of girls. Dating apps work for you when you can’t work yourself.”
Stevens highlighted the convenience of Tinder for new relationships.
“I can’t meet girls from Cal Poly Pomona easily but they can find me on Tinder or Bumble and if they like my bio and pics, they can match to talk to me and get to know me more. It’s just another way to meet friends, date people, and maybe find a special someone,” Stevens said.
Everyone is talking about the dating app culture these days and it has many Christians shaking their heads. Countless articles have been written about the hook-up culture that has cultivated from dating apps and the sexual tendencies that have transpired in young adults because of them.
This shouldn’t be a factor for people to not use the app. People still need to be cautious if sexual sin is an area where they struggle. For many people, that is the case and I think it would be smart to not open the door for the pursuit of holiness to be derailed by it.
A deeply committed Christian who is looking to stay celibate, but knows that in a moment of weakness they will easily fall prey to sexual relations shouldn’t open the app.
“I find no temptation because if you are truly into your faith, sex won’t control your viewpoints, morals, and values,” Stevens said. “Because in my mind, sex isn’t what marriage, dating, or relationships are about. It’s about spending time with a special someone and caring for them as a great individual person. I would say it’s smart for people struggling with temptation because a lot of things are tempting but you have to know what’s important to you.”
Christians even tried to copy the Tinder algorithm with the Christian dating app, Collide. For religious millennials looking for love, mainstream dating functions tend to be a challenging balancing act to stay committed to their relationship with the Lord, or to risk it by being on dating apps like Tinder.
Collide is trying to help break that balance. The app launched in April, sporting a dove logo and the tagline “Christian Dating. Reimagined.”
Collide markets itself as “Christian Tinder,” which plays into the swiping feature and photo-heavy profiles. There is also an option to add the person’s denomination affiliation, favorite Bible verse and how often they go to church.
Yet, the app itself is no different than Tinder except that it has thousands of less people with a few Christian aspects. It is supposed to a progressive app for Christians, but is easy to think that the app will eventually turn into a secular product as time goes on.
But is that wrong? Taking Collide and Tinder and bunching them together as hookup apps may just be because they are marketed towards those who are younger.
“I think Christians are joining Christian Mingle and Collide because they think they are more likely to find Christian partners with similar beliefs and thoughts,” Stevens said. “I think they just feel it is safer since you feel like they are more honest and looking for a real relationship rather than just hooking up like other apps sometimes are associated with.”
If anything, it’s not about the app. It’s about the individuals that are on it.
Christians can use the app, but their faith must stay strong. There are many things in the world that could test one’s faith, but having a right head could help with the temptation that the app may or may not bring.
Religious millennials on these apps are making it work in a very secular world. To really hit the mark, dating apps need to reflect that complexity of the differences in others — all while keeping that important ability to “swipe right.”