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Does Tinder Help Us Feel Less Alone?

A millennial's realization that one-sided Tinder interactions may be filling the gap in her love life.

by Alyssa Milano


It’s midnight on a Tuesday. There were plans to go out, but the group chat bustled with too many excuses and memes for things to get serious. 

So, in the realm of possibilities that exists in a college campus, only one choice doesn’t involve leaving the comfort of my bed. 


Muscle memory allows me to click on the app in less than a second (this has become a Tuesday night ritual). I wait for it to load, momentarily considering that I could be doing more productive things like laundry, homework, or facetiming my parents. But everything goes away when the app loads and I see the first guy of the night. 

Kevin, 22

Lacrosse player. Wavy hair. Probably he doesn’t let anyone touch it. 

I see a bunch of Kevins the rest of the night; some earn a swipe right most of them are sent to the left zone

Hours go by, and I have lost track of the many people I’ve swiped on. My eyes feel heavy, and the shining screen is no longer a good idea to pass the time. Instead, I switch off the lights, put my phone on the nightstand, face down, and exhale the hundred faces I just witnessed today. 

A particular calmness fills me, stretching from the nightstand to my toes to my heart. It doesn’t take me long to fall asleep. And that feels wrong, but it feels right at the same time. 

Does swiping past lots of guys, some Kevins and some nice, has replaced my need for a love life?

One-sided interactions are still interactions, and in the past hour, I’ve had more than I would have had if I went out to a bar.