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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. 

While our conversation didn’t go beyond a “what’s up,” I still felt like Kevin and I had a romantic encounter. In a way, it felt similar to being out and approaching someone who catches your eye. You sit next to each other on the bar, exchanging pleasantries and facts about each other’s lives, only to leave the bar alone. 

Kevin and I did that, but from the comfort of our beds, without the need to dress up, spend money, and deal with the feeling of failure which we would have carried home with us. 

I’m embarrassed to admit that the former scenario hasn’t happened in a while. Fall started off busy, and when I go out, the last thing I want is a Kevin trying to make small talk at the bar. 

I know what you’ll say. 

I’m twenty one, I should be having fun. I should be letting Kevins buy me drinks at bars, and going on dates, second dates, and late-night hook ups. 

I’m aware of this, and in some way, this article does not resolve this issue. Believe me, if there was an answer I would be the first one in line to get it. 

Yet, this is another Tuesday night, and I find myself under the blare of white light, swiping left and right for more Kevins who will never get past the “what’s up,” and yet that’ll be enough. 


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