While some people say that online dating is the face of modern love, others think that virtual interactions are actually slowly killing romance. Although it completely depends on the person and place, when you are in a foreign country, apps like Tinder can be a great way to meet new people, immerse yourself in the local culture, and even find a bit of romantic action to enhance your trip. That said, before you make your profile visible overseas, here are five things you should know about using Tinder abroad.
1. It is a great way to get to know the local culture.
One of the best things about Tinder abroad is that you not only get the chance to meet new people, but also new places. When I used Tinder during my two-year trip around Europe, my matches were always willing to show me around and take me to their favorite spots. Thanks to my foreign dates, I went on a personalized tour around the University of Edinburgh, I visited a private art collection in London, and I had a pint at an Irish pub hidden in the middle of the woods.
Tinder gave me the opportunity to explore a new place through the eyes of a local and stay away from tourist attractions. Additionally, I even got the chance to meet my dates’ friends and family, and get a better idea of their culture.
It is clear that international dating is growing in popularity in the Tinder world. That’s why the app released its passport feature, which allows you to change your location and connect with people around the world. However, certain cities receive more attention than others. According to a Tinder report from 2018, places like Los Angeles, Paris, and New York are some of the most popular destinations for those looking for romantic experiences. So, if you want to start swiping abroad, these could be some good options to start.
No matter where in the world you are, the truth is that exploring a city with a potential match can be a great way to get to know each other and overcome the awkwardness of the first date.
2. It is not the best app for a long-term relationship.
It is not a secret that Tinder is not the ideal place to find true love. According to Psychology Today, 51.5 percent of users believe the app was designed primarily for hooking up. Additionally, most people reported using Tinder because of its popularity, and as a way of self-worth validation, relegating dating and relationships to a second plane. Even though there are some exceptions, these numbers indicate that chances of finding a stable relationship in the Tinder world aren’t that great.
If you start swiping abroad, things can get even more complicated. Trips end, and this means that, at some point, you will have to part ways with your special someone. This shouldn’t be a reason not to use Tinder to meet new people, but you should always be aware of your situation and your plans. After all, not having a long-term relationship doesn’t mean that you can’t have a great experience with your match.
3. You will get a lot of attention.
If you decide to download Tinder during one of your trips, chances are you will start noticing a considerable increase in your matches after just a few swipes. The app’s algorithm is complex, but, in general terms, it assigns you a score based on your attractiveness, and that’s what determines who sees your profile. According to Swipehelper, logging into the app in a new city can give you a temporary boost which will make you visible to more people, at least until Tinder recalculates your score. So don’t act too surprised if you suddenly find yourself with a bunch of Super Likes or if your inbox is bursting with new messages every time you open the app.
Additionally, in my experience, displaying that you are a foreigner tends to spark the curiosity of the locals. My former matches used to say that talking to someone from a different culture can make things more interesting, especially if that someone is bilingual. According to a study by Babbel, 71 percent of Americans and 61 percent of British people believe that people who speak more than one language are sexier than those who speak only one. So adding a bit of international appeal to your profile can be highly beneficial.
Finally, cultural differences take away some of the pressure from finding the perfect conversation starter. I always find that talking about each other’s home countries and customs is a great way to break the ice and start to get to know the other person.
4. Risks are higher.
Everyone knows that using a dating app comes with certain dangers. Nevertheless, doing it abroad tends to multiply these risks. Although you should always be careful when meeting strangers through the internet, being at home means that at least you have the support of your friends and family in case something goes wrong. However, this is not always possible when you are traveling, so you need to be extra careful during your Tinder adventures. It is never a bad idea to take some additional measures before going on a date and, luckily, our phones are great tools we can use to keep us safe. Message your friends to let them know that you are alright or download a safety app such as BSafe or Circle of 6, which can send SOS alerts to your contacts and track your exact location. Also, don’t forget to research the local emergency numbers and the address of a police station or your country’s embassy.
5. Goodbyes will be hard (most of the time).
Traveling usually comes with an expiration date. This can be a very positive thing if you had a not-so-great date with a local, but pretty upsetting if you had a good connection with your match. I’ve had a few teary scenes at the airport and more heartbreaks than I would like to admit, but I always think that the experience is worth it. Even if you decided to keep things casual, saying goodbye can still hurt. That’s why you always have to keep in mind that using Tinder abroad is usually just a temporary experience and a way of making memories.
Of course, you and your match can always keep in touch and agree to meet again in the future. I did this with a guy I met while I was traveling in Northern Ireland and we kept a long distance relationship for almost a year and a half. The great part of connecting with someone through your phone is that communication does not depend on your geographic region so you can take advantage of technology when geography is an issue.