[Two Pronged] After 3 dates, I think I'm falling in love with my Tinder match
Rappler's Life and Style section runs an advice column by couple Jeremy Baer and clinical psychologist Dr Margarita Holmes.
Jeremy has a master's degree in law from Oxford University. A banker of 37 years who worked in 3 continents, he has been training with Dr Holmes for the last 10 years as co-lecturer and, occasionally, as co-therapist, especially with clients whose financial concerns intrude into their daily lives
Together, they have written two books: Love Triangles: Understanding the Macho-Mistress Mentality and Imported Love: Filipino-Foreign Liaisons.
Dear Dr Holmes and Mr Baer:
I am 22 years old and am new to Tinder. Last month I had my first date ever with “Jake.”
He is old, 32, but I like him. We went on our 3rd date last night. I think I am falling in love with him. Is it too early to let him know?
I am afraid he won’t take me seriously because we met via Tinder, But he knows this is my first time to use this and he is the first (and only) man I met through it.
Is it too soon to tell him how I feel?
Thank you for your email.
Casual sex is more prevalent than ever these days as it is more tolerated in the current morally relaxed and less religiously influenced era of easily available contraception. Some of the process has however migrated to the Internet — whereas before it required a visit to a bar or whatever to meet prospective partners, now they are available via an app on a smart phone, though unlike with cybersex participants still have to be physically present at the latter stage of the proceedings.
Regarding your reservations about having met via Tinder, in a 2018 study published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) found that dating app users don’t have more casual sexual partners than others with the same short-term preference. Based on this finding, no greater opprobrium should therefore attach to Tinder or Bumble users than to say a person going to a bar in search of a partner, though it has to be conceded that most people probably believe that dating apps are just for one night stands and will not be conversant with these NTNU findings.
Nonetheless, in your case, you both met via Tinder and yet your relationship has already lasted well beyond a one night stand so you shouldn’t need to worry any further about how you met. Instead, if you feel you are falling in love, your concern should be to build a lasting relationship. As to how to do that, you have not told us anything about your partner except that he is 32 and has been on three dates with you so we have almost no information to work with. Telling him about your love after only 3 dates however seems premature unless you have received some clear indication that this news would be welcomed. Perhaps you would be better advised just to let the relationship progress naturally until such point that you feel he will be receptive to this news.
Best of luck,
Thank you very much for your letter.
While I usually agree with many things Mr Baer says, I must admit I taas kilay-ed (raised my eyebrows) a bit when he spoke of casual sex immediately. Perhaps I am an old fuddy duddy by not presuming that Tinder dates immediately include sex from the beginning.
However, my own clinical experience confirms that this is not necessarily so.
Whether it is or isn’t in your case is not necessarily the point. You write about a different landscape, something deeper that cuts closer to the bone. That landscape is love…whether falling in love or staying in love.
Agreeing with Mr Baer that we do not know very much about “Jake,” all I can do is share my own observations about relationships in general. These observations are mainly personal (as opposed to “professional”) although my clinical experience has also strongly suggested that it is true (at least, for the limited sample of clients I have who have concerns about tinder and other dating apps).
If I seem a tiny bit cagey about sharing these with you, it is because they come across as sexist and yet — sigh — “I calls ‘em like I sees ‘em” so feel free to disagree with me.
I will limit my answer to strategy rather than to anything deeper or, indeed, broader in scope. Despite love being more than sex, strategies are involved in both.
I cannot tell you when to tell him you are falling in love with him.
I can, however, tell you that, by letting him know that “this is my first time to use this and he is the first (and only) man I met through it,” you are on the right track. That is because, as per one of my observations, men want women who are hard to get. That is, hard to get for every other man but themselves. This has been corroborated by evolutionary psychologist David Buss and I apologize for not being able to cite the exact bibliography.
David Buss also said “Women who are too easy to attract are perceived as less desirable.” Thus, perhaps it would be better to tell him you have fallen in love with him after more than three dates.
I have a feeling that Dr Buss, who has studied human sexual desire and male and female differences in human mate preferences in over 30 cultures, is right on target when he said (in so many words) that “Jake” might find you more desirable if he felt it took more than three dates for you to fall for him.
In my opinion, this shows how silly men can be, but there you go.
Good luck and if you are so inclined, please let us know how things pan out for you? Even at the young age of 22, you come across as a straight shooter and I hope things work out well for you.
All the best,
Need advice from our Two Pronged duo? Email email@example.com with subject heading TWO PRONGED. Unfortunately, the volume of correspondence precludes a personal response.