Updated: Friday, 1st August 2014 @ 12:44pm

Tinder... 'like real life, but better': MM check out the online dating app taking the UK by storm

Tinder... 'like real life, but better': MM check out the online dating app taking the UK by storm

| By Hannah Anstee

Tinder is the latest dating phenomena which appears to be sweeping the nation. Different to other dating websites and apps in that it’s based purely on physical looks.

Olympic Gold Medalist Jamie Anderson has admitted to using the online app in the Olympic Village at Sochi. 

Anderson confessed to having to delete her account as she couldn't help checking out her potential dates and it was distracting her.

I'd never heard of it until last week, when a girl in the office mentioned it. I thought it sounded somewhat basic and shallow.

But with Valentine’s Day looming, and not even a hint of a date on the cards, I thought, why not?  If it's good enough for Jamie Anderson, it's good enough for me.

According to recent statistics, one in five relationships in the UK now start on the internet, and over nine million of us are registered with a dating site.

I download the app, it’s free, and I need to log in via Facebook.  Don't worry, Tinder never appears on your Facebook page, and interestingly it’s the FB connection that makes the site so good, interesting and useful... more on that later.

Once you've logged in Tinder automatically creates you an account based on your FB profile, including first name (no dodgy usernames required here) and photos from your profile too.

If you're not happy with these photos, say if they show you with your ex, or looking very unattractive wasted in a bar somewhere, then you can easily change them.

And then, that's it, you're basically good to go. You may want to alter the search, so you don't get 19 year olds living in London coming up, although what do I know? You may be 19 and living in London.

But if you're 36 and living up North, then you may want to type your postcode in and search within that radius, and also your preferred age range.

You are now presented with a photo of your potential suitor, their age, and the geographical distance between you, and that's it.

Now admittedly, this has its drawbacks, you can't see if they have a job, can spell, or are obsessed with golf.  Tinder is based purely on the principles of physical looks, it may seem shallow, but it gets straight to the point, are you physically attracted to that person?

Other dating websites do give you more, but actually, would we contact, or even read the profile of someone we are not attracted to? No, we wouldn't.

This is where the FB element comes into play. We can see with our potential matches, their mutual friends and interests on FB. 

So we know if they're friends with so and so and are interested in Galstonbury/Electrik Bar/The Guardian etc.  So at least we know if we have anything in common.

It’s actually quite interesting checking all these things out. There's very random similarities. Such as, one of my potential suitors was mutually friends with my friend in London. 

Another guy, friends with seven of my friends, but I didn't know him.  If nothing else, it's interesting looking at it and trying to work out the connections.

So, from there, it’s a simple yes or no.  I'm pleasantly surprised by the amount of men that I say 'yes' to, there appears to be some very attractive men in Manchester.

Within ten minutes I have my profile set up and I have two mutual matches in my inbox. 

Now, here's what I consider the pure genius aspect of the site.  When you say 'yes' to somebody, your potential match is only ever alerted to your admiration if they themselves click that they like you, and vice versa. Brilliant.

Generally most other dating sites alert your potential match when you say 'yes', this gives them the opportunity to 'reject' you by not reciprocating.  Hence, major embarrassment, crushed egos and avoiding people in nightclubs.

Also with Tinder, people can only message you if you both 'like' each other.  This stops unsuitable matches bombarding your inbox and potential 'blocking' situations, which are never nice.

Anyway, this is all getting quite addictive, it really is amazingly quick and very simple to use and by now, just 1 hour later, I have 4 hot guys waiting in my inbox, all wanting to meet.. allegedly.

And so I wait, for some sort of contact, a message, from one of these said hot guys, while I continue to 'play' (Tinder is marketed as a game) and find more hot men to 'meet'. 

I wait, I wait, and I wait...and nothing.  No contact whatsoever. 

As I'm new to this particular site, I'm not really sure what to message,  I'm really not sure how to approach it, and so I don't, I do nothing and I go to bed.

I wake up in the morning and I now have 16 mutual meets, excellent news.  However, still no messages.

I decide to take the bull by the horns, choose my favourite 'meet' and message him.  Twelve hours later and nothing back from him. OK…

I message my second favourite meet, he messages me back straight away. Oh and what's this?  Another guy has messaged me. And now another.

Maybe I will have a date this Valentine's day after all?

For more information go to http://www.gotinder.com/

Picture courtesy of Nathan Rupert, with thanks.