I must applaud Tinder for what it’s done to the dating world.

Thanks to Tinder and similar dating apps, casual dating and no strings are commonly accepted standards in today’s magnificent world. Unfortunately, it caters to masses, leaving us with too many options. When shopping for sneakers I won’t pick from 100 pairs that dazzle and glow in the dark. 10 pairs will do just fine if they have a decent look and can handle a gym workout. I can confidently choose from 10. Can we apply this logic to social media and today’s online dating trends?


Back to the Dance Hall

Long before the internet (and before credit cards), there were taxi dance halls. Men would purchase a ticket, which earned them 1 dance with a lady…for the length of a song. During dances, men had the chance to impress women. They could show off their gracefulness, or brag about their fancy lifestyle. If the dance duo made a connection, then they were free to meet again post-taxi dance hall. Either way, the ticket set the terms.

A ticket meant limited time to be your best self. Honest Abe, greasy goon, white dove, black swan…whomever. As a man, the number of tickets determined how many attempts you got to chat with women. Women decided how many total dances they wanted to partake in; not bad for the 1920’s and 1930’s. [Let’s not forget that men held the majority of the meaningful jobs back then, making it culturally reasonable that they be the ticket purchasers.]


Today there are just too many options. Swipe here, add there. Everyone is interested in everyone, but where’s the substance?


Why not bring back the ticket idea; not a ticket per se, but something that gets 2-3 minutes of one’s time (the length of a song). We should start making our own custom surveys for “potential others” to complete. No more generic likes and dislikes lists. If someone declines, then it means he or she wasn’t really interested anyway. If that person completes the survey, then we can spend a few minutes seeing if we like how their minds work. Less about them individually and more about “are they compatible with me”.


Let’s be Selective

In my survey, I’d ask what someone thinks about volunteering and video games. Do they know what the country’s national debt level is today? How often should one exercise? These are my questions, my terms. If I receive 10 survey responses, then people (already interested in me) will provide in-depth glimpses of their personality. Maybe I’ll like 7 of them…maybe I’ll like 0. But it’s better than sorting through 100 options that are all over the map.

Don’t get me wrong, these dating apps today are phenomenal. We’re communicating, meeting new people, and trying new things. Two thumbs up! But sometimes I don’t want random. We get menus at restaurants to hone in on our desires. No…I’m not comparing dates to food items. This simply explains how our brain handles a finite number of options. An endless menu would take…well “forever” to place an order.


Create your customized survey and force people to try a little harder to win you over. Best case? You get responses tailored toward your interests. Worst case? You get better at making surveys.


Oh, and please make sure they leave their contact info. You wouldn’t want your dream match to be anonymous!