By Ananya N Feb. 19, 2018
In our desperation to look for tangible happy endings wherever possible, we forgot to look at dating and relationships as distinct facets of romance. Tinder reminded us that dating is an evocative dance.
As some of the brightest, and sassiest minds of my generation gathered in hordes to chant “Pyaar Ek Dhoka Hai” to announce their cynicism to the world on Valentine’s Day, Tinder ended up being the one to take a oddly sanguine approach to modern dating.
In their latest ad, Tinder, the app that all of our millennial selves have downloaded on our smartphones whether we like to admit it or not, introduces us to the Tinder Girl. We meet her in town, before accompanying her as she shimmies around Mumbai.
We are a generation that has made our peace with the end of love and hope and all things bright and beautiful. Right from our ridiculous Valentine’s Day shouting parties to our nihilist memes and an uncomfortably high quotient of self-awareness, we are not used to this optimism. We are a generation of pessimists who are looking for the nearest trendy coffee shop to drown in frappes and fuckbois.
The Tinder Girl is not like that. She’s dancing in the city, with a few right swipes, some left swipes, and generous matches for company, looking for love with a spring in her step.
It takes all of one watch of this wordless 90-sec video featuring a dancing Tinderella to discern that the Tinder Girl isn’t just a person. She is, instead a feeling we’ve long buried under the practicality of responsibilities. She’s that feeling of incomparable rush of blood to the head when we hold hands with someone we like. She’s the embodiment of the tingly feeling that overpowers our body every time we zero in on someone we think is “our person”. Remember La La Land, and the romantic earnestness, devoid of the stain of cynicism, with which its lead couple pursues each other? That is what the Tinder Girl represents.
At a time when romance is relegated to the furthest corner of our minds due to our casual indifference, the Tinder Girl is a reminder of all the exceptional feelings that dating can evoke within us – if we let it
She is also that endless smile painted permanently on our faces right after our first kisses, the one you try and hide in office meetings. She is the message you type on your screen, angled in a way so that no one can see what you’re writing.
At a time when romance is relegated to the furthest corner of our minds due to our casual indifference, the Tinder Girl is a reminder of all the exceptional feelings that dating can evoke within us – if we let it. In dancing with pure abandon, she tempts and encourages us to do exactly the same delicate romantic dance in our personal lives. The Tinder Girl then wants us to let go of our baggage and start something epic.
For so long before the Tinder Girl, we’ve all been conditioned to have a narrow reading of dating – one where everyone was seemingly in a rat race with themselves to find Mr Right. Even though it was a race that consistently caused ample dejection, we let the 12-whistle pressure-cooker “happily ever after” ruin the exhilarating fun of dating.
As a result, so much of our romantic worldview depended on a relationship’s propensity to reach its fruitful end. It’s a way of thinking that – outdated as it might be – is so ingrained in our systems that we’ve become unable to function without giving any date a label. In our desperation to look for tangible happy endings wherever possible, we ended up quietly forgetting to look at dating and relationships as distinct facets of romance. In holding an assumption that romance is nothing without a destination, we’ve forgotten how to date. We’ve forgotten what it’s like to simply get to know someone – discover them and allow ourselves to be discovered – without comparing progress against a checklist. Or maybe, we’ve never known.
But dating is an incredible thing. Remember the time when we saw dating as an evocative dance? Remember the thrill of meeting someone new, and finding out they like the same things as you do, but most importantly hate the same people as you do? Remember the uncomplicated joy of stepping out with a person who is as much into you as you are into him? That head rush? That moment in which you felt alive? Before we let the baggage of compartmentalising our dates into narrow description boxes take over us.
We seem to have forgotten it. And it took Tinder to remind us of this.
This post is sponsored by Tinder.