Let’s just get it out of the way: In the past, Tinder has had a certain reputation that doesn’t necessarily mesh well with what your pastor taught you during the countless Sunday services you attended growing up (and I’m not talking about Kanye). However, like any other person, you’re curious about online dating. You want to know what all the hype is about. And, as great as they may seem, Christian dating sites aren’t really doing it for you. That’s understandable.
So, you download Tinder. And, probably to your youth pastor’s dismay, you’re having a good time. But, if you’re anything like me when I started using Tinder (at my Christian university, I may add), you feel a bit guilty. Should you be on here? What will God think? Hell, what will your grandma think? Unfortunately, there’s nothing in the Bible that tells you how to navigate Tinder as a Christian, so, like almost everything else in life, you have to figure it out as you go. I’m sure you’re doing great, but there are a few rules you should follow.
1. Be honest about what you want.
While we hope that you’ll be open to connecting with people from all kinds of backgrounds, we understand that you have preferences. If you’re only looking to date other Christians, be clear about that upfront. It will save you and your matches a lot of time. Lucky for you, there are millions of people on Tinder, so if anything I learned in my stats class is true, then there are quite a few Christians on there ready to Like you back.
2. Be open to trying something new.
As Christians, we’re taught to stay away from certain things — drinking, “worldly” music, sleeping in on Sundays. But, let’s be real: Some of those things are really fun. At the risk of sounding cliché, YOLO, so make the most of it. I’m not suggesting you go rob a bank, but if your dope Tinder match wants to take you to a hip-hop show and you’re comfortable with it, go for it!
3. Don’t play missionary.
I feel like this goes without saying, but Tinder is a dating app and you are not Billy Graham. If you match with someone who comes from a walk of life that you’re not familiar with nor agree with, turn the other cheek. Don’t try to introduce them to your Lord and Savior, get them to pray with you, or anything else you consider your “duty” as a Christian. No one asked you to do the Lord’s work, but we are asking that you be open to accepting others. Period.
4. Have a good time.
Growing up, I had a pastor who would always say, “Don’t you know it’s okay to be a Christian and have fun?” Tinder is the perfect place to do just that. Like Christianity, Tinder is what you make of it. As long as you’re honest and true to yourself and your beliefs, the good times should soon follow.
5. Don’t tell grandma you’re on Tinder.
No one should have to explain Tinder to their elderly relatives. However, if you find yourself in a position where you need to do just that, your grandma will probably suggest you ditch it and try to set you up with someone from her church. I’m sure they’re great, but one of the perks of Tinder is that you don’t have to go out with all of the single people in grandma’s choir which, in turn, makes the annual Easter program a lot less awkward. Godspeed.