We mammals produce it to bring about bonding behaviors that help to ensure survival of the species.
The app, once downloaded on a smartphone, uses global positioning technology to help users locate potential dates (or what-have-you) on the basis of location, physical desirability and a brief intro composed by the user, usually—although not always—in that order.
In the case under discussion the young women were laughing about how a joke played on Tinderella using Tinder unexpectedly turned into an actual romance.
As widely discussed in psychology literature, Tinder, like other kinds of electronic applications, carries a high potential for compulsion and addiction.
A patient of one of the authors described himself as a “swipe-a-holic” who spends hours sitting on his couch at home mindlessly seeking, if not actual encounters, at least the thrill of the hunt.
"My boyfriend even calls me 'Tinderella,'" giggled a young woman sitting with a group of similar-aged women at a Manhattan Starbucks.
This snippet was part of an overheard conversation about the young ladies’ adventures using the matchmaking geo-social application (“app”) Tinder.
Others have told the authors that they see apps like Tinder as grist for the irrelationship mill, or, at least, for interactions that will protect them from intimate connection.
Others are dismissive of hooking up via electronic apps on grounds that someone interested in “true love” ought to spend their time on “more legitimate” dating sites such as or e Harmony. All three of us know of partnered gay men who met their mates on websites or apps such as Grindr or Manhunt which are explicitly marketed to men looking only for sex hook-ups: on these sites, postings often include only navel-to-knee photos.
Whether we meet at a church picnic, a notorious trysting place for gay men, or an electronic dating app, the possibility of finding love doesn’t stand a chance if we enter the arena with a closed mind and a shut-away heart.
In the same way, those of us accustomed to the strictures of irrelationship will not find our way out of compulsively controlled connections (no matter how many “swipe-rights,” trysts or first dates we put ourselves through) until we’ve become willing to come out of our emotional lockdown by exploring our fear of getting close.
Its theoretical perspective suggests that humans are, in reality, “proximity-seeking.” In fact, distinguished researcher Sue Johnson (2013) who is a recognized leader in the science of relationship, says: I like the propinquity theory about the way that people choose their partner. The one who looks perfect is the one you are standing next to when your attachment system kicks in (p. Along those lines, Tinder might be seen as a way of bringing about the Merriam-Webster definition: a conflagration of passionate attraction!