Tuesday, April 23, 2024
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Laura Perrins: Tinder-style casual sex ruins your chances of making a happy marriage


Nick Wood explained the benefits of marriage a few weeks ago from a public policy perspective. In short ­it saves the taxpayer a lot of money.

Family breakdown costs a cool £50 billion per year so it is time to get a grip. Expanding the marriage tax allowance is a must, but what government can do is limited. Creating a culture of marriage is much more difficult.

Government should at least stop penalising marriage and subsidising co-habitation and illegitimacy. That is a good place to start, but only the beginning. Unfortunately, the damage being done culturally to marriage is phenomenal, according to this piece in Vanity Fair magazine on the dating app Tinder.

The piece, Tinder and the Dawn of the ‘Dating Apocalypse’, does not make happy reading. Apparently, some people think a good use of one’s time is to go out with your friends, and use this app to rate people hot or not and then potentially link up with them to have a one-night stand. Only it never lasts the night. I am told staying over post act is akin to marriage.

Clearly, Tinder is the devil’s work, plain and simple. I told myself that this could only be a New York thing; real people were not doing this. But then a friend confirmed that real people were partaking in this madness and some even live in London.

What is clear is that women are the real losers in this great sexual liberation. For the men it was fun and games – ‘too easy.’ Ah you say, how pearl clutchingly conservative of you, the women get some good sex out of it. Only, they don’t! It turns out that for some of them there is in fact sometimes no sex, or at least very bad sex. So really, what is the point? Why do women put up with this? “Tinder sucks,” they say. But they don’t stop swiping.

The liberals started out by separating sex from childbearing. Everyone signed up. Then they separated sex from marriage. Many people signed up. Then they separated sex from relationships. Lots of people went for this too. The one night stand was separated from the night. And now unbelievably they have separated the sex from the sex. It is bonkers.

But this does have real implications for marriage. Tinder is like but for real living human people. It is vile and odious to rate another person in this fashion. I just don’t know why anyone would tolerate it.

What does this generation of Tinderellas eventually want? Do they want to get married? ­ Much of the research says they do. But this is hardly the grounding that leads to a successful match. If one is used to having 10, 20, I don’t know 50 casual sexual encounters before you get married are we really to believe you can then just give it all up and settle down with the one? Human nature does not work like that.

From the piece, “when the men were asked if they’ve been arranging dates on the apps they’ve been swiping at, all say not one date, but two or three. You can’t be stuck in one lane.  There’s always something better.” Women, it seems, are ­just like cars but with less maintenance.

One chap tells us, “It’s setting up two or three Tinder dates a week and, chances are, sleeping with all of them, so you could rack up 100 girls you’ve slept with in a year”. Charming. “It’s like ordering Seamless”, says Dan, the investment banker, referring to the online food-delivery service. “But you’re ordering a person.” As I said – ­the Devil’s work.

Research shows that very sexually experienced people are at higher risk of having a failed marriage. Unlike most other aspects of life, where greater prior experience and knowledge makes for smarter and wiser choices, it seems this does not hold for life partners.

Constantly comparing your new spouse to all the previous people you have had sex with (maybe 100!) does not a happy or stable marriage make.

A boffin, David Buss, a professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin who specializes in the evolution of human sexuality, explains what our grandmothers always knew and told us, if we bothered to ask.  “One dimension of this is the impact it has on men’s psychology. When there is a surplus of women, or a perceived surplus of women, the whole mating system tends to shift towards short-term dating.”

He tells us, “Marriages become unstable. Divorces increase. Men don’t have to commit, so they pursue a short-term mating strategy. Men are making that shift, and women are forced to go along with it in order to mate at all.”

But women do not have to go along with it. This is not inevitable. Ironically, these women in all other aspects of their lives are alphas; very well educated and no doubt on the road to successful professional lives. Yet they accept this type of behaviour. And then they wonder why none of the men will settle down?

The men don’t settle down because all your mates are having sex with them using Tinder! Perhaps you should all stop sleeping with each other’s potential future husbands and things might change. Put down the mobile, enjoy a night out with your friends and demand more from the men. Trust me – ­ you are worth it.


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