I have a confession to make: I’m slightly addicted to Tinder.
(Note: Tinder is a phone app used for a ‘hot or not’ sort of online dating. If you’re intrigued and want to know more, this page can get you up to speed.)
But not in the same way most everyone I know is using it. I never use it when I’m out, and I certainly don’t get my swipe on while sitting on the toilet. Nope, my addiction is a bit more niche, if you will.
I use Tinder exclusively to meet non-American men. I will only swipe right if there’s some indication that the guy is from another country (and, you know, is nice to look at).
Not that I don’t dig my American fellas, I just find that I get on way better with foreigners in New York. Think about it: if someone from abroad has come to live or vacation in your city, they must be adventurous. They probably love to travel, and I daresay there’s a decent chance they’re living a less conventional life than those in your normal dating pool. Those might not be your main criteria when assessing potential romantic interests, but they’re certainly mine – and Tinder is the easiest way I’ve found to connect with my ideal guy.
More than that: Tinder has been great for taming my wanderlust. Tired of living in New York and limited to just a few weeks of travel, I needed something to get me through the past year. Being able to interact with and often meet foreigners from Tinder gave me that hit of cultural exposure I so badly craved when I couldn’t travel myself.
Read on for reasons why you should go out with foreigners on Tinder to tame your wanderlust!
1. You can be spontaneous
When you date people from your own city, you’ve got two sets of busy schedules to contend with. Factor in after-work commitments, long work hours, and weekends out of town, and the next thing you know it’s 10 days before you’re able to see each other. Man, when did hanging out get to be such an ordeal?
But when you go out with someone who’s just visiting your city, they have plenty of free time and few obligations around which to navigate plans. They’re clearly in town to have fun rather than lament their jobs or their day-to-day lives. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather go out with Mr. Fun than Mr. Jaded.
Tinder is more of an ‘in the moment’ app, quite well suited to the latter Mr. Fun. It’s not like other online dating platforms where you typically exchange messages ad nauseum before meeting up in person (if you ever even do). I’ve found that foreigners visiting NYC are keen to meet up ASAP – they’re new to the city, have limited time, and want the local experience. I’ve had to begrudgingly turn down same-day invites to hang at a jazz club with some Aussies and stroll around Central Park with a Brit, but the thrill of spontaneity isn’t lost on me.
2. You get a taste of culture without having to travel
You may not be traveling overseas, but meeting a foreigner in your own city is not unlike meeting a foreigner abroad. That same element of cultural intrigue is there regardless of the setting. When you’re one-on-one with them, you can grill them about their country and find out what you should do and see when you make it there someday. On one of my more successful Tinder dates, I learned of the beautiful town of Annecy from a French fella, which excited me so much that it inspired my Wanderlust Wednesday segment on this blog.
It’s also just fun to observe the cultural nuances when you’re out with someone from another country, from how they interact with waiters and bartenders, to their table manners, to the words and phrases they use. Indeed, going on a Tinder date with someone from a foreign country is a pretty ok substitute for travel.
3. HOT ACCENTS
I suspect I’m not alone when I say that the majority of accents have the ability to turn me to putty, specifically if coming from a romantic interest.
If you go out with a foreigner from Tinder and the date’s a dud, at least you can space out to the tune of a hot accent. And if the date goes well, then the accent just takes it to the next level. That’s what they call win-winning.
4. You can talk travel with someone who loves it too
Whether they’re just visiting or have moved to your city, this much is true: foreigners on Tinder love to travel. If you’re like me and won’t consider dating anyone who doesn’t love to travel, then this is an easy filter to implement in your Tinder swiping routine.
It’s always refreshing to find you share common ground with someone, date or not. When you and your Tinder date have travel in common, you can swap stories and tips and reminisce on past adventures. Talking about travel is nearly as good as actually traveling, right? Right?
5. You get to play tour guide (and be bossy!)
I have picked the meeting spot for every single Tinder first date I’ve been on with foreigners. These guys are new to the city and don’t know what’s good, and they’re all too willing to let me call the shots. Since I can be pretty domineering and decisive, that works out swell for both of us! I’ve introduced a Frenchman and an Irish guy to some of my preferred local bars, and walked the High Line with an English fellow simply because I was in the mood to do it that week – and they were all quite impressed with my picks.
More important than having an excuse to be bossy, playing tour guide is a great way to re-immerse yourself in your own city and show your date how great it is. It’s also a good excuse to check out that restaurant you’ve been meaning to try or see a show you’ve been dying to catch, because odds are you can find a foreigner on Tinder keen to accompany you.