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For two hours, scores of women paraded in front of me like a Golden Corral buffet. But the truth is there are two events looming in the distance that are going to happen whether I like it or not.
The same scent of desperation and loneliness that characterizes actual speed dating events on TV permeated the air. First, I’m reaching “the decade friends disappear,” an age when sociologists and psychologists say you’re most likely to lose your closest friends.
Tinder is working on a new iteration, Tinder Social, for groups of friends who want to hang out with other groups on a night out, rather than dating.
It was designed for women in their 20s and 30s to find not love, but friendship.
The first time I met someone using Tinder, the free dating app that requires users to swipe left for “no” and right for “yes” before enabling new “matches” to chat, it was an unqualified success. I was newly single after five years in a committed relationship and wasn’t looking for anything more than fun, friendship and, well, who knows.
A few weeks earlier I had tried to give my number to a girl in a cinema café in Brixton.
The date wasn’t a success in the traditional sense of leading us into a contract based on exclusivity, an accumulating cache of resentments and a mortgage, but it put me back in the game (an appropriate metaphor – people speak regularly of “playing” with the app).
According to Sean Rad, the co-founder who launched Tinder in late 2012, the service was invented for people like me.