A Tinder love story

by Madi Wilson, Features/Perspectives Editor

The location-based mobile dating app Tinder has a reputation for being used as a hook-up app, but statistics show otherwise.

For many college students, Tinder is being used for finding friendships and building long-term relationships.

WayUp, a startup for college jobs, gathered statistics on the dating habits of 200 college students and found only 20 percent of these students use Tinder for hooking up.

The survey also found 53 percent of these students use the app to find new friends and 27 percent use it to find their significant other.

Although the amount of people who use Tinder for finding their other half isn’t much higher than those who use it for hooking up, these numbers prove there’s more to this app than just having casual sex with people who live near you.

Mariah Peterson said she uses Tinder primarily because it’s fun.

“I think it’s hilarious because, well, if you match with your friends you just get to give them stupid pick-up lines and laugh with each other about it and then just the things that people say to you when they’re not in person,” Peterson said.

Other students, however, use Tinder for more serious reasons.

Junior Ethan Zierke went back and forth between using the app, but decided to re-download it over the summer while he worked on campus because he was feeling lonely.

“Even though it hadn’t worked in the past, I didn’t want to count out the possibility that it couldn’t work,” Zierke said. “And then it ended up doing just that.”

Zierke met his girlfriend, Carly, on Tinder. Not wanting a long-distance relationship, Zierke set his radius on the app for 30 miles. He was confused as to how he matched with Carly, who lives more than 30 miles away, but recalled that he used the app in his hometown of Iowa City, which is also where Carly lives.

After they matched, Zierke was the first to message Carly.

“So we talked basically all summer and then soon after school started I ended up going home, and we met for coffee at a coffee shop in Iowa City. Andthe rest is kind of history,” Zierke said.

Zierke said when they first met, they were both very nervous, and they weren’t sure what to anticipate.

“(Carly) said all of my photos looked very different from one other, so she had no idea what to expect like seeing me in person. But she was pleased with the end result,” Zierke said.

Ethan and Carly have been dating for 6 months as of March 27. At first, they were both hesitant about telling people they had met on Tinder, but now they don’t see any reason to feel ashamed.

“I remember when Carly and I first started dating we sort of had this like mutual agreement to never tell anyone it was how we met,” Zierke said. “I think it’s silly to be ashamed that we met on a dating website, but I think that it can work definitely.”

Both Ethan and Carly mutually agreed to delete their Tinder profiles, calling it a “weird milestone.”

The happy couple proved that Tinder’s reputation for being a hook-up app isn’t true in all cases. For people like Ethan and Carly, Tinder is a chance to meet someone who could potentially be a part of your life forever.