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“My biggest fear was that I was going to get married, have a family, have kids, and have this huge secret that would blow up and either end up destroying my entire family or destroying me,” he said.
Landwirth had known he was gay for a while; he’d felt himself eyeing guys when he’d go out to bars in college. When he was finally ready to start meeting men, though, Landwirth had no idea where to start.
“I was way too scared to talk to anybody — I didn’t know who was gay or not gay, or what to say to them,” he says.
“I didn’t know how to flirt with a guy.” But on Tinder, Landwirth says, he could finally just relax, because the app took some of the guesswork out of things.
It's a sound approach, especially for online dating newbies: meeting someone is less intimidating and feels more organic this way, but you can still get to know people you otherwise might not have met.
Plus, there's a bit of extra security knowing you're talking to a 'real person': Hinge gives you plenty of details about your potential date in advance (full name, work, education, mutual friends), profiles are validated, and you could even contact your mutual acquaintance to get the lowdown on someone.
Streamlining things to this extent won't be to everyone's taste, of course, so if you're shy or just getting used to the idea of online dating, there's probably better options out there.
If swiping right is as natural as shoving a Johnny in your back pocket before a night out though, check it out.
One November day in 2013, in a suburb outside Los Angeles, Mark Vidal decided to download Tinder. “It felt like the universe was trying to tell me something.” Across the city, in an apartment next to Disneyland, Max Landwirth was swiping through matches on Tinder, too.
Just Ask Me Out is currently limited to London (where it also organises free dating events), but says it hopes to expand across the UK soon.
Top 10 Tips for Picking a First Date Venue That Isn't a Shambles Just landed in the UK, Hinge bills itself as a "classier Tinder" and helps you connect with friends of friends (we think Tinder's plenty classy, but hey).
These are the best Tinder alternatives (and a nod to our favourite Tinder add-on).
How I Used Tinder to Travel the World Another annoying thing about Tinder is that actually arranging a date can take ages.