Whitney Levine
April 12, 2015 6:00 am

As a 19-year-old girl, I’m fairly new to the dating world, but I’ve already become a professional Tinder swiper.

When I made my Tinder account, I didn’t exactly take the app seriously. I would chat with a boy here and there, but I didn’t go on any dates. I mean,anyway you look at it, it’s still meeting someone off the Internet and I wanted to be extra cautious.

But after a while, I had a friend who encouraged me to go out on an actual date with someone from Tinder. I decided to give it a try. When I did find a match suitable for a date, we began chatting and over the time span of a week, we agreed to meet in person. I wasn’t all too eager at first. Who hasn’t heard horror stories about meeting up with someone online IRL only to find out that they weren’t exactly honest about who they were?

So I hit on a strategy: The Tinder double date. (Note: there’s also a new app “Double” for online double dating, but I wanted to stick with Tinder.) I told my match that I’d feel more comfortable meeting up the first time if I brought a friend along, and that he should too. It sounds like it might be awkward—after all, you’re meeting two strangers instead of one. But here’s why I totally recommend the Tinder double date.

The fact that he agreed to meet as a double date was reassurance he was pretty decent. Let’s be honest here, no one wants to encounter a crazy person from the Internet. When my date agreed to the arrangement, it proved that he at least had another good friend who would vouch for him, and that he had good intentions.

When we first met, it really broke the ice having my best friend there. A solo blind date is always awkward at first. But having my best friend there was almost like having a support system. Even if there was an uncomfortable moment, I could always turn to my best friend, give her a look, and things wouldn’t feel weird anymore.

Going on a double date takes the pressure off. On solo dates,  I’ve found that one person is always trying to impress the other one. It can feel forced and awful, like a play you didn’t know you were in. With him having his friend there along with mine, everything flowed naturally. It made things comfortable and casual. It didn’t feel like a big production so much as just hanging out with new friends.

You can tell a lot about someone by how they interact with their friends. The double date was especially good because I was able to see how he interacts with his friend. Why would that matter? At the end of the day, how someone treats their friends can contribute to how they treat you. Based on how he joked and talked with his friend, I could tell that he was a kind and funny person.

There is one downside of the Tinder double date, and that is that you don’t get to know someone as well as you might meeting one-on-one. But that’s OK: If you like each other, you can always do the next date solo. Even though things didn’t work out in the end with my Tinder date, it was a great experience. Remember to go into those things with an open mind and you might just find someone to hang out with. And if not, you still had a great night out with your bestie. May the swiping odds be forever in your favor!

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