Tinder Through the Centuries

Dating in 2015 isn’t easy, but dating has never been easy. We have it much better than people did back in the day; you had to actually go outside to find a date, wife, or husband. If Tinder was around in the past, dating would’ve been a lot different, of course, but what would it actually be like?

Well, that’s what we are here for today— we are going to take a look at what the past few centuries would’ve been like had Tinder been around then. In my opinion, it probably won’t be any better than the kind of experiences we go through on Tinder, but maybe people back in the day were nicer and less creepy.

Probably not.


If Tinder was around in the 1700’s, especially during the colonial days in the New World, things would’ve been interesting to say the least. When a guy in the 1700’s is single and ready to mingle and he has Tinder, he’s going to need to make his profile stand out, and that won’t be easy if you’re not a white guy who owns land.

The first pic on a single guy’s profile will need to be of his face, maybe even his body if none of his limbs are wooden; smile only if you’ve got at least 50% of your real teeth in tact, and put a wooden comb through your hair so it looks less like Bernie Sanders and more like you dragged a crappy wooden comb through your hair. The second photo should be of the plot of land you’ve got your shack or manor or cabin on, so that way the ladies know that food will be on the table and that you’ll actually have a place to live.

When it comes to Tinder in the 1700’s, you can’t expect too much from the profiles, as not many people could spell, meaning that you won’t be able to gather much information on someone other than the photos they have. So if you’ve got a cow, a horse, land, and a place to live, there’s not much else to say; the ladies shall swipeth right.

There’s no upward mobility in the 1700’s, so the ladies will need to choose wisely; gamble and wait till a rich bachelor appears, or swipe right on the nice guy who’s got a few acres and a hatchet? Tough choices— either of them could die in two weeks from a cold, so you gotta take that into consideration.

How about the ladies’ profiles? Well, selfies will need to be on point; bonnet placed just right (untied at the neck, if you’re chill and laid-back), dress unbearably tight, and if you can write at all, show off what your tutor taught you and write a short bio about yourself, describing your interests and anything you’re looking for in a man.

When two people matched, they usually married before the end of that day, as things need to go a little faster when you can die at seemingly any time in the 18th century. If two people matched but there was no communication from either party, it did’t mean that it was a mistake that they matched; neither party might not be able to spell, so in that case you would just go to their house to see what’s up.

If he’s got a plot of land, fought against the British, has at least some of his teeth, and isn’t a drunk, swipe right. If she’s alive, single, and less than 20% of her body is wood, swipe right.


Not much different from Tindering in the colonial days, singles in the 19th century didn’t have it easy; if you didn’t die in childhood, it was expected that you marry as soon as possible, since you could die basically any day, just by being alive in the 1800’s.

Tinder in the 19th century wasn’t very easy on the ladies, as basically every man dressed the same: dark suit, top hat (or bowler hat if you’re about that life), and huge, disgusting sideburns. Every bachelor looked the same, so ladies might as well just swipe right at random.

The women dressed relatively the same as they did a hundred years prior, but women back then still lacked basic rights and freedoms, so it’s not like they were throwing their education or job history on their profiles like guys could. Instead, “can whip up a mean stew”, or “in line to inherit fortune” will have to do.

Many Americans headed out West in the 1800’s, hoping to find gold, or, well, anything better than what they already had; if you were single, you went out to California not just for gold, but for love. No one knew anyone out West (or everyone they knew just died on the way out there), so Tinder would’ve been a hot commodity, as everyone was looking for someone to share their fortunes with.

Guys vastly outnumbered the women, though, so ladies didn’t have much trouble finding a suitable suitor; if you were a single guy in California, chances are you’d find a huge gold supply before you found a decent wife. Some women found themselves in relationships with men who’d supposedly just found a fortune in gold, only to discover right after the wedding that they were dirt poor; you basically had to guess and swipe right on whoever you’d think would find the most gold, if any.


The coming of the next century saw some changes in dating, and Tinder would’ve seen more widespread use in the 20th century than in previous centuries. Women started to have more freedom, and styles started to change at a more rapid pace, which the gentleman didn’t mind.

The messaging that would’ve taken place in the 1900’s would have been much better in terms of quality than previous centuries, as more people were literate, but that doesn’t mean the ladies had it any easier; douchebags existed back in the day. In the ‘20s, people were having a great time and were sleeping around more than ever before thanks to Tinder, but once the Great Depression hit, dating got rough.

During the Depression, all a lady cared about was if they guy had a job, some land, and some food, or a combination of the three; back in the ‘20s, everyone had a job and everyone was rich, so people weren’t very picky when it came to dating, but that changed at the end of the decade.

The 1940’s saw World War II, and Tinder was pretty much nonexistent during this time; everyone was contributing to the war effort at home, so there wasn’t any time to choose whether to swipe left or right. If a single guy or girl was caught using Tinder, any adult would scold them and say, “Hey kid, don’t you know there’s a war on?!?”

Once Hitler blew his brains out, everyone went back home and started families, which means basically everyone was on Tinder in the ‘50s; if you were on Tinder in the years after the war, you were getting laid left and right (by the gal you married right after you got back from killing Nazis).

The psychedelic sixties saw the era of “free love”, so people would’ve been flooding onto Tinder, but since everybody was high out of their minds, they just swiped right on everyone they saw; if you were alive in the 1960’s, you were getting some.

The last third of the 20th century on Tinder wouldn’t be all that different from the Tinder we have today, except for the styles people wear and the interests they have; guys will still be creepy and girls will still be confusing. The previous centuries surely would’ve been very different in terms of Tindering, as dating customs were just different back then, but it still would be an interesting thing to experience.

Is Tinder today better or worse than what it would’ve been had it been around in the past?

Yeah, it’s worse.