My month on Tinder: From married men and cheating boyfriends to hook-ups and scammers

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Illustration photo by Getty Images
Illustration photo by Getty Images
  • Orapeleng Mokoena* details her underwhelming Tinder experience after she tried the app for a month. 
  • After years of not being sure about going on the dating app, she had hopes of meeting someone.
  • Instead, she found married men, cheating boyfriends, scammers and men who are only after hook-ups.

LOL! As Real Housewives reality TV show star Evodia Mogase would say, "What a joke, my darling!" 

Oh well, that sums up my Tinder experience. Do laugh with me.

First, I have never considered myself to be someone who struggles to meet men. I don't know if I probably let my confidence overshadow my reality, but here I am, struggling, kind of!

So, the idea of going to a dating app was never something I actively entertained. So naturally, I had never committed to being on a dating app like I did recently.

Some years ago, I was on holiday in Cape Town after having a lot of fermented grapes, conversing about men, and loosening up my rigid ways my friend coerced me (but I know she won't admit it) into downloading Tinder. 

But when I woke up in the morning after creating a profile on the controversial app, my anxiety almost gave me a heart attack. 

READ MORE | ‘High maintenance’ is a red flag on dating apps. Women are still expected to shrink themselves

Of course, I wanted it deleted as soon as I woke up sober. The funny part is that I didn't know how to delete it. I never even swiped. 

Fast-forward to 2022, I had the guts to try it again, and this time, the intention was clear. I wanted to meet someone nice and decent.

What also fueled the interest was a story that made being on Tinder such a dreamy experience.

I know a woman met her now-husband on the questionable dating app. In two years, they got married and now live together overseas. She is glowing and happy, all because she swiped right. She said to me, "try it, babe." I went in.

And there I was, diving into an empty pool. After a month on the app it ended in nothing.

I didn't even get to go on a date - my poor imagination had gone to waste.

I usually imagine the most romantic scenes for first dates. I already had some outfits in mind and my palette on the check: beef medallions and a salad, some duck and roast veggies, easy-to-eat picks.

Although I love me some grilled salmon glazed with butter and garlic, I wasn't going to risk the possibility of having that funk in my mouth just in case my date and I move closer, lock eyes and realise we might be falling in love. Something deep like that. 

READ MORE | They met on a dating app amid the pandemic, he proposed at a private cinema and they are ready to wed

My enthusiasm was at its peak. I was going to be on this app and meet someone decent.

Honestly, anyone who knows me knows that this was a major effort. I got over my paranoia and put up six of my best pictures. I even put up one where I was wearing a crop top just to show that this queen is multi-faceted.

But things didn't quite turn out as they did in my daydreams. 

Here are five of the biggest LOLs that made me realise I was not going to meet the kind of person I hoped to meet.


If it wasn't Elon Musk, it was Idris Alba. Their profiles were all over. I am judging anyone who swiped right when they saw ample profiles of these Hollywood stars on Tinder. And of course, other famous faces with those chiseled chests and strong arms.


If it wasn't the famous people, it was the obvious scammers posed next to a G-wagon or a Porsche and of course, a Range Rover. Not forgetting that they'd be draped in Gucci or Louis Vuitton. They usually have "no hookups" on their bio. I figured this was a way of getting women to believe that they are serious about finding love.

Married men and cheating boyfriends

My jaw-dropped throughout the swipes. Not only were the men wearing wedding rings but some I actually knew. Wives, please check on your husbands. But honestly, if you are going to cheat, I am not saying cheat, but Tinder with your wedding ring on?

The kicker for me was this Tinder bio: "I am crazy sexy cool; I'm looking for a bestie, friend or a girlfriend. I am married and self-employed. If you are married, I will definitely respect your marriage but bring back the joy in you. Respect my wife. I will respect your hubby."

At this point, I knew my happily ever after was not on this app. 

READ MORE | Here's where to meet the ideal guy, according to a dating coach

Funny and weird bios

Despite all these strange encounters, I stayed for two more weeks, and mostly my entertainment became reading bios.

Another bio, "I am not here to buy airtime or do special favours; I am just here to have fun. I am not trying to adopt an adult that can't afford anything and expect men to maintain her lifestyle."

Penis pics

Gross. Shouldn't Tinder be removing such pictures though? Some men were just clear that they are there to look for sex - shamelessly honest. Gross! But if anything, the fact that they are honest about what they want counts for something, unlike someone lying and pretending to be interested in getting to know you when in fact all they want is sex.

Those who have met decent, honest, loving partners on this app must consider themselves lucky because for me, it was a weird space to be in. 

And although I didn't go on any dates or meet someone I liked, it is safe to say that love doesn't live here for me. 

How has your experience with online dating been? Tell us here.

Not her real name*

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