“So how do you go on dates here?” I asked my friend Natasha, who’s originally from the UK and has been living in Barcelona for the last four years, “Are you on Tinder?”
I’m new to this city, from Sydney Australia. Many of my friends have tried Tinder back home and I’m yet to see a good reason hence my curiosity on how the locals in Barcelona feel about it.
“No way, I tried it but it’s full of tourists looking for hook-ups. I don’t believe you can find love by swiping right on some random’s picture.” Natasha wasn’t the first one of my friends here to have an averse opinion of this dating app. It’s a conversation that’s taking place the world over; do people find love on Tinder or is it just for hook-ups?
What do the locals say?
Many of the single locals I’ve asked agree with Natasha and some will even prompt you to, “Do it the old-fashioned way, go out and meet people!” These were the words of Javi, who has not been inclined to follow his mates and their escapades on the Tinder app. He believes that there needs to be more than a photo and a couple of texts exchanged before you decide you want to spend a romantic evening with somebody. “Where is the body language, the look in the eye? These are all things that I consider when I’m attracted to a girl I pass on the street or meet at a bar.”
However, if you are in the dating scene and like a digital option, then Lovoo and Badoo are a few that have been mentioned in Barcelona besides Tinder. We all know that any stigma about online dating is long gone, so the options are plentiful.
Related article: Fast Love: Speed Dating in Barcelona
Meet-ups and other ways to meet singles
Javi says a couple of his friends in their thirties have met new friends and lovers at some of the popular Meet-ups that are run across Barcelona. Through this website you can view events that are going on in the area for singles to mingle. He encourages newbies to Barcelona to try bars, clubs and go to friends’ parties – “Just get out there!”
Another easy but great option is to head to one of Barcelona’s many cocktail bars or pubs to meet new people and talk over a delicious margarita or cerveza. You can also get out of your comfort zone and go dancing in the city. There are a variety of styles of dance to explore, from bachata to swing to salsa, where you can enjoy a fun night out and meet people who can teach you a few moves.
According to the Instituto Nacional de Estadistica (INE), over half of single Spaniards are using online and digital tools as a way to date. One other statistic from INE to throw your way is that the average age at which the Spanish marry rose from 28.9 for men and 26.8 for women in 1995 to 36.2 for men and 33 for women in 2012. Now four years later, the numbers are likely still rising so consider that if you are feeling at a loss.
Related article: Best bars for singles in Barcelona