The Tinder lie and personal growth

The big lie of Tinder is that there’s a perfect partner.

Modern dating apps frame you as the fixed center around which a constellation of possibilities swirl. You swipe and swipe, seeking a partner that fits your hyper-specific desires and lifestyle. 

The implicit message: love is a search for the “right” person. You needn’t adjust your own behaviors or preferences, you must instead find the unicorn that complements them. 

Many nutrition educators and fitness professionals are happy to sell you the same lie: find the “right” diet and your fat will melt, your biceps will bulge, you’ll live to a healthy 140 (well past the age of most hobbits). The problem, they insist, is that grains are causing inflammation, or sugar is addictive, or that red meat is toxic. Swipe for your new, perfect diet. 

Yes, food composition matters. But there are a countless number of ways to create a calorie deficit and eat sufficient amount of protein and vegetables. 

The truth is, many people don’t need to radically change their foods; they need to change their habits and assumptions. Their level of commitment and planning. Their ability to set boundaries and hold themselves accountable. Their willingness to compromise. 

As in dating, diet success is a product of self-awareness and personal growth more than any perfect fit. Not a demand for easy comfort, but the pursuit of the uncomfortable, challenging work of change.