Love Me Tinder: Online Identity Performance and Romantic Relationship Initiation

Anna Marie Villani, Charlotte Colstrup Hvass, Ida Lund-Larsen, Jacob Mark Rørhøj, Kathrine Mosbæk Vintersborg, Mathias Constant Bek Hansen & Teresa Imaya Bengtsson

Student thesis: Termpaper


Our project explores Tinder – a mobile dating application we view as a product of our time, a modern phenomenon. Specifically, we look at online identity and romantic relationship initiation, taking into account Tinder’s evolution as an application, the users, and subjectivities. Through semiotics and image rhetoric, we analyze the taglines and photographs users post in their profiles. We relate this to performance theory, viewing Tinder as a virtual stage. We delve deeper into Tinder, honing in on its gamification mechanics. We look at how users can be players, swiping identities without serious intent. The swipe, Tinder’s main gamification feature, only alerts of positive feedback, positive identity performances and appraisals. Based on our research, we outline the societal implications of Tinder’s elimination of rejection. We urge that risk is a necessary element of romantic relationship initiation. Tinder is constructed to be a game users can only win, but we look at how it is possible to lose.

EducationsBasic - International Bachelor Study Programme in Humanities, (Bachelor Programme) Basic
Publication date27 May 2015
SupervisorsSusanne Jacobsen Perez


  • Romantic Relationship Initiation
  • Tinder
  • Online Identity