‘Swiped’ right off her feet: Marriage by Tinder at BYU


March marked the first date for three couples, and many more, who are now getting married because they met through the dating app Tinder.

Tinder allows users to see pictures of people of the opposite gender in their surrounding area. If the user thinks the person in the picture is attractive, they can “swipe right,” and if not, they can “swipe left.” If both parties swipe right, a match has been created and they are able to chat through the Tinder App.

“When I first learned about it (Tinder), I didn’t think it was anything I would ever do because I thought it was pretty shallow and really superficial,” said Ryan Bills, a member of the BYU swim team who met his fiancée through Tinder. “It just seemed like a way for people to find other people to hook up with, and I was pretty against it.”

Tinder sparks love for Ryan Bills and Sarah Rajani. Photo by Maddi D
Ryan Bills and Sarah Rajani found each other through Tinder and are getting married this year. (Maddi Dayton)

Other couples who met through Tinder had similar first thoughts about the app.

“Before my first date with Matt, I was really nervous. I was wary of Tinder; I thought it could easily be used for people to lie about who they were,” said Jen Heder, a music education major from BYU. “I was a little bit worried when he (my date) was coming to pick me up, because I was half expecting some fat old guy, but it wasn’t — it was Matthew.”

Matthew and Jen Heder were each other’s first and last Tinder dates; they recently got married on Oct. 12. The Heders are just one of many couples who met through Tinder and are getting married this fall and winter season.

“When we went ring shopping, the lady that helped us said there were several couples, almost everyday, who said they met because of Tinder,” Bills said.

BYU is known for its high number of married students; however, some students said meeting their future spouse through Tinder was unexpected.

“I never, ever, ever thought I would meet the person I was going to marry on Tinder,” Jen Heder said. “You obviously go on Tinder being hopeful and thinking maybe something could happen from it, but in my idea of how things might go, I didn’t ever think this would happen. But I’m very glad I did (get Tinder).”

Bills and Rajani are happily in love because of the Tinder App. Photo by Maddi D
Bills was against tinder at first, but he is now happily in love with Rajani. (Maddi Dayton)

After these couples overlooked the initial stigma of Tinder, they realized the app can be used as a tool to help people connect. Sarah Rajani, Bills’ fiancée, explained that it is not much different than someone walking up to a person in their class and asking them on a date.

“It only goes as far as you let it … I encourage the use (of Tinder) if they feel interested and want to give it a shot. I am getting married because of it,” Bills said. “I am incredibly happy, and if that’s how other people are going to find the person they are going to spend the rest of their life with, then why not?”

Even though Tinder has the potential to aid in the search for one’s eternal mate, some couples are not as quick to recommend it to their friends.

“Now, I don’t know if I would recommend it,” said Chris George, a BYU advertising graduate who is now engaged because of Tinder. “We are definitely a success story, and we lucked out. We caught it at an early moment.”

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