The Tinderella Syndrome – Flirting With No Intention Of Commitment

· May 4, 2018

The Tinderella Syndrome comes from the union of two terms: Tinder and Cinderella. Psychology has decided to give this name to the type of people who enjoy the flirting available on different apps on the market, but who will never commit to a date. They end up practicing “Ghosting“. They disappear without any explanation at all.

Living in these 21st century Internet days, there are many new practices and dynamics to consider. These haven’t gone unnoticed by psychologists, sociologists and anthropologists alike. We therefore need new labels and names to properly describe these new behavioral patterns that didn’t occur in previous generations.

The Tinderella Syndrome is born from the union of Tinder and Cinderella and represents those people who prefer the flirting established through WhatsApp and other apps, but without any commitment to having a date.

The fact that this is so is neither good nor bad, it is just different. These days we have many more possibilities to meet people and to be even more selective when looking for a partner. We select profiles, make searches, compare and try to make calculated decisions about the people we see. We are waiting for the long-awaited “perfect match”. Hoping to be able to start chatting with that special person who has caught our eye.

For many, it is little more than just a fun bit of marketing. These flirting apps offer us the opportunity to separate love and sex and only take the latter if that’s what we fancy. At the same time continuing in our efforts to find a lasting relationship, which in some cases we succeed in. In fact, many of us know lovely stories that started in this way.


However, in recent years, psychologists such as Jenny Stallard and Emma Kenny have been observing another type of dynamic that they wanted to bring to our attention through a very striking name: Tinderella. They are people who never agree to a date, users that enjoy only a bit of flirting and risque chat through these virtual channels.

Upset woman on phone

Tinderella syndrome, the pleasure of flirting with someone I will never know

It seems a great contradiction but, surprisingly, it is much more common than we would have thought. Why register with an app where you can flirt and find a partner when you don’t actually intend to get to know that person personally? The reason is that this initial phase full of novelty, discoveries, comparing of interests and conversations at midnight are more than enough for some. They find them perfectly satisfactory.

There is another interesting aspect to the Tinderella Syndrome. It is common for men “tinderellas” to flirt with several people at the same time. They are continuously looking for new options. New partners that will replace their current ones when they decide to “disappear” without giving any explanations.

Here are some more characteristics that define this type of behavior.

  • The process of searching for and choosing potential partners through flirting apps is more stimulating than getting to know people in real life. Tinderella people often lack social skills.
  • They tend to give the impression of being fascinating people in the on line universe. They create high expectations in potential partners who are hoping for an “off line” date that, obviously, will never happen.
  • In general, Tinderella people quickly lose interest in other people. They end up practicing ghosting from one day to the next without giving explanations. All they leave behind them are a trail of false promises.
Friends using mobiles

Love in the Tinder era

We said at the beginning that love over the Internet, and specifically in the Tinder era, has brought to light new challenges for many psychologists. As strange as it may seems to us, there are those who actually grieve because of a relationship that never happened.

These are “phantom” and fruitless relationships that happen after having chatted for a while together. They have shared secrets, plans and dreams with another person that they have never come to know physically. However, the expectations for that relationship were so high, that after the “on line” disappearance of the other member, the grief is intense.

All of this is happening right now and it is a clear reality. The problem is not at all the person who has fallen victim to Ghosting. Hiding behind the Tinderella Syndrome are people with indecisive and insecure personalities. They very possibly suffer from social phobia, or have an immature vision of what human relationships really are.

The idea of having anything from 5 to 20 potential “suitors” on Tinder is a very appealing one. As are the dozens of WhatsApp conversations we immerse ourselves in, in which we flirt, attempt to seduce, and awaken false hopes in others. They boost our egos, and there is no obligation. The seduction game is a constant one, without any need for commitment.

These Tinderellas will live on with these childish, capricious illusions of love. Leaving countless victims in their path. This is just one more modern day reality we have to take into account in our complex and ever changing society.

Sad woman at window