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From Tinder To Temple: The Changing Role Of Apps In Mormon Dating

Although the dating app Tinder was initially met with concern from LDS officials, a growing number of Mormon couples have met through the app, prompting the creation of more dating apps tailored to the church’s young single adults.

Mutual is a new dating app made especially for young single Mormons. First launched last summer, the app was posted on Kickstarter in January to improve the iPhone-only app and help bring it to Android. Since then 369 people have donated over $20,000. Functionally, Mutual is based on the concept the dating app Tinder has pioneered since 2012: post pictures of yourself and a few sentences, then browse the profiles of others. Choose who you like and who you don’t, and then be put in contact only with those with mutual interest.

Creighton and Kayla King met on Tinder last November. After talking on Tinder for a few weeks, they had their first date. They were married on May 13.

“I gave him my number, and then he still kept messaging me on Tinder, and I was like, you can just text me cause you have my number now,” Kayla King said.

“Yeah but that was like, a step up. That was like, big. I got Tinder as a joke, so when I matched with someone who I actually thought was cool, I was like, 'Oh dear,” Creighton King said. “'This is real.'”

They say that in their experience, there aren’t many negative attitudes towards couples who met on Tinder in the church.

“I know a lot of couples that have met on Tinder and have gotten married, and some of them have gotten married in the temple and some have gotten married and then sealed in the temple,” Kayla King said. “So I think in the church it’s becoming more common.”

In 2015, Elder Ballard of the LDS Quorum of the Twelve Apostles gave a speech to the church’s youth, specifically mentioning Tinder and Snapchat as potential spiritual dangers. It was one of the few times church leadership directly mentioned the app by name. But according to the Kings, attitudes have changed since then.

“I think it’s funny because in that same talk, he talks about Snapchat. Now the church has a Snapchat. I follow it, there’s a lot of really good stuff on there,” Creighton King said.

“Whatever you’re out to find is what you’ll find,” Kayla King said. “If you’re on it for the right reasons, whether it’s on Snapchat or Instagram or Facebook or Tinder, then it’s not going to be used in a negative way because you’re on it for the right reasons.”

Melanie Christensen met her husband Cory on Tinder. They were married in May of 2014. Holding their daughter, Harmony, in their Logan apartment, Christensen said she first got Tinder because her roommates had it.

“My roommates called it window shopping for guys, so we did that, and it ended up working out more than I expected it to,” she said. “Especially at the time I was really shy about sharing that but as time has gone on I’ve seen how many other people have had success through Tinder and online dating stuff and it’s less awkward to talk about it.”

Photo credit: Mike Johnson