This is a pretty long post so you may want to make some Earl Grey tea. If you add steamed milk, you’ll get a London Fog. Add some honey, and you’ll thank me and propose tomorrow with a ring.
(Inspired by my friend, Eryn Murphy. Check out her podcast Bad B*tch Banter!)
Being single has a social stigma to it: people start to wonder if there’s something wrong with you. (Thanks, Mom. I promise I’m fine.) People will tell you that your expectations are too high, or that you might be gay. (Thanks, to my friend group. The above GIF probably doesn’t help my case.) Once you reach a certain marriageable age, people begin to wonder why you’re not ‘seeing’ someone or settled in a relationship.
Some people rejoice in their (new) single life. Single girls will have pictures up on their Instagram stories that say “#myexsucks”, “All I need are my girls”, or “Fuck boys!” while single guys will try to slide into some random girl’s DMs and obscenely hit on her. (It’s hilarious, and she will probably tell you that she has a boyfriend.) Everyone goes out afterwards to bars and social settings to drink and live life to their fullest. Until it seems to get old, and you find yourself wanting to be in a secure commitment i.e relationship (again).
What are dating apps? These are applications designed with compatibility algorithms to have you ‘match’ with someone. Popular dating apps, such as Tinder and Bumble, allow the user to see the other’s picture, bio, age, and interests. (I know that the Indian community even has a specific dating app called ‘Dil Mil’, probably to find a significant other before parents set up an arranged marriage.) If two individuals find each other appealing, a conversation can occur. If conversation seems to go well, dates!
I’ll talk about the positives of a dating app first.
Dating apps allow you to narrow down a pool of options to fit your criteria. Everyone has different preferences in what they find attractive. Maybe you date within a specific height range, a specific weight range, a specific set of hobbies, or someone with a sense of humor agreeable to your own.
With this narrowing, you can select your options. If they also find you attractive, it’s a ‘match’ (which is a confidence-booster, no doubt). Now you can converse about your love of puppies and berating your past love interests. Have fun, you crazy kids! (Use protection!)
Some essentially choose to utilize dating apps as ‘hookup’ apps to casually sleep around. There’s nothing wrong with that (as long as you know the other person isn’t going to be a serial killer)! And it’s easy to dismiss someone, since you’ll (probably) never see them again.
Now for the negatives.
Dating apps have become a game. It’s easy to mindlessly sit on your toilet and flick through a plethora of profiles, while mocking the profile pictures and brief bio. (I know guys AND girls that do this.) It becomes easy to forget that you’re dealing with a real individual with actual emotions. In reality, you want to feel safe behind a wall of anonymity.
In terms of a heterosexual connection, it’s why guys choose to make crude comments and send dick pics. (What makes you even think your penis is appealing? What reaction do you really expect? C’mon, be honest. Kudos to your confidence though.) For girls, it becomes easy to ghost the guys if you lose interest, or if he seems creepy. (Some of you do it just for fun though, and your parents probably worry about you. You couldn’t find anything more appealing to do? Like gardening? [My garden looks great and you should be jealous.] Or laser-tag?)
Behind the veil of an online dating profile, anyone can build an attractive profile. All it takes is a provocative picture, a traveling picture, and a picture with a cute animal. Watch the pictures look much better than the actual product: think about the burger in McDonald’s commercials versus the actual burger you get.
The problem is that behind the facade, the other person may not be ideal. Girls, he may have serious mommy issues. Guys, she may be a serial killer (which, I guess, is a plus if you’re into that).
Their intentions may not be clear. Through conversation, you have to figure out if the person just wants to hookup or seriously date. Is he leading you on? Is she trying to cheat on her partner? Are they using you as a rebound? I’m all for sex. Sex is great, fantastic actually, but be smart about it.
It’s so easy to drop someone because of one flaw. They don’t like Game of Thrones? Yeah, bye. They don’t always vote Democrat? NEXT. They like cats better than dogs? Screw you and take a hike (which I know you won’t like since you despise exercise so much).
I can’t use dating apps.
I promise, I’ve tried. I downloaded Tinder and Bumble for two hours and hated every single second. Through repeated assurances of friends, I tried leaving them on my phone overnight and then promptly deleting them in the morning. Dating apps irritate me to no end.
I can’t date someone that I don’t know. Interacting with a complete stranger over a first time date seems limiting. Maybe you can bring up a few topics from your shared textual conversation, but there probably isn’t anything memorable. I need a decent conversation, with jokes and humor, and feeding off of the other person’s energy. If I enjoyed being around her in the past, then chances are that I’ll enjoy being around her in the future. Romantic relationships are successful friendships (with a good bit of sexual attraction): if she can’t be a friend, then how can I expect her to be a romantic partner?
Conversing over text, or online messaging, is my bane. I either overdo it, or don’t text at all. I sometimes might forget about a person completely, and I try not to do that (because I don’t want to seem disrespectful and have the other person think I’m ghosting them). My close friends know that I can’t shut up sometimes and I usually have the last word in our text conversations. It’s easy to review a text message 20 different times from 10 different people before sending it. Body language is vital. People respond positively to people they like. It’s easy to see if someone is open to communication, or wants to be left alone. I’m a direct person: if I’m interested, I promise to let you know.
I don’t like having my time wasted. Dating multiple people seems time-consuming. Dating someone from a dating app means using my time to first narrow down a pool that I find attractive, and then converse with a few who share similar interests/passions. Chances are that one of us isn’t as invested in the conversation as the other, or one person is lying to seem more appealing. And I hate lying.
(If you’ve seriously made it through all of this, cheers to you. Go out and date. Or have sex. Preferably both!)
The best criteria is in the video below. (I usually end up like the narrator at the end of the video.)
Does anyone actually like dating apps? Or have had a length successful relationship from a dating app? (By lengthy, I mean longer than a year for some of you confused folk.) Please comment below if you do because I’m seriously curious!