I Tried Online Dating And Here's What I Learned
It's a match!
Friday night. Date night. Yet you're sitting here reading this Narcity article and not going on a date like the independent boss babe that you are. I can probably guess though that your phone is buzzing with online dating notifications from Tinder, Bumble, and maybe even OK Cupid.
I decided to try online dating after my boyfriend and I broke up. We had been together *forever* and we even lived together. No one imagined we would ever break up. Not even me. Tinder popped up while we were together so I had never used it but was always kind of curious.
The breakup came and went, and I was tired of lying face down in my sheets crying until finally the neighbours finally submitted a noise complaint. *Sigh* true story.
My friends pushed me to download Tinder and my wish of seeing how this app worked was finally coming true. A few swipes right and many swipes left later and I got pretty bored. Guys were either ready with a generic message they probably send off as frequently as I like pictures of golden retriever puppies on Instagram or I would just get, "Hey". "Hey." Like wow, Kyle, I didn't realize you were such a bard, your profile says you're a mechanic. The communication was the least of my worries. Getting to that stage was hard enough on Tinder. Every guy had at least one of the following pictures:
- "I'm hiking and I want you know I'm outdoorsy."
- "This is probably not my dog but I want you to think it is."
- "I went wakeboarding once."
- "Oops, my shirt is off and this bathroom lighting is fire."
- "I went to a tiger sanctuary in Thailand. Yeah, I travel. And I'm brave."
It was all so fvcking transparent. The profile write ups weren't much better. I'm not asking you to be the Shakespeare of Tinder but give me something. There was nothing worse than a blank profile. "Congrats! It's a match! Ps. Good luck trying to talk to someone who just has a four leaf clover emoji as their bio."
Can I ask you something? When did it become socially acceptable to text in emojis? Yeah, I know I do it too but not in the way I'm talking about. I'm not saying, like, "Want to come over and eat some tacos? ? ❤️️ " I'm talking " ? ? ? ? ....? ❓❓❓"
After that, I tried Bumble. I heard it was better because the girl has to make the first move. I found that Bumble had a better crop of men. The dudes were better looking with better jobs and actually had a personality. Well, most of them at least.
I definitely liked Bumble better. First of all, you can switch to BFF mode. Whoa. Game changer. Okay, so I've never actually used the BFF setting but the fact that you can is cool. The other thing is that you only have 24 hours to make the first move or else the conversation disappears so you quickly realize if the guy you swiped for is someone you want to keep talking to or if it was the whiskey at 2 am that made you do it.
I found that what I liked about Bumble was that I was able to exercise my creativity. I knew I was never going to open a conversation with Kyle's classic "hey" and I tried to cater each line to suit the guy's profile. If the guy didn't have a write up (which, to be honest, I hardly swiped right for anyway) I would try writing something like "I don't do well under pressure!!" knowing that the 24 hours would soon be over but I couldn't think of anything to say to someone who couldn't even bother to throw up a movie quote in their bio.
I didn't go on many dates. As an extrovert through and through I found it was easier to sit a bar and strike up a conversation with someone than to build an online personality that they will soon realize is only a fraction of who I am. The way I see it it's better to just put yourself out there because there's nothing to lose. They either like you or don't like you but with Tinder and all these apps you create an illusion on both sides and one or both people will be disappointed if you don't turn out to be what they expected.
The dates I did go on were never interesting either. I guess we can go to dinner and a movie but I'd much rather play chess over beers in the park than see the sequel to whatever horror movie you saw with the last Tinder date you went on.
I soon realized that the role online dating played in my life was to fill this void of being rejected by my ex-boyfriend. If I gave a guy my number (which again was rare) it wasn't much better than if we had just stayed and chatted via Tinder.
To be blunt, online dating kind of sucks. You spend hours swiping left and right based solely on 5 pictures and less than 140 characters and the whole experience is pretty shallow.
What I realized it that online dating wasn't my bread and butter. I'm happy for my friends who have been successful in using it for dating or sex or even a for a Bumble BFF but I'm a weirdo and it's best that the guy I'm dating knows that about me before getting too invested in hours of meaningless texting.