“Have you tried Bumble?”
“My friend met her fiancé on OkCupid.”
“I bet Tinder is good for a laugh. Are you on there?”
Just like everything on the Internet, online dating has become a hot mess. It used to be one or two sites to choose from, but now it seems like every app is a slight variation of the last. Tinder is like OkCupid but without all the unwanted messages. Bumble is like Tinder with more security for ladies. Hinge is like Tinder with Facebook connections. And these are all words that didn’t exist five years ago. Each of them has their draws, and it’s hard to decide which one is the right one for you.
So after weekends of weddings, baby showers and bridesmaid prep, I decided it was time to go all out. It was time to put myself on every dating app.
In my years of single adult life, I had been on all of these dating sites at one point or another, but never all at once. Here’s what I learned after a week of balls to the wall online dating:
1) OkCupid is still creepy.
After approximately 32 hours of having an OKC account, I remembered why it’s probably the worst. As I scrolled through, I was bombarded with messages from absolutely anyone who wanted to talk to me. I’ve received charming messages like “hey,” “how u?” “wanna film us f***ing,” (my photo was me holding a video camera) and this gem:
2) Everyone in my life needs to update their Facebook connections.
Several of these sites will show you when you have mutual friends. In fact, that’s the whole basis of Hinge. This way you can screenshot the guy, send it to your friend and triple check that he isn’t a creepy porcelain doll collector or a Trump supporter or anything. Perfect, right? Right – so long as your friends remember who the guy is. Nearly every time I asked a friend for a reference, they had no idea who “Neil H. from Durham” was. We all need a Facebook purge, and Hinge makes that very obvious.
3) The profiles all start to run together.
Photo of you on that mountain you climbed one time. Photo of you and that fish you caught. Photo of you and a child (but definitely not yours). Photo of you in camo aiming a rifle. After a while, so many of the profiles start to run together. I lost count of the amount of men who are “just down to earth,” “easy going,” and “adventurous,” and this was only magnified by the fact that many of these men are on all the same sites.
And gentlemen, yes, I know, women are not innocent of this. I imagine it’s a lot of duck faces on your end. I’m sorry.
4) It starts to become really disheartening.
It might seem like nothing to swipe left, but when it’s left after left after left, you start to feel worse. What’s wrong with you? You’ve heard thousands of stories of people who met online! Where were they looking? Is there some hidden app where these success stories are happening? With every left swipe, it only amplified the feeling that there is no one out there. Or, am I just picky like Coffee Meets Bagel would have me think?
5) This is just not for me.
I went into this really hoping I’d have a change of heart. I really hoped one of these apps would make me feel comfortable, and I’d want to continue. Nah. Not even a little bit.
Hinge – If I had to continue with one, it would be Hinge. It’s a tad less intimidating, and there are cute little tags you can select for yourself like “book worm,” “history buff,” or “secret agent.” It makes scanning a profile easier.
Bumble – I’ve been on this one the longest. I like the safety from unwarranted messages, but it’s been months of very few connections so I often forget I have it.
Coffee Meets Bagel – There clearly aren’t enough people on this one, and the premise is weird. I have to spend beans to see our mutual connection? Dating is enough of a game – I don’t need some weird points system on top of it.
OkCupid – See above.
Tinder – Just saying I’m on Tinder makes me feel kinda icky. I appreciate that the men on Tinder are honest and straightforward, but profiles that say “Come on ladies, this is Tinder” only made the whole thing very unappealing. Not to mention profiles like these:
As I continued my late night swipes, I had a thought – would I have swiped right on the men I have fallen for in the past few years? Definitely not. This just isn’t how I fall for people. A few photos and a quirky sentence referencing Arrested Development is nice, but I always fall for people over time, and it’s always someone I didn’t expect.
So ultimately, I have decided to delete all of these apps. Truth be told, they were beginning to take over my thoughts. I obsessed over my single status, and I started feeling like I was failing.
But that’s stupid. Some people are great at this stuff, and some people are not. I just need to put online dating on the list of things I’m not great at like trigonometry and physics, and focus on the list of things I’m really good at like trivia, bingeing Netflix and cheering for the Buffalo Bills – just like my online dating profile says.