IN DE­FENSE OF DAT­ING Apps

The swip­ing strug­gle is real, but it can be worth it.

Cosmopolitan (Philippines) - - Contents -

There’s more to them than un­so­licited dick pics.

Tin­der, Happn, Okcu­pid, and other dat­ing apps get a lot of flak. For one, they get dragged for be­ing su­per­fi­cial—you can’t pos­si­bly show­case your whole per­son­al­ity us­ing just a few pho­tos and X num­ber of words…but why should you? When you meet some­one in per­son, you don’t hand him your dat­ing re­sume or whip out a “Why You Should Date Me” pre­sen­ta­tion… right? And while the swip­ing fa­tigue is real—some­times you have to go through a hun­dred lefts be­fore you get one right, and even then there’s no guar­an­tee he’ll swipe right back—it’s those few good matches that re­deem dat­ing apps

ju­u­ust enough for you to swipe again. (Sounds eerily sim­i­lar to off­line dat­ing, doesn’t it?) Or, if you’re re­ally lucky, that one swipe right was, against all odds, ac­tu­ally Mr. Right. This isn’t that kind of story, sorry to say, though that hap­pily ever af­ter is be­com­ing more and more com­mon th­ese days.

Equal op­por­tu­nity for all

No, this is the story of a girl who has been us­ing dat­ing apps for al­most three years now. I am 28 years old and have never been in an adult re­la­tion­ship. My last boyfriend was in high school, and I spent half of col­lege in­fat­u­ated with a boy who turned out to be gay. (We’re still good friends to this day!) For the past eight years, I have worked in a fe­male-dom­i­nated in­dus­try where most men are not avail­able, into other men, or just not in­ter­ested. I find it dif­fi­cult to main­tain eye con­tact with strangers, much less ap­proach guys in bars, so dat­ing apps have sort of lev­eled the play­ing field for painfully shy peo­ple like me who don’t know how to go about meet­ing peo­ple and can use a con­fi­dence boost. You like him, he likes you, this is al­ready go­ing SO well.

Choose your own ad­ven­ture

You could say that match­ing with some­one is just the start of the bat­tle, but it doesn’t have to be one if you’re both on the same page. Look­ing for some­one to show you around while you’re on va­ca­tion? Would rather meet in per­son than ex­change texts? Not into hookups? Those are the things that should go on your pro­file. It’s not a guar­an­tee that you won’t match with peo­ple who are look­ing for the com­plete op­po­site—or show up stoned and fall asleep in the mid­dle of the date (true story)—but it’s one way of at­tract­ing what and who you want. A lot of peo­ple put a pre­mium on find­ing the elu­sive uni­corn that is true love through dat­ing apps, but there are plenty of other equally mag­nif­i­cent things to be found like chem­istry, an in­spir­ing con­nec­tion, or just a damn good time in bed.

lim­ited op­tions

There’s a per­cep­tion that dat­ing apps of­fer a buf­fet of choices that can over­whelm even the most lev­el­headed per­son. But ev­ery­one has pre­fer- ences, and hav­ing all th­ese op­tions helps you nar­row down what you ac­tu­ally want or even dis­cover new pref­er­ences. Of course, not ev­ery per­son will like you as much as you like them, or want the same things as you, or even stay in town long enough for a se­cond date. All my best matches are trav­el­ers just pass­ing through—some come back, but it’s never the same. Dates with them turn into hours or even days of movie-wor­thy ad­ven­tures (IMHO) that al­most al­ways end with a painful good­bye. They’ve made me re­al­ize that if I were to be in a re­la­tion­ship, it can’t be long-dis­tance. With­out the help of dat­ing apps, I would’ve never had the con­fi­dence to talk to them and have those crazy good times, much less come to re­al­ize a re­la­tion­ship non-ne­go­tiable.

At the end of the day, dat­ing apps are just an­other way to con­nect, one that comes with its own perks and prob­lems. Used with the right mind­set and ex­pec­ta­tions, they can lead to some very in­ter­est­ing times and even re­store your faith in men, ro­mance, and your­self.

Hav­ing all th­ese op­tions help you nar­row down what you ac­tu­ally want.

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