I was recently out with friends when the conversation took the inevitable turn into dating. More specifically, the hardships of dating in New York City.
I made my usual comment about how dating apps are not helping the dating scene, which is when one of the women I was with said she had found her boyfriend on Tinder.
Cue her boyfriend entering the conversation and arguing that dating apps are a godsend for men who don’t have the courage to approach women at a bar.
He proceeded to tell me that there’s about a 75% rejection rate when a man approaches a woman at a bar — he failed to mention where he pulled that stat from
With dating apps though, he pointed out, men don’t always have to be the one to make the first move, or if they do, it’s a lot less intimidating to do through a phone than in person.
It was at that point that I decided to shut my mouth, because I knew if I didn’t, what was about to come out of it wouldn’t be pretty.
That guy had just perfectly articulated one of the main reasons I refuse to use dating apps such as Tinder, Bumble, Hinge. Here’s why I’ve never swept left or right and don’t plan on doing it anytime soon.
I view online dating as somewhat of a cop out.
Half the fun of dating is finding someone you’re attracted to, getting up the courage to approach them, and finding out if you have chemistry. Yes, it can be slightly anxiety-inducing, but if it works out, you feel on top of the world, and if it doesn’t, you move on with nothing more than a slightly bruised ego. If a guy is willing to risk a little rejection by approaching me then I already have a lot more respect for and interest in him than a guy who sends me the generic “Hey, what’s up?” message through his phone.
As a single 23-year-old living in NYC, I’ve put myself out there more than once and have encountered both yes and no, and I’ve lived to tell the tale — and am still trying. Maybe it will take a while, but I’m confident that I’ll find someone in person and not through a dating app.
Dating apps are part of the reason people don’t want to commit to just one person.
We’re all familiar with the argument that dating apps are the cause of the hook up culture that is so pervasive throughout the millennial generation. And while I don’t think that dating apps are completely to blame for the current hook up culture, I do think they play a big role in it.
Here’s how I see it: dating apps take the enormous dating pool and put it into an easily accessible database that can be downloaded onto your phone. Instead of having to use the old-fashioned — and more time consuming — way of combing through the dating pool, users can just swipe through pictures on their phone. And then we wonder why men and women don’t want to commit to just one person. Why would they when the promise of something possibly better beckons from the easy-to-use dating app on their phone?
Dating apps are fairly superficial.
When you really get down to it, a lot of dating apps place a large emphasis on looks. Most users don’t take the time to make the extensive bios that you might find on sites such as eHarmony or OkCupid, so you’re making a decision based solely on looks. The first thing my roommate asks me about a match she gets on Tinder is “do you think he’s hot?” and not “do you think his bio makes him sound like a nice person?”
You could argue that meeting someone at a bar is just as superficial. But at least if you approach someone you’re attracted to at a bar, you can engage in conversation and pretty quickly find out whether you have anything in common with that person or if there’s any kind of chemistry between the two of you. On a dating app, on the other hand, you might have a great texting conversation, only to go on a date and find out that person is only a skilled conversationalist when they have time to think and formulate the perfect response.
I’ve heard too many horror stories from friends who use dating apps.
Even though I’ve never used a dating app, I’ve witnessed many of my friends using them. Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely the success stories you hear from happy couples who found each other through an app. But those are pretty few and far between. What I hear about more often than not is countless matches that never turn into dates, messages that are too inappropriate to even repeat, or people looking for instant gratification, ie. hook ups.
One of my friends has countless stories. There was the guy who promised to take her out for hot chocolate, and if that went well, dinner, who she just never heard from on the day their date was supposed to take place. Or the guy who started a conversation with a graphic description of what he wanted to do to her. Or the one who failed to mention that their first date was going to be a double date with a couple he knew, and then when she was weirded out by that, he ditched her and said they should try again on another night. Call me crazy, but none of those experiences have enticed me to brave the world of dating apps.
I just don’t think I need a dating app to find someone.
As I mentioned before, I’m 23 years old and I live in New York City. I like to go out and do things, whether that’s going to a bar on a Saturday night, exploring new neighbourhoods, or eating out at one of the many restaurant options the city has to offer. My opportunities for meeting someone are endless so I’m really not interested in facilitating the process in what seems to me a very impersonal and unnatural way. In fact, I’m currently seeing someone who I met at my gym. So no, bars aren’t the only viable place to meet someone in person.
Maybe under different circumstances — if I were much older or lived in a less populated area where it’s harder to meet people — I would consider using a dating app.
I’m not trying to say no one should use them. For some people, dating apps and websites work. If you’re into them, here’s some proof: my colleague Mallory met her fiance on OkCupid after 38 often cringe-worthy dates.