There’s been a lot of discussion about how dating apps have ruined the dating scene for millennials but I couldn’t disagree more with that view. You’ll always find tales from jaded swipers about how they’ve been on one too many Tinder disasters over the years, but I’m here to tell you that as an experienced swiper (I’m not embarrassed to admit that) – you will have to go through a few doozies to find your perfect spud. So here’s why dating apps aren’t so bad – in my humble and non-jaded opinion.
I still remember one of my first real crushes was a barista who worked in a café that I often frequented with friends towards the end of my illustrious high school tenure. I debated back and forth with my bestie as to whether I should give him a napkin with my number barely legible on it and then bolt – this was a conversation that occupied many of our visits. After what was probably our third visit in a week (subtle – I know), I plucked up the courage to finally do it and boy was it nerve-racking and exhilarating at the same time.
I’m not sure how often these real life encounters happen anymore, with so many dating apps launching left, right and center. It’s so rare to find people approaching each other in public settings for a non-committal conversation unless both have consumed considerable amounts of liquid courage over the course of an evening. We of course know what happens in 90% of those situations – wham, bam, thank you ma’am! Off they disappear, never to be heard from again (and I’m not being biased because both genders do it).
In all honesty, there is no shortcut around it and even if you were to have met someone in a social setting as opposed to online, it’s still not guaranteed to be a success. It takes months, if not years to really get to know someone. If you want to be perfectly matched to that potential other half, then you’ll need to be committing some hard time to doing the legwork.
The only difference that dating apps contributes to the equation is the speed at which you make these connections. Instead of waiting for those weekly Friday work drinks to go out on the town to meet some ‘eligible’ bachelors (or f*ckboys as the internet likes to call them these days), you could be meeting and chatting to potential suitors at any time. You don’t even have to be inebriated!
Of course there are downsides to dating apps; you can never truly tell the height of a person from their photos (especially if they’re all from the chest up), you can’t really tell when photos have been taken (yesterday or 25 years ago) or if that six-pack really does belong to “30 year old Adam from the Northern Beaches”. For the most part, if you do your due diligence – you generally can gauge if a person is legit before you commit to a meeting in person.
This so called ‘dating apocalypse’ is just a cop out that people use when they haven’t been open-minded enough to just get themselves out there, or are just plain cynical. Sure, we may rely on more superficial scales when we hop on one of these apps, but to say that they prevent us from meeting people that we otherwise would give a chance to in person is a stretch in my opinion. Regardless of what people say – that first impression when we see someone with our two eyes will always be the strongest.
The average person can’t see personality traits like patience, loyalty and charisma from across the room, and being on a dating app will give you no less information about a person as being in the same bar as them on any given night. What intrigues us initially is that attraction factor, and if that’s there, then we move in to figure out if they have the other characteristics on our checklist. It works the same way on dating apps as it does in real life. The advantage of apps being that you don’t necessarily have to commit to a conversation with anyone if you’re just not feeling it. If someone is boring you on a dating app or just isn’t tickling your fancy, you need not entertain the conversation for very long (if at all) but if someone has approached you in a social setting; it’s much harder to walk away from the conversation… or you may find it just as easy to just turn around and hightail it out of there.
I’ve never hidden the fact that I’ve tried almost all the dating apps out there (Happn, Tinder, Bumble etc.) and in fact, that’s how Chris and I met. (Read the post here.) He lived in Melbourne, and travelled to Sydney frequently for work and I rarely had any reason to travel down there myself. We probably would have never met unless we both were on these apps. But of course, our story wasn’t as Hollywood movie-like as you’d imagine. We got there in the end and that’s all that matters.
What’s your opinion of dating apps?
Have you been on any before?