In my never-ending quest to remain the designated Carrie of my friend group, I'm sometimes all too willing to engage in dating experiments (read: disasters) of my own making. I'll wear blue lip gloss on a first date, or (albeit accidentally) bring a guy to a strip club the first time we meet. Hey, at the very least, I always come away with a good story.
But despite years of braving the oddball New York dating pool, there's always been something I've been too afraid to do - join Hinge. "Oh no, I'm a Tinder gal," I'd tell my friends who, for the past year or so, have been begging me to get on the app "designed to be deleted." Why? Because it aims to facilitate more serious connections, especially since Match group (the one behind all those "we got married!" commercials) acquired a 51% ownership share of it last summer. But here's the thing: I wasn't sure if I was looking for something serious, or at least, not ready to admit it to myself.
Leave it to your besties to call you out on your bullshit.
"The problem is you keep meeting these guys on Tinder, which everyone knows is hook-up app," my best friend would tell me. "And then you want it to become something more." OK, true. Nevertheless, I've always had more of a Tinder-friendly aesthetic - I'm smoking, or holding a cocktail looking moody in practically every photo ever taken of me. And since that's actually Who I Am, I found (and still find, as we'll get into in a moment) no reason to advertise myself as a shiny, smiling-in-a-bikini girl. And so, I've found Tinder has my desired crowd, and the one in which, I, too, am desired. Artists, skater boys, weirdos. I once downloaded Bumble for 24 hours and still get anxiety when I think of having to message a finance bro first. And don't get me started on OkCupid - did it turn into the official dating app of polyamorous couples without making a public announcement?
So, yeah. Tinder has thus far been my trusty go-to. But one night, tipsy after a few glasses of wine at The Wren just before New Year's Eve, my friends finally convinced me to join Hinge. They cited a "New Year's resolution" to start taking dating more seriously and I figured, "Why not?" We made my profile sitting at the bar, using the most inviting pictures of me we could find on Instagram. I answered a few questions (which appear like magazine pull quotes on your profile) and got to browsing - not swiping. The guys were cute and surprisingly diverse. I was riding a high of newness, hearting a pic here, laughing at someone's answer there.
But before you start thinking this is a post sponsored by Hinge, let's get to the point: no one fucking likes me on Hinge. I don't get it. Whenever I swiped right on someone on Tinder, I almost immediately matched - they had usually swiped right on me already. And while I sometimes get the "So-and-so invited you to start the chat" equivalent on Hinge a day after "liking" someone, my own "likes" tab is depressingly empty, save for someone whose countenance offends me (sorry, I'm being honest).
What gives? Do men meet Hinge's distinct "likes" limit too fast? Or does the limit prevent them from wasting a "heart" on me? I'm attractive! My answers are fun! I have a cool job! Ultimately, does it prove what I've fearfully suspected all along: I'm just not the serious relationship type, and, perhaps, these wife-seeking men could smell it (or sense it, from my sitting-in-a-bathtub-wearing-a-Tim-Burton-esque-dress-with-a-glass-of-champagne photo)?
Who knows! After approximately three months and five guys sending the first like, I think it may be time to protect my self-esteem and sign off. But I haven't come away from the experience completely empty-handed: I've finally come to terms with the fact that I really am looking for love. Hinge just might be one of the wrong places.