Dating online used to be seen as an uncool and/or weird way of finding a significant other. It was something we cringed at (and still do) when we heard about our divorced parents going on a first date from the ancient sites like Match or Zoosk. But now times have changed - we do everything with the help of an app. In fact, it's almost weirder to start chatting with a stranger at a cafe or in a bookstore (you know, those old school romanticized ways of meeting a significant other). And it's led to the organized chaos we should have seen coming.
Everyone has a Tinder account. By logging in with Facebook, choosing which gender you have interest in and the preferred age, you’re set to swipe right or left on anyone you desire. When you "win" (a.k.a. "match") a pop up congratulates you. Sounds similar to the download of any new game, right?
I didn’t want an account at first, and I should’ve listened to myself (because listening to others hasn’t really worked for me). However, I finally caved when a friend from my hometown convinced me to download the little fire icon. She got a ton of dates within months and as an outsider, it did start to look tempting.
I’ll admit, it was fun at first, but it was because I took it like it really is - a game. It felt like a good round of Candy Crush, except with real people. I mean, who doesn’t love the little spark of happiness you feel when you get a match, or level up in a game? I messaged a few guys for a while and even went on a couple of in-person dates with them (I know, what a milestone).
Except it didn’t last. Like any game, you eventually get tired of it, and then get really tired of it. I was messaging a ton of other guys, and there was really no purpose to most of them. Besides, you know they’re probably doing the same. After all, that is what the platform encourages.
And anyone who eventually seemed worth it to me? They evidently became ghosts, the kind that would only resurface on their terms. Ugh.
Then you find someone on there who looks like a model, too chiseled to be real. It seems too good to be true, and then it actually is when you see some of their same pics on multiple accounts. Can we say catfish? I'm calling Nev.
It got to the point where I had to ask myself why I was even on the app anymore. It’s not like this app is a better alternative to meeting the average sleazy guy at a bar. If I had to see one more fake quote about how great the guy is in their bio or another profile with only shirtless pics, I was going to lose it. I get it, your abs aren’t packaged with extra fat. Now go bond with the last three candidates who thought it was also newsworthy.
It felt like I was starting to lose the game. We all were. Friends of mine ended up having better luck finding weed dealers on the app than boyfriends.
I mean really, what's the grand prize? A wedding announcement in the Times? Over 50% of marriages end in divorce so chances are you'll be back for another round eventually. Sorry to sound jaded, but I do live in New York.
However, this isn’t to say that everyone should give up the online dating scene for good. In fact, congrats to the few for finding someone virtually. That takes insane skill (and luck)! I clearly have yet to master this and probably never will. So maybe I’ll just save myself and be single forever - or at least stop treating love like a game.