To Swipe or Not to Swipe?

Since my breakup with Ethan, which is heading into month three, I fought with whether or not I should rejoin dating apps because the thought of dating again was and continues to be a mental battle. I knew I had to eventually put myself out there again so one very early Saturday morning I downloaded Tinder, selected a few up-to-date pictures wrote some random words in the profile box and closed the app. I reopened again later in the evening and began the mundane task of swiping. Since it was the new year I decided that I needed a set of guidelines to adhere to so I wouldn’t fall into the rabbit hole. The following were my rules for automatic left swipes

  • Empty Profile- If you are too lazy to fill out the profile then you are only here for one reason and that is to hookup. Yes, you may be so ridiculously good looking that you never had to learn to read and write, but lack of effort really means that conversation will be just like that About me section; empty.

  • Boring Pictures- first selfie, second selfie, third selfie, oh my. By the time I hit the second selfie I’m really just analyzing the background, I’m looking to see if your bathroom mirror needs windex, I’m looking to see if you make your bed in the morning, or maybe the locker room pic caught the tip of some passerby’s dick. I don’t need to see the same face, the same distance away, in multiple different locations.

  • Drunk Pictures- my dating pool is 30+ so enough said there.

  • Fish holding Pictures- I know you are proud of your awesome catch but when I see a guy holding a picture of a fish I automatically start smelling fish and that is definitely a boner killer (no I don’t have a penis but I know you know what I mean)

  • Angry/passive aggressive profiles- “let’s connect and never chat” Tinder is not bumble, initiating conversation can be done by either party, and no “hi” doesn’t count. It’s unfortunate for men but these dating apps are a sausage fest so if you’re going to be boring, don’t get pissy with the other person.

I have always been and always will be a person that reads profiles, there isn’t much you can put into those small boxes but anyone who can give me a sense of their personality and humor while enticing me to ask more questions will have me hooked, and that is regardless of whether you consider yourself a 2 or a 10. I once had a guy asked me to review his profile and give him my thoughts, all 4 of his pictures was him in various blue button down shirts, with the same big eyed forced smile on his face, I told him his profile looked like he was being forced at gunpoint to smile in each picture. He said he didn’t like his natural smile, I told him that there’s nothing better than a person in a natural state of happiness. I also told him that his profile read like a resume, there was nothing in there that told me anything about his personality. So I imagined him going home each night after work throwing his blue shirt in the laundry basket and powering down the big eyes and fake smile. Yes everyone likes to travel and try craft beer but there needs to be more to it. He thanked me for my input but didn’t change much about his profile, I hope he found a fellow bot girlfriend and they lived happily ever after.

So my fun on Tinder lasted approximately 36 hours. I swiped right quite a lot. I started many conversations but they ultimately stopped after I realized I was the only one carrying on the conversation. I finally had enough when I connected with one particular guy, he was decent looking, well written profile but couldn’t stop with the tacky one liners, I asked him to be real with me to which he responded with “this is the real me, I’m just a romantic” I could feel the vomit rising and promptly deleted my profile and removed the app off my phone.

Two days later I decided to give things another shot. This time I tried Bumble, same rules applied with a couple more added, I don’t want more than 8 conversations at one time and since I had to initiate conversation, if they didn’t respond or stopped responding I would delete after three days. I still read the profiles and checked out the pictures, I was looking specifically for profiles that appeared honest and looked for guys that were not looking for a relationship.

One of the big misconceptions with my lifestyle is that every guy I meet seems to think I’m DTF, what they don’t see is that I love the thrill of the chase, I like to make out like teenagers, I like to go to bars and dinners and see them in a social setting. If I wanted to simply get laid I didn’t need to leave the house to do it.

With that said I did have much better luck on Bumble, the quality of men were higher, even though women had to initiate conversation, chivalry wasn’t completely dead and it felt good to be asked out. But with everything else in our swiping culture, the majority of conversations went nowhere and the amount of effort on both sides would wane within a few days, sometimes within a few hours. After meeting some new friends, gone on a few dates, and gaining a couple of pounds I decided I had had enough. I deleted Bumble.

I lasted approximately 2 weeks, I never paid for the app but I did count my beeline and at one stage I had 1700 men swipe right on me, I swiped right on approx 30 men, had 24 conversations total, 12 lasted more than a day, I went on 6 dates and continue to converse with 2. My patience for developing relationships with men online has always been low, I have other friendships that I have to nurture and a full life to lead, all this contributed to me getting fed up and deleting the dating app.

The lessons

  • I am the very definition of impatient. I don’t fall for men on looks alone, so I need to get to know them quite a bit before I will consider any relationship, this takes time and it takes effort, neither of which I particularly have a lot of. If I look at my stats I still talk to 2 out of 24 men, yes I could be enjoying the company of the majority of the others had I decided I was willing to pull teeth to try to get to know them. This is a lesson for the men, message, act interested.

  • I hate swiping. I knew this already, most people hate swiping, others see it as a sport. The real downside to this is that there are so many potential great connections that are missed simply because someone isn’t pretty enough, successful enough, or lacks creativity in their profile. I have often wondered while I swiped left on the sea of faces, how many of these guys could’ve been my next great lover.

  • “What about you?” doesn’t count as a valid question. If I am genuinely interested in a guy, I will ask a range of questions, if all I get back is “wbu?” that does not constitute a conversation in my books. I often don’t know if these men actually care to meet or if they are waiting to see if we will hookup.

  • Biggest lesson, I am not ready for a relationship. Relationships take time, energy, patience to build. I am in a stage in my life where I want to be selfish, I don’t want to pick up the phone whenever it rings and I want to take a day or two to respond to messages. Fortunately I have been open with the guys I have met and them that I can only offer a friendship, one that we could occasionally benefit from and I have been fortunate to connect with guys who are in similar situations.

So my adventures on the dating apps lasted a few weeks tops, I have made a couple of friendships that I will continue to nurture and see how things progress. A common recurring theme I heard through my small dating stint was guys were often put off by women who needed that instant Facebook official status, so my advice to these women is to slow down and let things play out, you may have spent a few years on these sites screening men continuously to see if they fit into your idea of a perfect match but has it been working for you?

For those men and women out there that have been searching for a genuine long term relationship for a while, maybe it’s time to take a chance on less than perfect and see if you are able to compromise, you never know, it might just work out.

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