I’ll admit it. I’ve always been the girl who kind of turned her nose up at dating apps. Secretly of course because I have my fair share of friends who participate in them. Something about the idea of “swipe dating” screamed desperation even though my friends who use them are far from desperate. In fact, most of them get too much attention. (They may actually just be addicted to the attention, more on that later.)
Anyhow, Tinder, Bumble, Raya, The League…. I’ve heard all these names thrown around but I’ve never taken any time of my own to investigate them. I hear Bumble is all the rage if you’re looking for a guy who’s husband material. The League is like the happy hour crowd of dating apps. Raya is the elite members only club where you can find a celebrity, creative or the next Elon Musk. and Tinder? Tinder has the reputation for local hook ups and the one or two random miracle love stories that end up as advertisements for the app.
That’s all the knowledge I have and I’ve never cared to dig deeper mainly because I feel like MY particular match isn’t on a dating app. Where is he then, you ask? He’s somewhere building our empire waiting patiently on me, his Queen. DUH.
(Anyhow) A friend of mine was recently visiting me from Paris, where she’s studying abroad. While hanging out at my house last week, she casually dropped “Let me see who is on Tinder in your area.” I ignored her comment like I do most friends conversations about dating apps. 10 minutes later she let out a sigh of defeat. “Ugh, There’s nothing good here.”
Uh DUH is what I thought in my head, but I must have accidentally let some part of it slip out because she immediately jumped to Tinder’s defense. “Ashley, I’ve met some really cool people in Paris on Tinder” followed by 4-5 truly amazing stories of the new people she had met abroad.
I started to really think about her and the couple other girls I knew who would swipe around Tinder and they all had a few things in common. They are friendly AF, funny AF, and open AF. All of them are a great time. (For all my mom’s friends who read this blog and don’t have any kids my age or younger- AF = as fuck.) Each of them had also told me about an amazing prospective partner that swiped right on and made a match.
All of a sudden I started to feel like I was the crazy one, like I wasn’t open and that my opinion of Tinder was skewed. I blurted out to her, “You know what, how does Tinder work? I’m going to give it a try!”
“OMG, are you serious?!” She looked at me with the most shocked, yet, totally supportive face I had ever seen. I changed my mind real quick. “Nevermind girl. It’s not for me.”
“Ashh, just do it! Who cares!” she snapped back.
She’s right, I’m certainly out of fucks to give about dating. So why not? If nothing else, I would write a blog about the unfortunate experience. I opened the app store and downloaded Tinder.
My friend began to walk me through the app. First things first, upload a photo to my profile. Just that quick, it got difficult.What kind of photo? Like a profile pic? I don’t wear makeup everyday- I have makeup on in this pic. Do I need a full body? Will people think I’m a catfish if I put too many “professional” photos up? Do I show my body? How much is too much? How little is not enough?
Literally it took me 20 minutes to upload 7 photos. Only to realize that half of tinder uploaded theirs from 2014 androids, 2007 webcam, or used an actual photo scanner. The photo choices and quality on a tinder is Turrrrrrible.
Anyhow, next up “About Ashley.” Jesus Christ. Why is it when someone says “so tell me a little bit about yourself” you suddenly completely forget who you are? I settled on “Tap Tap…. is this thing on…” with a cute little mic emoji.
Next: Job title, company, school.
Absolutely not. Not a chance. What if someone in real life finds me on this app?!? I’ll die of embarrassment.
Next: Connect instagram?
Next: my top Spotify artists?
Listen I’m here for people who connect over the gift of music, buttttttt I’ll fill this out later.
Next: I am…
Woman. That was easy.
Next: I am interested in….
Men. Hey I’m starting to like the easy straight to the point questions.
30 minutes later, My profile was done. I swiped through my photos and glanced over my clever little caption very proud of myself.
Next up the discovery settings. Here I settled on 10 mile maximum distance, male gender preferred, and 28-45 age range. But trust, there was a bunch of mulling over the age.
Finally! Time to get down to business. My friend instructed me… “Ok so hit the flame button. That’s kind of like the draw deck.” I liked how she phrased that. The idea of having a deck full of men to chose from sounded right up my alley.
So the first gentleman pops up: Joseph, 29. Nooooooooo thanks Joey, not my type at all. I looked at my friend dead in her eye. “I do not want to mess this up, how do I make it so my man Joe and I do NOT connect?”
Here is when she ever so casually said “Ok so if you like him swipe right and if you don’t like him swipe left.”
“That it.” It sounded easy enough.
I was off… Chris, 31, ew no, swipe left. Dave, 29 staring longingly into his dog’s face, swipe left, I don’t love dogs. Brad, 29, sweet backwards dad cap dude. Yeah right, swipe left. Darius, 33, the photo is so bad, I’m convinced he could not have taken it on any iphone released after the iphone3. I probably swiped left 17 more times before I shouted “This is stupid! I seriously wouldn’t ever meet up with a single soul on this app.”
“Oh Ashley, stop. Just keep swiping and yell for me when you finally swipe right so I can show you the “Match” part of the app.
Ugh, I went back to it. I kept swiping James, 32 main picture is him wrestling another dude and he’s wearing a pajama duck onsie. Swipe. Swipe. Jose, 30. Swipe. The all of a sudden a full on celebration popped up on my screen with a message that “YOU HAVE SUPER LIKED JOSE!!”
If I knew a word to describe the sheer horror in my face, I would use it. I screamed to my friend who was in the bathroom. “OMG!!!! WHAT DID I JUST DO”
You would have thought I posted my nudes all over the internet the way I panicked. She ran and looked over my shoulder and said “Oh girl, you just accidentally swiped up.”
“Swipe Up?!? Huh. You did not list this in the rules stated earlier! You said swipe left or right, nothing about UP!”
“Well, if he likes you back, you will match and you guys can message each other and I can show you the rest of the app.”
“WHAT! No! I didn’t mean it. Un-super like him for me. What? You can’t?” Deep sigh.
I’m not really sure why I freaked out the way that I did because I could’ve just ignored his message like we do catcalls in real life. However, NOW in real life, some random man was going to open his phone and think I super like him, when I don’t. At all. The whole thing weirds me out. I took a deep sigh and kept swiping. Swipe left. Swipe left. Swipe. Swipe. Swipe. Swipe. I swiped until the draw deck was empty. No one.
I started reevaluating my set of standards for a man. Am I too picky? Do I need to change neighborhoods? Maybe, I’m superficial. Perhaps I’m not open enough. Who cares if he’s ugly, what about his soul? *rolls eyes*
Here’s the thing about me, I’ve never dated anyone that didn’t already know someone I knew. I need the cosign. I need someone to vouch that he’s not a psychopath and can tell me a little bit about him, his family, his history. I like the outside perspective. How do other people perceive him? How does he present himself to them? I feel like it helps me decipher if I’m meeting the real guy or his representative. And plus, it’s nice to know someone who may know a few of his secrets just in case he decides not to give me the WHOLE truth. 🙂 “They”, the Tinder people, say you’re bound to swipe into someone you know on Tinder but I’m just not quite sure the degrees of separation are that close for me.
A new deck was ready. Swipe. Swipe. Swipe. Swipe. Swipe. Nothing. I closed the app, told my friend I was over it, and went about my day. I tried for 48 more hours, in 3 different locations and still did not match with a single person.
I shared my experience with a few other friends who had used Tinder and the overall consensus was no one actually thought they would find someone on Tinder, that would just be an added perk. They really just enjoy Tinder for the game of it all.
I wanted to understand what they meant by “game.” I feel like I missed that part of the app. No part of the app was fun to me, it was kind of creepy. It felt a little like a russian bath house. So I did what I do best, some good old internet reading to digest this “game.”
Dr. Nikki Goldstein, relationship and dating expert, shared “Tinder has become a game, and the goal of the game is to have our egos boosted… If you swipe right and you match with a little celebration on the screen, sometimes that’s all that is needed.”
I can’t relate. Perhaps my ego is already too big. But after this experience I know one thing my standards are actually set to match. I’m ok with finding my match in real life, I’ll take my chances.
But to those of you who enjoy, happy swiping!
*Deactivates Tinder Account*
*Slowly types Raya & Bumble into my app store*