“It’s the only way to really find someone…” “ I met my husband on Tinder, he owns a Tesla, brought to life a startup tech company at the age of fifteen, and he is CPR certified.” “We swiped right to finding love.” “It really ISN’T just for hookups.”
We have all heard them. All of the glorious reviews of dating apps that lead unsuspecting young minds to the land of online dating in hopes of meeting their own elusive unicorn of a partner. But does it really work? That is the million dollar question that we all need answered.
In the name of journalism, I took to the web to single-handedly scout out the truth. Actually… I am just a Millennial, and this is apparently how we date now. I have been on four dating apps so far, Hinge was the last attempt. I filled out all my little questions: Do you smoke weed, grass, hemp, all of the above: Nope. Do you want babies: A truckload. What age do you prefer: Still breathing. Then came the fun part: swiping. “Okay, that guy looks like he might murder me in my sleep” – swipe to the left. “Oh promising… promising.. wait. Who is that girl? Woahhh definitely not a sister.” – swipe to the left “If you want some of this come and get me.” (Picture of a man in front of mirror flexing his bicep in a “gains” cutoff) No… I am not ordering a cheeseburger.” – swipe to the left. After doing this for a good mindless forty minutes or so I finally had some men in the corral. They swiped right on me too and a match was sure to be made by the heavens. (Disclaimer: No men were harmed in the writing of this blog post. Also, side note: Names were changed to protect the identities of these men). There was Jeff, the tech guy who loves golf, breweries, and his dog Cosmo. There was Paul, the ONLY man I swiped right on in a muscle tee, but only because he was a pilot, and pilots are obviously great people to date *sarcasm. There was Danny, the handsome guy in advertising. There was Bill, and honestly… can’t remember much about Bill. Sorry, Bill.
The very best way that I can explain online dating to you is to categorize my dates into their correct timelines. So… we are going to start with the dates that never were. After you go through the painstaking filtering process of “swiping,” you go into the next phase of online dating which is what I like to call, “small talk purgatory,” which is where you literally small talk for a matter of days through online chatting until the man actually asks you out. The next few men and I never made it out of this teeth grinding stage.
The Dates that Never Were:
Paul: Let’s talk about Pilot Paul first. I had just about had it with the “small talk” portion of online dating when I matched with Paul, so I was honest with him. “Paul, I never really check this dating app for my messages so I am just going to give you my number.” I was hoping by giving my number I would somehow cut out some of the small talk portion, so we could go on a real, live, face to face, old fashioned, kind of date – sooner than later. I never made that mistake again. Paul texted me really early. First thing out of Paul’s mouth, “I haven’t even gotten my morning wood yet;)” *Please pause while I go throw up my lunch. Paul didn’t get a first date. Paul is still on Tinder ladies. He is all yours.
Bill: Bill was actually really great because he was totally honest about what he wanted and I so appreciated that. Bill and I were about to go on our first date when I got a text from him, “before we do this I need to make sure I know what you want.” Me: “what do you mean?” Bill: “Well I am really only looking for a Summer girlfriend. Then I want to do my own thing in the fall.” I thanked Bill for his honesty. Told him thanks but no thanks, I was only really looking for a Fall boyfriend.
After you make it through the tumultuous portion of “small talk,” weeding out the men that are only looking for a “night out”, and the men who prefer “seasonal applicants” only, and the array of other goodies online dating seems to throw your way, you make it to the
ACTUAL dating portion. Thank goodness right??
The Dates that Were:
Jeff: I showed up to the brewery to meet Jeff dressed to impress. I even put on eyeliner for good measure, but I definitely sweated that off in the North Carolina heat in about a hot 10 minutes. You know what also took 10 minutes. Knowing it wouldn’t work out with Jeff. I started asking him about his job, and out it came like an uncorked dam. Measurements and theories, and graphs oh my. All of a sudden I was no longer on a date I was at a seminar for tech gurus. I certainly did learn a lot, like the precise thickness of a golf ball and the mass of a coffee cup filled with un-roasted beans. But in the end, I knew in order to make it to date two I would have to go back to school and get my masters degree. So I thanked Jeff for the wonderful time, gave him a hug and went on my merry way.
Danny: Danny and I actually made it to date two. The first one was really great. We talked for hours, and we actually had a lot in common. The second date was kind of spur of the moment because I was getting home later from work and he had to wake up early, so I invited him to my house to watch a movie. It wasn’t until halfway through the movie when I noticed Danny bring his hand to his mouth. “What in the world is he doing?” I thought to myself. Then he pinched something out of his mouth and “stretched.” To my absolute horror, I realized he was actually chomping off bits of his nails, “stretching”, and throwing them on my hardwood. Gag* I spent the rest of the movie cringing every time he faked a stretch. Longest thirty minutes of my life. When the movie was over I thanked him for coming and he left. But it’s okay because he left lots behind for me to remember him by. I was hoping I was wrong as I went to the side of the couch, but there it was… tiny shreds of DNA left and discarded by my Hinge date. Turns out there were bits of his nails all over the side of the couch where he sat too. It turns out I had two dates that night… because I had an impromptu date with my Swiffer mop right after he left.
So…. does online dating really work? My conclusion is Yes and No. I have been on several really wonderful Hinge dates, I have been on more that make me want to shower for an hour and live under a rock. Apparently, you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find a prince. Like a LOT of frogs. I mean you might as well park yourself at the zoo under a sun lamp with your lips puckered. Dating apps are not for the weary. You can absolutely prepare to be “ghosted,” propositioned, sent an unwanted “junk” pic (or several), and go on a lot of really bad dates, but in the end, you might just find what you’re looking for. That sparkly, elusive unicorn that drives a Tesla and is certified in CPR 🦄. I personally have since deleted my apps, taking a break from the absolute madness that is online dating. Plus I just really can’t afford an unlimited supply of Swiffer pads – those bad boys are expensive! You though… get out there! Paul is still out there, just waiting to tell you about the special surprise he gets in the morning.