“I don’t need to meet someone online, it’s not an authentic experience”
“Anyone can lie online. Insert terrifying catfish scenario here”
“I don’t want anyone to know that we met online”
These are just a few reasons why people (ahem myself) have avoided online dating, apart from the fact that I’m not on the hunt for a man. I did find Bumble intriguing though so when my friend showed me how the app worked, I decided to check it out in the name of research. Here were all these people just waiting around to connect with all these other people. A bunch of singles hoping to swipe into the apples of their eyes. Online dating isn't as taboo as it used to be and now people seem to be falling in love via algorithms all around me. I’ve had many people recommend online dating, from my coworkers to my RMT.
Bumble is deemed the Sadie Hawkins dance of dating apps, and was co-founded by Whitney Wolfe Herd who left her job at Tinder after being discriminated against and harassed by a cofounder of the company. With Bumble, women no longer put up with a barrage of gross and unwanted messages off the kick. If you swipe right and he swipes right, you match but the girl has 24 hours to initiate a conversation. The guy basically can’t talk to a girl without her consent. The internet is a breeding ground for predatory behaviour, and I liked having that safety net of control. But winning Prince Charming over with an irresistible introduction wasn't going to be easy, because a) I'm not good at flirting, and b) I ain’t a charismatic player who can drop smooth lines to nab boys.
The first thing you have to do is set up a profile. You can only sign up if you have Facebook, as the app auto-populates your name and age from FB. Early in life I was assigned a very unique and ethnic name which could potentially make identifying and stalking me easier, so I went and changed my name on Facebook so I could reel in all the men anonymously. I also think it's important to start all of my relationships off on the solid foundation of a lie.
PHOTOS PHOTOS PHOTOSOnline dating in my mind is also known as a MMM (Mobile Meat Market). And you ain’t gonna sell that real estate if you don’t have strategically staged photos. In this app, you’re as good as your looks, and I can only imagine what I was up against (e.g. perfectly contoured faces, women with more curves than the Red River, women who actually smiled and laughed, etc.). But being the repressed, awkward girl that I am, I made sure to choose something modest. Something that didn’t scream that I wanted a good time. Nothing suggestive. I didn’t want to misrepresent myself because at the end of the day I would be the one disappointed if the guy showed up and was all “Aww, you were prettier in your photos. Byeeee.”
So I chose the following conservative photo. I’m indoors, wearing a parka buttoned up to my chin, smirking in front of some cool art. All possible limbs are crossed suggesting I am a very closed off person. Unfortunately it looks like the polar bear is giving me mad side eye but whateverrr.
Bio 101In terms of the bio, I had no idea what to write. It needed to be original. Everyone else was listing cliche hobbies like hiking and traveling. Yeah, yeah we get it, you’re “active”. I’m more of an indoorsy person, and I refuse to go camping. Hard left if you love camping.
At first I was tempted to list some of my flaws, get it all out there:
- I am very motivated by fear
- My scoliosis prevents me from sitting up straight
- If I consume dairy or alcohol I break out in hives
But my inner John Mulaney didn’t want to scare all the boys away from the yard.
So I settled on something inconsequential. Do half the guys even read the bios anyways?
Get BumblingOnce you're set up, you immediately see profiles one at a time. To keep playing, you have to make a decision. Swiping through men on the app like I was swiping through Netflix movie options felt degrading with a cap D, because I knew I was also on the receiving end of being quickly dismissed. But this is how I approached it: if the photos passed the preliminary visual tests (he’s not hugging a keg, he’s not shirtless, he's not pictured with other girls, I found him attractive, etc) I would swipe down to read the bio.
This is a sample of one of the bios I read. Not sure what this guy's angle was.
- First he gently puts down Mennonites.
- Then he offers inspirational advice- advising other gentlemen to dress well. (That or he is just bad with grammar and meant he likes to dress well and is a gentleman).
- Next he itemizes his body art like he is taking an inventory.
- He finds the autonomy to shift gears hilarious.
- He has a Costco Membership, because everyone knows there is nothing sexier than a man who can buy 10 toothbrushes at a bulk warehouse price (actually pretty funny though).
- Lastly, he randomly lists a few objects, like he has given up on describing himself.
So if the candidate passed BOTH the visual and written test, I would swipe right. I ended up swiping right on 5 guys and matched with 2. If you match you get this fun screen and of course I chose to start a chat.
Match 1: The "Sarcastic" GuyI had a feeling the boys I matched with were mad swiping right just to play the odds. They also had entertaining profiles (I like me a funny/clever guy). But boy, they seemed aloof once the in-app messaging began. With the first guy, I started the convo with a Chandler Bing quote because he claimed in his bio to be like him. But the convo fizzled out immediately (he was more of a Ross Geller if you asked me).
Match 2: The Wedding Date Seeker
The second guy was looking for wedding dates so he would appear well adjusted to his friends. I thought this was clever and told him so. The messaging went something like this: I said I also wanted to appear well adjusted, he said “let’s do it”, I asked how the application process worked, he asked if I wanted to throw my name into the hat, and then we argued over his perception of tall women. Let me explain: he claimed that all tall women were self conscious about dating shorter men, and I was thinking, "How can you speak for all tall women, besides you look at least 6’2 so why are you so anxious" - and then it was over and I was done with his misogynistic statements anyways.
Overall Review of the App
Maybe it was me but the guys I matched with didn't put much effort in and I wondered why they swiped yes to a tiny, unimpressed Asian to begin with. Truth is, the culture of online dating is flaky and that is the main reason why I wouldn’t recommend it. Maybe you’ll meet this one person you connect with really well, but you’ll have to sort through a bunch of so-sos before you get there? It's like shopping at Winners. Other bloggers have talked about the idea of scarcity, and how sometimes it is just better if we don't have infinite options or else we'll always wonder if we're missing out on something better. Too much choice can foster an unhealthy discontent in our hearts and I would agree.
Maybe one day when I’m looking for someone to eat sushi with, I’ll load Bumble back up, post more inviting photos, and give some of the bios with spelling errors a chance. But first (in-person) impressions are important to me, and you don’t get that from the web. More importantly, I trust that if I'm meant to date someone, that God is more than capable of making that happen and blessing that relationship to bits. I don't need to micromanage my life. So until next time, happy dating you single people - it's a jungle out there.