“I met him on Tinder”, my friend said as she was showing me some pictures of a devilishly handsome guy.
“Wow, he’s really handsome”, I said, “but what exactly is Tinder”?
She started laughing. “You really don’t know? It’s a famous dating app. Lots of people I know have been using it recently”, she said.
This conversation took place approximately six years ago when I had no idea dating apps existed or how to use them. In my defense, I live in Greece which is always behind when it comes to progress and developments — most Greeks don’t even know what cryptocurrency is yet.
Anyway. Fast forward to today, and I’ve tried most dating apps available in my country — Tinder, OkCupid, Bumble, Happn, POF, and some whose names I don’t even remember. Some of them sucked, some of them were okay. I’ve met people who sucked much more than the apps, and some who felt great to be around.
What surprises me up to this day about dating apps though, are the various myths and misconceptions that surround them. Now, I’m not saying that they’re perfect, but, over time, we have unnecessarily demonized them and even today, still bring shame upon people who use them.
I think it’s time we addressed some lies.
Lie #1: Only Desperate People Use Dating Apps
When you say that only desperate people use dating apps you immediately make an unhealthy conclusion about someone’s character (that is NOT based on any fact) and automatically undermine their personality.
Personally, when I first downloaded a dating app, I did it out of pure curiosity. I was a student at college then, interacted with people every day and there was always someone new to meet and go out with if I wanted to. I wasn’t even looking for love at the time, let alone be “desperate” to find someone.
Apart from pure curiosity, some of the reasons someone might use a dating app are:
- lack of time
Of course, there is a chance you’ll stumble upon a couple of desperate people once you enter the world of online dating, but that has nothing to do with the dating apps per se. There are a lot of desperate people out there who don’t use dating apps and a lot of non-desperate who take advantage of them.
Lie #2: You’ll Lose Your Time if You’re Looking for Something Serious
I gotta say that when I took my first steps into the world of online dating, that was something I was afraid of as well.
I’m not a fan of random hookups and I didn’t want to lose my time if that was what everyone in those dating apps was looking for. And although I can't deny there was a big percentage that was only looking for something casual, I also had the pleasure of talking and meeting with people who were looking for a serious relationship and had long-term intentions.
What’s more interesting is that, according to research, couples who meet in dating apps tend to have stronger intentions to stay together. As Dr. Gina Potarca stated:
“We actually find that in certain ways couples that met through dating apps have even stronger long-term family formation or relationship intentions than other couples that met either offline or through other digital ways of meeting.”
There will always be people who are looking for something casual and people who are searching for a serious partner regardless of where you meet them — through a mutual friend or in a dating app.
At least when it comes to dating apps, most people will write what they’re looking for in their profile description, saving you lots of time.
Lie #3: You’ll Be Short On Excitement and Butterflies
“You can’t compare the feeling of first locking eyes with a stranger with first meeting someone after talking to them in a dating app. There’s no excitement. No butterflies.”
That’s what one of my friends once said to me and I’ve seen lots of people sharing that opinion about online dating. Other variations of this lie include:
There’s no magic in meeting someone through a dating app.
Meeting someone online means sparks won’t fly IRL.
Well, my experience has shown me otherwise. In my case, I’ve had an equal amount, if not more, of excitement AND butterflies on dates with people I had met through a dating app.
I mean, what’s the difference between locking eyes with someone whom you met online and someone you come across at a bar or a party? If anything, the former is more exciting — there’s a mystery to the whole process. Will they look like their photos? Will I feel the connection I felt when we were talking? What vibes will I get from them?
On the opposite side of the coin, you’re at a bar, look around, lock eyes with a man or woman, they smile at you, you think “Oh God, they’re so charming”, and they approach you. It can be a bit boring, IMO.
Lie #4: Dating Apps Only Work for Attractive People
This one is a bit tricky because it does contain a small portion of the truth, but as a whole, leads to a false conclusion.
Yes, attractive people do have it easier in dating apps, but that doesn’t mean they’re the only ones who can “win”. After all, beauty is as helpful in online dating as it is in traditional dating.
When it comes to dating apps, you have two tools:
- Your profile picture(s)
- Your profile description
If you describe yourself in an interesting way, you’ll catch people’s attention. There were lots of times when a person’s profile description made me laugh or piqued my interest, and made me go “yeah, I definitely want to talk to this person”, regardless of their picture.
Do you know how many times I’ve swiped right in people with a great picture and a cocky, or extremely boring description? Zero.
In other words, looks do matter in dating apps, but other things are more important, just like in real life.
To Sum It Up…
So, what’s the moral of this story? Most of the things people say about dating apps are lies — and are usually said by people who haven't tried them, or, used them for two days.
Don’t be ashamed for looking for love in dating apps — or online in general. Try them. You might like the experience or you might hate it. There’s a chance you will meet the love of your life and there’s an equal chance you’ll meet a bunch of assholes.
You won’t know if you never try.