When I was a freshman in college, a friend of mine mentioned that she had recently gone on a date with someone she met through a dating app called Bumble. I knew of Tinder, but I have never heard of Bumble.
Bumble launched in the fall of 2014 and it was fairly new to the market during my freshman year. My friend explained Bumble as the female-friendlier version of Tinder, and I was sold.
I immediately downloaded the dating app and started my journey, but I quit after four months of using it.
It was very frustrating to see your friends having a good experience on dating apps, even getting into relationships because of them. I started to question if there was something wrong with me. Maybe I wasn’t as forthcoming as I should have been. Maybe my pictures weren’t photogenic enough, and my bio wasn’t as engaging as it should be.
The moment I would “swipe right” on someone, I got extremely anxious, wondering if I was “pretty enough” or “hot enough” to match with them.
All I thought about while using Bumble and other dating apps was my looks and appearance. I never once thought about myself as an actual person who has a lot to offer. At the time, I was struggling with self-confidence, and my self-esteem was very fragile.
Though it may sound dramatic, using dating apps made me very judgmental of myself and others.
I found that the conversations I had with people I connected with didn’t go anywhere. It was all surface-level. There was no way that I felt I could have deeper conversations.
Also, I was having multiple discussions at the same time, so it became hard to stay emotionally invested. I became flakier in my responses and became less active. Rather than trying to keep the conversation going, I would move on.
It came to the point that I had enough with dating apps and their culture.
I don’t use dating apps anymore because I don’t think they show an accurate representation of who we are as people. I know for me, I wasn’t sincere on there.
I saw how people overdid it with the dating apps and only told the best parts of themselves, which inevitably led to me being disappointed when I met them in person. They turn out to be completely different.
Some people believe that dating apps are more secure than meeting someone at a bar or a coffee shop since they’re online. It perpetuates a false sense of security because we all know someone who has been catfished before or harassed on dating apps.
A recent Pew Research survey reports that 60% of female users ages 18 to 34 say someone on a dating app or website continued to contact them after they said they weren’t interested.
I’m not saying that dating apps are not worth using, because in some circumstances they are. I am fortunate to live in a big city and go to a large university where women to men ratio is good.
But for some people, that may not be the case and they need to use dating apps to find a partner.
I wouldn’t say I hate dating apps, but I won’t be going out of my way to download them back onto my phone anytime soon.
I tried using dating apps when I was younger, and it didn’t work for me. I used to feel awkward and at times uncomfortable for feeling this way about my experience.
But I don’t anymore.