OPINION: Dating apps suck — but we’ll keep using them

I’ll be the first to admit I haven’t had a lot of luck dating people I’ve met in person. I’m picky, I’m awkward and even if I were interested in any of the guys in my life, most of them are already in relationships. So, when I first tried to give Tinder a whirl, it was — dare I say — love at first swipe.


With 57 million Tinder users around the world swiping to make 20 billion total matches since the launch of the app, Tinder has become the most popular dating app available. For most college students, the app is synonymous with hookups and trying to decide if you like someone based on a bad “The Office” references few photos. However, there are still a few people on Tinder and other dating apps, like me, who are pessimistically trying to find something “real.”


For a while, the app was just an opportunity to talk to some new people, and at first I didn’t plan to meet anyone I talked to. Eventually, I started having a few really good conversations with some guys I matched with on the app, became a little more outgoing and went out on a few dates. Unfortunately, I had to learn the hard way that dating apps suck after all.


In my experience, very few people seem to be open about what they’re actually looking for. Maybe I’m still just a little bit naive, but a few times I’ve met guys who seem like they’re interested in really dating or a relationship when that wasn’t the case at all. I ended up feeling not only a little heartbroken but also bad about myself for not seeing the signs, when in reality if someone doesn’t want commitment, they should be up front about it.


Writing this, I almost feel embarrassed. If I’ve gotten burned by this app, why do I keep going back to it? I’ve thought about just giving up and trying to meet someone the old-fashioned way.


I guess the only answer I have to that is I have no idea how to. It’s so hard to tell in real life if someone you know might be interested in you, let alone finding out if they’re single. Plus, who handles rejection well?


I’ve recently found Bumble to be somewhat of a way around this. The app now features options for users to show what they’re looking for, if they smoke or drink and how often, and even their religious and political views; plus, it gives women the power to message first, which almost completely eliminates unwanted sexual messages. This interface  really allows you to wade through everyone who you know off the bat isn’t someone you would be interested in dating, whether that’s casually or long-term.


Bumble doesn’t fix everything, and users still have to go through the annoying process of matching with someone, sending a message and hoping to get a response and then actually figuring out if there’s a mutual connection. I know I’m not the only student here who goes through this, and I sincerely hope others have a higher success rate than I do.


I’ve been through this enough times now to know it’s rarely a match, but even though I’m only 22, I’m a semester away from graduation I almost feel like I’m running out of time to meet someone “the normal way,” and it gets a little desperate. So, even though dating apps and I aren’t a perfect match, I’m going to keep using them. Maybe if we all keep trying long enough, we’ll all weed out perfect matches for each other.


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