The modern-day dating world is a lot to handle: it’s entertaining, exciting, a total sh*t show (mostly that last one). This goes for people who meet the old fashioned way or the new fashioned way of online dating: with a swipe or heart or thumbs up on a digital screen.
Those of us lazy/brave enough to put our faces and personal details on the internet for the world to see/love/marry know that the process is coupled with a slew of highs and lows. So as a self-proclaimed Tinderella, I’ve come up with a little rundown of things that come along with online dating. For solidarity and entertainment’s sake, of course.
Whether it’s going on a first date with a guy who threw back more beers than you could count, or regrettably coming across a friend’s boyfriend on Tinder. If you’re out there doing this dance, you know that it’s a wild and unpredictable thing. But if it brings you some comfort, we’re all in this together… right? Right.
That said, here are 7 things that every online dater (or at least someone they know) has experienced before:
1. Getting excited about a new app… only to realize it’s basically just a slight twist on all of the other ones
Ever since Tinder’s popularity (or notoriety), similar dating apps have been popping up faster than you can say “Ugh, the brunch boots.” Most online daters who have been around the ol’ app block usually get excited when a new app comes out promising to relieve them from certain features that they’ve grown to loathe on their existing apps. Some of this ends up being great. For example, I was really happy when my friends told me about them using Hinge nowadays because it offered a limited amount of potential matches a day, taking away part of the ‘meat market’ heebie jeebies. But most of the time, they’re all basically just a newish take on Tinder: Bumble is Tinder with a time limit and women in the driver’s seat.
2. Having to pep talk yourself into going on a date when all you want to do is lay on your couch (or literally do anything else)
This is certainly a part of any sort of dating: getting out there takes work and vulnerability. But there’s something about online dating that can really fill up your social calendar… if you allow it. On one hand, it’s great to be able to meet this many people face-to-face and have the possibility for a connection. On the other hand, meeting a stranger for a drink might often end up at the bottom of your ‘what I want to do tonight’ list. It’s like, good luck competing with this flawless Netflix lineup I have, Nick, 31, who loves to go on adventures! Not to mention, there’s a lot of energy involved in going on an essentially ‘blind’ date. It’s nerve-racking, can cause some major insecurity, and requires getting dressed.
3. Not recognizing your date when they walk into the bar
See plight #2. Once you’ve gotten yourself all dolled up, there you are sitting, waiting for Chris, 29, who says give me a reason to delete this app! And you have to squint at any guy who even slightly resembles him because, well, pictures can be deceiving. I can’t tell which is worse, getting there first and trying to not wave down the wrong guy, or walking in and having to awkwardly scan the place before walking to your seat. This part of the date is definitely heart-rate-inducing for sure.
4. Obsessing over your photos
When I was first creating my Tinder profile, I was verrrrry selective on which pics I chose. Because catfishing is not my ministry. Everyone who is out there making digital profiles knows that it’s a balance of putting your best foot forward and trying not to accidentally mislead someone with that one cutesy photo from your best friend’s wedding.
5. Deciding that you’ve “had enough” and deleting your online dating app
There’s nothing like deleting that app when you start seeing someone that you’re excited about… but on the same note, there’s nothing as laughable as ending a fling and firing up ye olde dating app again.
6. Frantically googling your matches
I’d be lying if I said I did not do this for nearly all of my swipes. And I was confident that everyone was doing this with me, too. There you are: It’s a match! You both think the other person is cute, seemingly nice, not (visibly) crazy, etc. So you begin chatting, try and secure a few critical details and then onward to the world wide web to either confirm or deny or further dig up who exactly this person is. Do yourself a favor and get to searching. No, it’s not creepy, it’s for safety purposes.
7. Coming across someone you really didn’t want to see
Your friend’s boyfriend, your ex, the guy you started seeing that swore he was off Tinder… the list goes on of folks who you really didn’t want to see on a dating app. The biggest letdown of course is people are lying to themselves and the world about who they are or why they’re even on the app. This is just an unfortunate aspect of the dating world and is best dealt with by throwing your phone into a lake.
So godspeed, break a leg, best wishes! This is not to say that there aren’t upsides to online dating — tons of humans meet and find happy relationships through these crazy devices we keep in our pockets (I’m a testament of this). It’s just a little more fun to point out the things we have to put up with at some point in the process.