Now about a couple weeks ago I once again succumbed to the social pressure every single person receives and I re-joined a dating app, this time Tinder. Over the years I have been on nearly all of the big ones, Hinge would be my preference but no one uses it in small towns, Tinder and Bumble are in my opinion, equally terrible.
There are many reasons why people hate dating apps, they are a numbers game, they don’t like the messages they receive, they never make it off the apps and into the real world, and so on. And all of those things are true for me as well, but it’s not why I deleted the app again and why this time I don’t think I have any intention to return.
If you haven’t been on an app in a while, I’ll explain the layout to you. There is the swiping section, you are presented with profiles of the gender and sexuality you have said you are interested in and you swipe left or right depending on your interest in that person. There is a messaging section where your chats with people you’ve matched with are, and then there is this other section. If you stick with the free version of the app, all you can see in this section is a number. The number of people that have swiped right on you, if you pay you can see all the people that have swiped right on you, go through them, and choose to swipe left or right on each of them as you see fit.
Tinder is a very appearance focused app, and maybe that is what prompted this but I would swipe for a minute or two and begin to feel disgusted, not with my options, but with myself. I am looking at 1 to 5 pictures of someone and maybe a 300 character description, that some people complete, some don’t, some make a joke in it, and making a judgement call about whether or not I could like this person.
I think people are starting to refer to dating apps as introduction apps, and I think that is a better term, but it doesn’t change the fact that I give myself an ick as I swipe left, left, left, rejecting person after person.
And I think that what really triggered me with these thoughts was this one profile. Everyone chronically on dating apps has a group of guidelines (what do I do with co-workers? friends?, left on dead or tranquilized animals? left on dads (I don’t even want my own kids), left on guns, left on “school of hard knocks”, etc.), and included in my guidelines, is that they have to at least put some effort into their profile. They picked good pictures, of themselves (not pictures of their pets or vehicles without them in it), more than one photo, an attempt at a caption, just some effort put into the profile. But there was this one profile, it was like it was too earnest, there was too much effort put into it. It was a turn off. But it really got me thinking because I felt like Goldilocks “this person cares too little, this person cares too much, this person is juuuusst right”, and who am I to do that?
So I have once again deleted the app, but this time feels different, maybe because this time it wasn’t because I was disappointed in or grossed out by the men, but because I was grossed out by myself.
Although, I did take this screen shot of the bar being in hell for straight women.
So I don’t really know where this leaves me, if this puts me back in the cycle of downloading and deleting the app on a three-week cycle like I was last year, or if I preferred the peace of January to mid-July 2022 where I just didn’t engage with them, and maybe that means I’m not “making an effort” or “doing what needs to be done” but if the issue is me, maybe the best thing to do is just to remove myself from the situation.
And maybe this is just too neurotic and naval-gazing and I just need to suck it up and accept that being a judgmental arsehole is part of building a relationship.