The first time I used a dating app was over 5 years ago. My best friend and I downloaded it because we were curious. We were not just curious about how it worked but mainly about the business idea.
At university, a few months before that, we had the assignment to create a business plan. My friend and I knew there was an app to meet people among the LQBT community so we though about creating the same for heterosexuals. As we were working the plan, we found out that an app called Tinder had been launched with the same objective. Hence, we downloaded it. We swiped left and right and even met some interesting and boring guys. It was something.
As time went by I would delete and download again the app without any type of expectations. In the meantime I had met very bad guys and some good ones.
It all gets started by checkin out profiles with a couple of pictures and super short descriptions. Then, I would swip right to those that would be physically appealing to me (no judgments). With some there we be some texting and with others not at all. With those who texted you could easily see if they were more or less normal by the way they talked to you, so that was an extra filter to a possible encounter.
So just as in real life, it all starts with the eyes because you see an image of him. Then, you start a conversation and quickly see if the person is interesting, funny, boring, an asshole or maybe just not interested in him. If they were interesting and or funny the chances to meet them for first date increases. Then you know how it works, if the first date goes well you go out a second time and so on. Otherwise, you can also realize there is no charm ans that’s game over. So the app it’s really a way to meet someone, if it works out or not it’s just life.
It is not about the app, it’s about the match.
In the past years I have dated guys that I’ve met through apps but also without, and I have realized that at the end of the day it is not different at all. Dating apps are just another door to meet people, just like school, a bar, work or life. Still, many people today are not eager to go on dating apps because of two main reasons (that I’ve heard) : the physical approach and the ‘how I met him’ story.
The physical approach
People tend to say that apps are very superficial since we are swiping left or right based on looks. It is true. Although, we are doing the exact same in real life without noticing. Most of us – unless we would be blind – see people with our eyes on the street, at school, at work, in a bar, in a club, at the gym and we can quickly tell if we find someone good looking or if we are physically attracted to a person. Physical attraction is a subjective and personal matter and we are all using it in one way or another. It is not mean, it’s just human.
Let’s say you are at a bar, not drunk, just easy with your friends and you see a very handsome man (or beautiful woman) a few tables away. You saw him and found him attractive. Maybe you will approach and talk, maybe he will approach and talk, maybe none of you will do anything and the rest is history. In a similar context, a guy comes up to you in a bar but even though you have nothing against him and his approach is respectful you just do not feel physically attracted to him. You are not mean or disrespectful for not liking someone (as long as you turn them down politely). Same thing for an app, you are not mean for swiping left to someone.
Some people have told me that when you meet someone without apps you can always give the person ‘the chance’ of dating even if you are not attracted to him/her in the beginning because you can end up being attracted by the person’s personality. That is true and that also applies to dating apps. If you’d like to be so eager towards equality you can just swipe right to every profile and see with who’s personality will suit you better.
In my opinion, whether we like it or not, it all starts with the eyes but then of course the personality of the person will enter the game quickly and define how much we like the other person rather than their looks as we get to know them.
The ‘how I met him’ story
The second argument people have told me of why they do not like dating through apps is because they “do not want to meet someone that way”. Meaning they would like to be surprised by life when they are going to meet someone and have a great story to tell later on. Some people have literally told me “I cannot see myself telling – their family, their friends or their unborn children – that I’ve met someone through an app”. Not only there is the fear of not having a Disney love story but also to look “desperate” in front of society.
I understand that everyone would love to have a Disney story with an expected encounter of the love of their life and live happily ever after. But I wonder: what if you meet someone like that but after some years they end up being assholes to you? Should we really grant that much importance on “how” we met someone rather than how the relationship developed and got built? Why is it that we give it so much importance to the story?
I know Tinder and all those apps are new and still a bit taboo (which is why many people confuse them with desperation). I always like to give the examples of my grandmas. Both of them came from arrange mariages and back in the day women were not allowed to go to bars. Bars were places for men only. I cannot even imagine the first women that dared to start going and even worse start meeting their partners at those bars. It must have also been shameful for the time, a disgrace even, and most likely confused with desperation somehow. Today, going to bars as a woman is part of our lifestyles and meeting someone at a bar will not be considered as something negative. Well, same for dating apps today.
In my own experience, I had a very toxic relationship with someone that I had a great “how we met the first time” type of story. We met in Paris, both from the same country, his cousin is an old friend from high school. We knew each other, we were attracted to each other, we partied together, we kissed, we dated, we were together, he mentally destroyed me to then dumped me. Three years later, I now have a new boyfriend that I met through an app, without even expecting this to happen to be honest. We do not have the Disney first encounter story. Plus, we both swiped right based on our looks but the rest of the relationship is getting built thanks to our personalities, honesty, communication and respect.
The thing is, meeting someone through an app is no guarantee that the relationship will be forever perfect. But a good relationship will be based on the maturity of both people, the fact of being aligned and keeping the thing honest day by day. Realizing that once the person is in your life you want to keep it that way.
This post is for all those women out there online dating, going against any judgement. To all the wonderful women who defy their own fear when dating while getting to know themselves and the rest at the same time. Keep it out, trust your gut, and keep some hope up. You will do just fine. ❤️