Movies and TV shows about college teach us that a surefire way to find romantic partners is to attend a wild party or a crowded bar, get some shuteye with a cutie on a sea of people, and to instantly feel a connection. However, many of us have found this seemingly quintessential college mating ritual to be inconsistent with our lived experiences. Loud, floor-shaking music can make conversation impossible, and a hundred sweaty bodies crammed into a small room isn’t necessarily a romantic setting. Luckily, there are plenty of alternative methods for getting dates for the introverts among us. One such alternative is to download a dating app like Tinder, Bumble, or Hinge and start a conversation online.
Although dating apps receive many valid reviews, I urge you not to ignore them altogether. Of course, Tinder’s reputation that “most people only use it to hook up” isn’t without merit. I will add that using a dating app for this purpose is valid and ethical if one is direct and communicative with partners about one’s intentions and limitations, but it can be frustrating for those seeking emotional connection. sustainable. However, this phenomenon within the dating pool is not a problem that stems from the medium of the dating app itself, but rather a function of dating more generally; a lot of people IRL aren’t necessarily looking for something serious. The trick to finding a deeper emotional connection on a dating app is no different from starting a romance with someone you meet in a non-virtual setting: clear communication of what you’re looking for from the start.
Dating apps have drawbacks that any user should consider before creating a profile. Building an elevator version of yourself that fits within the photo and character limits of the app might seem inauthentic. The ability to browse a hundred people in thirty minutes can make you feel like you’re playing a game rather than genuinely interacting with another human being. On top of this dating gamification, there’s always the imminent possibility that you’ll get caught by the catfish; you can flirt with someone online for a week, but when you finally decide to meet, it turns out to be a trench coat full of three raccoons stacked on top of each other.
Apps like Bumble and Hinge have tried to learn from Tinder’s reviews and programmed features to combat some of these flaws. Bumble will limit your ability to swipe if you like too many profiles too quickly, and Hinge limits the number of profiles you can swipe to just eight people per day. Hinge also attempts to give users more freedom of expression in their profiles by offering a larger character limit than Tinder and allowing users to accompany their profile photos with short voice recordings. These updates are helpful, but they don’t entirely erase the aforementioned pitfalls of dating apps. The downsides of dating apps can (and should) make you think twice about whether they’re right for you, and it’s valid to give up on these apps altogether because of these downsides.
But if you read that warning label and still want to proceed with caution, dating apps have their perks. Dating apps are a relatively inexpensive way to make a potentially amazing connection. User profiles and messaging features are a great way to get a glimpse of a beau’s potential interests before deciding to spend time and energy pursuing them. Students are already busy balancing our classes, campus jobs, extracurricular activities, etc., and wasting time on first dates with strangers only to find that there are no interests that overlap can be boring. And while a seemingly endless number of potential matches can make some feel overwhelmed with the choices, having access to a huge network of people who are all looking for some type of romantic connection can be a great way to move beyond that. his immediate social circles.
Telling your friends and family that you met your partner on a dating app might not be the most exciting story, but in my opinion, cute dating is totally overrated. Once you begin a relationship with someone, there is only time to create an abundance of meaningful and substantial memories together.
So, should you download a dating app? Only you can answer this question taking into account your own preferences. Maybe not Tinder, though.