The premise of online dating has come a long way in my lifetime. I assumed the origin of online dating and matchmaking started in the ’70s and ’80s. I remember watching a show where people would watch videos of each other and determine if they wanted to go on a date. Or people would pay a matchmaker to set them up with someone. I loathed the idea of a blind date. If your friends arranged the date, there is added pressure because you don’t want to disappoint them. Throughout my dating career, I was set up with some goobers. I have been through plenty of awkward first and lasts dates with guys. So, I decided to give online dating a try.
Tinder came out when I was in college. There was still a massive negative stigma surrounding online dating. People would say “Online dating is for old people you have no game.” “Online dating is all creepers.” “I would rather meet my man at a bar.” “You could get catfished.” These were all valuable statements. I wanted to try it anyway. Reasons I wanted to give online dating a go were I was super busy, it gave me a bigger pool of potential dates, and I have no game. I am shy, so when men come up to me and start talking to me my brain just turns off and forgets what words are. Now, when I’m out at a bar and men to talk to me, I have some more swag because I’m 3 drinks in living my best life.
During my Junior year in college, I began to use Tinder to find dates. In hindsight there could have been better decisions but, this was the only online dating app out there. I have been single my whole life at that point and I figured what do I have to lose?
It was thrilling at first. When you would swipe right and it would say “It’s a match!” Butterflies would engulf my stomach and I would wait for the guy to message me. Then a pattern began to appear. See I was on Tinder trying to find a partner, and many of these boys were trying to find a quickie. AHHHH, my nieve soul. This is a true quote, “Hey girl I see you play volleyball, that means you wear those short shorts! You like butt stuff?” How did we get from point A to point B? Guys would be so vulgar on that app and that was not for me.
Then Bumble came out. THANK GOD. This app was a little better. In hindsight now though, it is still a mess. Bumble had the same premise as tinder. You put in your about me, your pictures, and your preferences. The better aspect of this app was the women would message first. I enjoyed having this power. This format took away the creepy guys’ first messages saying lines that clearly would never work but, I guess they were shooting their shot.
Bumble was a better experience. Swiping right and getting a match made me feel good about myself. Men seemed more interested in me in this app than in real life. So, I’m not going to lie the attention was addicting. I did go on a few dates from this app. Sadly, most of those dates were 2–3 max and then ghosted. Most of those dates wanted to get in my pants but, I wanted a relationship. You met me 2 times and you want me to get frisky with you in my car in a parking lot? NO THANKS! Know your worth people!
Then I realized the true problem of these apps. They were free. So, of course, those matches weren’t lasting. Now, I know a few people in my inner circle that met their partner from Tinder and Bumble but, it wasn’t working for me. I decided to stop using those apps. I was wasting my energy on men who were not my type. I went on a dating hiatus if you will. I just focused on me. I put my effort into being an educator, going out with friends, spending time with my family, and working on my health. I truly enjoyed being single and doing me. No pressure. If men would hit on me, I would let it happen but, had no expectations of anything further.
January 2019, I wanted to get back in the dating game. I was talking to my mom about it and she said “ Allie, if you want a real man and a real relationship you need to invest money into it. These free apps are getting you nowhere. Get the Match.com app and pay the $25. That’s where the men are. They are also paying money to find someone. Invest your time and money there.” Dang it, why is she always right?
So, I caved and download the app. I paid the subscription. Again, I created a dating profile with an about me, my pictures, and my preferences. Granted there were many goobers on this app as well. The caliber of men though was higher. These were MEN. On this app, you swipe as usual. You would see who liked you and then someone would message you. I had better conversations on this app. The conversations were more about life than sexual inuendos.
I was using this app for about a month when I matched with my current boyfriend. I saw that he liked me and I explored his page. I liked him back. He then messaged me with, “Hey Allie! I hope you’re staying warm in this cold weather!” Guys, I don’t know why but, this line sold me. It was just so innocent and pure. He’s going to hate me for posting this but, it was cute! We spoke for a few days on the app. Then his wifi was bugging out and his connection was going in and out. So, I responded with, “Well I know how to fix that problem! We should exchange numbers that way we wouldn’t have to worry about internet connection!” SMOOOOOTH! This is the story we will be telling our grandkids! We texted for about a week and finally went out on a date. Typical bar/ restaurant meet up, in a public place where there are witnesses in case he decided to kill me.
We talked about why we both have the app. He told me “I have no game. If I would have seen you at a bar I would have never walked up to you because I am very shy and you’re beautiful.” He also mentioned he looked up videos on how to pick up women on a dating app so he would know how to start a conversation with me. BLESS HIS SOUL! Finally, a genuine person I thought to myself. This man played no games with me from the start. I never guessed if he was interested in me. He made me laugh and I felt secure. He supported my anxiety and made me feel beautiful. Disclaimer: I know I am beautiful it’s just nice to hear it. He is a mature man that knows what he wants. After a month of dating, he told me to delete the Match.com app. He playfully said, “You don’t need that anymore!”
So, a year and a half later here we are! I paid $25 to find the first man I fell in love with. I’d say that’s a pretty sweet deal. My mom takes full credit for our relationship mind you since she told me to get the app. Guys invest in online dating! Pay that money to find serious people. It’s the same amount as a gym membership. You pay money to invest in your physical health, why not pay money to invest in your relationship health? If you went to a free gym you would find cheap, broken equipment and the place would not be clean. If you date online for free you’ll find cheap broken people. Now, if you do find your love there, more power to you! Unfortunately, the majority of free online dating apps lead to hookups. People just use you as a quick fix to their emotional problems.
Try Match.com or E-Harmony or any other dating app where you pay money. If you want to build a real relationship with someone pay up. Invest in yourself in all aspects of your life, including your love life.
“Be the CEO of your love life. Nobody but you can take on that role of responsibility. It’s up to you to create and build the change you want to see.”
– Neely Steinburg
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Photo courtesy Unsplash.
Previously published on Medium.