Dating & Dating apps

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

by Jada Phair

A couple of months ago I was tired of the typical bar scene and decided to try out the online dating scene. There are all kinds of apps out there now from “Dumble” to “Plenty of Freaks” (not real names) but the more I tried them out the more I realized how the apps scream of desperation in most cases. Okay, so maybe the apps deserve a little more credit for getting people together that wouldn’t otherwise have gotten together, but it doesn’t make using these apps that much easier. Most guys on there are swiping right as fast as they can with minimal effort trying to say hi and make comments like ‘You look beautiful’ to every girl they see and ‘you wanna come over tonight and chill?’ It still takes time to find someone worth connecting with.

I came across many profiles that were either too minimalist or quite obvious fakes. Some were most definitely scammer profiles unfortunately, but many of the profiles were just ordinary guys looking to connect that were either sweet, clueless, or awkward and definitely had no idea how to relate or polish up their profiles.

The good thing about these apps are that they are created with the busy woman in mind, or the lazy, and sometimes equally awkward lady in some cases. They allow a woman to quickly screen out potential suitors that either give off bad vibes, can’t maintain a decent courteous conversation or just obvious bots with minimal effort and time. And less time wasted means a whole lot less heartaches and headaches and heart breaks.

The better apps actually allow you to send messages, are easy to use, let you bookmark certain profiles to come back to the message later and do certain search filters on types of people that you prefer. They also usually have a little description about the person with pictures so that you can learn about who you’re trying to connect with, what interests they or you have in common, ideas for dates, and possible conversation starters. There’s also usually a way to select what kind of relationship you’re looking for like just friends which no one really ever means in most cases, dating, hookups, and longer term.

I found that the range of people on there definitely varies depending on age group with the younger generation typically wanting to have shorter types of relationships while the older groups tend to have longer term commitment in mind but there was still a wide variation.

After looking through a couple different apps I could definitely see some profiles were great, and some were bad, and then some were really, really bad.

Now what’s a bad profile? A bad profile:

  • Has no pictures. Let’s be serious. In this day in age if you can’t even put up a picture you’re either a scammer or wasting someone’s time. It doesn’t matter if you’re a guy or a girl or are shy. Everyone has their photo on Instagram or Facebook somewhere and if you can’t even put up a decent picture, you have no business being on the app.
  • Has no description about yourself or any interesting things about you. Unless you’re a super boring person you should at least have two things on your profile that interests you even if that’s something like sports, or pets, or movies. If you are that boring that you have no interests then you probably need to work on yourself before finding someone to date. (ouch)
  • Has way too many bad quality pictures taken in the same room, poor lighting, unattractive or unflattering angles with too much blur, low quality or that have no variation and also doesn’t showcase what’s neat about you. You don’t have to have a picture that is studio quality and I definitely don’t encourage that because it looks fake as hell and it probably means you’re a scammer. Pictures that aren’t even you get you blocked instantly. Pictures that are cropped and don’t show your whole face shows you aren’t confident to even show yourself. Blocked. And pictures that are way too revealing too fast. Blocked, obvious scammer or doesn’t care if your boss or grandmother could see you in boxers. I’m by no means a prude but if I’m gonna show you my bits it’ll be in due time just for you and not somewhere people can judge and pass around everywhere.
  • A bad profile also fails to convey your personality. You don’t even have to write a lot. For some a picture might work if it’s unique. But if you also do write in your profile and I can’t even read it or it’s way sloppy it shows how much effort you’re willing to put in to this “dating” thing – not much. And first impressions are what people look at. Swiped left – for no thanks.

I’ve talked to people that have used these apps for a long time and here’s what I gleaned are the bad things about them:

  • Still takes a lot of time. You might wipe on a lot of people and only get a few responses if you’re a guy even if you are a decent looking guy.
  • For ladies sometimes their inbox gets flooded with too many messages and it’s hard to weed out the good messages sometimes.
  • There are pay apps that restrict you from messaging not just to some people but to everyone and its based on a pay model that either certain people have a privilege to meet other people that also pay. Or its based on a model that every contact with anybody has to go through a pay filter for the “privilege” of communicating. I understand that these apps are designed and programmers have to eat. But the apps that are the most popular that I also think most people agree are the least restrictive. The problem with less restrictions is there is a chance for scammers and bots to appear in some apps, but that’s also something that the designers of the apps can at least try to control and filter out. The fact that some platforms have such blatant abuse is very sad. I actually have a few times given up on the apps because they just seemed to be so full of non-profiles in some programs. And most people don’t have the patience.
  • There are too few choices of people and that’s also a problem. A few apps will restrict your age and location filters to what they deem appropriate and no let you see a wider area. But then there’s also the fact that not everyone in the area will be using the app or perhaps they just aren’t single and ready to mingle. Who knows?
  • Some of the pictures are of weird things like cartoons, and gross pictures or too many group pictures that you couldn’t tell who was who or of celebs and other typical scam type photos. Some of them also were memes and no self pictures. Others were pets. While not all those are bad, again people don’t want to spend too much time seeing what you look like because most people base their first impression on physical attraction to determine if they want to pursue a relationship of any kind.
  • Oh, and another cardinal sin was using pictures that are decades old like from high school or more than a few months old. If you have an old picture that you haven’t updated in the last 2 or 3 years, please do yourself a favor if it no longer looks anything like you then update it.
  • People also told tiny fibs on their profile which is not completely a bad thing because people were trying to put their best foot forward. For example they may not be forthright with their age or that they colored their hair or maybe had a huge armadillo tattoo. But those are for the most part not automatic deal breakers until they actually are. Some other ones included having kids or other things like getting out of a marriage. These things though are a bit more important and often need to be told upfront. And everyone has their “thing” that they can an can’t deal with.

A few things I’ve learned from dating is that every app, as well as, every dating situation has its own set of rules. Just like you have to know the rules of the game to play well with others there’s a certain bee mating dance you have to kind of be aware of which are basically just social and cultural norms for communicating and interacting. If you’re in America for instance there’s a norm of the guy picking up the lady or opening doors etc. Or another date “rule” that is taught by some of the dating gurus that my friends talked about includes how soon before get intimate, among other things. And yes there are certain things in society that they teach you or that you learn which you generally follow so that there’s a bit of “order” in society. Like, you wouldn’t cut in line and get in front of someone or you’d get beaten up. And so “rules” are useful, but some are just guidelines and you should always remember that you have to adapt and do what fits the situation and not because some book is telling you to do it.

A few of my guy friends for example, have interest in these dating gurus like David DeAngelo, Mystery, Neil Strauss, and the October Seduction Method and Corey Wayne, Alpha M and there are many, many others. These are actually good in some sense in that they give you some framework to work with rather than shooting in the dark. Even if you’re not really good at dating it gives you confidence, even if it’s a false confidence to go in and try to see if you can get the attention of someone. But you still need to learn how to talk to people. You still absolutely 100% have to have be interesting and you have to have an interesting life that someone would be attracted to or want to be a part of, but it gives you a sort of guide or mentor or coach to pick you up when you blow your relationship up guys. These guys aren’t necessarily teaching guys to be sleazy either. They are just offering what are called social dynamics to see what works to be a fun guy to be around, some of them also offer dress and fashion tips, cologne ideas, and how to be generally more well rounded. There are even female dating gurus now like The Wing Girls on YouTube, Allana Pratt who is an “Intimacy Expert”, and Kezia Noble who is a celebrity dating coach as well. So never feel you don’t need a little knowledge about “social communication” because no one is born an expert in how to be a great partner. And you really only get better the more you integrate it into your life.

A lot of people are simply awkward or unfamiliar with interacting with guys also because just different ways that they are brought up and taught to think. I mean why do guys wear blue and girls wear pink? Why not green or purple. For most girls, really you have nothing to worry about. You just need to be your sweet lovable selves, although you should always strive to be your best looking and attractive versions of yourselves. Really part of learning to be less awkward involves doing and going out there and interacting. And sometimes you have to question why you’re beating yourself up over what he said or what other people think about this person and think for yourselves. There’s a general rule that ladies act in packs and so do guys which is for a reason not just for safety but since a long time ago it would get you banned from a group in your clique. But deep down you have to ask who you’re really trying to make happy, your parents who want you to be with a certain type, or your friends, or is this someone that you genuinely have fun with, can enjoy time being together and may have a few quirks but ultimately someone that you pair well with.

[This is part 1 of a new dating and relationship series on SWM. See more in Lifestyle]

Author: Jada Phair

Jada Phair is a pseudonym weekend guest contributor writing for SWM. She is a relationship writer, a punk enthusiast, female advocate and general all around bad ass. When she's not out dirtbiking and skateboarding, she's coming up with lyrics for her band and YouTube channel. Don't get on her bad side.

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