So, you’re thinking about joining a dating app, eh? You’re recently single and thought you’d check it out, or you’ve finally succumbed to the realization that online dating is the be-all, end-all of dating these days.
It’s OK; it’s not as embarrassing as it used to be. Practically everyone who is single now has tried online dating at least once, so it’s nothing to be ashamed of.
But if you’re a guy who’s about to sign up for a dating app, you need to be prepared for what lies ahead. You see, men and women experience dating apps in completely different ways. It’s a pretty rocky road for everyone.
While I’m not going to argue who has it worse, I am here to tell you what to expect if you’re a guy who has recently signed up for a dating app:
1. Picture Anxiety
Before you join, you really need to think long and hard about which picture should be your main one. You need to make sure it’s the best picture to represent who you are and what you look like. It should attract someone to swipe right.
Many swipes are based off that first picture alone, so you need to make sure it’s a banger. Sure, the next few pictures can really flesh out who you are and what you look like, but if you don’t pass that first picture test, you’re dead in the water.
Well, what makes a good first picture? What picture makes you look the most attractive to the ladies?Honestly, who knows?
I’ve read numerous “strategy guides” online for what profile pictures are the most attractive to women, but they’re all over the place. Some say to smile, some say not to smile. Some say to look away from the camera, while others say you should show off your eyes. Some say head shot, some say body shot.
It’s a mess. You’re going to be frantically looking through your Facebook pictures to find a picture in which you simultaneously look good, mysterious, brooding, welcoming, friendly and fun. Yeah, that picture doesn’t exist. So just make your main photo that one of you eating dinner with your mom or whatever.
2. Profile Anxiety
Now, you have to write a little blurb about yourself. You have to make it funny and tell potential matches what you do, who you are and other things of that nature.
But honestly, if you don’t look good in that first picture, no one gives a sh*t that you work at a non-profit that helps cure cancer and saves all the orphans in the world. No one cares.
Just look hot.
Oh, boy. If you’re a dude, expect a lot of this. If you’re thinking you’ll face just a surface level of rejection, you are completely and utterly stupid. There are so many layers of rejection on these dating apps that it makes your mind numb.
But you have to be prepared to handle all of it. Otherwise, you’ll look like a raving lunatic. What are the layers, you ask?
1. Initial rejection: This is the base, “She didn’t swipe right on me” level of rejection that is synonymous with being a guy on a dating app. You will swipe on hundreds, if not thousands, of lovely potential mates. But you’ll find you’ll only get a very small percentage of matches. It’s a lonely abyss when you open your app and find that tumbleweed still bouncing around in your “matches” section.
2. Message rejection: Hooray, You finally got a match. You look at your match, see what she is into and look through her pictures. Then, you try to craft a message that will get you two talking.
You send that first message, and then wait in horror as you realize you will never receive a response from this person. You might as well be sending that message out into the infinity of deep space where you will have a better shot at chatting up an alien life form than getting a response from this girl.
But what happened? We matched. Why would she swipe right on me and match with me if she didn’t want to talk and potentially meet?
You simpleton. Asking completely reasonable and sensical questions in the unreasonable and nonsensical world of online dating is stupid. Get over yourself.
3. Phone number rejection: OK, you’ve been chatting with your match for quite some time, and you think you have a good thing going. You both agree that you should meet. You give your number and wait to receive a text from your dream lady.
Except you never receive that text. So, you hop back on the app and send her another message to see what the deal is. She doesn’t respond to that message.
Why?Lol. You will never know.
4. Meeting rejection:OK, you’re firing on all cylinders. You have your match’s number. You’re texting, and you even made plans to meet up.
On the day you’re supposed to meet up, though, your match “isn’t feeling well” or “had a long day at work.” Maybe her “grandma died” or her “apartment is on fire and now she is homeless.” All of these are perfectly valid reasons to cancel a date.
You ask for a rain check and she says, “Yeah, I’ll let you know when I’m free.”
“I’ll let you know I’m free” are the words of death. She will never let you know when she is free, ever. Sure, her apartment just burned down and she’s homeless. But then, you log on to Tinder four days later and see she was on the app an hour ago.
Don’t you have more important things to deal with, like your homelessness or dead grandma? You got played, G.
5. Spam Bots
I have no idea if women deal with these, but guys, you will be seeing a ton of profiles on dating apps that look like charming and attractive young ladies. Only you’ll then find that they are robots trying to take your money.Sometimes, they will be the only matches you have for days.
Rest assured, you might not be popular with real, human women. But when we finally make the switch to hooking up with robots, you will be swimming in it. If you just want to find out what it’s like to have your identity stolen, send these hot mamas your credit card info and social security.
6. Seeing People You Know
Oh God. Jess from work is on here. You eat lunch with her every day.
You think she’s cute, but you’ve never thought of her as an option until now. You don’t have the courage to approach her in real life because you’re worried about sexual harassment in the work place and all that good stuff.
But she’s a cutie, and you totally would love to find out if she’s into you. Should you swipe right? Should you swipe left? Will this make work awkward tomorrow?
If you swipe right and don’t match with her, work will definitely be awkward for the next few days. Uh, I think I’ll just swipe left.
7. Seeing Your Friend’s Ex
Oh boy. Your buddy Tom’s ex is on here. You always thought she was a babe, but you didn’t want to make a move because she was dating Tom.
But now, they’re not dating anymore. She’s single and on the app with you. Would Tom be pissed if you started hooking up with his ex?
Yes. Yes, he would be pissed. Are you going to swipe right anyway? Yup.
8. Seeing Your Ex
How could she? I was supposed to be the last man she ever loved, and now, I see this? She will never be able to find another man who is quite like me.
Yeah, even though I dumped her and hated her the whole time we were together, I never thought she’d try to find happiness elsewhere. What a cold-hearted bitch.
9. Meeting Some Cool People
All jokes aside, you can totally meet some really awesome people on these apps. They are ubiquitous now, so just about everyone is on them. People from all walks of life are swiping daily, and you can totally meet some really rad people.
Sure, not everyone is a love connection, but maybe you can find someone who you just really enjoy spending time with. Maybe you can find a hook-up buddy who really knows how to get you going in the sack, but who you have no interest in dating.
That’s cool. We all need a release, and you can be that for each other. Maybe you’re a starving artist and need people to come to your comedy shows. These people are willing to show up. (Please come to my comedy shows.)
10. Meeting The Love Of Your Life
Dating apps get a bad reputation. Some people see them as pointless, and just as a way to find someone to hook up with. If you’re using it in that way, yeah: You can totally find that.
But if you’re looking for a serious relationship, you can definitely find it on there as well. I know several people who’ve met girlfriends and boyfriends on these apps, and they couldn’t be happier.
I’ve met some amazing women on these apps. I even met my last girlfriend on there. Sure, it didn’t work out. But I don’t regret the experience.
Now that you’ve read my primer on joining a dating app, I bid you good luck. It’s a wacky world out there in the age of swiping. But if you stick with it, I’m sure you’ll find what you want.
If not, you can be one of those totally cool people who thinks “dating apps are for losers.” Hey, thanks. Really appreciate it.