One year ago, I dipped my toe back into the dating pool after spending some time recovering from a rather shocking and heart-wrenching breakup. Most people I went out with were Bumble matches. A lot of people get down on online dating, but I’ve always found it be better than meeting a random person in a bar. Like social media, it’s all about how you use it and how much value you assign to the interactions you have with it. I’m a casual dater who generally just has fun with it. It also helps that I’m a writer because even if there is no romantic connection, I enjoy listening to people’s life stories. I’ve gathered so much material from all the people I’ve met. And I met a lot of people over the last 365 days. Let’s count them.
I paid for Bumble. I felt slightly weird about it at first—like there was something wrong with my ability to get the dates I wanted otherwise—but actually I know several people my age who pay for it. And if no one paid, those apps would’t exist. So given all my years of using the apps for free, maybe it was my turn to contribute. Turns out, I really liked the features I got with a paid account. It was nice to be out of the urgent swiping game and able to browse everyone who liked me whenever I wanted. I was able to make more conscious and careful decisions about who to initiate a chat with and who to go out with. When you can only see one person at a time, you waste a lot of time messaging with people you are on the fence about because you have to select yes or no immediately to be able to see the next person. Bumble Beeline allowed me to keep those “maybe” guys on hold for a rainy day without having to engage them in conversation. Continue reading →
The number one rule of being a writer is that you have to write. This is the same in any pursuit (say, dating). If you want to be good at it, you have to do it regularly. You need to write a lot of crappy words to come up with the good ones and you need to go on dates with a lot of duds to find the right one.
Writing and dating intersect in the online world. A blank profile is useless. You must be able to write one that attracts the type of person you are looking for, and when you match, you must be able to carry on a decent written conversation long enough to get to the in-person date. And if the person you want to date is a writer, well, you had better have some serious writing skills. Because we’re judging. It’s inevitable. In addition to physical attraction, my willingness to meet someone is based largely on how well they abide by the rules of good writing. Continue reading →
…at some point, you’re supposed to leave a penny, right? This principle applies to conversation as well. Conversation only works if you have at least two people answering and asking questions. Yet a surprising number of men on Bumble seem to be wholly unaware of this basic tenet of human interaction. About 25 percent of the time I message a new match, I get a one sentence reply that fails to demonstrate any interest in me and leaves me without anything worth following up on.
These range from depressing replies that tell me all I need to know about what a waste of time meeting this person in the real world would be… Continue reading →