Everything You Want to Know about Dating Apps, But are too Afraid to Ask

Everything-You-Want-To-Know-About-Dating-Apps

Every morning I wake up and check my dating apps because I’m sure that it’s God’s plan for me to swipe right on my future husband at 5:45am. I kid. I don’t check my dating apps in the morning. I’m not sure if that’s in God’s plan, and I definitely only wake up at 5:45am to turn that alarm off before I go back to sleep before my 2nd alarm goes off.

I’m not a dedicated swiper. In fact, I’m the person that activates Tinder when I’m bored, and deletes it when it’s time to dedicate my time to something else — like going to the mall to buy buffalo wings and fries. And no, I cannot multitask. You see, I’m still kind of in the “I’m skeptical enough to not take this seriously, but I’m curious enough to try and see if I can find love and be featured in an ad” phase, when it comes to dating apps.

I’m not out here investing all of my time into meeting my man on dating apps, but I know enough about dating apps to disclose all the information that you don’t want to ask because you’re ashamed to admit that you’ve resorted to dating apps to find love instead of an old fashioned walk in the park — knowing good and well that Ni. . . let me stop.

What are the best apps?

I’m familiar with Tinder, Bumbl, Hinge, Coffee Meets Bagel and The League because I’ve used them all. There are tons of others. I’m currently only using Tinder, Hinge and The League because I like these the best. Here is my run down:

Tinder

(Pros)

  • More popular so more options to choose from
  • You can connect your Instagram account. I don’t — but I love when guys do so I can stalk their IG before deciding to swipe.
  • You can see your mutual interests based on your Facebook data
  • You can see mutual friends

(Cons)

  • Has a reputation for being the “hook-up” dating app so you can’t take too many guys seriously
  • The SuperLike option always makes me feel bad because I ALWAYS swipe left on guys who Super Like me, and I do based solely on the most shallow reasons. smh
  • Education level/employment aren’t required

Hinge

(Pros)

  • Its match connection process is creative because you can connect based on things other than looks. For instance, I matched with a guy who responded to my “Finish the sentence” post. FYI, it was a line from a Chance The Rapper song
  • Making connections doesn’t automatically feel like it’s to date so the interactions don’t require too much pressure

(Cons)

  • Because there isn’t a swipe option, it’s not as fun to look at potentials on the Discover tab
  • Education/Job aren’t required
  • Not many Black men

The League

(Pros)

  • It’s exclusive so you feel excited if you get in — it was referenced on the HBO series Insecure!
  • You must have a LinkedIn and Facebook to set up an account. #AintNoCatFishin
  • You can specify height preferences
  • You can join The League Groups to meet tons of singles instead of just meeting a perfect match. It’s like a Meet-Up within a dating app
  • There is a waiting room for those who are wait-listed where you can chat with other wait-listers

(Cons)

  • There is a wait list and it can take days or even years before you get added. It took me four weeks, but I communicated with my Concierge so that could have sped up the process
  • You are presented three to four potential matches every day (At Happy Hour), and if you don’t like any of those, you have to wait until you receive the next batch the next day
  • Just because someone shows up in your batch doesn’t mean you’ll show up in their batch
  • If you’re too picky, you tend to get wait-listed longer than others. For instance, if you have non-negotiable requirements for religious background, education level, ethnicity, etc.
  • Not enough Black men

Well, are they just for hook-ups?

Not at all. Unless that’s what you want. How you use the app is ultimately up to you. The League actually encourages users to report users who are only using it for hook-ups.  Don’t discount dating apps because of the stigma that they’re only for hook-ups. Odds are, the people telling you that either use them for that reason or have had a bad experience. Many people use dating apps  — 15% of U.S. adults, to be exact. I’m sure that number will continue to increase as more apps become available. I assure you that all of them are not using them just for sex.

Sounds good, but are they safe?

Are you safe leaving your house on any given day? People are so fearful of meeting the Tinder Serial Killer, but really, you’re just about as safe as meeting up with a Tinder match as you are going on a blind date or linking up with a person that you meet in a bar one night. Always take precaution because that’s just common sense. Chat a few days before deciding to meet in public. Do a thorough social media/internet investigation. If the person seems creepy on the internet, then most likely, he’s a CREEPER. If you do plan to meet, meet at a public place. I really shouldn’t have to say that, but I’ll say it again for the thotties. MEET AT A PUBLIC PLACE. Tell someone where you’re going. Send screenshots of photos to your friends. Share your location with a person you trust. Don’t go straight home after a date. Getting drinks?  Don’t let him order your drink when you’re not there. Be alert. Remain attentive, and you should be fine.

* I cannot confirm that these are the only ways to prevent dangerous situations with dating app matches. You are at your own risk when choosing to meet a dating app match in real life*

Does saying what you’re specifically looking for in a match make you look thirsty or desperate?

If it does, then be thirsty! Why be evasive when you can avoid meeting the guy that’s only using the app for a hook-up by being honest about your expectations. You kids have made dating ridiculously harder than it has to be by labeling people who are upfront about what they want as thirsty. One of my dating app blurbs says “I’m looking for a guy who is as fun as my friends think I am.” I’m clearly looking for a guy if I use the app, and I don’t want to meet a guy who isn’t fun. Being fun is a non-negotiable requirement for me so it’s important for me to acknowledge that if I’m being honest about why I use the app in the first place. On the flip side, if you are just looking to get your rocks off, then by all means, do what you gotta do Cuz and let the people know. I’m sure you’ll get a few swipes, if that’s what what you’re into. All I gotta say is make sure you’re wrapping it up.

Cool! Is it bad practice to log-on and swipe when visiting different cities?

I’ve already explained that I tend to swipe when I’m bored. This includes when I’m sitting in an airport — if I make it to my flight with enough time to breathe before boarding. So I think it’s perfectly fine to swipe when you’re visiting cities. Who is to say that your perfect match doesn’t live in whatever city you’re visiting? Of course, some people may take the dating app more seriously than you.  For instance, this one guy told me his whole life and how he was very interested in developing a relationship with me after matching with him while sitting in the ATL airport. I had to un-match him because I had no intentions of being serious. I just wanted something to do while I sat in the airport. Always be upfront with people because you never know. You could also end up meeting one of your best friends by doing this, and who knows, you could even gain a clutch connect for the next time you visit!

Got it! What’s the deal with swiping right on someone because I think a person he’s pictured with is cute but not him?

I’m glad you asked! I still haven’t decided what’s the best protocol for this. This happens to me all the time. Ultimately, I don’t swipe right on that person and just hope to come across the friend’s profile later. But, I’m not telling you not to try it. If you want to take your chances, go for it. And by all means, please let me know the outcome!

So are dating apps worth it?

It depends on what you’re after. To me, they are, because you get to meet potentials that you otherwise would not meet. For instance, I’m a social butterfly and I tend to hang out a lot, but most of the time, I’m with my group of friends or people that I already know so meeting a new guy and showing him interest in that environment is not something I’m the best at doing. Dating apps allow you to manage the situation without having the pressure of friends telling you what you should say, shouldn’t say, etc. I like to get to know a guy outside of my circle to see if we vibe before introducing him to my circle. I also think the dating practice that you get is worth it. I think of dating apps as I do my LinkedIn. I use it to get matched with companies. Some are a good fit; others aren’t. Similarly, dating apps help me figure out what I like, don’t like, want, and can do without when it comes to meeting my perfect match.

All that to say this: Get to swiping because you have nothing to lose.

 

 

 

 

 

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