If you want a relationship, but you aren't on dating apps (or you are and you hate them), let me ask you a question: Why? Would you rather meet someone the "old-fashioned way"? Do you think meeting someone on a dating app is not romantic enough of a meet cute? Are you still holding on to the idea of bumping into someone on the street who happens to be your soulmate? Do you believe dating apps don't work for you? I'm not judging you, I swear. I just want to understand what it is about dating apps that you are so against.
I met my current boyfriend on Bumble, and I can assure you that our connection is just as strong and romantic as any couple who met in person. I can also assure you that the chances of your perfect match falling into your lap without you putting any work into finding them is less than zero. And if you just countered that with, "But our grandparents didn't have dating apps!" may I remind you that our grandparents also had black and white televisions with a choice of, like, three channels to settle on, and if that's not a metaphor for dating back then, I don't know what is.
Dating apps have created a whole world of opportunity that our grandparents never had. You have the chance to meet people you never would have met on your own, to learn more about yourself than you could ever imagine, and to surprise yourself with whom your heart is capable of falling for. But if you don't see dating apps that way, you're never going to find love.
If you have the following four feelings while using Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, or whatever your preferred app is, you're going to have a hard time finding your soulmate.
We all have an image in our head of the kind of person we "should" be with, but if you want to find love on dating apps, you've got to get rid of that image. Rejecting a person who has blonde hair because you like brunettes, who's 5'11" because you'd prefer 6'0" or higher, or who's a political journalist because you generally go for artists will just limit the pool of people you could possibly connect with. What if you have more in common with the journalist than you did with any painter you've ever dated? What if you find that you like a person who's closer to you in height because it's easier to kiss them that way?
Better yet, what if you come to discover that your fantasy of what your life is "supposed" to be like isn't even what you really wanted? Maybe you've always gone for artists, but what if you find yourself feeling inspired by your journalist partner to take up an interest in political activism? What if that was a part of you that you didn't even know existed, but ends up fulfilling you more than anything you've ever done?
If you are even slightly attracted to someone's profile, even if they don't seem anything like the person you imagined yourself with, swipe right. You just never, ever know.
I know lots of people who, for whatever reason, think dating apps are filled with gross, weird people. But that's just not true! People on dating apps are normal. And allow me to remind you that "normal" does not mean a model robot who was programmed specifically to be compatible to you. "Normal" means a human who is flawed and imperfect, much like yourself.
If you dismiss someone because one of their pictures isn't the greatest or because the pun in their profile didn't make you laugh hard enough, that doesn't mean that person is gross or weird. It means they're trying their best. It means they are a human. Give people a break, OK? If you dig someone's profile overall but you think the movie they listed as their favorite is horrible, it would honestly be ridiculous to swipe left. All that does is reduce your shot at love. (Also, if you're not going to date someone just because they like one "bad" movie, you've got some work to do on yourself.)
What kinds of conversations are you having? Are you re-using the same "Hey, how's your day?" line over and over again and having the same lame conversations about work and whatever mundane thing you and this stranger are doing in that moment? If so, I'm sorry, but you're not going to connect with anyone that way. You're just going to be bored.
There are a ton of suggestions on the internet for great pick-up lines to use on dating apps that will increase your chances of having interesting conversations with your matches. Elite Daily has a ton! We produce them all the time just for you! Use them! Here they are! And here's more! One more for good measure. Aaaaand one more. OK, I'm done.
Many of my friends tell me they're nervous to ask a funny question or use a clever pick-up line they found on the internet because it's not "who they are." While I can understand that, know that you will have plenty of opportunities to show who you really are as you continue on with your conversation. You just need to get your foot in the door first. My co-worker helped me craft my first Bumble message to my last boyfriend, and that exchange began a wonderful, year-long relationship. Once you're in, then you can work your own brand of magic.
I know how annoying it is when you message people who don't respond, when you chat with people you don't end up going on dates with, or when you go on dates with people who suck. But how about instead of dating at the mercy of your matches, you set your own rules? How about you make a promise to yourself, today, to take full control of your dating life? If someone doesn't ask you out after communicating for two days, either ask them out yourself (#feminism) or un-match them. If you message four people and nobody gets back to you in a day, un-match them and start over with four new people. If a month goes by and you haven't gone on a single date yet, re-vamp your profile, re-think your preference settings, and/or re-adjust your conversation starters. If you've only gone on bad dates, chalk them up to funny stories and just keep trying.
Before I met my boyfriend, I weeded through dead-end conversations, f*ckboys, and catfishes, but I never let myself feel defeated. At worst, I accumulated great stories and experiences. At best, I learned about what I want, what I thought I wanted (but really didn't), and what I definitely do not want in a partner.
See the beauty in the process of using dating apps. Don't feel rejected every time you don't fall in love, because once you do, you'll forget about all the bullsh*t you had to endure to get there.
Check out the entire Gen Why series and other videos on Facebook and the Bustle app across Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV.