No judgment here, but personally, I have always been against dating apps like Bumble and Tinder.
Sure, I've tested them out before (relationship blogger research, of course), but something about the principle of the whole thing just rubs me the wrong way.
What ever happened to meeting people the “old-fashioned way”? Further, how effective can this system really be?
I'm sure based on profile pictures alone, I'm bound to pass up a good guy or two. Perhaps he's not that photogenic, or maybe he just doesn't know how to pick good photos.
Regardless of the 99 reasons I have AGAINST these apps, in a fit of desperation resulting from constant travel and no time to meet guys the "old-fashioned way”, I decided to do something I never thought I would do.
I downloaded Bumble.
I gave it a small test for 24 hours while in Nashville, and after several minutes, as predicted, my experience proved to be a harsh reminder of why I've never used it before.
With each swipe, I seemed to have one of three options. Option one being trolls who I wouldn't ever consider, option two being friends of mine and option three being people I've seen at gyms, parties, bars, etc.
My problem with option three is, now when I do see those guys, they'll know I was on Bumble, which is embarrassing to me.
Horrible experience cast aside (and the wherewithal to see what the hell the “Buzz” on this app was), I deleted my account with plans to reinstate it when I was in a different locale.
In a few short days, I had plans to go home to visit my parents in Cleveland, and decided until I landed and was cozied up drink in hand in the O-H, I would remain Bumble free.
So days later, I downloaded the app again and got to work.
In a strange dating market to me, the app seemed even scarier.
“Is this guy hot, or is he douchey?”
“Is this photo from 2010?”
"Is that photo meant to be a joke, or does he really dress like that?” The questions were endless.
I felt like the app was giving me more anxiety than excitement, and I didn't like it. And there was even more anxiety when I actually DID match with a guy.
I was paralyzed when deciding what to say, if I even wanted to message him at all and what the hell to do if he actually wanted to meet up at the bars that night.
Head held high, I tried to be a good sport and play along.
I messaged guys and put my best flirt forward. But even with a trying attitude, I just couldn't enjoy this whole entire experience.
I found it depressing, and the major reason for that is, it made me think of my exes… ALL of them. Literally, it had me thinking about dudes from high school and beyond.
They all seemed so normal and like SUCH gravely better options than the shit I was rapidly swiping left on my phone. Even worse, the ones I was thinking about and missing the most were the ones that I DUMPED.
Why on earth did I dump that great guy way back when I was 21? Besides being an irresponsible 21-year-old who wanted to keep her options open, I had no valid reason.
After practically chugging the first glass of wine I could find in my parents bar, I sat down, took three deep breaths and had a “come to Jesus” moment.
In that moment, I saw exactly what it was that was making me quite literally lose my shit over this stupid app. It wasn't that I missed all of my exes; it's that I missed the way we came to be.
I missed the natural progression of a relationship. I spotted him across the bar (or vice versa), nervous flirtation ensues, numbers exchanged, first date happens and then everything else falls into place. I missed that.
My issue with Bumble is, it robs us of that initial flirtation and chemistry while we hide behind our phones and our absolute best photos. It makes us rely on looks alone, rather than how we feel when we're with someone new we have a crush on.
That feeling is my favorite part. It's led me to date all different types of guys in all different occupations, looks and styles. All of which I might not have known to swipe right for.
I miss being able to sense if I like a guy not by how he looks, but how he makes me feel and by how he carries himself. Those things are sexy to me, not the guy showing off his rock-hard abs in a gym selfie.
Although Bumble may be a great option for others, I'm holding off for the good old-fashioned way, and I am more than happy that my phone will no longer light up with any new Bumble connections.
I'd rather be home alone than at home wishing I was alone. When the time comes for me to be at home and not alone, I definitely will be thankful I don't owe it to an app.