Have we become the generation to swipe towards true love? If you were to ask me 10 years ago how I would find true love, it would not be through robotic matching algorithms. However, this is the real world we live in, and currently a bizarre one.
Dating before quarantine had its ups and down. But dating during a pandemic- is it even remotely possible to date and find love? Do not get me wrong, I’m not debunking online dating, nor am I completely discouraging this particular dating avenue. Many people have found their true love online, but the majority of us have wacky and unreal experiences that often reveal the whirlwind of the online dating game.
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
As a single woman who has dated on and offline, there is definitely a love-hate relationship with online dating. I have tried almost every online dating services out there:eHarmony,Match,Catholic Match,Bumble,Tinder,Hinge,OkCupid,Zoosk,Coffee Meets Bagel,Elite Singles, andThe League. Looking at this list of dating sites, one may react saying perhaps the issue revolves around my extroverted personality, selectiveness, unrealistic dating views, or plainly, not dating material. Admittedly, I am always a work in progress, but that is true with any strong, independent woman who simply knows what she is looking for in a partner.
This brings me to my next question: Is online dating the way to find that one partner? At first it seemed like it did. I equated joining various dating sites to applying for jobs. The more I applied–joined, the better chances of landing a job–a guy. That is absolutely ridiculous! They are separate entities, with different purposes and goals.
The bad and ugly side of dating completely changed when I altered my pursuits, mentality, and relaxed approach to dating, and in many ways, finding a comfortable and healthy approach to online dating apps.
When I messaged three of my friends to chime into this conversation regarding the enigma of online dating, they enthusiastically jumped to the occasion. We typically would meet over a happy hour cocktail, but with bars closed during this pandemic, this will do. We will definitely have to revisit this on a Podcast (coming soon!). Gabby, Elise, and Kristina are intelligent, funny, charismatic, delightful, and beautiful women who are currently single. We are basically an online dating support group!
With online dating, I like that, in a way, you get to know someone more for who they are without any added pressure of being “physical”. I like that men seem more willing to open up and be vulnerable with the comfort of being behind a screen. Sometimes I feel this can be a disadvantage in the long run, because the view I have in my head of the guy doesn’t always match up to who they are in person. Gabby
The best part of online dating is the ability to cast a wider net and connect with potential dates I might not have ever crossed paths with organically. However, swiping apps force us to make snap, usually shallow judgments, and the promise of a near-constant supply of fresh profiles can cause severe dating ADD. I may be “meeting” more guys, but I’m rarely forging anything close to a deep or meaningful connection with them.Elise
Online dating gives you quick visibility into preferences for your match’s ages, religion, part of town, what they’re looking for, etc., so it makes filtering through men easier when you are interested in narrowing down your options. I can quickly filter through the men that I don’t see any potential. For example, the other day I was onBumble, and saw a cute guy that looked promising at first glance. We matched and shared a few messages, but as I started to take a closer look at his profile, I saw he owned 4 cats. NEXT! No offense to cat people, but I am glad I didn’t waste my time there. Not to mention I am highly allergic to cats. Dogs > Cats.Kristina
Online dating does cast a wider net, and with that comes many potentials that often do not solidify into meaningful relationships. If you are uninterested in hook ups, like us ladies, then the bad side of online dating becomes more disenchanting.
The Bad: COVID Style of Dating
When quarantine was mandated during the pandemic, I thought online dating was going to inch towards a completely renovated way to date. Taking the physical side completely out, you are left with indebted conversations, flirty virtual dates, and thought provoking exchanges. It certainly seemed the safest way to date. Surprisingly, I chatted with bored, dull, and nutty men who were willing to break quarantine to meet up. And as for virtual dates–not bad, but also not great!
In the beginning of quarantine, I had newly broken up with a guy I was dating for a few months (it’s so true that COVID either makes or breaks your relationship!). I spent the majority of quarantine alone, going through the motions of my breakup and trying work on “myself” as cliché as that sounds. Ultimately, this has made me grow so much as a person, woman, and future partner for my next relationship!Gabby
Something I don’t like about online dating is that you only have a few back and forth messages to find something in common or talk about something interesting before people typically move on. The guy could be great but if neither of you have anything interesting to say when you first match, then it’s a lost cause.Kristina
I’m a serial dating app user. I’m frequently hopping on or hopping off of Bumble orCatholic Match. At the start of COVID, I was talking to a couple of guys, but between new social distancing norms and some family issues, I haven’t been able to invest much time or energy into it.Elise
More recently, I have been more open to dating again and have re-downloaded Hinge! It’s nice to just see who’s out there and recognize I’m not alone in my search for love during quarantine. I even ended up going on a “socially distant” date, equipped with masks and all! It was actually a great way to break the ice.Gabby
Dating during Covid-19 has been odd. Men seem more desperate and needy than usual so I’ve spent less time on dating apps overall. However, I have gone on a few virtual dates. Some have been better than others. Long pauses can be extremely awkward and video chatting just isn’t the same as meeting in person. My advice to anyone online dating and going on virtual dates–always have a predetermined excuse to leave in case it doesn’t go well. That excuse can be that you have dinner to go to, need to run to the grocery store, etc.Kristina
There is nothing more comical and entertaining than hearing one’s crazy dating story.BuzzFeed andJimmy Fallon make a killer off of worst dates. You may want to pour yourself a glass of wine for these amusing online dating stories:
My worst online dating experience was when a match video called me at 12:30am. I answered the call and he was drunk. I stayed on the phone with the camera covered so he wouldn’t see me, but kept a conversation going for entertainment purposes. He had no chance with me after that but at least I could cross another person off my list that I didn’t need to waste my time on.Kristina
I went on a date with a super friendly guy that I met on Hinge. He picked a local place for brunch since it’s my favorite all time meal. When we arrived, we instantly hit it off. When we sat down to eat and chat, things started to shift. He kept looking behind me. I thought maybe he had ADD or felt uncomfortable with eye contact. At one point he excused himself to the restroom, only to be seen going to the table behind me to flirt with a girl. While they were exchanging phone numbers for 10 minutes, I decide to grab my purse and head out. At least I got a free brunch that day! Mary Ann
I would say my worst online dating story was getting stood up! I had planned to meet up with a guy from Bumble (shout-out to Chris, 25) at a bar downtown. After calling me and saying he was on the way, he completely ghosted me and never showed.Gabby
During quarantine, I started chatting with a guy who was working from home. During his off hours, he indulged in playing video games. At first I let it fly because there’s nothing wrong with killing some time. In the middle of our virtual date, he picked up a controller, and spent the next 20 minutes explaining the game while playing the game. Growing bored, I gave an excuse to end the date. Although I stopped messaging him, he continued to message gaming tips every day for a week. I don’t own a gaming system. He finally got the hint after my only response was the thumbs up emoji!??Mary Ann
I was seeing a guy from Hinge who was a “stand up comedian”, and the night after we went on a date, he got super drunk and professed his love to me… FOR ANOTHER GIRL! I like to think I’m part of a stand up routine now because of that!Gabby
And for the pièce de résistance dating app disaster: I matched with a cutie on Bumble during the weekday. He immediately showered flatteries, and asked if I was up for meeting up that evening since he was leaving town for work. He suggested a movie, and I naively thought I shouldn’t stay up late during a weeknight, and instead suggested getting drinks versus sitting through a 2-hour movie. Feeling comfortable that we were set to meet in a public venue, I ordered a drink, and sat waiting. After 20 minutes, he messaged saying he was running late, and if I could pick up a box of condoms for the evening! Completely shocked, I couldn’t get out of the venue fast enough. Needless to say, we never met and I never ran that errand!Mary Ann
COVID definitely has put a damper on our dating life, but online services such as eHarmony,Bumble, andMatch give the choice to only chat virtually with those not willing to meet up for safety precautions. With Houston numbers at an all time high, us ladies are trying to enjoy what is left of summer, and not be pressured down with having to date.
Pretty sure there are worst failed dating stories out there, but at the end of the day, none of us have placed all of our apples in one basket. That basket being online dating apps. We are constantly going on and offline, receptive to meeting and dating casually. A married friend once told me that there are millions of men out in the world, and not all of them are online. This opened my eyes and heart to the possibility of meeting someone special, whether online or not.
If you’re inclined to share your online dating experiences, please feel free to add your story to the Comment section below. Hearing others share their stories really helps us navigate through the wrestling waters of online dating! Best of luck!