I have been hearing and reading a lot about online dating lately.
From friends who found their soul mates on Tinder and are soon getting married, to your usual serial dater to friends giving up after bad experiences.
In these discussions in facebook walls and lunch breaks I’ve always heard new and interesting points of view, laughed with funny experiences I still don’t fully believe can happen and dropped my jaw hearing other stories which were not to be laugh at.
So today I thought writing about this topic here is a good way of putting my thoughts in order as well as gathering yours.
While I often mix parts of my personal life here I have never written about a subject as personal as dating is. Positions on this topic are usually based on our own experiences and beliefs and the ones of those around you. Hopefully, my bias will allow me to share something interesting with you.
My interest in online dating has two justifications.
On one hand online dating is an interesting digital business model which has become very popular in the last years. Many people use dating apps and more of them openly talk about it. VCs continue investing on them so I guess we’ll see more off them in the next years. It’s a hot business topic. Online dating has been democratised.
On the other hand dating, be it on- or offline, is an area in which I am, after ending a long-term relationship, honestly struggling. With Tinder on Vogue and having met friends and even partners online i the past it sounded like a good idea to try.
In this multipart blog post that will come out as I feel like editing them (honest, they called her) I want to discuss why I have used online dating apps and what my experience with Tinder and OKCupid has been, both from the rational and the emotional points of view.
If anything of what I say sparks any ideas on you; comment, please. If you’ve read any interesting research; comment, please. Who knows. I may turn this in a 10-parts blog post. I heard they give points for that.
Why I tried online dating in the first place
I am one very particular person when it comes to dating, and in 2015 I am being documentary-worthy so far. More like one about the mysteries of human behaviour than like the life of a queen bee.
I don’t climb, collect stamps or have any other social hobbies that give me a chance to meet like-minded men afk. Maybe THIS is the problem.
I am surrounded by many smart, fun and attractive men I have great fun with, all of whom are just friends and shall remain that.
Looking at the second degree, most of my friends are part of that despicable type of people who either do not have single friends or hide them from their other single friends.
I am not interested in meeting someone with a hardcore party lifestyle and I don’t go out that much in this period of my life, so finding Monsieur in one of Berlin’s many bars and clubs is highly unlikely.
As a curious person with an Internet connection, no kids and a fairly decent amount of leisure time I have done way more stupid research.
Disclaimer: YES. Being alone is fun. Luf yaselvs. No need to agree on a movie. If an alarm wakes me up it is my alarm. I sleep with socks if I am cold. I know. But this is not the point. I can write a full post on the perks of being a single woman. But today the point is being nerd about online dating. And so we get started.
The Tinder experience, part one. Of why I tried it and what my brain thought.
The first time I tried Tinder was in a bloggers event in Berlin, where people were talking about a new, funny online dating app.A few years ago I had heard of Grinder, which was a similar app targeted to gay people. “Oh, I know what this is about” I said. I thought the dynamic was interesting and signed up for some testing even though I was in a relationship.
This time I used Tinder out of purely scientific interest, looked at how the suggestions worked, what kind of profiles people had… your usual social curiosity induced research.
I did not have any conversations or dates at the time.
Instead I was asking Tinder questions.
What kind of men were there? How did they displayed themselves? Did they begin communication after a match and if so, what were their opening lines?
I was also interested in seeing with how few of them I knew or were friends with someone I knew, and wondered whether this was designed or if it meant my friends and their friends were basically not using Tinder.
Playing around with the options I saw that Tinder picked 60 of my friends though according to facebook more than 170 of my friends live here. Great job.
Another interesting thing was how few of the men I saw had common interests with me. I like 843 things. I guess it is hard to find single straight men in Berlin who like Rimmel London, but I am sure many of them like Radiohead. Right?
Otherwise, there’s another reason why I am leaving Berlin.
As it turns out Tinder picks 100 likes from each user to calculate this. Some of the likes Tinder picked for me (I have not figured out a way to customise this) were
- Ideas to organise the home (brilliant pick, it screams ‘make me a bride’)
- My brother’s school in Spain (this one screams ‘I want your babies’)
- A spanish humor page called Love will Tear us Aznar again (at least I have a sense of humor. Yes, also political views. Full disclosure.)
- E.ON careers (which I interacted with last in 2012 and screams ‘I read my work email on my phone’)
Not a single movie. Not a single TV show. Not a single book, band. And I swear I like tons of them. Can someone fix this or let me know how anyone is supposed to want to swipe right not just because of da looks?
Not to blame only Tinder. Another reason for so little common interests and friends is, as I discovered later, that some men create fake facebook profiles to use Tinder without risking who knows what. But that’s a topic for Part Two: Of what the experience was and what my heart felt.
Like my facebook page if you want to stay up to date, and remember, this is all for your comments, so let them get rolling below.
Have you tried online dating applications? Which ones? Are you generally satisfied with them? What makes them enjoyable and what makes them bad to use? Have you met anyone worth your swipes?