The “But we just started talking…” Dating App Struggle

Author: Maria Pappas, The Dating Game

A couple of months ago, I was exchanging messages with a guy on Bumble. To make things easy, let’s just call him Mike. Maybe two or three days after I started the conversation, Mike and I were messaging when all of a sudden he started giving me one word answers. I wasn’t sure what was going on, but finally he apologized and told me that his family had to put their dog down that night and so he was upset.

Rightfully so, right? Yet for some reason all I could think about was how I felt about the situation. And by that, I mean that I was sincerely confused about how to feel.

I mean, I was sorry that he had to go through that. But I also thought, “I know you from Bumble.” Like, are we allowed to hit these not-so-easy topics before we’ve even met up in person? When exactly are we allowed to show that we are upset? What’s the right medium to do so? With all of the different ways that millennials communicate, it’s hard to be sure about any of this.

Fast forward a bit later, and I’m talking to another guy on Bumble. Let’s call this one Nick. Nick tells me a few short hours after beginning the conversation that his cousin was shot and is in critical condition at the hospital.

Of course I offered words of consolation for this terrible situation that he was dealing with, but what could I do? All I could offer were words of comfort via a dating app… not the most meaningful thing, ya know?

My conversations with both Mike and Nick, for the record, have fizzled out. And, although this might sound bad, I don’t think that this is in any small part due to the fact that they revealed so much so soon.

If it were a close friend going through a situation like this, I would want to help them handle it if I could, and make sure that they were okay. But I also know so much more about close friends: how they deal with tragedy, how supportive their families are, and that they’ve helped me over the years, to name a few.

The fact was, I barely knew Mike or Nick, so even my deepest words of comfort and sympathy could not mean much. They were just words. I didn’t know them well enough for the words to be any more than that because there isn’t a relationship behind them. I couldn’t provide them with the proof, the actions, or… anything really… to let them know that I meant what I said.

I also felt bad for the fact that I didn’t feel I could truly or fully sympathize with them or understand what they were going through.

Of course, we can’t control life’s circumstances, and we have to be honest with one another about what is going on — that things aren’t perfect, that we struggle, that things are happening below the surface that no one knows about. But it’s more difficult for others to deal with those situations when they don’t know you.

There is something to be said about online datingdating apps, and dating in general through these stories, though. Our conversations with one another can range from the most general small talk conversations, to these deep, meaningful ones about what you want out of life and what’s going on in yours.

There has to be discernment in what we share, though, and how we respond. Remember the medium that you are using, and think about what you choose to share.

Taking the Online Dating Plunge is Scary

Author: Nicole Chininis, The Dating Game

If you’re anything like me, your experience with dating (or lack thereof) has not been the easiest thing in the world. So much so, that people around me started to get nervous.

“Are you trying hard enough?”

“You know, all it takes is to say yes to a date.”

“Are you meeting people?”

And the inevitable…

“HAVE YOU TRIED ONLINE DATING?!”

I’ve been asked that question more times than I can count. Honestly, I know people never meant it in a negative way, but like, duh, of course I have considered online dating and apps. Who on God’s green earth hasn’t either heard of online dating or tried it? I understand people’s concern, but there were a couple reasons why I was hesitant about it until recently. 

I wasn’t ready
Up until about a year ago, I wasn’t ready to put myself out there like that. I have been burned by the dating world in dramatic and tremendously hurtful ways. That proverbial rug had been ripped from underneath me too many times right when I had made my heart ready and open to someone. The thought of freely putting my heart on the market to potentially get ripped apart did not seem appealing. I was scared and I wasn’t ready.

I knew of no success
Yes, my friends were telling me all of these stories of people they knew who had met people online, but I had not personally known anyone to have a successful relationship due to online dating and apps. I didn’t trust the process. I had no confirmation. And I had nothing positive to entice me to want to join the online dating world.  

I wanted a real life meet
I think the idea of being able to potentially just meet someone by chance in real life made it seem less scary, and I would be able to read them a little bit more. Obviously, that was not necessarily the case because I had never successfully done that, as evidenced by my experiences. I never judged anyone for doing online dating or for meeting someone that way. I never really understood why people lied if they met their partner online and said that they met in the grocery store (seriously, what is that?) However, I couldn’t let go of this idea of the real life “meet cute.” I just wasn’t ready to give that up. 

I’m stubborn
If people tell me to do something, I most likely won’t want to do it. Even if they mean well, I really just have to come into things on my own most of the time. I truly value people’s opinions and I like to talk things through if I’m having an issue, but the more that people asked me if I wanted to do online, the more I did not want to do it. What did they know anyway? I was tired of talking about it and tired of people pushing me to do something I wasn’t interested in. Everyone just didn’t understand.

When I joined, I kept it from everyone
I got to a point when I decided to just dip my toes in, see what was out there. It felt great to get there on my own. I didn’t tell anyone though, because I thought that if people knew I would get even more pressure from people to tell them what was going on, or who knows. By keeping it to myself, I wasn’t setting any expectations for myself or for others, and I could stop at any point if I was uncomfortable. I did something very non-committal and downloaded an app instead of diving right into Match.com, and it was a great decision.

And of course, I learned from all of this
I learned a lot about myself. Primarily, I learned what it meant to do something for myself. I generally am open and truly willing to go out of my way to do things for other people. You need help moving? I’m your girl. You need to talk about something? I’m here for you. You need someone to pick you up? I’m so happy to do so. I love helping and caring for others, but with something like this I needed to do it on my own time. I realized, even though the pain of my experiences hasn’t gone away, what it felt like to have my heart open for experiences.

 

Baby steps can feel like climbing a mountain. Some people believe that online dating may not be a big deal because everyone is doing it, for others that’s not the case. While you may value encouragement, until you feel ready to take the plunge — keep on climbing that mountain on your own time.

Did Millennials Ruin Dating?

Author: Brett Pucino, The Dating Game

According to many Gen X and baby boomer journalists and media personalities, the only thing millennials are good at is ruining stuff.

We’ve ruined the napkin industry, the bar soap industry and dozens of others. It has made me wonder: have millennials ruined dating as well? One of our authors has already talked about how millennials have revamped dating, but let’s explore this a bit further.

The Death of Random Conversation
You know those rom coms we grew up on? It fascinates me how, in virtually every movie, the protagonist and his or her love interest’s relationship is sparked by a random interaction. So many Hollywood story lines have been built on the passion that ignites when these two characters notice each other for the first time.

It fascinates me because I feel like those moments are becoming missed connections for our generation. We thrive when having random conversations with strangers on dating apps, but we are having less of these conversations with strangers IRL.

online-dating-site-soulmate-love-sex-cry-for-help-ecards-someecards

Does this mean that millennials have ruined dating?

I think “ruin” is a strong word – and that what happened with us is that society changed exponentially during our upbringing. This environment has made us different than our predecessors in some ways, and I think the normalization of online dating is a perfect example.

The majority of Gen X and baby boomers were initially phobic towards online dating. Millennials, on the other hand, didn’t have the same aversion. We grew up on the internet, so we are more willing to give online dating apps a try.

I would argue that our willingness to participate in online dating stemmed from a need we forgot how to meet: striking up a conversation with a stranger who is a member of the opposite sex. Since boomers and Gen Xers had to navigate their early dating years by actually having in-person conversations, they never forgot how to meet this need.

Dating 2.0
Instead of saying millennials ruined dating, I like to think that millennials have created a new version of dating: Dating 2.0.

Just like any update, it contains some bugs. Dating 2.0 has created the concept of catfishing, but it has also become the spark for countless relationships.

While I have used online dating to spark relationships, I don’t necessarily think it is better or worse than “traditional” dating. I think that it has shown its positive value, but it comes with an unwritten warning label: an app is not the only place to make a connection.

How did you first meet the person with whom you shared your last relationship? Let us know in the comment box below!

5 Dating Apps To Use Other Than Tinder

Author: Michelle Ioannou, The Dating Game

Keep on swiping right, don’t worry. I’m not telling you to delete Tinder — trust me, I know as well as the next person how entertaining Tinder can be, and I also know as well as the next person that relationships have started on Tinder.

I’m just here to broaden your horizons, and introduce you to some other dating apps that you may enjoy even more than Tinder.

Happn
What makes Happn unique is that it matches you with people whom you cross paths with. That’s right, instead of just inputting a specific mile radius, you’re instead being shown people whom you have actually crossed paths with. Still not understanding? Let’s say you frequent a coffee shop. If you were to go on Happn after this visit, you may find someone who was also at that coffee shop at the same time. Happn shows you exactly where you crossed paths with the other person, as well as how many times you have crossed paths with said person. Once two people like each other, a conversation can start.

Hinge
Remember when people used to set their friends up? Well, that’s sort of the premise of Hinge, except your friends don’t have to do any work. Hinge connects with your Facebook page to show you other singles on the app whom you have at least one mutual friend with. What makes this app even more unique is that it shows more information than others, such as interests and religion (assuming the other person filled it out in his or her profile). Additionally, once two people like each other, not only can a conversation start, but you’re also able to see the person’s full name. That’s right, you can then go to whomever the mutual friend may be and and ask that friend for the scoop.

Bumble
Bumble is similar to Tinder, which makes sense as it was created by Whitney Wolfe, Tinder’s cofounder who is no longer with the company. What makes Bumble unique is that once two people match, a conversation can’t just automatically be started – females must make the first move. That’s right, this app is defying traditionalism by having girls initiate. Additionally, once there’s a match, a female only has 24 hours to send a chat and if she doesn’t, the match disappears. In terms of same-sex relationships, this app allows either to send the first chat once there’s a match.

Coffee Meets Bagel
Coffee Meets Bagel is huge on quality versus quantity, meaning there’s a significantly less chance (if there’s even any chance) of you finding an obscene pic or an almost nude that you may find on other apps. Every day, the app sends you a new match. What makes this app even cooler? There’s a “private line.” When you match with someone, you have the ability to send messages to your match via your phone, but without giving the other person your phone number. You have a week of chatting through this private line before you have to decide whether you want to continue this conversation by giving the other person your phone number.

Social Media
People should start considering social media a dating app. Of course, the entire purpose of social media is not to find a significant other like these other apps are; however, relationships have started on social media. In case you missed it, I explored the idea of how social media should be considered a dating app last month. Assuming the message is appropriate, pay attention the next time someone slides into your DMs.

Is Social Media the New Dating Website?

Author: Michelle Ioannou, The Dating Game

Welcome to 2016 where sliding into your DMs is becoming more and more common.

Whatever happened to the good ‘ole days of meeting someone at a bar? Well those good ‘ole days were replaced with the new good ‘ole days of creating a profile on a dating website. This practice has now become swiping right on someone you thought was attractive on a dating app. But is social media becoming the new Tinder?

I know for a fact I’m not the only female that has had guys (or girls) message them on social media—whether that platform be Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn—yes, LinkedIn, the professional social media; it has happened. In fact, The Knot shares stories of couples who met and fell in love on social media.

Now, is this a bad thing?

I personally don’t think so. Yes, “sliding into DMs” has a negative connotation, or you think of a negative action association with millennials (or worse—the generation after us)—but that doesn’t have to be. For the most part, or at least hopefully, social media channels showcase the true person. Social media is supposed to serve as an extension of the person—as a place for someone to share their voices, passions, love and experiences online. If this is so, then doesn’t it make sense that this would be a great place to look for dating?

Of course, there are many people who believe that just because there’s a screen in front of them that they can say or do whatever they want; in the forms of trolling the Internet, creating drama or unfortunately, catfishing someone. Be smart and be careful—and you should be able to tell the real from the fake.

Now, am I saying to delete Tinder? Or to deactivate your Match.com profile? Of course not. What I am saying is to be open-minded. If someone messages you on social media, don’t just laugh and shrug it off. Answer him or her, after looking at the profile and assuring that this person is a real human being, of course. Who knows— it could be the start of a beautiful relationship —whether that relationship be romantic, work related or just a friendship.

Social media may not take the place of dating websites or dating apps anytime soon, but it definitely can be considered a dating resource at the very least. Relationships have started on social networks in the past, so why can’t yours?