Dating Apps: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

While your mom Sally Jane was having all her suitors meet her in the parlor after lunch–with her father’s supervision of course–we’re riding a different wave entirely.

We’ve got dating apps galore, Cosmopolitan sex tips, and terabytes of pornography to boot. We don’t have to wait around to see someone in real life–we can slide into their DMs with ease and set-up a date instantly.

This begs the question–are dating apps all that great? Are they the trade secret our love lives have been missing?

Let’s find out below.

The Good

1. Ease of Communication

Dating Apps are a millennials fantasy come true. There’s no longer any need whatsoever to be apart of random social groups, meet people at coffee shops, or ask your friend to introduce you to their pretty lab partner.

Best of all? No phone conversations required.

Let’s be honest, you’ll be hard press to find a millennial who enjoys speaking to a sexual prospect over the phone.

2. You’ll be able to meet people you’d never normally meet

No longer are we confined to our small suburb and high school social circles. You’re able to meet individuals who you’d probably never cross paths with otherwise.

If you’re into board games, video games, and watching anime, you’ll finally be able to begin swiping right on those sporty girls you’ve never had the nerve to approach in real life.

3. You’re able to learn a little bit about a person prior to meeting them

Many dating apps and websites allow you to connect your Facebook, Instagram, and other social profiles either as a prerequisite prior to joining or as an optional profile additive.

Moreover, some services like OkCupid will constantly pressure you with questions and quizzes to provide your potential suitors with even more information about yourself to help you find the right match.

4. You can meet a wide variety of people without even having to leave your home (yay homebodies!)

If you’re the type who enjoys staying home after work or school, well, I have good news. You don’t have to change a single thing about your monotonous and comfortable routine.

Get online, get swiping, and start messaging–all from the comfort of your favorite living room chair.

5. Ease of Sexual Freedom

Sometimes it can be difficult to find a sexual partner who has just what you need.

Maybe you’re into threesomes, want no-strings-attached sex, or are interested in polyamory.

No matter, the online world has got you covered.

Alongside the traditional dating apps and websites, there are a plethora of fetish and kink websites that–with the help of Google–will lead you in the right direction.

6. Improved Anonymity and Privacy

If you’re looking to keep your sex life on the down-low, online dating is an option you’d be silly to ignore.

For example, if you’re on the hunt for casual sexual encounters and would prefer to keep your business away from the peeping eyes of friends and family, the internet has got your back.

You can make a separate Facebook account, use discreet photos, and specify in your dating profiles precisely the kind of privacy you’re looking for.

You’ll most likely discover you’re not alone.

7. Reduced Pressure

In the real world, it’s easy to feel like everyone’s watching you.

Think back to high school. If you left your house with a small zit on your face, you felt like the entire school just had to be talking about it behind your back.

Online dating is different.

If you want to discontinue a conversation, don’t reply.

If you no longer think someone is a good fit for you, unmatch them!

And if you want to take a break from the dating scene, simply go ahead and delete your apps and profiles.

It couldn’t be easier.

8. Improved Safety

Many dating services like Bumble offer the ability to, “verify,” your profile with a real-time photo and additionally require a Facebook account prior to creating a profile.

Moreover, you’re also given the added benefit to only agree to meet your potential online dating prospects in public locations.

Coupled with the possibility of having mutual friends on your accounts, you can rest assured that your suitor has some sort of life beyond a few photos and a single line of text and emojis.

9. Abundance

If you’re living in a small suburb or only have access to a small circle, online dating will provide you with the abundance you need.

There’s no reason to have all your hopes and dreams riding on one single person these days.

When you can immediately improve the size of your dating pool tenfold by downloading an app or logging onto a website, you’ll soon discover that they truly are more fish in the sea.

TL;DR

Don’t ignore online dating.

With progressive technological compliance amongst the millennial generation, it is here to stay and won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.

With an enlarged dating pool, improved communication opportunities, and the straightforward convenience of it all, you’d be foolish to not take part in online dating if you’re on the hunt for a new lover.

The Bad

1. Perverts

Yes, unfortunately, this is true. Especially if you’re a girl.

Don’t be surprised when, after you get your first several dozen matches, you’re hit with offers of dick pics, instant hook-ups, and crass comments about your body.

The solution?

Unmatch.

2. Unclear Intentions

While this is also true in real life, it may be a good idea to be upfront with respect to what you’re looking for.

Yes, you may have had sex within five minutes of meeting each other, but that doesn’t mean your partner may not want something more.

On the flip side, don’t be surprised if they vanish into the night, never to be seen again.

If this is something that worries you, be upfront with them right away with regards to what you’re looking for.

3. Dishonesty

You walk into a coffee shop with plans to meet Chad Thundercock from Tinder, only to glance around the cafe and see no one who looks even remotely similar to his naked mirror pic.

You glance down at your phone and see, “Hey, I can see you by the door. I’m wearing the blue jacket and waving at you!”

You look up and see a grotesque blob with a big, cheesy grin, waving you down.

As you make eye contact with what seems to hardly resemble another human being, you immediately bolt out the door, hoping to never cross paths with such a repulsive creature ever again.

This, sadly, is a reality of online dating.

While lying about one’s appearance will ensure you’ll never make it past the first date, lying about who one is can get you quite far.

If you have no mutual friends with someone, it may be nigh to impossible to truly verify anything they tell you.

So if you feel uneasy about someone for any reason, you’re probably right. Remember that.

Always listen to your gut instinct.

It will never–if ever!–lead you astray.

There isn’t much you can do here aside from listening to your intuition, speaking to their friends, or snooping through their phone–not something I’d recommend doing.

However, with that said, always go with your gut.

You may not be able to put into words why you feel like something’s off, but if you get the inkling down under, don’t brush it aside.

Listen to it.

It’s there for a reason.

4. Reduced Safety

I may be contradicting what I said above, however, online dating can both be safer and riskier, provided you don’t take the right steps.

Meet at a public location, tell a friend where and what you’ll be doing during that time, and be sure to thoroughly explore their online dating profile.

And most of all?

Trust. Your. Gut.

5. Harassment

This ties in with number one.

If you’re not careful, you could end up giving your phone number and Facebook profile information to a creeper.

If this happens, they may go to a variety of lengths to pester, badger, and annoy the living hell out of you.

Take baby steps.

If you’re unsure about someone, yet you’d like to take the messaging off of Tinder or OkCupid, maybe opt for a Snapchat account that isn’t tied to your Facebook account name.

Likewise, you could also tell them you’d like to message on Instagram–again, using an account not tied to your real name–so you can see if they slide into your DMs with a legitimate personal profile of their own.

6. Unrealistic Expectations

Yes, you may have filled out a 50-question survey that asked for everything from your cat and dog preference to your favorite breakfast cereal, but take heart, this does not mean Mr. Perfect is now only a message away.

It’s no secret that online dating will immensely improve the size of your dating pool, however, you may have to take some deep sea dives before you get good results.

Just like meeting people in real life, you probably won’t meet the man of your dreams after one single night out.

7. Lack of Conversational and Social Cues

This isn’t a huge issue, however, some individuals find it frustrating.

Texting, DMing, and instant messaging can be fun, but sarcasm and body language can be slightly difficult to illustrate through a chat bubble.

You may think your dry sense of humor makes you the life of the party, but that girl you matched with ten minutes ago may just think you’re an asshole.

Technology is useful and makes communication travel faster than the drop of a hat, but it can’t convey everything. Keep that in mind.

TL;DR

Internet Dating may be perceived by some to be the Bees Knees, but to others, it clearly is not the Cat’s Pajamas.

Er.. what?

Online Dating may be simple, convenient, and easy to use, but this does not mean it is free from problems.

Just like real life has its share of creepers, perverts, and weirdos, you’ll be sure to meet even more while you explore the depths of the internet.

The Ugly

1. Criminals

Again, tying into the danger of dating apps, like in all walks of life, there are always dangerous people out and about.

Now, don’t let this freak you out.

This isn’t to say that online dating sites are only packed with scumbags and banshees that want to ruin your life.

They’re not.

But just like how a small percentage of people you interact with throughout your day are not someone you’d particularly like to bump into at 2 in the morning in an alleyway–the same is true online.

Be smart. Be vigilant. Trust your intuition.

2. Assholes & Neurotics

This warrants its own blog post entirely.

There is a lot to be said with respect to dealing with these sort of people.

If some prick messages you something rude, don’t waste a second of your time engaging with them.

Ignore, then block/unmatch.

Worse, you discover that the guy/girl you’ve seen a handful of times is a piece of shit?

Worse yet, your now boyfriend/girlfriend is a piece of shit?

In the first case, send them a straightforward and polite message stating that you no longer think you’re suitable for each other.

In the second case, meet them in person–perhaps at their house–so you can get in your car and bounce ASAP when it’s all said and done.

No need to say why, no need to argue with them, and there’s no need to be rude.

In my opinion, it is better to not fully engage with people like this.

The more they’re ignored, the less incentivized they feel to behave poorly, and the better you’ll feel about yourself.

“But I want to tell them to fuck off and get into an argument with them!!”

While this may feel good in the moment, don’t.

Think about it this way.

If you choose to engage an asshole, not only are you wasting your own finite resource–time–that should be spent in search of more prominent dating partners, you’re also subconsciously training your brain.

“Training my brain? How?”

You’re giving them space in your mind. You’re telling your brain that assholes and neurotics are worth your time, you should spend your precious hours thinking about them, and that you’re going to allow some cock to dictate how you should think and feel.

It’s a losing battle.

Drop them as soon as you can and never look back.

There are better things ahead.

3. Addiction

Like any dopamine inducing substance, dating apps are no different.

We all get a kick out of scrolling through the Facebook Newsfeed, silently detesting our friends’ seemingly awesome lives on Instagram, and sneaking in a Snapchat photo under our desk.

Swiping through dating profiles is just another ingredient to add to the ever-increasing stew of internet addiction.

Use the apps, then get off them.

Don’t make swiping through profiles into a lifestyle.

It might be wise to have a set time of day you use them, then turn them off until tomorrow.

4. Depression

While you look at sexy Samantha’s questionably NSFW mirror pic, you may start to feel a little self-conscious about your looks.

Maybe, you’ll start to feel like you’re going nowhere in life as you see all these photos from what appears to be beautiful people living incredible lives.

Or, you’ll get that feeling of despair that you’ll never meet your special someone.

Relax, it’s worse than you think.

5. Cheating

If someone is planning on cheating, they’re going to cheat.

The internet just speeds up the process.

Trust your instincts and be careful out there.

And if you discover they’re someone is a cheater?

Just like assholes and neurotics, drop them and never look back.

They’re not worth your time.

6. Dependence

Dating apps and websites may be all the rage, but be careful that you don’t begin to overly rely on them.

It’d be a shame to see the girl of your dreams on the other side of the sidewalk, then suddenly realize you have no idea how to introduce yourself without the help of a direct messaging system.

Online dating should supplement what you’re already doing.

Don’t neglect meeting women in real life as you get started on Tinder and Bumble.

Online dating should be viewed as a tool, not a crutch.

TL;DR

Internet Dating is an incredible addition to the technological era we’re entering, yet it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows at the end of the day.

Keep an eye out for assholes, recognize that the internet does not represent reality, and don’t begin to substitute all in-person dating opportunities for sitting behind a screen.

Putting it All Together

In its essence, online dating is allowing us to do what we’d normally do, but on a much larger scale.

We can meet the people we want to meet, take a chance on someone we wouldn’t normally hang out with, and, of course, have our occasional run-in with a crazy asshole.

Online dating won’t be going anywhere anytime soon, and will only continue to become increasingly integrated into our love lives.

What better time to get started with your buds Luke and Ellie to walk you through it?

Final Thoughts

We covered a lot of ground in this article, and we still have so much to explore.

If you have any questions, be sure to leave a comment or fill out the contact form, and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

Good luck out there, and most of all, don’t overthink all this dating shit.

Trust your gut and you’ll go in the right direction.

Your Pal,

Luke

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