Category Archives: Internet and Technology

The Low-Down on Dating Apps

Picture this:

You just got back from dinner with your girlfriends. You had a  great time catching up and hearing about one another’ lives. You sipped wine and giggled about work, boys, and The Bachelor. And yet there is a lingering anxiety in the back of your mind. All of your friends are in great relationships…Except you... One is engaged. The other just started seeing this super cool guy who started his own company. The other girl has a long term boyfriend who is apparently great in bed. You are totally happy for them, and yet you cannot quite put your finger on it, it is sort of an impending worry, quietly hissing at you to get a move on, you’re missing out! 

Like any good, modern woman, you furrow your brow and recite to yourself how much of an empowered woman you are, who does not need a man to complete her and how fulfilled your life already is. And yet….there it is again… the light tap on the back of your shoulder, the worry that you will end up alone with 56 cats and gets excited for TSA to feel you up at airports. You cringe. 

You quietly whisper “fuck it,” under your breath as you pull out you phone and re-download a dating app. 

You swore this was not how it was going to be and that this style of dating was, “totally not for you” and yet you need the reassurance that there are options, possibilities, even hope. You don’t even have to go on any dates. Just chat with a few hotties, even if only to encourage yourself you still got it…

Sound familiar?

Pretty sure if you have been single at all since 2012 you have experienced some form of this scenario. 
In theory, dating apps are great. Who does not want to judge strangers or flirt with hotties all night long without ever putting on pants? And the options… hot damn we have never been provided with so many options before! It is like an all-you-can-eat-Vegas-buffet of dating! 

Yet, once the initial glow of judging random strangers on totally shallow characteristics has worn off, we rarely find ourselves excited by the prospect of tossing up a photo on the internet and hoping complete strangers will not be repulsed by us. Sure the whole swiping thing is fun and feels like a game, but after a while dating apps can start to feel less like innocent fun and more like a last-ditch alternative to dying alone or missing out on love. They certainly are not always the Band Aids to our love lives that they are sold to us as. 

Sometimes dating apps become subtle ego boosters, where we seek them out in the hopes of re-affirming our own attractiveness. We really do not want to spend the evening with a stranger making small talk, but we would not mind some harmless flirty banter just to remind ourselves that we are desirable…

Dating apps effect us each on an individual basis. For some it is Camelot and for others it is the 9th layer of Hell. And yet regardless of our dating preferences, dating apps retain similar consequences for all of us. It really boils down to whether the pros outweigh the cons or vice versa. Are we willing to brave the stormy seas of ghosting and meeting strangers and vulnerability in search of love, or is modern dating the equivalent of the proverbial frog in boiling water? Are we just normalizing a negative dating environment?

So how do dating apps affect us? Are they bad news or modern marvels?

  1. Dating apps can lead to increased anxiety

According to dating expert, Anita Chlipala there is a correlation between increased levels of anxiety and depression. This is due to increased exposure to rejection. While dating apps have increased the sheer volume of interactions, they have also increased the volume of rejections that occur. Other things that can make us feel anxious and/or cynical about our dating prospects are low numbers of matches, excruciatingly long periods between communication, crude messages, and ghosting. While there are compliments and flattery to be exchanged, feelings of rejection or harassment often weigh heavier on participants and can impact self consciousness.  Basically a few hurtful exchanges can spoil the experience.

Another factor that increases anxiety is the sheer amount of conversations and interactions one might be juggling. Sure this might sounds like most single peoples’ dreams, but for women especially this can cause stress to the point of wanting to delete the app. Lots of women experience anxiety at having to maintain several different conversations. Coupled with the fact that most interactions lack humanity (a result of not having met in person), many women come to point where they are both overwhelmed and don’t feel invested anymore and either end the conversations or ghost. 

  1. Low Self esteem

Yes, dating apps have the potential to make us feel like desirable sex goddesses when hoards of matches message you to tell you what a snack you are. On the other hand, large volumes of rejections, ghosting, and lack of matches can do serious damage to our self esteem, especially if we believe( incorrectly) that our peers are having loads of success on dating apps and hopping into bed with every hottie they match with. Please see: Getting It on Millennial Edition.

We start to question what is wrong with us and worry that we are missing a crucial ingredient to our dating life. We are often left under the impression that those on dating apps are hooking up right and left and getting loads of matches and exchanging nudes on the daily. This perception leaves many feeling inadequate or undesirable based on a false comparison. The truth is that most users only use apps sporadically and most people do not engage in random hookups with strangers. Generally most people get ghosted or stood up just as often as their peers.

  1. Easier to become dissatisfied

 It is all about expectations. When there are soooo many possible dates, apps can create feelings of dating abundance. Yet, this often promotes higher expectations for dates and matches. When we assume there could always be someone better this can inspire users to move on quickly from prospects without truly giving them a chance. The idea that there is always someone hotter, smarter, cuter, richer out there keeps us swiping and keeps us continually dissatisfied with results. This is not to say that we have to go out with everyone we match with, only that an attitude of “never good enough” creates unhappiness and excuses us from challenging ourselves to work on our current relationships.

Another consequence of this is dating fatigue, where we become swamped with so many choices, and so many possible choices, that we fail to invest in any of them. Combined with continually unmet expectations, users can become fatigued with dating and either quit or become cynical. 

Ugh so are dating apps a total drag?

Not at all! We all know that engaged couple that met on an app. In fact it is 30% of couples these days….The point is to recognize toxic situations, attitudes, and behaviors and either make changes or get away. If dating apps are making you feel miserable, anxious, insecure or overwhelmed feel free to delete the app. Trust me when I say it is not the necessity to a full dating life that pop culture makes it out to be. You can still meet people IRL. 

It is also important to recognize your dating style. We all date differently. Dating apps work really well for some people and for others they cause crippling anxiety and fear… and that is okay! It is perfectly okay to meet strangers online if that floats your boat, and it is also totally okay to need to get to know people and have some mutual history first. It is okay to feel like dating apps are not for you and to reject them entirely, this sentiment will not make you a Puritan or a prude. The important thing is to recognize this and own it. 

But are there ways to make the dating app experience better?? For sure! 

  1. Don’t try to talk to everyone all at once. Just because you matched or they reached out, don’t feel like you are missing out or have to respond. This is a good way to avoid getting burned out or overwhelmed. 
  2. If people are crass or rude, do not engage. There will always be jerks, but learn to pick your battles. 
  3. Reject any notion that dating apps are the end-all-be-all of your romantic life. They are not a necessity or an indicating factor of whether or not you are hot or desirable or cool or destined for a life of loneliness. 
  4. Remember that most people are experiencing the same frustrations you are. It is a false comparison to feel that you are “failing” at dating while everyone else is banging and going out on cool dates and meeting their soul mate. 
  5. If you do start chatting with someone that peaks your interest above the rest, it is better to meet sooner than later. The sooner you meet in person the sooner that individual becomes a real person and not just an icon on your screen. The sooner you meet up, the quicker you can determine real chemistry or attraction, as opposed to guessing and making assumptions via vague texts and unclear syntax, emojis, tone, etc. 
  6. Meeting strangers for sex might seem like a easy solution to a lackluster dating life, but don’t be lulled into a false sense of security by the false reality that everyone is doing it. Meeting strangers is always dangerous. And “meaningless” sex with strangers can not only be physically dangerous but also mentally and emotionally. 

So there you have it.

Dating apps have their pros and cons, but the most important take away is that we use the marvels of modern technology as discerning consumers, bearing in mind their effects, influences and implications. 

Dating apps should not feel like a plea-bargain to not be alone any longer, or a desperate attempt to get out of single hell. Dating apps shouldn’t be viewed as a “quick fix” solution to a crotch that might be overgrown with cobwebs. Just because it might seem like anyone and everyone are shacking up these days, does not mean you need to rush into the arms of the first person who gives you attention or “super likes” you. You are wayyyy better than that, and just believing that for yourself is enough to exude the type of confidence to lure in other confident, successful hotties (like yourself) IRL.

Good luck,
Ellie xx

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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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