Dating App Adventure - Six Lessons Learned from Online Dating

by Katie Lyons

Back in March, feeling a little discouraged that by the age of 25 I had only been on a handful of dates, I decided to jump into the wonderful world of dating apps. I joined Coffee Meets Bagel after a friend suggested it, then decided to also try the very popular Bumble app, but I stayed FAR FAR away from dating apps that I think are notorious for hooking up, like Tinder, since I was not interested in a one night stand. I did it for six months and then the other day I deleted all my accounts. I'm glad I tried it and I would encourage others to do the same for some time. So if you are interested in trying out some dating apps or maybe you already use one or two, here are some lessons that I learned from my six-month stint in the dating app world.


1. Don't give your number to a guy before meeting him in person.

I decided this from the beginning but then broke it a couple of times for guys that I thought would be worth it. WRONG. I don't say this one necessarily for security reasons, even though that is something to consider. But because I gave a couple of guys my number, they didn't seem to feel the need to do anything further to get it. We would go on texting for a little bit but in the end it just fizzled out and they never made a move. It was in part because they weren't going to, but I also didn't give them any incentive to do so either. If they don't respect your policy when it's brought up, or never respond after that, you have your answer to whether or not they are even worth communicating with any further.

2. If they just want to talk, that's all they'll do.

One of the things I really liked about Coffee Meets Bagel is that it gave time limits on connections. The chat line through the app is only open for a limited time because Coffee Meets Bagel is trying to get people to go on dates and actually move past the chatting. I thought because that was part of their mission statement, that people that were on it wanted the same thing. WRONG. If I guy just wants to waste his time chatting away, and never make a move, he will, no matter how the app tries to fight against it. This also has to do with what I was talking about above. By giving out my number, I facilitated their "pen pal" mindset and in the end just got really frustrated. The same though goes for apps that don't have chat restrictions, like Bumble.  I would definitely make sure you set your own time limits and no matter how nice the guy seems, if he can't ask you out after a couple of weeks but you talk a lot, ask him out yourself or unmatch. There is no reason to waste your time.

3. It doesn't matter what your profile looks like, sooner or later, you will get propositioned.

Ever seen feminist tinder on Instagram? I am ashamed to say that even after seeing some of their posts, I used to think that when girls got propositioned by a guy, especially on a dating app, that she must have said something that would make them believe that that line of questioning was ok. WRONG. I am apparently very religious from my profile, I specifically say in my bio that I am NOT interested in hooking up, and I do not have any pictures of me in scantily clad clothing. And yet I still got asked what my favorite position is. I was still sent a dick pic. It doesn't matter; they will go there if they are an immature ass of a man. Plain and simple.

4. All jackasses are not as apparent as they seem.

I had a pretty rigorous "liking" system on all the apps I used. Coffee Meets Bagel allows you to be very specific in what you are looking for (religion, age, height, etc), which is great if you have some non-negotiables like I did. Bumble is more like Tinder, in that you swipe right if you like the person and you're only given the info the user has decided to give, which can be from everything to nothing. Because Bumble was more of a guessing game I had some things that I looked out for. I stayed far away from guys with a lot of shirtless selfies, ones that didn't have a lot of personal information, etc. I naively thought that all the guys I picked were pretty good quality. WRONG AGAIN. That guy that asked me what my favorite position is, looked like a nice unassuming guy and had some cute anecdote about being great at meeting parents. Yeah, he would NOT have done well meeting my dad, that's for sure.

5. Casual dating can be exhausting.

I was sure my displeasure with my romantic life was that I wasn't getting asked out enough. That if I only went on more dates, I would feel better about my situation. Besides, who doesn't like a free drink or meal every once in awhile. Unfortunately, it can be really exhausting spending so much time talking with guys that never ask you out OR going out on date after date, never making that connection you’re searching for. I realized from all of this that casual dating is not my thing; I want to invest too much to make it worthwhile for me. If you have the same type of personality, just be warned, you could get drained quickly.

6. There are great guys out there.

While I seem to be pointing out a lot of issues with dating apps, there are some great guys out there who do actually ask you out and are the real deal. I met a couple and had some really nice dates; unfortunately in the end it just didn't work out with any of them. However, just because I didn't, doesn't mean it's not possible for you to meet that special someone on a dating app.

Again, I'm glad I tried it, and while it gave me tons of interesting dating stories, in the end it wasn't for me. There is something organic about meeting someone for the first time and feeling that initial attraction that most of the time was missing for me.  Dating apps try to imitate this through profiles and while a good looking picture and a nice written bio is intriguing, it's just not the same. So for right now I think I'm done, but I hope the few lessons I have learned can help you have a more successful time in the dating app world than I did. 

Also, it amazes me how much recently released music can so easily become the soundtrack to my life. If you can relate, check out this playlist I've created. If listened to in order, it gives a pretty accurate depiction of a relationship from start to end. *And just in case you were wondering, yes I purposefully placed Selena and Justin's songs back to back.

Would you add any songs to the playlist?