Dating Apps, or as I like to call it, my mom's biggest fear lol, are something that some people just have a hard time grasping. My mother is so apprehensive about dating apps and the fact that I use them, but honestly she is not the only one. A lot of people are just not sure about this whole new way of dating. So what's the point of them?
I Also Used to Not Be Down With Dating Apps
I thought that dating apps and online dating was just this weird concept. Like I used to not be able to wrap my brain around the fact that people literally would go out on a date with someone that they had never met in person. I also thought of online dating as a last resort, like you only used it because you just weren't meeting anyone, like when you were really desperate. But I have learned that this isn't always the case.
What Changed For Me?
Well my sophomore year of college I had a friend who used Tinder. For those of you who don't know what Tinder is, it is a mobile dating app where you swipe right for yes and left for no on potential matches, If you both swipe right it's a match and then you can message each other (or not) and see where it goes. It also has a ton of other features that I won't even begin to get into lol. But anyway, I saw her using it, and thought what the heck why not? And honestly it turned out to not be that bad. I went on one Tinder date during that sophomore year, because I honestly didn't use it much, and the date was nice and completely normal. After that I decided to give it a try, and I have used it a lot while in Paris.
People's (Mainly My Mom's) Concerns
Honestly there is such a stigma that surrounds online dating. I mean we have shows that specifically talk about the dangers of it (*cough*Catfish*cough*) But c'mon it's not that bad. So let's debunk some myths about online dating:
Online Dating is full of weirdos: Okay weirdos are everywhere not just online. Yes, people do have the tendency to be more...bold(?) on the internet, but you just have to combat that like you would with any weirdo on the street. Actually it's easier on the internet because you can block them or report them to the dating app service.
You Must Be Desperate To Online Date: No I'm not desperate, just keeping my options open. Honestly it's not like I'm living for that next Tinder or Bumble match, I have a life. But honestly, it's just super convenient, especially for me (who is honestly just really really busy!). Like honestly, what busy 20-something has time to sit at a bar and scope out the guys...no one.
It Isn't Safe: This is probably one of the biggest concerns people have when talking about online dating. Personally I think it's pretty safe. Like you have about the same safety as you would if like some guy stopped you in the street, or a bar, or a café. Honestly it's safer because you're swipin' from the comfort of your own bed.
Dating Apps Are Just For Hookups: Okay okay okay, yes people do go on Tinder looking for hookups, but guys you meet IRL could also just be looking for a hookup (trust me on this one). Plus I also know people who have started good relationships from dating apps.
They Know Your Location: Okay I'm gonna break this down by the apps that I have used, because they honestly vary depending on what app:
Tinder: So with Tinder, location services are on but it's only used to see who is within the vicinity of you. It just bases it off of miles (km).
Happn: Low-key hated this app it was honestly the worst and the way they used your location was hella creepy. Happn works like this: You can pass someone on the street and they will notify you that you passed someone who had the app at such-and-such place at such-and-such time. Yeah very creepy. I would be like sitting in my apartment and getting notified on Happn because guys would pass by my apartment building. Not my fave and I deleted it immediately.
Bumble: Functions very much like Tinder, no concerns about it, also this is like my favorite app so...
Honestly, my whole philosophy is kind of like don't knock it till you try it when it comes to dating apps. Try some out! They are like shoes, you have to have time to really break them in before you make a decision if a certain one is for you or not. You will download some and immediately decide you hate it, and guess what you can just delete it off your phone. Also there are so many out there that will fit any of your dating tastes (does that even make sense lol?)
And to those moms, millennials, or any other readers, don't be worried about this dating app phenomena. Honestly, just have fun and swipe wisely. So go forth and match it up!
Classic Tip: Don't meet your Tinder, Bumble, whatever dates in a private setting...do it in public (I mean unless you're just looking for a hook up, I mean no judgement here). This way you have some control over the situation. Private places can get hella steamy, hella quick. So keep that in mind. Also have fun with it! I know my friends and I always try to make dating apps more entertaining.