Online Dating: How To
I thought for a while about writing this, but the other night at dinner, I decided it was a good idea. So, if you’re unaware, I met my husband, Taylor, on Bumble, the relationship connection app, I was also a Bumble Brand Ambassador during that time as well. I’ve only got wonderful things to say about Bumble as a company, but I do have a few things to say about online dating. Most of the time, it sucks. I get it, I’m a dating app success story, but the majority of the time, it’s really difficult.
I’m writing this specifically to all the ladies out there, trying to navigate this online dating culture, safely. So, without further adieu, let’s jump in.
We’re going to take this back to the very beginning--College, when Tinder was in its prime, and before Bumble hit the main streets. When I was in college, bible college I might add, I used Tinder very regularly. Not for the reasons you might think though--I was so broke, that I used Tinder to feed myself a few times a month. Judge me, I was starving. I’d match with a cute dude who didn’t seem like a total creeper, talk to him for about a day, then agree to meet up for dinner. We’d go to dinner, it would be ok. Just the usual first date conversation, you know, “What do you do?” “Where are you from?”--Riveting, really. After dinner was over, I’d get in my car and go home. I’d probably chat with him for a few more days, then it would just fizzle out and I’d start that deranged cycle all over again. I want to say this right now, this is not ok. Don’t be a jerk like I was in college. I know you’re hungry and broke, but people's hearts are on the line, sort of.
The issue with this kind of dating is that it teaches you, and almost conditions you to just toss people aside if you’re not getting what you want. It sets you into a rapid cycle of turnover and that’s not the healthiest thing. Plus, you’re literally just using someone. That ain’t cool.
This brings me to the next phase of online dating. This is the where you’re genuinely in it to meet someone nice but you’re still using a very quick turnover rate so you’re not really making any real connections. Sure, I get it, love at first sight, but that’s not the usual. Now, this is what I mean, [I’m talking Bumble now, because let’s be honest, Tinder sucks.] You’re sitting there at brunch with your girlfriends, and you swipe on like 35 cute guys, match with 27 of them and start your conversations. Ok, so 12 of them are actually jerks, 5 you have nothing in common with, and 2 are just really boring. That leaves you with 8 guys who are a potential forever mate, or whatever. This is where it turns into the Bachelorette. This is the most dramatic season yet. 8 men contend for the heart of *Insert your name here.* Who will she choose? The Doctor, The Trader Joe’s checkout clerk, the Fitness Influencer, the Entrepreneur aka the guy who still lives with his mom--You get the idea. Well, you agree to meet all these guys for drinks or coffee and you hang out for an hour, or as long as you can stand. You may go on a few more dates with a handful of these guys, but in all reality this cycle is going to go on for quite a few months.
Now, I want you to think about the math, if you do this cycle over and over and over again every few weeks, you’ll end up going on dates with like 100 dudes in one year. I mean, I’m not saying that’s wrong--I’m a huge proponent for dating; I’m just saying that’s a lot of work. I’m speaking from personal experience, that is not healthy. It put me in a bad mental space and also made me more flighty than I already can be. I personally wouldn’t recommend online dating like this.
Now, here’s how I would recommend, and how I ended up meeting Taylor. Hear this, I AM NOT TELLING YOU HOW TO FIND YOUR HUSBAND. I hope you find him, in the Lord’s timing, but that’s besides the point. I also want to say, don’t take this as the end all be all, this is just what seems to work in my experience.
Don’t just swipe on literally everyone. It probably won’t turn out really well. I get the idea of casting a wide net, but it really does just give you lots of extra work, and you’re probably a lot more likely to meet some less than favorable characters that way.
Have Some Standards.
If you’re a Vegan, you’re probably not going to be into a dude who loves to go hunting every weekend. If you’re a Christian, you’re not going to be into an Atheist. If you’re a mermaid, date mermen. I mean, I know that Ariel made it a trend to date dudes with legs, but let’s be honest, that’s not going to work every time.
Don’t Waiver on Your Beliefs.
If you really believe in something, don’t change that just because of some cute guy. If you change what you believe or lie about it just because you want to match with a cute guy because he fits into your ideal, you’re doing it wrong. Sorry not sorry.
Be Kind and Have Fun.
While it’s really valuable to keep all these other things in mind, don’t lose your sense of humor or fun because you’re too busy asking if he’s got a 401K and if he volunteers every Saturday.
Know Your Value.
Lastly, keep in mind that you are insanely valuable and you deserve to be loved. You deserve to be loved the right way, by someone who respects you. Don’t forget that.
In all honesty, it’s really not this crazy thing you need directions to, because the thing is, if the Lord wants something to happen, He can make it happen. If I could leave you with one thing it would be to just calm the heck down and stop obsessing about when your man is going to show up. My best advice is to be the person you’re looking for. If you’re focused on being your best then you totally forget about waiting for “the one.” If you want your hubs to be active, get active. If you want him to be kind, be kind. If you want him to be healthy, get healthy. If you want him to be smart, learn something. At the end of the day, what I really want you to hear is, if you’re just sitting around waiting for the perfect someone to show up or trying to make just anyone fit in to the box of your ideals, it’s never going to work. Go start your life--Your life does not begin when you finally match with a cute dude from Bumble. Your life doesn’t begin the day you get married--Being married is freaking awesome, and I love it, but my life started the day I decided to start living it.
So, if you’ve made it this far, be encouraged. Everyone is out there trying to make sense of dating culture. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't but don’t put your happiness in the hands of online dating. Get out there and live. I know you’re going to crush it, because you’re amazing.