Adventures In Dating: “You’re Better Than Tinder!”

(Photo: igor stevanovic/Shutterstock)
Adventures In Dating: “You’re Better Than Tinder!”

I’ve been married for six years, with my wife for nearly a decade and have never had an online dating profile.

Journalistic curiosity started me down the eHarmony rabbit hole once, but the cost-benefit analysis of spending seven hours filling out their questionnaire made me move that story idea to “File G” along with my rom-com script that was too formulaic.

So believe me when I tell you that sitting around a lounge a couple weeks back with some friends discussing dating apps and relationships in 2015 was an eye-opening experience for me.

Huddled up sipping adult beverages following a function with five work friends, the topic of discussion drifted to dating, as it so often does, when one of the two females in the group – let’s call her Couple Girl, since she’s in a relationship – asked one of the four other guys in the party – henceforth known as Bar Scene Guy, since that’s his admitted scene – about his current relationship status.

“I’ve been here for two days and haven’t gotten anything from Bumble,” he replied, which apparently conveyed that he was, in fact, single and looking, even though I had no clue what he was talking about.

What’s the hell is Bumble?

Turns out, Bumble kind of like Tinder, except the woman always makes the first move and it’s not just about hooking up, though I’m told that not everyone uses Tinder just to find someone in the area to play “slap and tickle” with either, so what do I know? (Answer: nothing, thankfully, because I’m married.)

“Stop using those apps! You’re better than that! You’re better than Tinder!” shouted Single Girl (self-explanatory) from the corner of the minimalist sectional. Her advice to Bar Scene Guy was to meet woman in an organic fashion – like at the grocery store – by striking up a conversation, not swiping right.

This led to a round of “It’s easy for you to say that” as all five male members of the group – Bar Scene Guy, Sports Dude, Johnny Smooth, Average Joe and me – point out the obvious: Single Girl is extremely attractive and could probably land a marriage proposal out of asking about a head of lettuce.

Note: Couple Girl is beautiful as well and the consensus in our collective was that women in general have a much easier time of dating than men because, well, they’re women.

Note the second: both Single Girl and Couple Girl are far more than just pretty faces too; they’re smart, hard working, successful professionals – total catches – which only makes the “it’s far easier for you than it is us” argument hold up more since all the guys fit those descriptors as well, but can’t just walk into the grocery store and field dinner offers no problem.

Back to our story…

During this discussion, me and Couple Girl decided it would be a good idea if Bar Scene Guy let us go through his Tinder profile and make some decisions for him because, you know, what are friends for?

Word to the wise: never let your friends that have literally no idea how Tinder works go through your Tinder profile.

Needless to say, there were some questionable swipes in each direction and a couple “Super Likes” that were completely accidental, since neither of us had any idea what a “Super Like” was and we were just trying to find a menu screen so we could see who we managed to match Bar Scene Guy up with because one of our swipes apparently swiped us back.

As the night wore on, the conversation shifted to the necessity and value of apps like Tinder and Bumble and whatever else may be out there that I (thankfully) know nothing about, with Single Girl advocating against the “help me find someone” apps, the three guys that use them routinely arguing for their utility and me and Couple Girl pitching in our two cents here and there because we’re happy and spoken for and this stuff is mindboggling to me.

What struck me is that throughout the discussion – which involved several refills and carried over to dinner later, where Average Joe made it known he hates his three-year-old nephew because all he talks about are “hot wheels and bullshit” – I found myself siding with Single Girl most of all.

Maybe it’s because I’ve never experienced dating apps or dating websites, but mostly it was because I felt like her arguments made the most sense to me. I get that we’re all busy with jobs and anything that makes meeting potential partners (long-term or otherwise) easier and quicker sounds like a good idea, but to me it just feels a little lazy.

Do we really need dating apps to help up meet like-minded people at the same stage of life? Does no one meet at a bar or party held by mutual friends anymore? Don’t your friends introduce you to people they think “would be perfect for you” at awkward “this isn’t a date even though it’s only us married people and you two single folks here” dinners like mine used to back in the day?

Since I see this collection of people pretty regularly and talk to them constantly, I’m going to continue investigating and reporting from the dating and relationship front lines all year, so stay tuned to Among Men for more Adventures in Dating.

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