By Paola Bakker
Web Content Contributor
As a 22-year-old, I’ve had a bit of experience using dating apps. I signed up for Tinder when I was fresh out of high school at 18, back when it was slightly less socially acceptable and seeing people you knew on the app was much more uncomfortable.
Throughout the years, I’ve dabbled in a few other apps, mostly Bumble and Hinge, in the pursuit of true love or whatever. In reality, I quickly realized that these apps all, for lack of a better word, suck. They just happen to suck in different ways. Some suck more than others, at least in my experience, so I’m here to rank them in order of their suckiness.
Disclaimer: I’ve seen dating apps 100% work for certain people. One of my good friends is in a long-term relationship with a guy she met on Tinder, and they’re extremely happy! While it can work for some people, it just hasn’t in my experience, and that’s okay! I am also speaking as a woman who mostly interacts with men on these apps, so my experience may significantly vary from others.
I’ll start with what I suppose is the lesser of three evils. What works for Bumble is that it sprouted as somewhat of a counter-app to Tinder. It’s a way for women to be in control of the conversation, which is meant to make it a more pleasant overall experience for us. While, yes, it’s nice to feel like I am in control, but… I think I might be too lazy for this app.
I hate to say this, but this app makes me feel sympathy for men because constantly messaging first is exhausting, especially with that stressful 24-hour countdown. At the same time, though, when I do message first, there is still an abundance of creepy dudes that want to reply to my friendly greetings with various expletives and sexual comments. The message first thing doesn’t really prevent that, it just postpones it, but I suppose there isn’t any real way an app can prevent that, and it’s something I’ve become numb to over the years.
As a brand that claims it’s an “app meant to be deleted” because it’s meant for people who actually want to date, this is what we’d call a wolf in sheep’s clothing. I believe this is what the original intentions of the creators are, but I’ve encountered many people who still use it as a hook-up app.
Also the worst part? People who aren’t your matches can still message you. So you’re receiving weird messages from guys you didn’t even want to match with trying to guess your bra size (yes, this happened). I understand the purpose is to spark conversation, but personally, it mostly sparks nausea.
Ah, yes, the ultimate awful dating app. Tinder is definitely the most popular of the apps, drawing the most amount of people and is usually the app you’ll choose if you’re looking to dip your toes into online dating. Since it draws so many people, there is a large variety of people and you’ll probably match with at least one person that interests you.
This large pool of people, though, also draws some… interesting people. I have an entire photo album on my phone filled with hilariously awful Tinder messages I’ve received. I’d share some of them, but they are absolutely not appropriate for this blog, so I’ll just leave it up to the imagination.
Tinder is always the one I’ll go back to, though. I know it’s toxic, but it always finds a way to pull me back in – much like many of the men I’ve encountered on this app (I’m not proud).
All of these apps do offer something positive, but it’s easy to get caught in the negatives they bring, especially as a young woman using these apps. There are great people who are looking for genuine connections on all three of these apps, but it may take some trial and error to find these people. Overall, dating apps are a great way to pass the time and meet new people, but just like regular dating, they can sometimes suck.
Featured image by Paola Bakker.