Most of the time, dating apps suck. It’s hard to find anyone who wants to plan an actual date instead of someone who wants to hook up or who wants to text nonstop for weeks before going MIA.
Of course, no matter how much I complain about dating apps, no matter how many times I delete them and re-upload them, there are some reasons I’m happy they exist.
1. I don’t have to worry about being turned down. If someone swipes right on me, we might not have chemistry, we might not end up going on a date, but at least I know they are attracted to me — or at least intrigued by me — in some way. I know making the first move is not going to end in total embarrassment. The worst that can happen is we don’t get along and we move on.
2. I don’t have to leave my house. I’m a busy person. I spend most of my week working. During the rare moments when I have a second to myself, I want to rest. The last thing I want is to get dressed and head to clubs in the hopes of meeting someone. With dating apps, I can swipe from my couch. I can wear my pajamas. I can be lazy.
3. Saying no is easier. At a bar, it’s uncomfortable to turn someone down who offers me a drink. Sometimes, it’s even scary. Online, there is never any pressure. All it takes to shoot someone down is a swipe of the finger. No one even realizes it’s happening. No one gets their feelings hurt.
4. I’m free to stalk them. I could still get catfished online, but since social media and mutual friends are usually attached to accounts, I can do my research. I can make sure their status isn’t already set to in a relationship. I can make sure their ideals align with mine. I can make sure I’m not agreeing to meet up with a serial murderer.
5. I don’t have to make conversation. I have trouble making eye contact. I have trouble speaking without stumbling. I have trouble keeping my cheeks from glowing bright red. I have an easier time texting because there is less pressure. I have all the time in the world to think of a response instead of being forced to answer on the spot. I don’t have to stress.
6. I learn a lot about each person. Even though you aren’t sitting across the table from your matches, you still learn a lot about them by the pictures they post, the hobbies they list, their conversation starters, and their typing styles. You can get a good idea about what kind of person they are long before you agree to meet them in person.
7. I get a little boost of confidence. There might be random guys interested in me IRL, but it’s hard to tell. I’m never sure whether they are looking for relationships or whether they are only staring because there is something stuck in my teeth. On dating apps, getting a match means someone is for sure interested. It means I’m not reading the signals wrong. Knowing there are a few people out there who are willing to take a chance on me raises my confidence — even if it’s only for a little while.