Best for: Hookups, ego boosts and brushing up on your Math skills
Every male on the face of this planet who is single has Tinder. Tinder is a wildcard: you can find nerdy guys, sleazy guys, short guys, tall guys, and (sometimes) hot guys. Even when you’re driving on the freeway in the middle of nowhere, past rows of cookie-cutter houses, you can bet that Trent who loves hunting and four-wheelers will come up on your Tinder.
Tinder was most useful on my college campus, where I could swipe on everyone from my Teaching Assistant to the guy covering his answers next to me in my Finance exam 👀. The problem is, there is simply too much choice. I quickly got competitive with Tinder to see if I could swipe through all the people in my area. It became a daily swipe-athon, if you will.
Now the Math gets fun. I’ve swiped on about 15,000 guys in my Tinder lifetime so far. I know that sounds aggressive, but it is my honest guestimate. Of those 15,000, I swiped right on about 2 in every 100 guys and matched with about 70% of those. That’s roughly 210 matches overall. Of those guys, I met up with 35ish. I slept with 3 of them. I didn’t date any of them.
These are my Tinder statistics:
- Chance to match with me: 2%
- Chance to go on a date with me: 0.23%
- Chance to sleep with me: 0.02%
- Chance to become my boyfriend: 0.00% 😁
Best for: Matching with people and then accidentally bumping into them in real life
My favorite feature of Bumble was that I could filter my search to only show me guys who were cat-owners 🐈. I found this hilarious because I just love cats 😂. There turned out to be surprisingly few male cat-owners in San Francisco, so pretty soon I was back to sampling from the normal population again. Despite all the hours of swiping and profile preparation, I can only remember going on a Bumble date once. Guys that I already knew often came up on my Bumble, and I matched with them as a joke.
Even worse, I often saw a guy in real life after we had matched on Bumble. There is nothing more awkward than bumping into someone you have matched with on a dating app, who you don’t actually know. Somehow, matching on a dating app means that dating or sex could have been on the cards. But when you see each other in real life, you’re both trying to size each other up to see if they’re attractive. The awkwardness is palpable. I half expected them to approach me and ask me out on a real date, but that never happened. Mostly they just glanced at me, froze as they realized I was that girl from Bumble, and then silently walked away 😶.
Coffee Meets Bagel
Best for: Helping you realize that you have a serious problem when it comes to competitive swiping on dating apps
I liked the concept of Coffee Meets Bagel, where it would only show you a few guys each day. But this format was no match for my Olympic-level swiping. Getting shown only a couple potential matches gave me anxiety more than anything else. I needed to meet my future boyfriend now, not in a week or two 🙄. I never liked any of the guys that the app suggested to me, and my thumb was expecting more of a workout.
This app simply did not give me enough dopamine.
Best for: Realizing that wealth and power won’t make you happy or make you a good person.
I signed up for the League while I was at college in Philadelphia. It took me 6 months of being on the waitlist to simply get onto the thing. During that time, the only guy I had access to was some dude named Conor, who had graduated from Harvard Law School, and was now working the respectable yet awfully boring job of a McKinsey consultant. Conor was my “Concierge”. The twinkle in his eye made him look more like a male stripper than a decent human being I might want my parents to meet someday. I’ll admit that at this point in my life, I was still trying to find my Ivy-League-educated-mini-Jeff-Bezos. So, I waited to get onto The League in serious anticipation. After all, perhaps this app could determine my future? 💍
When I finally got onto the app, I was disappointed. The guys were very well educated, but they were mostly well-paid bankers who hated their lives. From their balding, beer-belly pics by the pool and Ferraris, I felt like I was quickly becoming the sugar baby I had never wanted to be. These guys were the extra-overachievers, and they were way too self-obsessed and macho to want an ambitious girlfriend.
I also found it very weird that you could filter by race on the app. For example, I could choose to only see Asian dudes in my feed. This app was definitely designed by white men who couldn’t care less about correcting racial biases in society.
Overall, dating on The League helped me realize that simply going for wealthy, entitled men is really not my jam.
Best for: Self-reflecting on how basic you are once you’ve spent hours trying to curate a unique and interesting dating profile
After my obsessive swipe-athons on Tinder and Bumble, Hinge felt like a breath of fresh air. Not all guys were on Hinge, unlike Tinder, and using it felt like I was gently swimming in San Francisco’s sea of nice, nerdy tech dudes. Pictures on Hinge profiles are bigger, so you scroll up and down rather than just randomly swiping. This makes it feel like you’re getting to know someone, even if only for a brief second.
I liked that on Hinge you could write a response to someone’s photo or a question prompt to start a conversation; you aren’t stuck with a blank messaging app on Bumble or Tinder. But my main problem was that these question prompts were very random. This made me incredibly self-conscious. What kind of girl was I coming off as? Were my answers swaying their opinion of me?
I was faced with a deeper question: if I want a guy to know only 5 things about me, what would those be? I couldn’t figure out how to present myself in a way that made me unique, without just stating uninteresting facts. For example, at the time I was very into rock climbing, so I talked about my gym routine on my profile 🙈 I never got beyond sounding like a very basic white girl. Perhaps I should just accept my fate, and move on with my life…
My Hinge experience often brought up the question that I hate most from guys: “What kind of music do you listen to?” No one is one-dimensional enough to only listen to one genre or one artist. We all pay $10 per month for Spotify Premium for a reason. Also, having the same music taste as your partner does not matter at all. My dad loves Jazz music, my mum hates Jazz music, and they’ve been married almost 27 years. My taste in music tells you nothing useful about who I am as a person.
It wasn’t long before I was also addicted to swiping on Hinge. Soon, I had swiped through everyone in San Francisco. And I mean, everyone 😜. After a couple months, I decided to start over and create a new profile. That’s when I found a bug in the app. When you set up a profile, Hinge asks for your date of birth. My date of birth is January 3rd 1995. But I accidentally input my date of birth as January 3rd 2019, which would have made me 8 months old at the time. That locked me out of the app, so I couldn’t complete my profile. I then had to contact Hinge customer support and convince them that I was a typo-challenged millennial, not an infant, and beg them to please let me back on the app 😅.
Overall, I found this experience hilarious. First, it was clear that the universe really did not want me to go back on Hinge ever again. And second, it made me wonder how many people were sitting around the Hinge office saying, “Hell no! Another 8-month-old was trying to use our app. Thank God we locked that baby out!” No. Why would you make that age an option? Can we not assume that any child less than 5 years old can’t read and is not sexually active enough to download a dating app? Or have I gone too far?
Best for: Learning that there is something out there for everyone, and you might be more adventurous than you think
Maybe you’ve heard of this app. Maybe you haven’t. For those of you who are sexually adventurous out there, Feeld introduces you to couples, groups and individuals who play in all kinds of positions. These people are admirably open-minded and are in the kind of fluid open relationships that make monogamy look downright medieval.
While I like to think of myself as adventurous, I didn’t have the ovaries to meet up with anyone on this app. You can also make up a fake name for yourself, so I spent at least an hour trying to name my hippy alter-ego. I settled on the name “Willow”, which I’m not proud of. But hey, at least I made it on the app and swiped around for a bit. Maybe one day I’ll turn this heteronormative hegemony on its head and become a daily active user of Feeld. Who knows?