Exhausting, that’s how I would describe jumping back into the dating pool again. Sure, I’ve dipped my toes in the water over the past few years, but there has always been something preventing me from diving in head first. Perhaps it was intuition.
A few years ago my cats were sick and required a lot of attention (insert crazy cat lady joke here), last year it was my father who unfortunately did not make it and a dear friend who also lost her battle with cancer. All of those things required me to give all of myself emotionally and left nothing in the tank for anyone else.
Flash forward a few months and I’m back! After casually dating a man that I shared an amazing connection with, but wasn’t ready for me I’m ready to get what I deserve. At least I think it’s what I want. I often wrestle with the idea of marriage and a long term commitment. I do want that in my life, but am I really ready for it? When I fall into it and it feels right I’m perfectly fine with it, but the thought of it on it’s own is overwhelming but what’s a girl to do? You can’t win if you don’t play… so I’m playing!
I have downloaded every dating app I can find and for the past 10 days I have been hitting them hard, trying different approaches, different pictures, different guys and here’s what I’ve found. This is utterly exhausting and if you want to do it right, it could be a full time job!
Here’s a brief breakdown of my thoughts on the apps and sites as they relate to NYC.
Happ’n – I love the synchronistic approach of this one. As New Yorkers we are constantly bombarded with stimulation so we keep our heads down, focus and go on our way. But how many potential matches are we not seeing? A lot apparently! I have matched with several men on this one, yet no one seems to be terribly concerned about actually connecting. Like most, there has to be a mutual match before you can connect and there are plenty of those but there is no real ‘connecting’ happening (see how I did that) as far as I can see, and that leads me to Bumble.
Bumble puts women in the drivers seat, but you know what they say about women drivers. Kidding!! Or am I? I’m not sure we’re made out for this. With Bumble, as with all the apps, you both have to match before you can communicate. The difference here is the woman has to initiate the conversation and she only has 24 hours to do it. It’s great in theory because it prevents the ‘match game’ that creates a connection but never sees results, BUT you have to get the guys to respond and I haven’t quite figured that out yet. In the past 2 days I’ve had 15 matches and 2 replies. Before you get all judgy on me take a step back. I’m super light hearted, fun and casual and I’m not leading with a boring line like ‘how’s your day?’. I have taken the time to create a quick question about something in their profile or pictures to initiate a response. Come on, I’m a journalist I know how to get people to talk… but not here. Crickets! Ok, so how about a site marketing to singles really looking for a relationship? Yep, you guessed it… eHarmony.
eHarmony can be a great tool for a lot of singles, but it’s not for me. If you have not had the pleasure of making it to your 40’s yet, let me explain something to you. There is a large gap between the men, yet there are so many similarities. I know it sounds like I’m talking out of both sides of my mouth but stay with me here. Almost all of the men say they are passionate about their kids. I get it, I would expect that, but isn’t there something else? When everyone says the same thing it’s hard to get a gauge of what sets them apart. And there’s not much there that sets them apart, except the physical. Uhm, yeah. This is the land of have’s and have nots. I’ve seen men in their early 40’s who look 60, and 55 year olds who look like they are in their late 30’s. There is absolutely no rhyme or reason to it. As if finding a needle in a haystack isn’t hard enough, now I’m looking for a unicorn too? Sorting through dozens of profiles with similar responses to maybe find one that is interesting, only to find out they are 4’10” is not cool. True story. Not to mention the overwhelming response when you join. It’s a bit like blood in shark infested waters, and that leads me to Coffee Meets Bagel.
Coffee Meets Bagel has mastered the art of selectivity. They send 1 match at noon every day, but in order to compete with other more gluttonous apps they have started sending a still manageable 4-6. They have also incorporated similar aspects of some of the other apps in order to increase connections. There is a limited time to communicate, which can be extended and in my experience this one has the best rate of return. The men seem to be genuinely interested, and there is communication.
Hinge is another I have used in the past, but it seems to be just that. A has been. It connects you with friends of your Facebook friends, sort of like an online party. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen any quality matches there in a few weeks so it is officially deleted. As with all apps there is an ebb and flow and this one seems to be done as far as I can tell.
I have also given Match a try but am putting it aside for the moment. No need to pay for too many sites, and since I have tried it before I thought I would do something different. OK Cupid and Tinder also seem to be popular at some point they may be on the radar but for now my hands are full (and so is the memory on my phone).
If you made it to the end of this, congratulations you may have lasted longer than my online dating history. On the off chance I have the mental stamina to continue, pickup lines are welcome. How do men do this?