Online dating can be a fun way to connect with other singl.... just kidding, it's a total nightmare out there. How does anyone find love? If the future of the human race depends on people meeting on apps like Tinder, Bumble, and Hinge, I'm not sure we even have to worry about global warming rendering our species extinct.
Yet we all have that one friend who found their freaking soulmate by randomly swiping right at 2 a.m. — so here you are, still swiping, still having appalling DM conversations and even more disappointing first dates.
But hey, if you don't laugh about it, you'll cry — and at least you can take comfort in the knowledge that you're not alone in your misery. Dating has probably always been brutal, but at least now we have social media where we can commiserate with hilarious, relatable memes.
Sometimes, you actually manage to meet someone promising!
You really like them, and you think they really like you back, only to learn this expression means very different things to each of you. You're fantasizing about a mini weekend getaway and they are about two texts exchanges away from ghosting.
It's so hard to find someone you can fancy as much as they fancy you.
Without fail, the only people who send you super likes are absolute trolls and folks whose profiles include some appalling bios. And yet you keep looking because maybe, just maybe, this time it'll be the person of your dreams. We truly are suckers for love.
Our standards for what's a good ice breaker have definitely changed...
One positive thing you can say for online dating is it's really allowed people with common interests to find each other. This has probably been a leg up for those of us with hobbies lots of people find weird or off-putting. Look, if you're not into true crime, just go ahead and swipe left. If you want to talk about The Staircase over four beers, slide into my DMs!
The trouble is getting those people to even read your bio, though...
If you're a 7 or higher, online dating certainly isn't without problems, but you probably enjoy a wider selection, just because the apps are so photo-driven. But for people who are, shall we say, less conventionally attractive, it can be a bummer sometimes.
But when you get a match, boy oh boy...
...do you drop everything to feel it out. After all, you don't want to miss a good opportunity. But nine times out of ten, the conversation goes nowhere for one of three reasons:
1) they never respond to your witty opening message.
2) They quickly demonstrate conversation isn't their strong suit.
3) You realize you must have been drunk, very sad, or both when you swiped right.
Sometimes by the time you open the app, they've unmatched you...
"Geez, it can't be something I said. I literally didn't say anything!" you think. And then it slowly dawns on you that they swiped right by mistake. That really stings. You can actually picture them recoiling as they realize their mistake. Ouch.
Whoever said pictures don't lie clearly never did online dating.
It's kinda unfair to fault people for using the most flattering angles and lighting they can in their profile pics. But it does tend to set folks up for disappointment should their match progress to an in-person date.
Plus, with filters and Facetune, people are editing themselves so much they're almost unrecognizable IRL. My advice is to always do one FaceTime chat before meeting, which tends to be harder to finesse with smoke and mirrors than a still image.
Personality does go a long way, but...
Look, I get it. I'm a 5 at best. But at some point, you are going to want to interact with your significant other in the real world. In most cases, you're not going to charm someone so much they aren't ever going to care what you look like. Just bite the bullet and show us your face. Everyone is beautiful in their own way and all that.
Before you meet IRL, you gotta do a background check.
We all have that friend who fancies herself the Veronica Mars of dating and can give you a full bio in the time it takes you to type your date's name into Google. She's a real one, keep on her good side, because she's your best defense against the creeps of the world.
Of course, sometimes you can spot a creep without a deep dive into their social media...
...in which case, you need someone to be a sounding board for that completely unsolicited "eggplant" or the appalling pickup line someone thought would be cute and not at all weird or gross coming from a legit stranger.
Swipe fatigue is real.
After a while, it starts to feel like everyone who's still single is total garbage. But then, finally, you go on a real date in the real world with another real human!
And then another, and then another, and then another...
It's hard not to feel demoralized after a series of first dates, each more disappointing than the last. Even if you're as attracted to them in person as you were online, people can sometimes really sparkle in text and then be impossible to talk to face to face.
Especially when they go on about a topic you don't care about.
Personally, I don't mind talking about astrology, but we've all been on that date with someone who talks endlessly about a topic you know nothing about and aren't interested in. And all the while, they never seem to notice any of the nonverbal cues indicating you're desperate to change the subject.
But hey, at least you get a fun story out of it.
You might not find true love, but at least you're building a catalog of amusing anecdotes. As much as we're all suckers for a great romance or a sweet meet-cute, dating disaster stories really kill at parties.
Good luck out there, and remember there's no shame in dying alone!