Napoleon Dynamite was the primary reason I used to be aggressively against online dating. In my mind, Napolean’s brother Kip was exactly the type of person to be found hanging out on such establishments as OkCupid and Match.com. Tina the llama was probably on there too.
But by the time I moved to Manhattan it seemed that the conversation of one’s online dating profile was as commonplace one of Facebook. It was un-stigmatized and viewed similarly to the way you might meet a stranger at a random bar, just with more information on them. At the very least, you could enter date #1 knowing they enjoyed long walks on the beach but detested mayo.
When Tinder and Hinge came on to the scene, both were met with raised eyebrows and sometimes the question of, “That’s a sex app, right?” But soon it seemed that everyone was on at least one of the two. My guy friends, my girl friends, not Napoleon Dynamite’s older brother. And they were using it for dates (as opposed to just boning, no judgement, YDY/you do you). So I thought, why not?
On any given Sunday you can find me swiping the shit out of my phone screen, mostly out of boredom but also because best-case scenario is that you meet someone cool. Sometimes I let Leandra play with my Tinder because she’s married and I’m nice: it’s sort of like sharing the Nintendo controller on a one-player game like Donkey Kong.
However, there are still the online dating naysayers. Which doesn’t offend me, I didn’t invent the app, but when I found myself defending the “pros” to a friend’s “cons” last night, I realized that everyone I’d talked to who hadn’t tried some form of it maintained the same fears.
Allow me to quell them.
Con: He might be a serial killer.
Pro: He might be. But really, anyone has this potential. At least online you have some immediate information about the person. With an actual dating site, a whole profile is filled out, and you can decide for yourself if his love of Celine Dion is a good thing or not. With Tinder and Hinge, you can avoid strangers completely by swiping them left. I wish I could do that at a bar.
Con: He/she might just be looking for sex, and I’m not.
Pro: You can tell. Usually because they’ve marked the button, “I am looking for sex.” Or because their opening line is something to the effect of, “I am looking for sex.” In real life, agendas are more easily hidden.
Con: What if someone I know sees me on there, and thinks I’m just looking for sex? Or worse, that I’m looking for a relationship??
Pro: If they can see you, they’re on there too.
Con: What if I get catfished?
Pro: My friend accidentally catfished someone once. Do your research if you’re suspicious, and remember what the MTV show taught us about Google-image searching. And if you get catfished, then you get catfished, and that makes for an awesome story.
(But you won’t.)
Con #5: What if it’s an awful date?
Pro: Similar to the above, I find bad dates make for the best stories, which make for extremely fun brunches and set you up as a future candidate for recurring brunch invites.
The reality is that you can have an awful date from a set-up as well, or with someone you met at a coffee shop, or with the person you’ve had a crush on for years. The best thing you can do is remind yourself that you gotta eat (or if you’re me, drink) at some point during the day, so you’re basically crossing something off your to do list.
And if it doesn’t work out? So it doesn’t work out. Once, I met a guy on Tinder who was so blacked out by the time we met that I was able to take his phone from him and delete my number out of his address book.
The next day, I was the most popular girl at brunch.
Image via The Impact News