Twenty years ago, admitting you met your significant other in a bar was taboo. Now, most couples who meet each other on dating apps seem embarrassed that they met with the superficial swipe of a finger. The Pew Research Center found that 23 percent of Americans agree with the statement “people who use online dating sites are desperate.” However, this sketchy reputation is not stopping millennials and other generations from swiping. Pew also found that around one out of five 18 to 24-year olds use mobile dating apps today.
Here is a guide to three out of the plethora of online dating options available:
Oh, Tindy. The O.G. dating app. A household name. Even your grandma has probably heard the word. With the slogan “It’s like real life, but better,” and 1.4 billion matches a day across 196 countries, Tinder paved the way for mobile dating. Beginners, start here.
You are finishing dinner and drinks with friends and craving some excitement. Hop on Tinder and message your cutest match. Do not introduce yourself; do not make small talk. This is not eHarmony. Just be confident, tell them where to meet you and go for it. Did they show up and look nothing like their profile? You have been catfished, but no problem. Ditch that deceiving match and….you have your friends and dozens of other bars, so get outta’ there! Tinder can be hilarious if you just have fun with it. Meet people you would not have otherwise and collect enough material for brunch stories that will last the rest of your college career
Bumble targets a certain clientele. As soon as you start swiping, you may notice that everyone is ridiculously attractive, boasts an impressive alma mater and most likely makes a six-digit salary. Not bad. Bumble knows that “you’re a busy bee and your time is valuable.” Females message first on this app, and it must be within 24 hours of matching with each other. Bold and beautiful? Check this one out.
Before you head out to dinner, message your cutest match and do not check the app until you finish eating. If they respond (probably unoriginally also saying your name) send a time and place, “Stars, 9:00.” If they have not responded, move on to the next match with the same tactic. It’s Charleston. It’s Friday night. Someone will meet you at Stars at 9:00 p.m.
Hater, still in beta stage, allows those with mutual annoyances to unite. In an ever polarized world, this app is genius. It takes more than good looks and charm these days; you have to hate the same things as well. For someone whose personal motto is “I just want to meet a nice guy who hates the same stuff as me,” this app is gold. You are a hater, not a lover.
You match with someone who loves sour beer and hates crowds. Meet him at Closed for Business on a weeknight. Your next match dislikes winging it and hates the white gold dress. Make a dinner reservation and wear a black dress. Find love among the hate.
Whichever app you use, for whatever reason you use it for, have fun and acknowledge how silly, seemingly superficial technology could make you cross paths with someone you may have missed otherwise. Be safe, be bold but most of all: be a typical millennial.
*This article first appeared in the February 2017 issue of The Yard.