Let’s talk about online dating. Since moving to Georgia, I’ve wondered, “how do adults meet each other anymore?” My church is a small church plant now so I’m not meeting eligible guys there. I work on campus but stay in my office for the most part. Social circles here are still growing so it’s not like a friend can introduce me to someone. Enter online dating. I tried three different apps: Bumble, Hinge, and Match. I’ve received a few questions on what apps I’ve used and what my experience has been so here are my thoughts.
There are a few things that I like about Hinge. You list the basics (religion, age, height, location, etc.), include six photos, and choose six prompts to answer. With all that, there’s a good bit of info. The best part is that a guy can like or comment on your profile but cannot message you until you match with them. I really appreciate that I can limit who can talk to me like that. I also set preferences on the biggies for me like religion, age, and location and that’s helpful. You can even label the dealbreakers so it’s easier to streamline results.
Cost: Hinge is free plus monthly charges for some other features. For free, you can see one like/comment on your profile at a time. For the paid version, one perk is that you can see them all at once. In my opinion, I don’t think it’s worth paying extra.
Bottom line: I had the most traction with Hinge. I did match with quite a few guys, had lots of conversations (some much longer than others), and went on a handful of dates. I have good stories from some of them. The things some guys say? Oof. I got a few “thanks but no thanks texts” after first dates. I’ve been ghosted a few times and did plenty of ghosting myself. I talked with one guy for a few months and had a few dates but that fell flat pretty quickly and I cut things off. I paused my profile for now but may try again.
I downloaded Bumble and started building my profile but decided quickly that I didn’t like the setup. I tried it maybe 10 minutes then deleted it. I don’t have much else to say other than that. I quickly concluded that I just preferred Hinge.
Cost: There are in-app purchases but Bumble is available for free.
After a few weeks on Hinge, I felt like I was scraping the bottom of the barrel. I figured if I paid for an app, that would lead to better results, right? Wrong. Absolutely wrong.
Match was overwhelming. And a bit creepy. Before I knew that I finished my profile and that it was out there in the universe, I had about 20 likes and a dozen guys messaging me. It just felt like a free for all. I didn’t use it long enough to understand the in’s and out’s which may be part of the problem with my experience?
My first problem? I felt like there was way too much access to me and my info. For example, with additional costs, there are features like read receipts. Because of that, two different guys knew that I saw their message and I didn’t respond so they called me out. One sent a follow-up message within minutes and said something like “I guess you’re not interested. Well, good luck!” The other wasn’t as blunt but daaaaang. I wasn’t expecting to get called out like that!
Second problem? The notifications and information overload. On top of getting notifications on likes and message, you also see time stamps of when people view your profile. So if someone is looking at your profile over and over, you’ll know. After publishing my profile, I actually had to step away from my computer because it was too much happening at once.
Third problem: my preferences or filters weren’t being honored. For example, I’d say I am seeking a man who is 28 (my age) to 35ish. I had likes and messages from men from 20 years old up to 50ish and one woman. Again, I may not have been using it well, but it felt like my preferences for my biggie ticket items like religion, age, and location weren’t being honored.
Cost: Match has different payment plans and I chose the single month without any extras.
Bottom line: Match was not for me but I used it for the month since I paid for it. It was just too much information and I didn’t like how these hundreds of guys (women too, I guess!) had access to my profile without much in the way of safeguards or preferences like Hinge. By the end, I received somewhere between 250-300 likes and I lost count of the messages I received. That probably sounds like a weird brag, but it didn’t feel flattering at all. I only went on one date after messaging for a few days and we mutually ghosted each other afterward. 0/5 stars. Do not recommend.
For the most part, my experience was fun. Sometimes, rejection stung but the whole process gets kinda old after a bit. I find it monotonous to answer the same questions over and over. I know some gals enjoy the newness of dating but I don’t. I wish there was a faster way to get through the newness to see how someone really is, ya know? I want to know how someone is a few months along when we aren’t on our best behavior anymore. The rollercoaster ride of feeling hopeful to disappointed is real though.
Right now, I’m feeling pretty deflated. Not only am I tired of having the same conversations over and over but I’m tired of guys talking a big game then not backing it up. Or saying they’re Christians but showing zero evidence of it or lacking intentionality. I’m tired of struggling with boundaries or explaining why I want to save sex for marriage. I’m tired of that feeling popping up that wonders if I’m just not good enough.
I have moments too where I wonder if my expectations are too high. I haven’t had the best luck in dating intentionally but a lot of that is my fault. If you were to look at my dating record, I let a lot of things slide that I shouldn’t have or I wasn’t intentional myself in finding someone who actually intends to build a Christ-centered relationship.
Sometimes, I think I need to take a beat to read more books, listen to podcasts, read the Bible more, or soak up more good info on how to date well and pursue with intentionality. It’s hard to put dating well into practice without actually dating though.
Despite all those frustrations, I have moments of hope. I told you the rollercoaster ride is real! For now, I’ve deleted Bumble and Match and paused my profile on Hinge. I might try again but my next thought is to get out there more and hope to meet people and build friendships. I’m sure with Covid-19 and everyone wearing masks and limiting time out and about, that shouldn’t be hard at all, right?
Have you tried online dating? How was your experience? Let me know in the comments below.