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When it comes to rosters, hookups, and dating apps, how am I supposed to live laugh love in these conditions? Going on a ton of first dates can be entertaining, but at the end of the day I am left feeling unfulfilled. Is getting to know a guy who wants to know the nerdy side of me too much to ask for?

Even though dating apps are established with a common goal of connecting people romantically, users have given Hinge, Tinder and Bumble their own respective identities that were not anticipated at the time of their release. When asked to describe their experience with dating apps, college women shared a variety of perspectives:

“Words of advice: 99% of the time they look better in person” -Claire, 20.
“Taylor Swift once said the luck of the draw only draws the unlucky” -Mio, 22.
“Third time’s a charm” -Julia, 22. “Even though it’s like searching for a needle in a haystack sometimes, you might end up lucky and find an amazing guy among all of the bathroom selfies and fish pics” -Hannah, 22.

I downloaded Tinder for a confidence boost during the early days of COVID-19 and found myself receiving bold messages from men who were looking for something casual. In an effort to find a guy who wanted a serious relationship, I turned to Bumble. There I ran into an absurd amount of acquaintances I had not seen since high school. Tinder and Bumble were fun to keep around for a day or two of male validation, but they had me doubting that I’d end up with a dating app success story.

As a last ditch effort to give dating apps a try, I downloaded Hinge. With get-to-know-you writing prompts and a video sharing feature, I felt as though I was able to curate my profile in a way that accurately represents my personality. Within a day of using Hinge, I was planning first dates with guys who I seemed to have a lot in common with. Sure, one of those first dates involved a guy accidentally playing “Birthday Sex” by Jeremih on the car ride to the bar, and sure, he may have vaped at the dinner table, but times like that have helped me reevaluate the members of my roster.

Speaking of rosters, am I the only one who feels overwhelmed? Having a backup plan helps me feel at ease when I sense a relationship going south, but keeping multiple conversations straight can be confusing. Was it James who told me that his favorite color is blue, or was that Paul? What am I supposed to do with the members of this roster when I meet a nice guy who lives four hours away? And how am I supposed to abruptly erase my baddie roster mindset when Romeo asks me to stick around? It is exciting when people find their perfect match online, but I can’t help but worry about the toxic effect these apps can have on a person’s idea of relationships. After being ghosted time and time again, can we blame people for having trust issues?

If you take anything away from this article, just remember that Tinder is best for hookups, Bumble is for running into your long-lost third grade bully, and Hinge is the spot for serious relationships. There are exceptions, of course, so take this with a grain of salt. But believe me when I say that trying to find your Noah Calhoun on Tinder is like waiting for rain in a drought. Useless and disappointing.

Lauren Beck

Purdue '22

Lauren Beck is a senior at Purdue University, majoring in marketing. Originally from Bartlett, Illinois, Lauren loves to film YouTube videos, drink horchata and play Fortnite. You can follow her on Instagram @Sillysnorin
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