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It’s a Match: How We Survived Two Weeks of Swiping

Disclaimer: All photos in this article are real conversations that both of the writers had with real men. No men, or either of our writers were harmed in the making of this article.

It was a quiet night in Celeron when two of your average Huskies had an idea. After listening to complaint after complaint over today’s age of dating and swipe apps, they decided to embark on a certain social experiment that would diagnose the entire situation. The two UConn Huskies took to the App store and downloaded FOUR, yes FOUR, apps that are used for finding love.  These four were: Tinder, Bumble, OK Cupid and Coffee Meets Bagel.  They set up each profile with love, care, and a mission in mind:

After a taxing evening of setting up profiles (the OK Cupid and Coffee Meets Bagel profiles took half an hour each) the girls decided that they needed some ground rules and general stipulations for their experiment.  They were as follows:

 1) Talk to at least three boys on each app.

2) Don’t lie/catfish; be yourself and don’t lead anyone on (if it comes to that, tell them about the social experiment). 

3) Respond to as many as you can, within reason and without torturing yourself. 

And with that, they hunkered down with their phones and blankets, ready to embark on a swipe journey that would take them to places they never thought they would go. 

 

OK Cupid

OK Cupid: This dating app started off as a website that would generate eligible “matches” for you based on what you put on your profile. You fill out interests, location, what’s important to you in a partner, etc. However, since the development of “swipe apps”, they also have an option that lets you swipe only based on location. But normally, the higher percentage the match you are with another person, the more compatible you are likely to be. If you put that you love Lord of the Rings in your profile, you and Gandalf555 are probably going to be a 99% match. Get the idea?

Pros: 

  1. You can search for people who have similar interests and are of similar demographics to the ones you want.
  2. There aren’t necessarily distance constraints, so you can search from a sample of people from literally anywhere. 
  3. Ok Cupid is generally a more serious dating app as you do fill out a profile of interests and aspirations, and does not have the reputation for being strictly a “hook up” app like Tinder. So if you’re looking for love, maybe check this one out.

Cons:

  1. You have no control over who messages you, you do not have to like them back for them to have access to your profile and the ability to message you.  So buckle up, because you’re about to be introduced to some people who you might not have chosen to talk to if it was up to you. 
  2. OKC (as the veterans call it) is not a very popular dating app at UConn or for people in the college age group who live in Connecticut — we had to find out the hard way.  This means that you are going to match with people who are probably a fair amount older than you and who live pretty far away.
  3. We are never ones to call ourselves normal people, but those that we encountered on OKC definitely gave us a run for our money (see below).

Bachelor #1

Bold. Very to the point. Also very pointless. 3/10

 

Bachelor #2

“You’re right,” – because I definitley said something? 2/10

 

Bachelor #3

0/10. Enough said.

 

 

Bumble

Bumble: This swipe app is a digital Sadie Hawkins dance. Very similar to Tinder in most aspects, as you fill out minimal information, attach a few pictures, and then you’re off to the races. Bumble sets itself apart from the crowd by defying gender roles in dating as the woman has to message first. The man does not even have the option. However, the man can choose to extend his match for 24 hours to give her some more time to contact him, and once she messages him, he only has 24 hours to respond unless she extends his time.  But once the woman does message first and the man responds, the chat is there for the rest of eternity.

Pros:

  1. Say goodbye to any creepy openers you’ve ever gotten on these swipe apps! Now, the ball is totally in your court.  
  2. Somehow, and we mean this in the least shallow way possible, Bumble was a strange vortex that only had incredibly handsome men.  We don’t know why.  We don’t know how.  But just trust us.  
  3. We weren’t sure if Bumble was actually going to be popular amongst our age demographic, but there were a good amount of boys our age, and who went to UConn. Major plus.
  4. Bumble proved to be the most effective app that we used during our little 2 week experiment.  In total, this is what we got: one outing each with a gentleman, and each outing was followed up with an invitation for a second, and one other outing currently in the works. All three of these men are aware of this article and excited to read it! (Hi guys!)

Cons:

  1. You have to make the first move.  If this is something you are not used to or comfortable with, you probably shouldn’t use Bumble.
  2. What’s great about love and romance in general is that we often don’t expect to be attracted to the people that we end up making a connection with. On Bumble, you have to make snap decisions about who you are attracted to, and since it’s up to just one person to make that decision, it can sometimes mean missed opportunities if you never send that first message.
  3. Facing the rejection when you message someone first and they don’t answer you. What’s up with that? This definitely gave us a little insight into how men may feel when they message us and we don’t reply.
  4. Since you have to start conversations on Bumble, we found that it isn’t a great dating app unless you really want to meet people.  Not great for the woman who just enjoys casual swiping.  So if you do have an interest in someone, it’s great, but if you’re just doing it for, let’s say, a social experiment- not great.  

Bachelor #1

A real example of how great Bumble will be if you actually are interested in meeting up with someone or talking to them.

 

Bachelor #2

A real example of how boring Bumble will be if you’re only there for some casual swipes and to look at handsome men (I never filled him in on how I was doing…oops).

 

 

3. Tinder (BUCKLE UP)

Tinder: Most people in the college age group, and even beyond, are very familiar – almost too familiar – with Tinder. It’s a swipe app notoriously known for hook-ups ONLY. Regardless, we all definitely know someone who knows someone who knows someone’s cousin, who met their S.O. on Tinder. However, if some of you are unsure of how the app works, it’s essentially the same as Bumble, except the woman does not have to message first, but you do need to mutually “like” someone and match with them in order to be able to start a conversation. All your potential suitors are also based on the location and age range you set up. This is by far the most popular “dating” app on college campuses.

Pros:

  1. If just a hook-up is what you’re looking for on Tinder, you can really cut right to the chase because chances are the boy you’re talking to will be down for the same thing.
  2. This app was definitely the one with most people our age and most people on campus, so if you did actually want to meet up with somebody it’s totally plausible. They may even live in your building! (**Revision note: Questionable that this is either a pro or a con.)
  3. As much as Tinder is notorious for hookups, we know one couple right now that is currently engaged to be married who met on Tinder! Never count any options out!
  4. This is up for debate, but seeing your best guy pals on Tinder is can be a fun and comical experience.  

Cons:

  1. Tinder would definitely win the award for most frequent and most bizarre messages (see below). For some reason, the men on this app think this is a free-for-all and that they can say whatever they want just because we swiped right. But maybe this should be expected from an app that’s predominantly used for only hooking up.
  2. Seeing EVERYONE and their father on this app. That cute boy you sit next to in calc? The football player in your group project? The mysterious boy in the beanie you see on your Tuesday/Thursday commute to class? Your heart will race as you decide whether to swipe right or left, in fear of them recognizing you. Don’t stress. This is normal.
  3. It’s addictive. The profiles are endless and before you know it, you’ve been sitting on the toilet for 7 minutes just SWIPING on people who you probably will never talk to.  Be wary of this. 

Without further ado, we present a brief sampling of what we found on Tinder.  

The weird:

Bachelor #1

Bachelor #2

Just to clarify, the conversation with Bachelor #2 started because his bio claimed that a “wrap was a sandwich”. Which it’s NOT just for the record. We aren’t sure what’s wrong with the Bachelor #1.

 

The pickup lines:

Bachelor #3

Bachelor #4

Bachelor #5

Helpful hint, gentleman: don’t be lazy with your pickup lines! “How come you’re not in my bed?” Come on Bachelor #3, that’s child’s play. Another helpful hint, maybe wait to be a few more lines in before you bring your tongue into the conversation. Just a thought.

 

The friends:

Bachelor #6

Seeing friends on Tinder was quite a highlight.  A couple of them started using the Tinder conversation in place of texting, which was interesting.  One of them unmatched me, which I found unnecessary and rude but I suppose that’s fine.  

 

 

4.  Last but certainly not least, Coffee Meets Bagel.  

Coffee Meets Bagel: This is a relatively new app that is definitely geared towards people who actually want to find a real connection, not a hook-up.  The premise of the app is that you only can “like” one person per day to match with. The app uses your Facebook and other information you enter about yourself to get potential matches for you and then shows you those matches.  You only get a certain number of potential matches or “bagels” per day, and you can only like one of them.  This means if you actually both like each other, that’s a pretty huge deal.  

Pros:

  1. This app definitely has the best premise for a dating app.  You have so much reason to actually talk to a person you match with because it kind of seems like fate that you would match with someone under such picky circumstances.
  2. It takes away the mindlessness of swiping and you actually have to choose wisely, making it a way more serious way to find someone online.  
  3. The way you set up your profile is pretty cool and they ask good questions that actually allow you to showcase your personality.  It takes a while to set up but you end up with a good picture of who you actually are as a person.  

Cons:

  1. The biggest con of this one is that no one from our demographic really uses it yet.  Most of the people we saw were much older or far away.
  2. It takes a long time to set up and is not as user friendly as Tinder or Bumble. We had a difficult time figuring out how to use the app and what to do on it.  
  3. It’s slow paced.  You aren’t going to match with someone right away and start talking, you have to really be looking and thinking and you have to be patient.  It’s for this reason we have no screenshots from here because we didn’t get any matches, and the guys who we did like were too old or too far away to justify talking to.  

 

CONCLUSION: WHAT WE LEARNED

We’re assuming most of you clicked to come to this conclusion area right here, so here you go, the Reader’s Digest version of what we got out of this little experiment:

  1. Bumble and Tinder are pretty much where it’s at, particularly Bumble.  
  2. Tell your friends who are looking for love about Coffee Meets Bagel! Let’s get it bumping at UConn because it’s a great premise and has great potential.
  3. OKC is the scariest place we have been in our. Entire. Lives.
  4. Boys love holding dead fish! We don’t know why! We have to wonder if more fish have died since the inception of dating apps! We would love answers @boys!
  5. More people than you think are looking for love/hook-ups/companionship/someone to unload weird pickup lines on.  Keep this in mind because it’s a worthwhile thing to know.
  6. There’s value in using these apps to meet people who you would have never met before, even if you don’t end up creating a romantic connection with them.  
  7. Being honest and being yourself is the best way to get people to notice you (see below).
     
  8. Rejection is not the worst thing in the world.  When we started this experiment, we were pretty nervous about talking to people and not thrilled with our choice to put ourselves out there, but by the end we figured out that it ain’t no thang and any lady with a smartphone and a brain can garner the confidence to talk to anybody they want to.  Sometimes they ignored us, sometimes they even unmatched us, but that’s just life and we’re still livin’ it.  

So go forth and swipe, collegiettes! It’s not so bad out there, and who knows? You might find love in the most unlikely of places.  

 

All images courtesy of Flannery Mackin and Jackie Nappo.

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