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Sex + Relationships

I Downloaded A Dating App For The First Time & Was Pleasantly Surprised

So, I finally did it. After noticing that the notification center on my phone was collecting cobwebs, I decided to take the long-overdue leap and download a dating app. Well, apps. After getting over the fact that my mom and I share an Apple ID, I created dating profiles on both Tinder and Bumble and let the swiping commence. 

[bf_image id="q6mgju-a3uz9s-6iuhhd"]The first night I had it, I spent hours on it. I quickly grew a liking for Bumble over Tinder, if for nothing more than a preference in app design and user-friendliness. I found Bumble’s Sadie Hawkins scheme, where the girl makes the first move, to be both a pro and con. On one side, I definitely received fewer creepy DMs on Bumble than on Tinder, which I think is the whole point; however, Bumble made me realize how hard making the first move can be. With only a 24-hour time period to respond, a lot of my matches expired and those people disappeared back into the dating app void. Could 20-year-old Evan have been the love of my life? We’ll never know. 

Prior to this, I harbored a lot of internalized stigma for dating apps, having heard my fair share of horror stories and dates gone wrong. What if I get catfished? What if I accidentally give too much of my personal information online? Or worse yet, what if everything works out perfectly and I find someone really great, then I’d need to tell my traditional Asian family that we met on Tinder? For a long time, I let all of these negative hypotheticals deter me from doing something that ended up being a largely positive experience. There are risks to online dating, of course, so it’s important to know what exactly you’re getting yourself into when you sign up. After talking to a few questionable people, I drew boundaries on what I was willing to share and trusted my gut whenever I felt uneasy. One quick “unmatch” and that person was forever lost. Among all the ghosting that occurs, what makes dating apps worth it are the moments when you come across people who match your energy really well and become your friends. And maybe, one day, something more. 

[bf_image id="smpq9gsxk5t448jzs8wqjm66"] My first Bumble date is next weekend. Honestly, I think the “fully vaccinated” in his bio really did it for me. While I didn’t expect to get much further than the swiping phase, I’m excited to see if I’ll join the club of dating app martyrs, whose terrible first dates all make for cautionary stories now, or if I’ll be able to say, hey, this actually works. Bumble and Tinder (and all the other apps out there) are what you make of it, and as long as you’re being safe with who you’re talking to and what you’re sharing with them, there’s no reason not to try it.

Audrie is a third-year student from Honolulu, Hawaii, majoring in Human Biology Society and minoring in Anthropology. Her favorite things to talk about are self-care, brunch, and her cat. She also really loves the beach and anything matcha flavored! In her free time, you can catch her shopping for records, books, and Trader Joe's snacks.
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