Battle of the Online Dating Apps: An Introvert's Experiences and Verdict

Disclaimer: Please note that these are my personal preferences and opinions based on my own experiences which may not apply to everyone. I’m also brutally honest so please keep that in mind as you read.

A long time ago, I made a promise to myself that I would never download an online dating app. Sure, there were a lot of adorable Tinder success stories. And yes, it seemed like more and more people from our technology-dependent generation were slowly moving in that direction, so it logically made sense to follow if I wanted to meet more people. But I was more of the old-fashioned type of gal when it came to dating. Swiping on a picture that could potentially be photoshopped or getting catfished just didn’t do it for me personally. I mean, there’s only so many pictures of men with fish that a girl can tolerate.

But, it turns out that when there’s a worldwide pandemic and a country-wide lockdown, stubborn values can fly out the window pretty quickly when boredom hits. And after doing just about every possible activity and free course I could do in quarantine, I did the unthinkable. I downloaded Tinder, then Bumble and then Hinge. Swipe down for my unfiltered thoughts and adventures! What a rollercoaster experience that I will never subject myself to ever again!

Tinder

Tinder announced their passport mode option back in April that allowed people to swipe around the globe for free as a way of finding “quarantine buddies." I love a good freebie, so, naturally, I downloaded the app and immediately came upon a guy who asked for nudes in his bio. How endearing and cute. The next guy I talked to said he hated having deep talks but loved to trash talk people if that counted.

It did not count. Tinder was deleted within an hour. Enough said.

Thoughts: The people I swiped across depend on my location and setting preferences so maybe it was just bad luck on my end. I might’ve ended up with a pool of people who preferred hookups to long-term connections. That’s totally okay, but it’s not my thing. I’m not looking for a one-night stand; I’m looking for a connection.

Bumble

Bumble switched things up a bit by making that ungodly rule where women had to make the first move. While this felt somewhat empowering, it was also every introvert’s worst nightmare come to life. I gave it a shot and confronted those fears.

Surprisingly, I ended up having a great conversation with a graduate student from The Land of No Coronavirus Boundaries aka America. He seemed like a sweetheart and we actually had some decent conversations for a couple of weeks. But when we had our first video call, I was incredibly disappointed by how much of the conversation I had to carry (hint: all of it). I was also put off by the lack of questions he seemed to have for me as if I were some trophy girl that existed for the purpose of getting to know him on a one-sided basis. Nevertheless, we agreed to meet up, following social distancing guidelines, of course. I thought I was being too harsh and that maybe things would be better in person.

They were not better. If anything, it opened my eyes. Let’s just say that if the other person gets irritated for wanting to follow social distancing guidelines and for refusing to break the rules, it’s a red flag. And when they full-on brag that they got a dentist degree to pick up girls, warning bells should be ringing. I messaged him later saying that I was firm on social distancing rules and that if he didn’t respect that then this whole thing would stop. He begged to stay in touch and meet me later on, then ghosted me right after I reluctantly agreed. A lovely ending to that beautiful chapter indeed.

Thoughts: Bumble is a great way to practice making the first move if it feels like jumping into the deep end of the pool for you. I learned that you should never be trying to pursue a person who doesn’t make an equal effort in terms of a friendship or relationship. And also, video calls are a great and safe alternative to meeting someone and seeing what the chemistry is like, so don’t hesitate to suggest that since going out right now can be uncomfortable!

Hinge

For someone like me who valued making deeper connections without ever leaving the house, Hinge wasn’t a bad option! The app had cute questions that I could answer in my bio, and because the app limited swipes to ten a day, people using the app really had to swipe wisely and be selective instead of mass swiping right. This worked perfectly for me since I take about two hours to analyze each profile I come across on apps in general. I also liked knowing that anyone who swiped on me didn’t do it because I was a female who happened to appear in their feed, which sounds kind of sad now that I think about it.

On the downside? Hinge had the worst security verification features. Life lesson: All it took to feel like an FBI agent was for me to reverse-image-engineer some online dating pictures of a profile that seemed way too good to be true. It turns out that the guy who wanted my Snapchat was not the Brazilian model on Instagram with two million followers, but was a guy whose Snapchat didn’t even match his profile name and didn’t match his Facebook URL name. Thank goodness I didn’t accept his request.

I reported all my findings to Hinge with a detailed FBI summary, and the next day, my friends and I all got an email from Hinge asking for suggestions on how to improve online dating safety.

You’re welcome everyone, I started a movement. (Just kidding, but that’s going to be the highlight of my life.)

Thoughts: Listen to your gut! Don’t give out your social media information to just anyone. Catfishing is so common, and it can get dangerous. If something feels off, listen to that nagging voice in your head.

Final Verdict:

Moral of the story: I am not downloading these apps for a long time. That’s not to say that people can’t meet someone online – a lot of my best friends have met their serious boyfriends through these apps! It’s just that I’m still an old-fashioned gal that would rather assess compatibility based on meeting people in person instead of analyzing questionable text messages. However, I will say that online dating isn’t as horrible as I thought it would be. If I were to ever try it again, I’d give Hinge another shot, but that’s definitely not happening until the next worldwide pandemic hits!