Navigating dating apps as a man
"Thinking of trying out online dating? Don't!"
That's what most of my friends said about going into online dating. Honestly, having experienced these apps for myself for almost two years, this has also become my default answer. Maybe with an addition of "try Bumble, it's better."
However, I think there is more to it than meets the eye. While I can only speak in terms of my experience as a man, I think dating apps can be a lot of fun under the right circumstances.
If you are someone who is in a relationship, or currently seeing someone, know that the grass always looks greener on the other side. When I was in a long-term relationship around 2019, the popularity of dating apps was skyrocketing.
All of my single friends were on some app or the other, meeting interesting people, swiping right and left like a video game, meeting 3-4 people within weeks of each other, and just overall having a great time. I sometimes even felt envious of my single friends. It was by the end of the year, when I became single and started signing up for Tinder myself, that I finally realised how wrong I was.
Navigating these apps, all the while trying to meet even one person, feels like you're on an island of hay, with no needle to find in it. But, if you do it right, then I believe that there are endless positives rather than negatives.
As a guy, dating apps aren't usually that difficult. I hate to break things down into such simple concepts, but I think there are three major things men need to have for success on these apps, and you don't even need all three.
You need to be a combination of interesting, funny and conventionally attractive. Two out of three is fine. If you are interesting and funny, you can cover up for anything you lack in terms of your physical appearance. You are what society calls good looking? Well, you can be a little funny to go along with it, and you are set up for success.
The bar really is that low.
However, despite the many positives, these apps can be a harrowing experience if you suffer from self-esteem issues. If validation is what you crave, then this isn't the place to look for it. You won't fit into a "type" for too many people, and that is fine. Not everyone is going to like you, and neither will you like everyone. As long as it's not from a place of prejudice, it's okay.
Finally, the best piece of advice I have for men who are just getting on dating apps, is to temper your expectations.
You are not just one swipe away from finding the love of your life or your soulmate. Quite often, the people you swipe right on, will not swipe back, but don't let that demotivate you. Just like in real life, with time, you will find someone you're into, who also digs your vibe.
Aaqib Hasib will someday finish writing his book. But not today. Write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.