While I often claim to be a feminist (equal rights for women, heyyy!), I am very much so stuck in the “pre-aughts” way of dating. I want to be swept off my feet by a man who loves me and only me.
On our first date, I want this man to ride a white horse to my house, ring the doorbell to let me know he’s there, take me on a date that he pays for, and then drop me off with a kiss on the cheek goodbye. And, of course, we would have met through mutual friends who thought we’d be a match or on the subway - or, ooh, at the grocery store in the produce section!
But because that was not real life, in 2008 when I started dating as an adult, I took to the mysterious world of online dating. Even from the very start, it was a disaster. My second date from an online source replied with “Whaaaaaauuuutt?” (that’s “what” just in case you didn’t know what was happening when you sounded that out) after everything I said.
I’ve been screamed at in a bar by another guy, sparred with a guy recently who thought a rape joke was a good opening line, and have been on countless really boring dates with guys who were not my match and we both knew it within in 10 seconds of meeting each other but stuck it out for at least one, if not, two drinks.
I’ve been on nearly every site and app known to woman: Match, eHarmony, Happn, Hinge, Tinder, Bumble, Plenty of Fish, OKCupid, etc. And while I’ve had a few relationships from these sites from which I’ve learned a lot and don’t regret (blah, blah, blah), I actually really hate online dating. I hate the swiping, I hate the banal conversations, I hate the...everything.
Yet, I find myself coming back to Google with the search terms “BEST new dating app” way too often. After having downloaded this “BEST new dating app,” I subsequently get that little high of having guys “like” me (aka like my photos), start conversations, exchange numbers, and meet up only to be disappointed yet again.
Because of this disdain, I have committed multiple times to never, ever, download a dating app again. And, you can better believe, I’ve broken that promise to myself every. single. time…until this time. I swear it. I am not going back to online dating.
This time is different though. Remember that story I referenced above about a guy who used a rape joke as an opening line? Yea, that just happened a couple of weeks ago with a guy I met on a I’m-bored-let’s-download-Tinder whim. He sat down at the table and said, “Oh shit, I forgot my roofies!” while laughing. I stared at him blank-faced, but said nothing. After a few more wisecracks, he said, “I am so funny! I always laugh at myself.”
And I replied, “Yes, I’ve laughed at many of your jokes, but not the rape joke” to which he seemed confused. I’d recently read Roxane Gay’s Bad Feminist and Lindy West’s Shrill and I was confident I knew what a rape joke was and that it wasn’t funny.
So, I told him that. We argued for a good 20 minutes over it. When he went to the bathroom, I frantically waved to the bartender to bring us the check. We ended the date. In my Uber home, I cried. What was I doing?
I hate online dating. I also loathe men who think they’re smarter, better, stronger, than women (see, I am a feminist!).
So, while my other times of committing to myself to never, ever download another dating app ever again failed, this time, I’m gonna do it. I’m for real. Some of you reading this may have found your current mate online, yet there are probably many more of you single ladies struggling through another swipe.
So, I encourage you to give it up for good. Not because you’re going to meet a rape joke guy (he better be an anomaly) but because you probably aren’t truly happy. Go out and meet a man or woman in real life. Chat up everyone you meet for practice first. Then approach hotties about random things.
I advise you not to start with “So, you wanna go on a date with me??” but chat ‘em up about anything. Live your life without your phone. Be the wonderful you and guys or gals will notice.
By: Ashley Christensen
Ashley is always up for an adventure - whether that’s trying a new restaurant in Chicago, doing yoga in tall places, or packing her bags for a new country. She loves to read historical fiction, watch BBC dramas, and host brunch clubs. She loves PB and the Why Oh Why podcast (clearly a woman of great taste).
Check out her blog!