The other day I was really going hard on OKCupid (well this a classic set up for a Millennial commentary on dating).
To be honest, I’ve become exasperated by the game. This, of course, is nothing new to any single 20-something out there, but I’m referring to a total inward resistance to even trying to date.
The problems are well known, so no I’m not actually going to talk about creepy boys, boring 1st dates, or the absurdity of the “not-relationship”. However, every now and then, spurred by an intense bout of loneliness or immediately following time spent with any of my coupled friends, I will punch a brick in the air, take hold of a dating app, and SuperMario my way through a ton of men’s profiles. I blaze through, liking, first-messaging, and trying to show as much interest as possible while I still have the energy.
A Cupid Case Study
Thus, I found myself in conversation with a boy (Man? …ehhhhh) who responded to the bit on my profile that says: You should message me if.. “You just CAN’T with Tinder”.
This guy, let’s call him BB – BrooklynBoy, agreed with me wholeheartedly. BB hates Tinder and deleted it just as I have. He said “It was useless…” I agreed, though acknowledging that our reasons would most definitely be different. I’m a girl, and without bragging, I would say that I’m pretty cute, (and also short which is apparently a turn on…) so tons of guys message me everyday. The reactions to which usually fall somewhere between “Ehhhhh” and “Ewwwww”
So BB says he didn’t like Tinder because “It seemed like (he) had one shot. And if (he) ruined it within the first message… it was Over.”
This, in essence, is true for most guys; though I’ve also messaged first and have been on the receiving end of being ignored. I will often not engage because the first thing said to me rubbed me the wrong way. Which is usually the case when the first message is something straight out of Fifty Shades of Grey.
But I agreed with this BrooklynBoy, understanding it’s tough to be a guy on a medium where girls encounter so many prospects. I was totally with what this guy had to say…
……until I wasn’t.
When I asked what bothered him specifically he said:
“I don’t get the frantic left Swipe. They didn’t even look. As if they’re looking for something very specific.”
Au Naturale Selection
There is nothing WRONG with his statement, it’s quite valid in fact, but this view did present a lack of understanding that I was reluctant to explain. A cultural norms breed differences kind of thing.
As a girl I could understand something about online or app-based dating that he could not due to lack of experience. That is the concept of selectivity stemming from excess.
The idea is one that we all use every time we are confronted by a multitude of choices.
We narrow them down.
Being extra selective and finding specifics are literally the only ways for people to distinguish what they really want when presented with a plethora of choices. It’s how we make decisions as important as which college you’ll attend or as minute as where you’ll eat out for dinner. You don’t go on a road trip to every university or community college in your country asking them all the same qualifying questions, and you certainly can’t go to every restaurant in your area for one meal. You reduce your amount of choices by eliminating based on preference; like average class size, location, what you’re craving in the moment, and in this case, whether or not you could see yourself making out with someone.
BB went on to mention a time he saw a girl frantically left swiping on the train, and said he felt it absurd. My immediate reaction was thinking “I’ve been there”, though I do feel that a profile read is typically in order.
However, (here’s the part where Sydes come in guys) I’ve learned an important though controversial fact in my life that I was very late for due to entering the dating world only after 20. Call it feminism, shallow, empowerment, or selfish but,
If I’m going to date someone I MUST be attracted to you, and yes, I mean PHYSICALLY.
Bam. I said it. Sounds simple enough, not like something you’d think someone would get mad at me for right? But the reaction from a lot of men is typically towards the negative. The very reason why I choose not to mention it to BrooklynBoy.
Have They Not Dreams, Nor Preference?
I will be very careful to speak for myself when I say this. If I’m frantically left swiping, largely it is because of these factors, in order:
- I’m not psychically attracted to someone and/or not attracted enough to entertain the idea of kissing them. (So why toy with them by engaging?)
- Their profile is completely empty and their pictures do noting to pique my interest [ie. only selfies, group photos (the uninteresting, “which one is he?” kind), pictures of their pets, or pictures that indicate you’re feelin yoself too much (in underwear holding your crotch? hahahaNo.]
- They are overly sexually explicit in their profile
- They have a clever line that is akin to “ask me anything” thus giving me absolutely no information to go on at all…
- They’re too obviously a tool/player/archetype.
Just from writing this I know I could immediately recieve backlash. But it’s all the truth. These are literally the things I discuss with my female friends all the time. It’s not a private opinion. As I’ve said, most of us know the deal.
But I want to break away from my preferences for a minute to explain why none of that was the reason I felt I couldn’t answer BB honestly. What bothered me about his opinion was that the lack of understanding, though warranted, was what it translated for me about men. I acknowledge that he didn’t intend this, but BB’s comment made some uncomfortable questions pop up in my mind:
- Do men not look for anything specific in who they’re dating?
- Do they not care at all who it is until they’re actually dating someone?
- Are they all out there just arbitrarily asking women out without a care for what they’re like until they suddenly think “you know what…nah” ?
And believe me, I get it. No Sye, that’s not what he meant, he probably thinks some girls are looking for all their qualifications to be meet, or some kind of Prince Charming or Justin Bieber for that matter. But it is unsettling to think that the current dating and hook-up culture may have produced a side effect in men that causes them to look for somebody, ANYBODY who might go out with them regardless of who they are or what they’re like. It upsets me that men don’t seem to have standards, I suppose they figure they can’t afford to.
And of course I’ll place here the disclaimer: NOT ALL MEN!
But it sure as hell seems like it from there way most of them behave on dating apps (and while I’m walking down the street…or sitting on the train…)
I’m curious about what others think about this. I understand that some will say, give everyone a chance, but I feel that shows no personal understanding of your own compatibility.
What do you think?