Swipe Left? A Q&A on Dating Today with a Later 20-Something

What dating apps are you using?

Right now, just Bumble. Like a bumble bee.

Have you used others before?

I’ve been on a lot of dating apps [eHarmony, Tinder, Plenty of Fish].

What’s different about Bumble?

This one, women have to make the first move- they have to initiate the conversation. The quality of the guys seems so much better on Bumble. I have more power over who I talk to.

What the heck is dating?

I don’t know anymore.

Why don’t you know anymore?

Once you get past high school and college and you’re out in the real world, it’s really challenging to meet people organically. It’s so hard. And it’s so confusing.

Do your friends use dating apps?

Yes. But some of them have also found people.

How has Bumble affected you?

It makes me feel proactive in trying to find a partner, but it mostly just overwhelms me. I’m at that point in my life where I’m tired of dating, and I’m not really sure how to meet people in a good way. You don’t really want to meet someone at a bar. You don’t really want to meet someone out and about. I mean, I know that happens for some people, so you would think that online dating would be a good option to find other likeminded people, but it’s just overwhelming.

Does the popularity of dating apps reflect/shape the dating culture?

I think they’re popular because it’s so damn hard to meet people in real life. Social media is what it is and we’re so expectant of immediate results, it’s hard not to be a part of the “online [dating world]” even if that’s not really how you want to meet people.

Do you think the apps focus more on relationships or hook-ups?

It depends on the app. I feel like if you are going to pay for a dating service, you’re on it for the real deal. [The free ones are] like people watching from the comfort of your own home. When I was on Tinder, I wasn’t really on it seriously – it was just kind of like seeing what’s out there. And my friends and I would send each other screenshots of the weird ones.

What’s an example of a ‘weird one’?

There are some “pro-wrestlers”. There was a pro-wrestler and he was in a bathtub and had slices of pizza all over him [featured above]… And he had his hair in a high ponytail. I actually don’t even know if they’re pro-wrestlers…

Anything else you want to add?

We should talk about the fact how some people – we’ve had long term relationships, we’ve had good relationships – and when we’re finally ready to make a real commitment, it’s hard to meet people who aren’t already in relationships or whatever the case is. We should also talk about how scary it is. Not knowing if you’ll ever meet someone- not knowing if you’ll ever find someone. And it’s tricky because if you do know you want that and you want to have a family, not knowing if you’ll ever meet someone is so scary. I’m so scared and frustrated that it hasn’t happened yet for me.

I think we’re all kind of looking for the same thing, but how do you find the people who are at the same point as you in this life? Especially when you know what it means to be in a good relationship… you know what you’re looking for.

If you would like to share your experiences from the dating world today, please email womenscenter@udayton.edu.

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