Capsule’s Kelly gets stuck into getting back out there, and delves deep into the world of dating apps in her quest to find if not ‘the one’, ‘a one’.
Dating apps – talk about a love-hate relationship.
Love when that cute doctor suggests you meet up for a beer and a bash at the air hockey table at the arcade down the road.
Hate when you see your ex’s profile, complete with photo that shows they’ve annoyingly lost weight and seem to be ‘happy’, which they clearly have no right to be. Right?!
I’ve used dating apps on and off for a while now. I’ve had two fully-fledged relationships off the back of them. I’ve had rubbish dates, I’ve had amazing dates, I’ve had boring dates, I’ve had dates with nice guys with whom there’s just no spark.
I’ve even dated the same guy twice after forgetting him, which led to a minor panic that I’d been through all of the men in Auckland and I was turning into a female Joey Tribbiani minus the sex (unfortunately).
But after a year of being very single – the thought of dating during this year’s dumpster fire was enough to put me off my rosé – I’ve realised that I’m ready to ‘put myself out there’ once again, whatever the hell that means.
I figure there’s a new pool of guys to discover – the ones who’ve just moved back home, the ones who are newly single after tough lockdowns, and the usual dicks who just want a new screw for summer.
But oooosh, it’s hard – and it’s not just me who thinks so. A recent US study showed that almost two thirds of daters said their dating lives weren’t going well, and half of them reckon that dating today is harder than it was a decade ago.
But nevertheless, here are my impressions and analysis of my journeys through New Zealand’s biggest dating apps – Tinder, Bumble and Hinge (sorry to Grindr but I’m sure you’re lovely too!)
Tinder is my least-used dating app, perhaps unfairly suffering from the reputation that it’s only good for hook-ups and good times, rather than finding the mythical ‘One’. (OMG a dating app called Unicorn – now THAT’s an idea).
So I have to go in and reactivate my account after being informed that it’s been hidden due to inactivity (great for the ego).
And then I’m off – well, after the ad urging me to join Tinder gold for FORTY FIVE DOLLARS A MONTH. There it is, the familiar profiles of guys either holding up fish, flicking the finger or… ah shit, I’ve accidentally matched someone. Great start. Oh, and I’ve apparently super liked him. How does this app work again?!
I discover a new feature which I immediately hate. When you (on purpose) try and match with someone, if everyone else matches with them too it says they’re a popular member. What the hell is the point of this? To give your ego a boost if they match you? To make yourself wonder if you’re a popular member? To psychologically torment you just a little more because dating apps don’t make you want to hurl your phone against the wall enough?
Ok so there’s a whole lot of shirtless dudes here (both a good thing and a bad thing).
Tinder guys love to talk about the gym. Many profess their wholesome intentions to find a relationship (oh yup, ok cool).
Cool that there’s ads for Durex that pop up sporadically.
Tinder guys love to say they’re financially independent.
Also a lot are looking for both a ‘little spoon’ and someone to ‘go on adventures’ with.
- “On here for the same reason I’m on Pornhub to see the plumber fix the sink” (what does that even mean?!)
- “Are orphans allowed to watch PG rated movies?”
- “I’m a ‘fun’ accountant”
- “Looking for hook-ups only. Nothing serious. All expenses will be taken care of. Dinner, smokes and drinks all on me.”
Calibre of dudes:
There are definitely some interesting folks on here, ranging from the ones chucking gang signs and the ones who only show a picture of their crotch, to one who’s just looking for a submissive who “plays nice with others”. There’s even the ones that don’t show a face and ask you for ‘discretion’ because ‘what she doesn’t know won’t hurt her’.
But there are some lovely looking men on here – and that’s definitely not my memories of Tinder. Professionals with dogs seem to be my type, and I find myself matching with three or four potential guys who at least seem normal, with two normalish conversations being established. But it’s kind of like op shopping – you have to wade through a lot of WTF before you find the gems.
Ah Bumble, my old friend. I used to use Bumble exclusively after being bombarded with too many dick pics from Tinder (does this still happen!?).
Past experience was that you cut down on a lot of creeps, but there was also a LOT more admin, and that still holds true today. After all, you’re the one that has to talk first and that means you have to work for your matches, honey – and quickly. You’ve only got 24 hours to send that first message, so no pressure.
Bumble Date feels instantly easier to use than Tinder – simple lefts and rights, ups and downs, whereas Tinder felt a bit clunkier (although that could be because I haven’t really used it since I could fit into a size six bandage dress and that was a WHILE ago, let me tell you – that was before I discovered French rosé).
Sidenote: Bumble offers different modes – bff, if you’re just looking for mates, and Bizz, for networking.
I like that Bumble lets users specify if they’re looking for a relationship or not, as well as things like religious affiliation, political leanings, star signs and all the basic stuff like height and whether or not you like a drink.
A lot of dudes only have images of just themselves. I get it for the first pic obviously, but when there’s just six photos of the same guy, it makes me wonder if they have mates. Just me?
There’s also a lot of “just moved back after five years away” so I guess Covid has had a silver lining in the form of more dating opportunities?!
Bumble also seems to feature a lot more ‘alternative guys’ – there’s many snaps of handlebar moustaches, buttoned up shirts and craft beer.
Grammar also seems to be taken more seriously on here, and kids, let me tell you, grammar is sexy. There’s something about a guy that knows the difference between your and you’re. Right?
(Second idea: Should I set up a business proof reading people’s dating app bios?!)
Also, a little tip for men – for the love of God, write something in the bio and make the bants a little easier! There’s only so many times one can write “hey how’s it going” before we abandon our phones for wine.
- “I am 10 bananas tall”
- “Let’s drink under the stars and talk about aliens and stuff”
- “I will not be your personal photographer but I will tell you how beautiful you are every morning” (credit where credit is due on that one and yes I swiped right).
- “Financially secure. Homeowner. Doesn’t put up with any shit. Knows what I want. If you’re here to waste my time, keep scrolling. No drinking or drugs. Motivated and determined to succeed at all costs.”
- “In an open relationship with myself”
Calibre of dudes:
There’s definitely something for everyone on here – and they tell you so because half of the blokes have that whole ENTJ personality trait thingie in their bios. There’s more of a serious vibe on Bumble – to misquote every single season ever of The Bachelor, “they’re here for the right reasons”.
After half an hour on the app, I’ve matched with several guys that offer some good bants, and with almost instantaneous requests for an in-person date. These dudes aren’t mucking around and for someone who has zero patience, I’m all in, baby.
Kia ora to the new kid on the block, Hinge, and the app I’ve been spending most of my time on lately because I vibe with their tagline – ‘designed to be deleted’.
Hinge was made to matchmake, and it really does it’s best to help you out with your initial conversations. You can load up to six photos on your profile, with an option of adding one of the 50 or so built-in prompts to the images.
For example, you can add ‘Dating my will look like this…’ ‘How history will remember me’ ‘Guess the backstory of this photo’ or ‘Me at Fashion Week’. Essentially, it puts personality before sexuality, and me and my new five lockdown/redundancy kgs appreciate this.
Then, you answer three of the built-in questions, so potential matches can really get to know you such as ‘We’ll get along with’, ‘What I order for the table’ or ‘I’m overly competitive about’.
You’re instantly armed with information and opportunities to be funny, cute, sarcastic or serious depending on your individual vibe.
It takes a little to get used to Hinge, as it’s kind of split into two – on one tab you can see potential matches whom you swipe left or right on, just like Tinder or Bumble, and on another, you can see all of them who have already liked you, but one at a time (unless you pay).
You can also which part of your profile they liked – a prompt, an answer or a photo – which also helps with convos.
Like Bumble you can see locations, political leanings, religions etc. You can also see if they’re into drinking, smoking, weed and other drugs.
It’s clear that it’s a smaller pool of guys on there, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing – but is Auckland getting smaller? Because I’ve seen like six people I went to school with on here already.
I also love that you can ‘undo’ and go back on Hinge for free, unlike the others. We all make mistakes, guys!
- “I have a jet ski. Don’t know what else you need to know.”
- “The one thing I’d like to know about you is… How good you are in the kitchen.” (Yes this man was veeery short how did you know)
- “All I ask is that you… Smile whilst you still have teeth.”
- “You *shouldn’t* go out with me if… Your a dude”
Calibre of dudes:
Again, a huge variety of blokes to choose from, the vast majority of whom aren’t overtly sexual although there does seem to be more overt sexism on here than the others. But for the smaller pool of guys, you get more of an instant overview of what they’re all about and what their vibe is, which is reassuring for the confidence, especially if you’re planning to meet up in the real world. A couple of good conversations in and things are looking good!
Do you agree with these assessments? Send us your thoughts or stories to [email protected] or head to our Instagram page @capsule_nz