Since moving to London just over two years ago I have dated people both from online dating apps such as Tinder and Bumble and also people I have met through friends or at events. I’m forever discussing with friends which setup provides the better outcome and in my personal opinion, I still believe that meeting people in ‘real life’ is better and often more successful than meeting someone on an online dating app.
Here are my reasons why:
Lack of context:- speaking to someone on a dating app that you have been matched with from 5 carefully selected pictures that they have chosen to represent themselves makes it very difficult to gauge their real personality -you have no context in which to try and understand them in. Whereas when you are in a bar, you can observe someone in a natural setting, you can see how they carry themselves, how they interact with friends and their general body language, all of which contribute (albeit sometimes subconsciously) to whether or not we are drawn to a person.
Artificial photographs:-I touched upon this in my last point, but men and women alike will pick their best angles and lighting, use heavy filters and strike the same pose in order to make them look as great as possible. My biggest pet peeve is multiple pictures with sunglasses. Stats show that people are 40% more attractive with sunglasses on, and whenever I see a picture of a guy wearing shades in every photo I’m immediately turned off as I feel as though they are hiding. Many of my male friends have recounted stories of meeting women that look nothing like their heavily edited photos, whereas I’ve known many women to be pleasantly surprised by meeting guys they thought would be average yet turned out to be much better looking in their pictures. Either way, dating pictures don’t tend to give a real indication of what someone looks like, which means we could disregard people that we would have potentially said yes to in real life (how many of you would have swiped yes if you’d seen & met your ex on Tinder?) and give too much time to people that are portraying an enhanced image of themselves. Meeting someone in real life removes all these obstacles, you know immediately whether you find someone attractive or not.
The whole set up is artificial and forced:- you go for dinner or on a date with the heavy pressure and expectation that you will like each other and want to date again rather than letting yourself naturally be drawn to someone and see how things go. It completely rules out being attracted to someone based on chemistry. How many times have you met someone in real life and been drawn to them but unable to explain why? Maybe a colleague that isn’t your usual type or a friend that you suddenly start to see in a different light. Without that context and insight into their personality and potential charisma we are using blind faith to hope that we will be compatible with someone.
You treat people with less respect:-As dating apps are so often likened to games, more often than not, both men and women treat people they have met on a dating app with less respect than if they had met at a party or through a mutual friend. When you meet someone on app there is an underlying knowledge in all of us that that person is easily disposable of. In the same speed that we matched with them we can easily unmatch/ghost/bench/any other crappy term for how people treat each other now. It’s almost as though we don’t count these people as real, and therefore their feelings aren’t real, so it doesn’t matter if we hurt them or just never speak to them again with no forewarning.
You judge people based on their text speak: I don’t want to generalise here, but I think usually women tend to speak in a similar fashion over WhatsApp as they do in real life. Whereas men can be very different. They can be shorter, less emotional and more functional over message than they ever would in real life. This is fine if you’ve met that person in the real world but if you’re trying to decide whether or not to go on a date with someone, the way they communicate with you via text is often a big decision factor in whether or not you agree to meet in person. Again, this means we could be missing out on meeting potentially great people that are just shit texters.
You are way more fussy:- Oh he’s not 6ft 3 and working at a bank? Not interested. In real life we care less about those details and more about how we feel around that person. Often when women meet a guy in real life they don’t care if they are the same height because they are judging them on so many other things: the way they talk, how they make you feel, their body language. But when all you have is superficial choices, many women will completely disregard a guy that states his height is 5ft 8 (or whatever your height is) in their bio.
Which also makes us give up quicker:- Oh he said something that didn’t sit quite right? Bye. Again, linking back to the point about people being more disposable of we often give people very little margin for error. If they say something that doesn’t quite bode well or have a different view or value to us, we disregard them much quicker than someone we’ve met in real life because we instil a bigger level of respect in them and are willing to give them multiple chances, we are only human after all.
To my ever lovely readers, what do you think? Have you experienced any of the above? Do you agree with what I say, or disagree perhaps?