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Navigating dating apps as a man

“Thinking of trying online dating? Don’t!”

That’s what most of my friends said about online dating. Honestly, after experiencing these apps myself for almost two years, this has become my default answer as well. Maybe with the addition “try Bumble, it’s better.”

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However, I think there is more to it than meets the eye. While I can only speak from my experience as a man, I think dating apps can be a lot of fun in the right circumstances.

If you are someone who is in a relationship or just meeting someone, you know that the grass always looks greener on the other side. When I was in a long-term relationship around 2019, the popularity of dating apps skyrocketed.

All of my single friends used one app or another, met interesting people, swiped right and left like a video game, met 3-4 people in a couple of weeks and just had a great time overall. Sometimes I was even jealous of my single friends. When I became single at the end of the year and signed up for Tinder myself, I finally realized how wrong I was.

Navigating these apps while trying to meet even one person feels like you’re on an island of hay with no needle to be found. But if you get it right, then I believe there are endless positives rather than negatives.

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As a man, dating apps are usually not that difficult. I hate breaking things down into such simple concepts, but I think there are three key things men need to have to be successful with these apps, and you don’t even need all three.

They must be a combination of interesting, fun, and conventionally attractive. Two out of three is fine. If you’re interesting and funny, you can cover up anything you lack about your physical appearance. Are you what society calls handsome? Well, you can be a little fun to join in and you’re set for success.

The bar really is that low.

However, despite the many positive aspects, these apps can be a harrowing experience if you suffer from self-esteem issues. If you crave validation, then this is not the place to look. You’re not going to fit into one “type” for too many people, and that’s okay. Not everyone will like you, and you won’t like everyone either. As long as it doesn’t come from a place of prejudice, it’s fine.

Finally, the best advice I have for guys who are just starting out on dating apps is to lower your expectations.

You are not just a beat away from finding the love of your life or your soulmate. Quite often the people you swipe directly at won’t swipe back, but don’t let that discourage you. Just like in real life, over time you will find someone who you are into and who is also into your mood.

Aaqib Hasib will one day finish his book. But not today. Write to him at [email protected]

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