Tuesday, 10 March 2020

My Experience of Dating Apps

Before working at Dating Agency and Singles Club RSVP, I tried out a few Dating Apps. After all, in my age bracket, the most common way to meet someone is online. I had friends that had great success with dating apps and I thought it might be a fun, easy way of meeting people. However, the reality was very different and, whilst many people have met partners, there are many issues to be faced. Since working at RSVP, I have discovered that the process through a dating agency is so much better than app dating for a whole range of reasons. Here are some observations:

Firstly, I am going to jump right in and state the obvious: dating apps are over-saturated with users. You can create an account on them within minutes and delete an account even quicker. In comparison, joining RSVP requires investment; you have to invest your time in an meeting with a Dating Consultant and your money in the membership. This way, we know our members are serious about meeting someone. 

There are so many different dating apps and dating app users, which results in a large number of people to sift through, the focus usually being by swiping left or right. You can’t really set filters other than location and age, which is frustrating. It is worth noting that the age people display in their profile may not be truthful, it is very common for people to shave a few years off their age, because who is going to catch them out? At RSVP, when interviewing prospective members, we ask to see ID to get our members true age. 

You do have to put a lot of time into app dating, hours can easily be wasted away by swiping to find people of interest. You quickly find that you are in too many conversations with too many people, which naturally becomes overwhelming. Sadly I found that the conversations are often boring small talk and then didn't very often progress to a date.

Personally I found the behaviour on dating apps to be quite brutal; it is common to abruptly get ignored or ‘ghosted’ mid-conversation when it seems going well. Typically, you see someone you like the look of. 20+ other people probably like them too; they could be talking to 20+ other people too. Perhaps they like someone better that you and are putting all their attention into that, and just ‘bread crumbing’ you for back up. In all honesty, I have probably been both ‘bread crumbed’ and the ‘bread crumber’. You hope that you become their ‘first choice’ and they give you all their attention. 

It is safe to say that, whilst talking to strangers online, normal social graces and good manners tend to get forgotten. Dating apps must be the most transient and disposable method of dating. Everyone is looking out for themselves and you can quickly find yourself in a vicious circle of bad manners. You could have been having a really great conversation with someone and then bang; no reply after two weeks of messaging. Did you do something wrong? Did they lose their phone? Are they in a coma? No, I think the most likely scenario is that they have had a better option come up.

Profiles are important in whatever method of dating you are doing. At RSVP, our dating consultants write the members their profiles after a face to face interview. Some Dating App users create a profile filling it out with the maximum amount of detail; others don’t write anything at all. Pitching the profile right is important; if someone hasn’t taken the time to write anything about themselves, I view it as they aren’t really bothered and won’t have good conversation. However, at the other extreme, if someone has written an essay about themselves and their numerous hobbies, likes and dislikes, I assumed that they are only interested in themselves and probably wouldn’t have time to date me. 

This is probably one of the most talked about things with online dating: it is purely photos and appearance driven, where you are judged on a couple of photos and perhaps whatever you write in the profile. These photos could be old photos from years ago - suitably filtered - or, in extreme situations, may not even be a photo of the person whose profile it is!

Finally, we need to discuss safety. It goes without saying that there is very little accountability online and it is common sense to meet in a public place with lots of people. There are plenty of horror stories in the media about online dates ending horribly and I don’t need to add to this. I was never put in any kind of danger or felt threatened in any way, but safety was always at the back of my mind and I did feel the need to relay to friends where I was going and with whom.

In conclusion, I quickly discovered I didn’t want to spend all day on a dating app; it almost felt like a full-time job. I swiped through so many people, so many conversations were attempted and a handful of unsuccessful dates took place that went nowhere. Whilst there is undeniable success on dating apps, it is purely because of volumes. 

Since working at RSVP, I found that the process of dating offline, working with a team of expert matchmakers, is a safer and kinder form of dating. To find out more about RSVP and the different membership options, just fill out a few details and the helpful Enquiries Team will be in touch.

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