Meeting your next significant other naturally is slowly becoming unheard of, especially amid a pandemic. Plus, with online apps like Bumble, Tinder, OK Cupid, Plenty of Fish, and Hinge gaining popularity, it’s no wonder people are willing to give virtual dating a try. In fact, I bet most of your single friends are swiping right and left while you’re reading this. I even gave it a try or two, but it never worked out where I found my Prince Charming.
If I’m being honest, I wish someone gave me their two cents on dating apps before I went along and downloaded them. I mean, I put a lot of effort into the photos I chose, the biography I put up, and the conversations I had, all to get diddly squat in return.
You could assume that’s why I don’t bother with them anymore. I don’t mind sharing my funny, awkward, or horrifying tales from dates past, but it’s not something I’m going to pursue again.
If you asked me my straightforward opinion, I’d simply say online dating is the worst it’s ever been. If studies were conducted on that opinion, the results would likely conclude that it has something to do with the generations involved, easy access to multiple partners secretively, sex addiction, and social media platforms, just to name a few.
But that’s not what I’m here to do. I’m not here to tell you how we got here and what circumstances made us this way. I’m here to tell you the reasons why online dating is so bad, in my opinion. Like, why is it so hard to go into a dating platform with the assumption that you’ll come out the other end with a date? Sometimes, sex is the only thing people look for on those things …
Reason #1: COVID-19 - The pandemic ruined normal dating for us.
I had to get it out of the way almost immediately, because I’m not going to want to talk about the pandemic for the remainder of this article. It’s in all of our conversations, it doesn’t have to flood this one, too.
We do have to acknowledge that the virus has severely impacted our dating lives, and that doesn’t exclude online dating. Sure, virtual dating sounds nice because you don’t have to necessarily be in-person to communicate and get to know one another, but texting and phone calls can potentially get boring over time. Eventually, you’ll want to meet the person on the other end of that phone, and the pandemic has made that possibility hard.
Plus, let’s not forget about the temptations involved in dating someone. Do you think you’ll want to have or give a goodnight kiss? Think again with COVID-19 lurking around.
Reason #2: Ghosting - People can just disappear in the blink of an eye without thinking twice.
With online dating, chances are you’re going out with someone that you’ve never met before. Which means that they aren’t significant in your life. If you stop answering their messages or don’t show up to the planned date, no harm no foul, right?
Well, I don’t know about that. Ghosting has become a serious problem in today’s day and age, and it seems a lot more common in the online dating world.
You don’t feel like showing up at the restaurant? Don’t go. You want to look at your other options and stop talking to this girl or this guy? That’s fine.
Deleting or blocking a number is easy peasy, and that’s what ghosters do all the time. I’ve done it a time or two, and yes, it’s very shameful.
Reason #3: Cat fishing - People don’t always look like what they portray themselves to be.
The show that aired on MTV is not based on fictional events, let me tell you. I’ve been cat fished probably about half a dozen times, and it never feels good.
Imagine this: You show up to a date in your car not knowing entirely what to expect. Your date walks in, but instead of looking like all of their pictures, they’ve seemed to change a bit. Now, they’re 50 lbs heavier, sporting a few gray hairs, receding at the hairline, with pale as a ghost skin.
Yes, that happened to me. It was bizarre to me considering all of his pictures showcased a tall, lean guy with a full head of black hair and a tan.
People catfish because… well I don’t know the real reason. It could be because they’re embarrassed to post new photos, they aren’t happy with the way that they look, and they want to get a certain type of person interested in them but their current looks might not achieve that goal. There are many reasons.
Reason #4: Liars - Online daters don’t always want to be upfront and honest.
This brings me to my next reason, people that are online dating lie. They lie about their age, appearance, name, location, gender, marital status, etc.
The guy that cat fished me lied about his appearance and his age. The app put him at 26 and his license put him at 22, which he kindly showed me after he laughed and said, “Oh yes, my profile has the wrong age.” I hate to break it to you, but it’s super easy to start up a new profile with the right age.
Things can get dangerous in this category. If someone lies about their age, how far off are they from the truth? If someone lies about their appearance, how would that make the other person feel? If someone lies about their name, what else are they lying about? If someone lies about their location, is it because they don’t want to meet in real life? If someone lies about their gender, wouldn’t that be hard to handle down the road? If someone lies about their marital status, wouldn’t complications immediately arise?
So many questions. Besides, isn’t the point of dating to find that special someone? Why would you want to start a relationship with a potential partner by lying?
Reason #5: Hookups - Not everyone is looking for a relationship.
Then there’s the obvious one - that the majority of people on dating sites are only looking for a hookup.
It’s horrible because so many people genuinely want to find a relationship on an online dating application, but they can’t afford to pay for the good ones. That’s why they establish a profile on some sites like Bumble or Tinder. Unfortunately, it’s sites like these where you’ll find primarily hookup culture.
Reason #6: Openness - You can’t let down your walls and tell others everything about yourself.
One flaw of many online daters is that they open up too quickly without even realizing it. Sending messages feels like you’re talking to one of your friends, right? It doesn’t feel like a stranger, because we’re so accustomed to messaging back and forth and we’re so comfortable with the thought of sharing information online.
However, being open all the time can lead to blind trust. We don’t know the person on the other side of the phone. Eventually, allowing them to look into your open book personality could cause harm to you, in the form of extortion, violence, and so on.
Reason #7: Safety - You always have to keep your safety in mind.
This brings me to online dater's safety. Again, you don’t know who you’re speaking to or attempting to date. That’s why I would make sure to keep myself in check whenever I went out with someone from one of those platforms.
I give this advice to my friends all the time: Do not get in a car with someone you do not know. Just because you messaged them for a few days or weeks does not mean you know them. Drive alone and meet your date at the destination.
Think about it, your safety should come first. This means you need to know and understand that kidnapping can always happen. The same goes for a roofied drink, whether you're the man or the woman.
Make sure you also don’t just blindly give out your address, because stalking could potentially become a factor, too.
Reason #8: Overbearing - Yes, the person you’re online dating can go over the top.
The person sitting opposite you at that dinner table may have some bad quirks, overbearing being one of them.
When I say that an online dater can be overbearing, I mean that they may track you down on social media platforms or email sites. Once they get your usernames, they’ll have the ability to message you whenever they want (unless you block). Which means stalking through applications versus in person.
I feel like people still find me this way even though I don’t have the online dating apps downloaded anymore. I’ve also had some pretty creepy and inappropriate pictures come through on apps like Snapchat; unfortunately, men and women believe this kind of “move” is ok to make.
Reason #9: Stealers - Your information could potentially be hacked.
Stolen data is always in the back of my mind whenever I download an application that requires me to input personal information.
What is this app using my information for? Will others be able to steal my information and use it for purchases or fraudulent behavior? There is a possibility, I’m not going to lie to you.
Reason #10: Discomfort - Uncomfortable topics may be brought forward.
For some odd reason, people on online dating applications get risky with their conversations and believe that it’s alright to introduce discussions about sex, religion, politics, and illegal activity.
We both know that someone you met in person would not be able to face you and ask you such questions. If I were to assume, I’d say it’s because the majority of conversations are not face-to-face; they’re over a screen, so humiliation and embarrassment are not seen by the person starting the conversation.
Reason #11: Judgmental - As a previous online dater, I can say with confidence that you will become picky.
Because online daters have to deal with all of the above, they start to become judgmental and picky in their search endeavors.
I know this happened to me. I started to see options that either scared me or turned me off and I now have escalated and above average expectations. Might not be great going forward, but online dating did change that for me.
Reason #12: Rejection - It’s always a possibility.
Then there’s always the obvious - rejection, but it can happen in the normal dating scene and the online applications.
Rejection can happen immediately or it can happen after the two of you swipe right on one another or it can happen after a date. Online dating doesn’t discriminate against the word.
So, as you can see, there are many reasons why online dating is the worst it’s ever been. COVID-19 does not make it easy. Ghosting people is easier than ever. Cat fishing people is not just something done on a show. Liars are more prevalent. The hookup culture is getting worse. Being too open can have its downsides. Safety should always come first. People can and will be overbearing to an uncomfortable extent. Some people will breach and steal your information. Uncomfortable topics will not be avoided. You will become more judgmental as time goes on. Rejection is always a possibility.
I think that pretty much sums it up! Maybe avoid online dating for now, until things get a bit better?