Current Obsessions

The App Redefining The Dating Game (because it is a game)



My usual attitude to dating goes a little like this: if they want it, they can write a witty message, say something charming, and if I like it, they can get it (and by it I mean my phone number and a potential drink) I'm not making any first moves because quite frankly, I can't be bothered. I'll just sit here and wait, patiently, until my hair begins to go grey and my boobs sag way to the floor someone tells me that they fancy me (be that IRL, or virtually on Tinder/Happn, watching tumbleweeds pass on by in my inbox until someone sends me a message.) So when people started harping on about Bumble, the dating app that puts women in control by only allowing them to send the first message to a match, I simply didn't buy it. Dear god, now I'm going to be the one who has to come up with a witty opener, heaven forbid! But after a few weeks of using it, I'm really starting to feel the buzz.

With Tinder, it's all feverishly swiping
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ooh... RIGHT!



...over and over, getting matches here and there (and everywhere, if you're a lucky gal.) It seems to be the done thing that the guy messages first. The Tindersphere feels like a digital version of back when our Grandparents were young and the girls would stand on one side of the room and wait for a young chap to ask her to dance, reinstating the regressive social norm that it's tradition for the man to make the first move, and the girl to either reciprocate or laugh in his face with a Meghan Trainor style NO.

But even after matching with someone and receiving a message from your potential new love mate/ husband/ hook up/ serial killer, women are notoriously bad at replying. I'm the first to admit I'll swipe merrily along during the boring commute or whilst on the toilet simply for an ego boost. It's a rush of dopamine when someone likes you back - it's science after all! You can't mess with science. Many of us treat it as a game rather than a serious app. Right swipe - match! Right swipe - match! Right swipe- match! Oooh, I scored a hat-trick - winning! When speaking about it, I openly use the verb playing. What are you up to Soph? Oh, I'm just playing on Tinder.

After feeling like I've completed the game (aka grown bored/ seem to have ran out of men/ I've become immune to dopamine) I decided to give Bumble ago.

With Bumble, you have to message the man first or the chat expires in 24 hours. Each guy gets one opportunity to extend a match for another 24 hours each day, to encourage you to make the first move if you're feeling shy/lazy. So you only actually talk to people you want to talk to. Sure, it's still an ego-boost. And yes, you can still use it as a game, swiping for the matches, but it's all on you as to whether you actually speak to them or not. Which leads me to another selling point...

You're no longer plagued with weird messages, unwarranted dick pics, and shit chat-up lines Tinder has become somewhat notoriously known for (we all know of Bye Felipe and Tinder Nightmares) and that if anyone actually said these things to you IRL, you'd kick them solidly in the balls.

The catch: making the first move is kind of hard. I had a new found respect for every man who ever messaged me first, coupled with a sense of guilt to all of the ones I ignored. Must be smart. Must be witty. Must be funny. The go-to? Mention something they mention in their profile. Or from their pictures. Let's run through some scenarios on where to get starting on crafting the ultimate first message.

Beach pics
What you're thinking: I want to lick your abs
What you actually say: Is that Thailand in your pictures? I went there over New Years', where did you go? 

Dog pics
What you're thinking: I only liked you for your dog
What you actually say: Cute dog! Is it yours or did you just borrow it for your profile picture to get more matches? 

Skiing pics
What you're thinking: Am I the only person on a dating app who hasn't ever been fucking skiing???
What you actually say: Oh darling! Was that Verbier or Charmonix in your pics? Yah, yah. 

Pics with suspect-looking lady arms wrapped around his neck. Tightly cropped on his face so you cannot see romantic embrace. 
What you're thinking: If I go on a date with you are you going to get drunk and cry to me about how you're clearly not over the ex-girlfriend that's so clearly attached to you in your profile pic?
What you actually say: yeah... best not to say anything at all with this one. 

And what's better? It was created by former co-founder of Tinder, Whitney Wolfe, who left the company and launched a case against the other co-founders after facing sexual harassment and discrimination, so naturally it's about empowering the women. Oh, and she's only 26. Talk about goals. And her kickass attitude still causes ripples through the app, when they recently kicked some fuckboy finance bro called Connor off the app in an open letter on their blog after these messages were sent 






Bye Felipe?

Bye Tinder.  


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