What are the rules for using a dating app? Are there any rules at all, or is it what we make them to be? I did a few experiments recently that I believe a lot of dating-app users would find helpful, interesting, and entertaining. Like many women my age, I have tried almost every dating app possible. From Tinder to Seeking Arrangements, I have dabbled in just about anything that could steal time away from more important things in my life, like work. I found the most luck using the apps Tinder and Bumble, because there was a wider selection of men who were down for almost anything. I used this to my advantage.
An idea popped into my head one week when I was starving and had but only a pack of Ramen to my name… I thought, what if I dated seven guys for seven days? I could eat for free, and also be entertained by a variety of men. Now, I am not a total user, I did offer to pay for the drinks and dessert. Some men took my offer, while others did not. Don’t worry, I will go through each of the dates with you just to give you a better picture of what is out there, ladies and gentlemen.
So there I was eating my last pack of Ramen, and I hopped onto Tinder. Electricity was flying from the tips of my fingers as I literally swiped right to every single man I saw. I didn’t want to exclude anyone, because honestly you never know. Prior to all this swiping, I made a few rules:
No messaging first
I would be the one making all of the plans
I would ONLY meet in a crowded place
I would wear the same outfit on every date
No kissing or funny business for any of the men no matter what
I swiped for about an hour and then I just let the magic of Tinder do its work. Soon, the matches and messages started to roll in. I decided to weed out all of the inappropriate first messages and just respond to the good ol’ fashioned “how ya doing’s.” The first guy I felt a good enough connection with was named “Max”. Short for “Max(WELL) you better buy me some Cheesecake Factory”. Yeah, so… Max agreed upon dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. A little bit too romantic for a first meet, but I was craving some Chicken Parm with a side of guilt (aka S’mores cheesecake.) Max was a 26 year old car salesman that lived in his parents’ guest house. He clearly came from money, but was still way too babied for my liking. He ended up accepting my offer to let me pay for both the drinks and dessert. That, my friends, is how the rich stay rich.
Date number two goes to a lovely Spanish man named “Angelo”. Angelo was new to America. He spoke broken English and drove for Uber for a living. You bet I used that to my advantage. This was the date that I decided to do a Happy Hour at a local restaurant called Bakersfield located in Downtown Pittsburgh. If you haven’t been there, you are missing out! Anyways, I got a free Uber ride and free drinks all night. Angelo was a total angel(o). We laughed, I drank, and drank, and drank… Needless to say my date ended up with me calling one of my roommates to come pick me up because I was headed face first into a toilet bowl. The best part of this whole thing was, Angelo texted me the next day and wanted to meet up again. He must’ve enjoyed my drunken Britney Spears impressions followed by vomit burps. So far I was digging one of the two men in my “Seven in Seven” project.
On the 3rd day of experimenting with dating, my Tinder gave to me, some guy named Phil. I hope you all sang that first line. Good. So Phil, he was an engineer by day and gamer by night. Not my typical pick, but I decided to give it a shot. Phil was like the King of the Dad Bods, which I can get on board with. The date location chosen was: Dave and Busters. I knew Mr. Phil would appreciate some bar cuisine and games. Conversation was good. Drinks were good. But you know what wasn’t good? The way Phil chewed: like a cow munching down a pasture of fresh, dewy crop. I tried to ignore it, but then like a newborn baby, it starting dribbling down his chin. It was OVER. I had to come up with the fastest case of cramps a woman has ever seen. Needless to say, this was a miss.
Interestingly enough, I continued on my quest of going on seven dates in seven days to see if the realm of Internet dating was worthwhile. This then brings us to date number 4, Kevin. Kevin, the personal trainer with a body chiseled by the gods, swiped right to blubber-face me. Luckily for him, I was craving wings. Something I know a man like him cannot resist. Wings just so happened to be my favorite way to look like a complete Neanderthal on a date. Almost every bar in Pittsburgh offered Wing Night on Wednesdays. We both made a mutual decision of meeting at Fat Head’s Saloon in South Side. I know, I said I would be the one doing all the deciding, but BODY. CHISELED. BY. GODS. PEOPLE. Kevin looked like he could lift a semi-truck with his pinky. Much larger and muscular in his pictures however. Nonetheless, he was both attractive and kind. I offered to pay for the drinks, but he refused. Based on looks, conversation, and chivalry, Kevin was the date to beat.
More than halfway there, I decided to make the 5th date a little more casual and fun. With that being said, going on a date with five guys had me craving Five Guys. Get it? Anyways, I decided on this laid back date based on the vibe I was getting from this next match. Dean was the name of this next lucky guy. We matched on Bumble, therefore I had to break one of my rules and message him first. Dean teaches English and Literature at a local college. He agreed upon Five Guys, which I had to make sure he ate meat, because chances are 1 in every “Five Guys” is a vegan. Puns for days. Anyways, he is an omnivore who happened to love burgers. So, we enjoyed some grease and small talk before deciding to take our little outing to the casino. For a Thursday night, The Rivers Casino was packed. I gambled most of my funds away that evening, whereas Dean was on fire. After his winning streak, we decided to call it quits and have a quick beer at the bar. Dean was a really cool, laid-back guy. He waited for me while my Uber was on its way, and there I was, breaking rule number 5 with number five. We kissed. I could’ve said no, but I didn’t feel like it. It was a good one too, and totally worth breaking the rules for.
I could not believe how quickly this week of experimentation was going by. Already down to the last two dates. I met my next date on Tinder. He actually “Super-liked” me, which means he really wanted that date. His name was Tyler, and he was an engineer out near Washington, PA. He told me that he always wanted to explore downtown. So, I decided to make this date a little more adventurous and allow him to see some of the city. It was a Saturday in the springtime, and there was a lot to do around town. We met Downtown at a newer restaurant at the time called Revel + Roost. Amazing food, drinks and atmosphere. We had a light lunch and then decided to rent bikes and ride around Point State Park. Tyler was really nice, but totally the most boring person to talk to, ever. All he did was laugh at my jokes. Getting him to talk was like pulling teeth. After our joy ride downtown, I decided to call it a day. I could tell that the chemistry just wasn’t there. Till this day he still texts me asking to hangout or show him the city. I thought it was obvious that sparks were not flying for us.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST, we have the final man with the final date. To complete our Seven in Seven experiment, I decided to make the last selection someone that would really leave me with some great stories… He called himself “Sugar Daddy”. His real name was Jay, but if he wanted to be my (sugar) daddy, you best believe that’s what I was going to call him. The thing I came to learn about Sugar Daddies is that they do not necessarily have to be old men. He was a buff businessman who wanted to spend his life savings on a young woman. Because this macho man wanted to spend some dough, I decided to pick a nice and expensive restaurant. I have to go out with a bang, right? McCormick & Schmick's it is. Fancy establishment with a fine selection of entrees and wine. Sugar Daddy was a real tool. He was trying to pull some Fifty Shades of Grey kind of nonsense with me. I don’t think he realized that all I wanted from him was a free meal and good conversation. He was trying to converse on terms of this agreement and how he would like this relationship to work out. Here’s the thing, I think it is so bizarre that a man with good looks, charm, and money would rather spend his money on random women in which he still has to take on dates and buy gifts for, rather than just actually date someone. It is just all a big power thing I’m assuming. Anyways, I got my steak. I got some more information on online dating, and most importantly, I completed my experiment.
Through all of this modern form of speed dating, I realized that there are some good guys out there on online dating apps/sites. I also turned to some of my followers on Instagram to see how they view online dating. I chose an Instagram survey because I have a good amount of followers and it is a quick and anonymous way of getting information. I asked my followers, “How many of you use online dating apps or sites?”, and “Did you find them to be successful?”. I got the same percentage for both questions: 32% vs. 68%. 32% of my followers used dating apps/sites, and that was the same number of people who found them to be successful. On the other hand, 68% of my followers did not use dating apps, and they also found them to be unsuccessful.
Reflecting on the Instagram survey and experiment I conducted, I came to the conclusion that dating apps and sites are not for most. Just from the experiment alone, I have kept in contact with three of the guys. Are we in a relationship? No. BUT I was able to get out there and meet new people. I think Tinder, Bumble, and apps/sites similar to them are all about practice dating, getting out there, and get learning about other singles. I know some people that have found these forms of dating to be very successful. My roommate met an amazing man on Bumble. My cousin is engaged to the girl he met on Tinder. I just use these dating tools to get out there and make life interesting.
Whichever side of the spectrum you are on with dating apps/sites, I think it is important to always have fun and not be afraid to put yourself out there. They are great tools for making friends when moving to a new area. Keep an open mind and experiment a little. And to all seven of you diverse men that agreed to go out with me, thank you. Thank you for allowing me to insert myself into your life and, get to know you guys, and for all the paid-for food of course. I wish you all the best of luck in the dating universe.