Dating apps like Tinder, OkCupid, PlentyOfFish, Bumble, etc., have become increasingly popular in the last few years, and it’s really no wonder, since so much of the rest of our lives is online. If you haven’t already taken the leap into the online dating world (or if you have but aren’t in too deep yet), I’m providing you with some advice on a few things you should know first.
1. It’s quality over quantity.
Don’t focus on how many matches you are getting – focus on finding someone you genuinely connect with. Quality is always better than quantity. And remember that every left swipe and bad experience is really just bringing you closer to a person you’ll want to swipe right on.
2. Don’t get attached until it’s real.
Dating apps are the perfect way for people our age to play the field and be as unserious as possible. Don’t let yourself like someone you’ve met through an app until after you meet up in person (a strange concept, I know), hung out a few times, and know more about each other than your first and last name.
3. Be prepared for the ugly.
Unfortunately, all of the horrors of the internet are all too present on dating apps. The sexist messages, unwanted naked pics, the practice of ‘ghosting’ – there’s a lot of bad out there for every genuinely normal person you will encounter. Be prepared to ignore all of this.
4. They probably aren’t who they say they are.
There is a 99.99% chance that 20 year old “Daniel” is really 50 year old Miranda. Take everything on dating apps with a grain of salt. Literally, everyone lies about something. Whether it’s a little thing like how many times they work-out during the week or a big thing like how they are already dating five other people, be prepared for some untruth-telling.
5. It’s a commitment.
In order to have a dating app, you have to actually use the dating app. That means keeping your profile in tip-top shape, looking at your matches, messaging people. Yes, it’s work. But like many things in life, it may be worth it if you find what you are looking for.
Casey is a college junior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison studying journalism and strategic communication. Casey enjoys chocolate, horror movies, and Netflix binge-watching. She swears she’s normal(ish).