OK, so here’s a story that’s probably all too familiar to every guy who’s downloaded Tinder and the like as a way of ‘improving his dating life’.
Here’s how it usually goes:
Boy downloads app, uploads best pics from the last 5 years (ten if he’s put on a beer belly post college) and then swipes right until the cows come home.
Day 1…no matches, swipe limit exhausted.
Day 2…no matches, swipe limit exhausted.
Day 3…swipes on only ten girls, hoping the algorithm rewards him for his self restraint.
Day 4…thinks to himself, ‘I should probably pay for premium’. He eventually gives in to the dream of meeting that special someone and goes ahead with decision to see if $$ can save the day.
Day 5…one match…that’s Tinder’s way of thanking you for paying them Rs. 1600.
After a month of endless swipes, the boy now sports a right thumb that is disproportionately larger than the left. But has nothing else to show for it.
And NOTHING changes.
Our protagonist was full of hopes when he downloaded the app. I mean, could humanity have invented an easier way to find the woman of your dreams?
Well, time to try Bumble. No luck? Where dem bees at?
Try Happn. Same story.
Nothing Happns 😉
At which point our hero comes to a stark realization:
Am I so unworthy that I can’t get a single high quality match on a dating app?
No, my friend, thou art not unworthy. Thou art a man of value.
But you have no way of displaying that value on an app where the average woman makes a decision based on a split second swipe over an image.
While it got me down for a little bit, I was determined to change my life. I wasn’t going to give up on improving myself. And getting better at meeting and dating women was the focus of my self improvement efforts at the current time.
And so I did what any person in my position would do. Not content with my lot, I decided that I would have to make more of an effort to meet women in real life. Yes dear reader, you read that right. In REAL LIFE.
How I shook things up
So here’s what I did:
- Got off the apps. I deleted them so that I wouldn’t have the option of opening them and swiping.
- Joined a couple of communities where people hung out and did things together. This involved joining a yoga class and also a group of people who were trying to get fit using nothing but their bodyweight. I love staying fit and so it did not take much for me to decide to join these groups. Both helped me meet new people and get out of the house to do activities that I enjoy.
- Joined Floh. This one doesn’t need much explanation, but the objective was the same as above. The opportunity to meet women in real life at fun events is pretty much a no-brainer as far as I was concerned. I am much more likely to make a connection with a woman while having fun, than while chatting on an app while sitting in a taxi on my way back from work.
- Made a conscious effort to make conversations with women I was attracted to, whenever I was out and about — in coffee shops, at the pool or out for a run at Cubbon Park. This took me a little bit out of my comfort zone. If you’ve ever tried making conversations with attractive strangers, particularly when the other person isn’t expecting you to talk to them, you will know what I mean. Once you get over the initial hesitation though, it can be a lot of fun and also allow you to meet people who you wouldn’t have the opportunity to meet otherwise.
Here’s what changed:
- After about six months of doing the above, I felt so much more in control of my life. Honestly, just hoping that I would match with a cute girl led to a lot of frustration. If that is your de facto method of meeting women, boy, the future isn’t looking very bright, unless you look like Brad Pitt. While it took a little bit of courage initially to ‘make moves’ whenever I saw or met a girl I was attracted to, I felt like there was an ocean of opportunity to be tapped into. For a guy who’s hell bent on being perched over a device, it really is a small world. When you decide to get out and talk to folks wherever you get an opportunity, you can truly have a lot of fun. Sure, you’ll get rejected more often than is comfortable, but it won’t kill you man! I assure you that after you’ve met a person and you ask them for their number, and they decline, as crushing as that feels, all you need to do is to dust yourself off and get on with your day. The next opportunity is the next event / yoga class / coffee away.
- Meeting people in real life, either at organised events or while working in a coffee shop, makes you a better conversationalist. You don’t have a screen to hide behind. You don’t have a prefabricated series of lines to type out, or worse, copy paste into an app. You are forced to engage with the other person in a manner that is genuine, honest and real. And women dig that!
- Letting go of my reliance on apps has injected a lot of fun and, dare I say, adventure, into my life. It is basically a shift in mindset — at one point I genuinely believed that apps were my only gateway to meeting women. Given how incredibly time consuming and pointless using apps can be, I realised that I was spending more time on the app than with people of the opposite sex. As counter intuitive as that sounds, that is the reality for most people who use apps. Now, a conversation with a stranger can happen at any time, just as long as I have my wits about me.
- I saved a lot of time. I really don’t get much from chatting on an app. I remember once I had chatted with this girl for about 5 minutes and then asked her if she wanted to meet. She said she wasn’t ready. She said she wanted to get to know me better before we met. I said that we probably wouldn’t have that much to talk about if we kept chatting on an app — wouldn’t it be better if we discovered more about each other face to face? She didn’t think so. But it is shocking how many women would rather chat on the phone than meet up. That’s not my style, girl. I ain’t here to waste time and go cross eyed from looking at my phone for 5 hours a day. I am a busy guy, I have a full life and I don’t want to die having spent more time on my phone than I necessarily need to.
- Most importantly, I am meeting women who I am excited about. I only start a conversation with someone or ask them out if I am genuinely interested in them. There isn’t much doubt because I have met them in person — I have liked something about them to want to get to know them better. I no longer am hoping that the person in the pic doesn’t turn out to be shorter / fatter / less interesting than what I see on the app. Less uncertainty = less disappointment!
So there you go, that’s pretty much what has really helped me turn things around, at least on the dating front. I am meeting far more women than I ever did — in ways that I never imagined I would! It’s fun, it seems like an adventure and though there are occasions where I get blown away, the rejections don’t kill me.
So gentlemen, take my advice. Get off the apps and out into the world. It’s a big, interesting world out there, and you never know who you’ll meet!
Until the next time…
(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this column are that of the writer. The facts and opinions expressed here do not reflect the views of Floh)