I’ve never logged on to a dating app in my life. Not because the concept is beneath me.
I’ve been single on and off since I’ve lived here and I have plenty of friends who use apps and one friend who met his now-fiancee through an app.
Apps seem great for people who are bouncing back from the end of a relationship and are ready to jump into something new, and for people who want to accelerate their influx of prospects.
But there are a few reasons apps haven’t been right for me:
(1) I don’t think it’s hard to meet people organically in Charlotte.
That has nothing to do with the fact that I grew up here. The trick is taking the leap from just saying “hello” to a stranger to actually starting a conversation with one. I’ve found that you can meet someone that way at yoga studios, at Amelie’s, at Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (or other nonprofit) events — and at Target.
Sometimes it’s just a matter of asking a question, expressing interest through curiosity.
(2) I abhor the “I don’t want to date you right now” conversation.
I’m afraid that if I ever tried Tinder, or Bumble, or Hinge, I’d join the ranks of people going on multiple dates in a weekend. Which sounds fun, but which means this moment of letting someone down or being let down would be ongoing.
All the stress.
(3) I’ve seen the unfortunate effects of speed dating in Charlotte.
Which could be my fault, because I helped organize two speed dating events at two uptown bars. Both times the women seemed disappointed by the quality and quantity of the male turnout. They spent more time sipping drinks and huddling with each other than with their potential dates.
Isn’t a dating app just a digital version of speed dating, minus the initial uncomfortable face-to-face?
(4) I have no problem with women asking men out.
Yes, it’s more fun to be pursued. But what about the people who are already in your life that you’re interested in? Waiting around and wondering what someone feels can be pretty boring.
Consider giving options — coffee or dinner? — to gauge level of interest. It’s empowering.
(5) I’ve let friends set me up.
Minimally, but I’ve let it happen. I’d rather go out with someone I’m 100 percent certain is not a serial killer, and who could at least extend into my friend circle following the aforementioned “I don’t want to date you right now” discussion.
(6) I haven’t hit an age where I’m worried yet.
Sure, I’m 26 and my mom was married at 23, but my close friend group in Charlotte has a healthy balance of newly single people, people in committed relationships and married people. For my purposes, I view apps or online dating sites as a “relief” button — a way to reboot my romantic future when I actually think it needs it.
I’m just not there yet.