The plague of “Just Ask” profiles on dating apps

We’ve never put less effort into algorithmic matchmaking

Once upon a time, the novelty of dating apps like Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, and OkCupid convinced us that, whatever the drawbacks, they improved and expanded the possibilities of love life. But ask anyone who has returned to these platforms after a long time away, and you’ll hear the same thing: it’s never been worse. Maybe we’ve had enough of the game, or a unique malaise has set in at this point in history. Or maybe over the years people put less and less effort into algorithmic matchmaking, until they stopped trying at all.

There is no greater proof of this trend than the “just ask” profile. You are familiar, I’m sure. Where any sensitive person should provide personal details, information about their interests or hobbies and a line or two about the type of relationship they are looking for, these idiots write: “Just ask” or “I” In an open book, just ask” or “Just ask what you want to know”. In 2014, few would have dared to reveal such laziness to their potential dating pool. Now the ranks of the shameless apathetic are much larger, almost unavoidable.

Given that men and women have accused each other of resorting to gender neutral and possibly also virgin dating biography, I think it’s fair to say that this problem is not gender related, but generational. Today, vast swathes of singles won’t say who they are or what makes them tick until another person tries to chat them up. At this point, they inevitably turn out to be “dry texters,” offering one-word responses that do nothing to open or extend the conversation. The “just ask” tactic heralds someone who doesn’t particularly want to shop for a mate – relatable enough – but also can’t muster the modicum of enthusiasm needed for a spark. You can tell that right from the start, you will do all the hard work to keep the connection alive.

Perhaps these people imagine they have cultivated a certain mystique and expect to attract the more advanced and curious types. Maybe it even worked before. Today, however, “just ask” is recognized as the non-response of a definitely boring individual – the person who can neither recall any of their own positive qualities nor explain why you should want to know more about their topic. Are they applying for jobs without a resume? Have they ever raised their hands in class? Can they summon the energy to ask you a question? These would all be fine avenues of inquisition, if you had a few hours to spare talking to the human equivalent of petrified wood.

Actually, forget it: petrified wood is cool, and saying that on your Bumble page would probably get you better results than refusing to have an identity. Otherwise, take advantage of the lack of engagement.

About Jimmie P. Ricks

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