Today, most young adults download the infamous dating app, Tinder. Whether it’s on their eighteenth birthday or after, most have it or have had it.
What makes dating apps so difficult for college students is that most don’t know what they want. Or there are occasions when they know exactly what they want, and that seems intimidating.
What happens when you match the person you were hoping for? You jump for joy, you laugh and you get a little dizzy, don’t you? Or do you think, “What do I do now?” If you’re like me, it’s all of the above.
Then the anxiety sets in until the person moves, because you’re too shy to do so first.
When you finally get that first message, do you look at it, see when they sent it, then put your phone down and wait an “appropriate time” to make sure they don’t think you’re in it or whatever it would be ? Because it would be crazy if they thought you liked them.
Now you’re talking – there’s a constant back and forth and you feel good about yourself and the situation. If you’re like me, the next step is usually what you dread the most. When they ask for your Snapchat.
It’s not that I don’t like Snapchat – it’s this compulsion that I feel that I can’t look a certain way or talk a certain way. But they have already corresponded with me and talked to me, so surely I shouldn’t care.
Things are going well and you engage in a fun, light and engaging conversation. You feel a sense of relief. Then comes the almost inevitable fall.
The answers become dry, the conversation is less engaging, and you feel like you’re the only one who wants to talk. Naturally, you begin to give back the same energy. At this point, you say to yourself, “Why did I want to play a match with them again? But whatever, you did it.
Part of you is happy you did, the other part is annoyed. They leave you open. No matter what, no matter who, you think to yourself, “What could I have done?
You are both students trying to understand life. So you ignore the slight disappointment when you see their name and the “open” notification, and get on with your day.
As soon as you find your groove, your phone turns off. You check it, and it’s a notification from them. You can’t help the slight jolt of excitement, but you remain impartial and try to establish an appropriate time to respond. Once you do, you are open again.
You go about your day and just avoid both apps together. All the while, in the back of your head, you’re thinking how stupid they are.
What makes dating apps for college students so problematic? For me, it’s the constant back and forth. You never really know how it will turn out. There’s also a small part of me that thinks, “Is this really how I want to meet my partner?”
I always thought it would be done organically. But that’s not the way of the world now.