Dating apps: A memoir

Many people ask my about my experience with dating apps and enjoy my hilarious, ridiculous stories about them so I feel obliged to give my review on the ones I have used.

I have participated in 3 of the most popular apps: Tinder, Bumble, and Raya for different purposes at different times. Sometimes it was because I was bored, sometimes because I was recently single and wanted to rebound, sometimes to find a fun, carefree fling, sometimes out of curiosity, once admittedly to catch my then cheating boyfriend who my friend had swiped past (ugh), and a few times literally to research for this blog.

I would go through periods when I would download the app, delete the app, then download the app again, and repeat going through a cycle of entertainment, boredom, amusement, frustration, annoyance, disinterest, etc. And although some apps are better than the rest, I definitely have a love/hate relationship with all of them.

Also, keep in mind all my experiences have been completely drawn from a woman’s perspective. I have no idea what men see on their side of the app except for possibly Raya where I chose to swipe both genders.

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First up is Tinder. This is probably the first dating app that used the popular ‘swipe’ technique and the one that most millenials have joined. I consider this app equivalent to well vodka — it’s cheap (most apps are free but this one just feels a little bit more $0.99 than the others) and gives you a bad hangover (from all the men on there wanting to ‘get a drink.’)  This app does a terrible job at filtering it’s users and in consequence Tinder is definitely the app where you will find the most fake profiles otherwise known as catfish. I have been honored to have at least 10 profiles created using my stolen photos all over the United States. Here I am as 24-year-old ‘Lory’ and 3 facebook followers alerting me to other fake profiles of me. What a humorous treat it is to see the names and details strangers come up for you.

The user interface is very easy to understand. You sign up with a facebook profile. Select your settings (age range, gender, etc) and it hooks you up with people in your vicinity which is cool especially if you’re traveling and looking to meet new people. Unfortunately, while in NYC in December I used this app and didn’t swipe anyone worth meeting, but still a very cool feature. And like the others, you swipe left for no and right for yes. Of course this app, as all of them, users are swiping based mostly on appearance as they leave little room for a well-written profile, which can be a downfall for those actually looking for people of substance as they may look pretty but be dumb as rocks.

My most bizarre Tinder experience was when I was led to believe I was going to have a date at a nice restaurant so I wore a cute outfit and heels. But to my surprise my date picked me up wearing sweats and then we drove off to meet his friends where the date resumed at a weed shop (first time in one actually), then we walked around in dirt below the Hollywood sign so his friends could take touristy photos, and then finally my croissant/donut crossbred virginity was taken at cronut shop. The plot twist is that my date filmed the entire thing and submitted it to a dating reality show. Our date must have been bizarre enough because he got picked for the show and I watched the entire season where he found a girlfriend and  won a decent sum of money. Congratulations and you’re welcome, guy. Feel free to send me a commission. 😉

Overall, this app is deemed the ‘hook up’ app for a reason, contributing significantly to the new netflix and chill generation. From a female perspective using the app to find quality males, it is quite daunting. This app has the largest demography of fuckboys, liars, and fakes. While some people have had relationship and/or hook up success on it, I am not a fan. As someone whose face is floating around multiple profiles on their app catfishing men, it is concerning that users can so easily make a fake profile. The quality of well-rounded men also seems to be fewer in number than the other apps in my experience.

Tinder is best compared to a $0.99 cent McDonald’s cheeseburger while the other two apps at least have the option of serving you steak.

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Bumble is a step up from Tinder. Same easy interface and instruction. However, this app steps it up a notch by allowing women to have the upper hand. Once you match, women must message the man first. They recently added a great feature that will eliminate a lot of ghosting that tends to happen on these apps — men must respond within 24 hours or lose that match completely. Same goes for women when they first initially match. I know a lot of people are like me and just match with a ton of people and then let them sit there until they eventually message the match or get bored and delete them. Now you’re forced to make an interaction right away or move on.

In my experience, for whatever reason this app has a way better selection of men whether you’re looking for a hook up or something more serious. Men are overall better looking, less entertainment based (sorry actors, models, musicians but it’s nice to see non-industry folk too), more mature, and send less late night 2am DTF-type texts.

I haven’t heard of any Bumble catfishes yet either even though it is not moderated and anyone can make a profile. A downside that I have heard from others is that this app tends to put a lot of the attractive users profiles up front which can give off the vibe that many of them are fake. I have seen a few recognizable names when I started swiping but have no knowledge if they are fake or not.

I’ve met a couple of cool people from this app, one who I saw for awhile and we remained acquaintances. I find that a lot of older men (30s+) prefer this app which may also be why there is a significantly less chance of swiping right on a fuckboy.

Using Bumble automatically graduates you from a cheeseburger to a filet mignon just by signing up.

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Raya has been called “the Soho House of dating apps” which if you know what Soho House is that will give you an accurate description of that this app is about. By some it is considered awesome (generally those who are accepted) and by others it is considered pretentious because they don’t let everybody join and the people who are users of the app are typically actors, writers, singers, models, athletes, youtubers, etc…normally these people have a big social media following and can be somewhat known. Most are “industry types” but not all. I’ve seen many B and C list ‘celebrities’ on there. Don’t ask me who, I value privacy and they shall not be named here. In fact, when you try to take a screen shot of a profile the app alerts you that it is not allowed and it may alert the user you are screen shotting and/or you will be banned from the app. So it gets an A+ in the privacy department.

When you first sign up a few things can happen:

  • you are waitlisted… this can be anywhere from 1 day to literally infinity. I have seen people angry that they have been wait listed for over a year
  • you are accepted but have to pay an $8 monthly fee
  • you are accepted and do not have to pay a fee
  • you are rejected

I have no idea who is on the voting squad or what the magic criteria is as I have had friends try to join that are actors or models with big social media followings that were wait listed or denied.

However, if you are accepted it is pretty cool especially if you are in the industry and want to meet like-minded folk. If you’re a groupie type, it is your paradise as some of your favorite music artists and actors will be on there. Many of the people on there are beyond society’s expectation of attractive.

However, the downside is that because a lot of these people have status or are just really, really good looking (worse if they have money) is that they treat people as disposable. They are used to getting whoever they want with little to no effort. It is a sad cycle for them because most of these people are on there to find someone normal they can connect with and trust due to their offline life being high profile or just plain nuts, but because this app is so easy to swipe to the next attractive, ‘popular’ person I think it is actually harder to find a genuine connection or even friendship than you would on a normal dating app such as Tinder or Bumble.

My experience was definitely interesting for the few months I used the app. I did meet up with more guys from this app than I did other apps. There was a lot of fuckboys, some cool guys, some annoying guys, some guys who we stayed friends, some guys whose music was on my current playlist, some guys who were older, and some who were younger. One guy even offered to fly me out to him to watch a game (I didn’t) which was a little crazy but intriguing. There is a good mix on there.

On the female side (I switched it so I could swipe men and women) there are lots of interesting, different girls…the majority model-looking types so it explains why LA men are spoiled ;). Many were extremely beautiful that even I was too intimidated to swipe them! haha.

There are two downsides to the app that I noticed:

  • It matches you with people ALL OVER THE WORLD instead of who is around you. So literally at times I was talking to guys literally in England, Australia, NYC, or even Texas and it’s very unlikely I would ever meet them. That sucks because I did connect with one guy from the UK for a bit but it dwindled out after awhile due to distance.
     If you live in Hollywood or any small circle like it, it is literally a cesspool of the same people you already know and everyone is somehow connected. Hollywood can sometimes feel like a high school to me as everyone knows each other and everyone is hooking up with each other. It’s a mess and the last thing I would ever want is someone everyone else has had.

– This literally happened to me a couple months ago when I hung out with one of my      Raya matches only to find out I matched with his roommate…AND also his brother. Yikes. After that I deleted the app.

The best thing about the app is how it is basically impossible to catfish people. All the profiles are real because they are hand selected and they link your official Instagram to your profile. You can also add music to your page. Win/win.

Otherwise, this app is fun and a cool way to meet people. Don’t take it personally if you are not accepted, there are men and eggplant (ha) everywhere… on and off apps.

— When it comes to dating apps I always sign up for fun and swipe around when I am bored without any expectation, kind of how I treat guys in the real world. I truly believe that people swipe away without really knowing what they want which makes things tricky for the people who are looking for just a hookup vs the ones who are looking for an actual connection/relationship. Go in looking for fun with an open mind/heart and it will be less disappointing if you don’t find what you’re looking for 😉 I can’t say I won’t ever go back to dating apps. It is very hard to date and meet people in LA so I understand the appeal of why so many people are on them.

Be safe and happy swiping,

— Cee





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