The exciting world of dating apps got my interest about 3 years ago. I created a profile with a name that hid my identity. Some clicks that won’t let anyone find me, and a profile that was sales-y. I wanted to be matched in the wild world of tech-savvy dating.
In the first year, I kept swiping and liking profiles, left-right-center. I kept at it whenever I got time; hundreds of profiles in months together. Nothing happened. Now isn’t that how a desperate loser sounds. In the second year, I just gave up and deleted all the apps.
The Dating App Universe
The gender diversity on these apps is about 28% women, 71% men, and 1% others. Going by the demand and supply logic, the women have a beeline to sift through and find a match of interest. Making it a lot of work at times to get to the first step of greeting and having a conversation. These apps are difficult for introverts to express themselves. It is unfair but true.
The app is a dating platform; yet, it has prudish cultural influences. The seeker has hopes other than of discreet romantic and sexual exploration. People are looking for friendship, some virtual conversations, life partners (matrimony sites haven’t been working), and maybe more serious exploration than uninhibited play. I spent a day with some of my friends to understand what they look for and I gathered some insights.
Within the binary, men swipe based on their sexual inclination, the exact term being – doable vs. not doable. Whereas, women look for risk-free, compassionate, intelligent, and kind men, based on a well-written bio with authentic photographs.
The Dating Profile Makeover
After almost giving up on tech-enabled dating, I decided to evolve how I show up. I redrafted my profile to communicate who I am and what I expect to explore. Also, updated my photographs and signed up for the paid features on the app. Things like the super-likes, boosts, roses, super-swipes, etc. It is put in preferential order and it makes you more invested.
This makeover seems to be working better than I imagined. I matched several profiles and actively engaged in good conversations with most of them. Also met some wonderful people in person. I would say, it has been quite a decent win for me.
So here are some insights which I gained, hoping that others will find them helpful in their journey too.
Subscribe for the paid features. If you think you can get lucky swiping for free, there are high chances you might stay fishing on this boat for a long time and are likely to die hungry.
Once you have the paid features, all you have is 140 characters to reach out to them. Write a good compliment about what the other has shared, maybe about their click, tell them something they want to hear about them, and communicate something that will interest the other side to connect. You have a shot at making a 140 character pitch.
The key is learning to communicate. Knowing the language alone won’t be of help. Be original. Write your hook line and edit it several times. Use the characters simply and authentically. Make sure you don’t leave it at Hi and Hello. They are not great pick-up lines and can be a turn-off for many people. Hey Sexy, what’s up? or Wanna hook up? these won’t work either. Most people are demi-sexual; they need to feel a connection to find you interesting.
The Not So Pleasant Parts – Pay attention
There are patterns in different kinds of people I have matched with. I am going to attempt classifying them based on my understanding. In all truth, if it appears judgemental, take my sense of humor lightly. Here you go.
If the match reverts with a WhatsApp number to connect, I guarantee you these are scammers and extortionists. It has been consistent 100% of the time. They first respond to you with a menu card and charges for nude calls, sex chat, real meet, etc. they will give you a sample video call and screen record your face and whatever else you show. In seconds, they will send the screenshots of your Facebook profile, Messenger, Etc, and the screen records, threatening to share all of it with your contacts on Social Media. They will ask you to pay up a ransom of obscene amounts.
What if you are trapped
Do not ever pay a ransom. There is no going back if you play into it just once. You will be milk you till you die. Make sure you block and do not engage ever. And certainly, change your social media setting from public to private.
Instagram Baits (harmless and useless)
These are profiles of beautiful, pretty, seductive, and sexy women. They mostly say, I am not much active her, follow me on IG. Their aim is to just increase their Instagram followers. The number of people following them would be high with no objective but to feed their need to be admired. You can message them endlessly but will not get any response. You should follow them if you have all the time to waste.
Friends With Benefits-FWB (financially harmful)
Not the most common understanding as most of us may have, even based on movies we have seen. These are high pay expecting sex work. No judgments about them. But these aren’t authentic sex workers either. They will quote some obscene amount with no guarantee of any experience. Just hurts your wallet.
Seeking Sugar Daddies (financially harmful)
These profiles want you to fund their greedy lifestyles. Buy them expensive phones, let them shop till you drop dead, take them out on expensive dates and to places they aspire to go. You may be lucky to get some action. Your wallet will be drier than the desert unless you are a useless mafia don. So watch out.
The Silent Drones (Useless)
These are people who will match with you, send a hi and a few basic answers, and then go into complete silence. You can rant away, ask questions, suggest, threaten to leave, but there will be no response. It is just a waste of time. Un-match and move on. Unless you like to see a long list of matches in your message queue JLT.
The Blasters (Useless mostly, but harmful if you are offended)
A tiny portion of people with a traumatic past, abuse survivors, just out of a bad relationship, and several others, who are seeking deep connections and conversations. They are not in the headspace for play, romantic or sexual exploration. Their profiles are unclear, not stating the expectations. Your playfulness can snap them. You will get an ear full on why men are dogs, you are desperate, and why you need to be under therapy or in an asylum. They revel in venting their steam off on you.
Just let them be. “Dill pe mat le yaar, haat me le”. Otherwise, this is a recipe for disaster. You can get hurt, seethe in anger or do some random fly-off rash action. This might get you to be reported and locked out. Just back off gently and move on.
The Ghost-ers (Useless, but enjoy while it lasts)
They will match, have great conversations, even share pictures. But, just when you are happy that its shaping up good, and the first question of meeting pops up. Poof! You are ghosted. True blue KLPD experts. Just collateral damage. Let it go.
This can go a lot of ways. There are quite a few lonely people out there. Their journeys are stuck in places they want to wriggle out of. They are broken and need a crutch. These people can be hazardous. This could be mutual trouble that can turn bitter and regretful in the long run. Therefore, if you are in a different space and are not seeking the same level of commitment, set the expectations upfront. This is for your own safety and peace.
The Good that Happens
This bit is each to its own. Every story is unique, beautiful, precious, personal, and any other positive adjectives you can add to it.
I have been lucky to have crossed paths with some beautiful people. People on a journey of their own, sorted in the head, heart, and spirit spaces. Fantastic conversations, intimate experiences, and some lifetime connections. They may or may not be sexual, but definitely the authentic people to keep around you.
Such connections may vary from intelligent, romantic, extremely sexual, deep, kinky, fetish (some beyond you imagine). There is so much variety and color to celebrate. Keep them private and guard them with your life.
What worked for me may not work for you. But make sure you play, flirt, compliment, make intelligent conversations while being tender and true. Rest will fall in place.
My Two Cents on Dating Apps
The progressive side of the world has opened up opportunities for you to explore. Date, play, flirt, make connections, and so much more whichever way you want to show up. Some of the bad dating experiences make people cautious, and they take time to open up and engage.
Be ready to face rejections. Some people are terrible at the art of flirting; they can bite your head off. Be like those unfettered last benchers who don’t bat an eye when the duster lands at them. Being thick-skinned and skulled will help you survive. Be patient. Let consent play a big part in every move, whether you are pushing limits or not. Thanks to the way men have been for many years, other genders can smell miserable people from miles away.
Having said that, they or you might not be great matches made in heaven every time. It is okay to not be matched. It is part of the game.
Happy dating! Play!
Hoping this post is useful for you. I invite you to share your thoughts, experiences, and feedback. It will only help widen the scope beyond what I have written.
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