App TinderThe current reality of dating is that I’m terrible at it. No wait, that’s not what I wanted to say. The current reality of dating is that everyone uses some sort of dating medium. And that in spite of this reality I’m still terrible at it (come on Patrick, remember that self-confidence talks!). “Dating medium” refers to the apps, sites, events, and old Jewish women (interestingly enough, not called yentas) that help us find a mate.

My friend takes the blanket approach. He figured the more you put yourself out there, the more chances of success, so he signed up for nearly every app and site out there (though being an atheist, his profile on ChristianMingle is dubious at best). So I did what any good friend would do, and copied him. Here are the rundowns of the various things I’ve tried:

Tinder
Being a serial monogamist makes Tinder a bit jarring. ‘Cause the heart of the app is based on the idea that you want to bang and there’s someone nearby who does too. And presumably not after you’ve made a romantic dinner and cuddled up to watch The Notebook. In fact, methinks most of the people on here aren’t even remotely interested in ever watching The Notebook with you. Once you’ve realized this cold hard truth, though, it becomes a wonderful tool for mindlessly swiping through pictures of women posing with exotic animals when you’re bored (how is it that so many of you have had your pictures taken with tigers!?).

Hinge
Similar principle to Tinder, with less of the one-night-stand flavor. You’re still swiping through pictures of women (yeah yeah, the pictures also have profiles that no one reads), but with this app you’re only matched with people who are in your greater social network of friends (i.e. friends of friends of friends on Facebook). It’s a real-life representation of the idea of six degrees of separation, minus the Will Smith gay sex stuff (fear not, that link just goes to the Wikipedia entry for the movie). Not as many crazies as Tinder, more focus on dateability.

Coffee Meets Bagel
Surprise, surprise! You’re given a profile and you can either like them or not! But the real surprise is that you’re given only one profile. A day. At noon. You have limited time to like the person, and if you’re matched you have limited time to chat through the app and actually meet in person. It’s like the nagging friend who connects you with one of his or her friends and then keeps pushing you to meet up already.

OKCupid
Now we’re venturing into the realm of more “traditional” dating. Which is to say this is a dating site (they have an app too) and you’re perusing straight-up profiles that are fleshed out with things like “6 things I can’t do without.” You’re still not having to put in the psychoanalysis of eHarmony (“We must know EVERYTHING about you in order to match you”), but it’s not nearly as casual an experience as the app world. To me this swings to the other end of the spectrum of Tinder. You’re still getting crazies, but they’re more the “could easily become a cat lady” crazy as opposed to the “after we bang I’m going to steal your peanut butter and leave in the middle of the night” crazy. No offense to the women *cough* woman *cough* I’ve met on either.

Speed Dating
Ah yes. Old school dating help. It’s important to know your history and respect the way it was in the old country. Ya know. LA in ‘98. When I get fed up with this digitized world and its social media, I take a step back, disconnect, and do my swiping IRL. Experiencing speed dating first-hand is just the thing to scare me out of my funk and redouble my efforts on the online front.