It was late morning on a Sunday and I had just finished all of my chores and errands for the day.
I decided it was a good time to sit on the patio with a cup of coffee to enjoy every last bit of summer before it ended.
I’m two sips in when my phone alerts me of an incoming call from a friend who was on vacation, by himself.
He was feeling down because he was alone. He hated being alone.
I’m the worst person to complain to about waiting to find someone. As much as I believe in everything about love, I am the poster child for living a single life. So he wasn’t going to get any pity party from me that he has yet to find someone.
I must have had an off moment because during the call, I began to preach to him about getting himself back out into the dating world.
He was even surprised by my change of heart but listened intently as I planned out exactly what he was going to do once he returned from vacation.
My plan was for him to join a dating app. I encouraged him to try online dating. But not just any dating app—Facebook dating.
Apparently, Facebook dating was a thing. I didn’t know it existed. Call it good timing but another friend of mine raved about her success or the site a few days prior.
His only response was, “Can I really find love on a dating app?”
I wasn’t sure how to answer his question because honestly I didn’t know.
Over the years, online dating has gotten a bad rap. I will openly admit that I had once, years ago, tried online dating for a hot minute. It was awful. The moment I signed up, my phone was blowing the f*ck up with messages and emails. It was so bad. My anxiety was in full-on panic mood, and I quickly deleted the app and swore I would never ever—and I mean never—put myself through that again.
How can I promote online dating to a friend when I myself have never given it a chance? Eeek, right?
I couldn’t believe I was actually doing something so out of character. But I wanted to know, can someone find love on a dating app?
So I took a deep breath and created a profile. Here goes nothing.
Facebook dating is surprisingly comfortable. I’m given a bunch of potentials based off of my preferences. I can make my preferences as vague or as tight as I want. I went with the tight option. I’m not trying to find the love of my life hours away. Let me see who is close first. I’ll venture out later if I have to.
I’m given the choice to either “X” someone or “heart” them. If they “heart” me back, we have a match and we are able to communicate. Facebook dating will not give me anyone on my current Facebook friends list if they happen to be on the dating app. I love this. I’m a private person. I don’t feel comfortable letting my Facebook friends know I’m actively dating. Well, that is until I write about it like I am now. Facebook also won’t allow any of my blocked people to appear as a potential match if they happen to be on the site.
At the same time that I’m given a list of potentials, my profile will be placed as someone else’s potential. At that time, anyone can either “X” me or “heart” me. If someone clicks “heart,” they are placed in my liked list. I will need to either “X” them and they go away forever or “ heart” them back and we have a match.
So when I go into the app, I can look at my list of potentials—my list of people who have given me a “heart” or my current matches.
Once I have a list of matches, I can either start a conversation or wait to hear from someone.
If I change my mind on a match, I can delete the conversation and they go away. I’ll never be matched with them again. Or so I understand that to be the case. But once I delete the conversation, I can’t talk to that person anymore as they disappear from my match list.
I love everything about this dating app.
It is not overwhelming. I set the pace and tone on who I’m connecting with. And I have the right to delete anyone I want without ever being harassed.
I felt completely in charge of what I did on this site. So much so that I forgot it’s me we are talking about. I went in optimistic about finding someone, but I had this thing where I would “X” everyone.
It’s really hard to connect with someone’s picture. It was easier to just “X” everyone. I swore I was going to either break the Facebook dating app or they were going to kick me off it and tell me there was no one left because of my X-ing habits.
Neither happened. Facebook dating kept finding me new, potential love interests.
It amazed me that so many people in my age group were starting their lives over again. When I’m out in the real world, a lot of younger men try to get my attention. In the app, every single one of them are my age. And it feels refreshing.
I wasn’t the only one starting over again. It made me feel hopeful.
Once I actually began to message with people on my list of matches, I was, let’s say, a little thrown off.
The first match was really nice—until he told me I was so pretty that it made him want to hold my hands above my head while he pinned me against the wall and kissed my sweet lips. Sweet Jesus.
Listen, that was really freaking hot. But this was not the time nor place for any of that nonsense. Delete.
The second match was super fun—until he sent me a list of questions that involved what I would do in different scenarios. What the hell?
I refused to participate in an interview. Delete.
The third match was super chill—until he yelled at me when I said I would love to meet someone but was okay if it didn’t work out because it was a night out meeting someone new.
Okay, so maybe after I reread my response, it sounded like I was just fishing for a free meal, but that was not what I meant at all. I had to be realistic about my intentions when I joined a dating app. I was keeping it real. No need to yell at me. Delete.
There were a lot of people on the site who were creepers, some were a bit cocky, and some who came on strong then pulled away.
I realized that the online dating world was really no different than meeting someone out in the real world. Just as the real world is filled with creepers, assholes, and people who are full of themselves, online dating is filled with those exact same people.
But I realized there were also really great people on there who just wanted to find a perfect match.
The chances of finding love on a dating app is just as real as finding love in the real world.
It felt like this was the new normal in terms of dating. If we throw in a pandemic, hardly anyone is meeting people like we used to.
It’s worth exploring. What do we have to lose?
Our online dating experience will depend on ourselves. As long as we go in with an open heart, a curious mind, and a hopeful soul, we just might find what we are looking for. Add in some boundaries, the right attitude and being safe will enhance the experience.
In the mix of batsh*t crazies and looney toons, in between the assholes and jerks, there are some really great people on the site who just want to find their person. Sincere people who just haven’t met the right person yet.
The people who join online dating are the brave souls who have not given up on love.
These are the people who are getting closer to finding love because they are putting themselves out there.
And sometimes love is worth taking a chance.