OPINION: Lower your dating expectations

Instant gratification of dating apps creates harmful culture for users; nit-picky behaviors, less likely to swipe right



Love really is a game sometimes. But when we turn it into a competition where every contestant needs perfect scores, the game starts to become a little rigged.

JUSTIN WASHINGTON, Evergreen research editor

Dating apps are as successful for me as a water puddle is successful for a computer.

I have tried them out on several occasions — Tinder, Bumble, Taimi, Hinge, you name it — and always ended up with the same result: nothing but a bunch of dead chats and $20 down the drain.

A lot of people have had bad experiences with dating apps and have acquired a general distaste for them as a result.

Wyatt Croucher, junior computer science major, said he does not use dating apps because he feels it is not a good way to meet people.

“I feel like when I talk to people, I can kind of build the relationship better,” Croucher said. “I’d rather talk to someone and [figure out] what vibe they have.”

My biggest gripe with dating apps is how we can condense people with complex thoughts and emotions into a couple of pictures and a list of qualities.

I fell victim to this myself when I was on dating apps. Rather than evaluating the guys on my screen as a whole, I took everything at face value. 

If I did not like their pictures, I swiped left. If the height they listed was not what I was looking for, I swiped left. The first incompatible quality I found was enough reason for me to move on and never look back.

I call it instant gratification. If someone does not immediately satisfy all of your wants, you tend to move on instead of compromising with the person or even giving them a chance.

This is the culture dating apps have created, and everyone knows it – whether they are conscious of it or not. We all put our sexiest pictures in our profile and our most attractive qualities are the first things in our bio.

It is a competition. We know if we are not near-perfect, nobody is ever going to match with us.

Abby Hedges, sophomore hospitality business management major, said her experience with dating apps has been for fun rather than for anything serious.

“My friends and I would get Tinder and we would scroll through looks without actually wanting to go on dates with these people,” Hedges said.

She said she did not think what she was doing was harmful but recognized only browsing on dating apps for looks is harmful to people looking for serious relationships.

Hedges said she noticed a similar pattern of people rejecting others who do not satisfy all of somebody’s wants.

“Especially if people put their song likes [in their bio],” she said. “‘Oh, this person likes country. That’s an automatic red flag’ instead of ‘oh, he has five or six things I’d be interested in.’”

Something that people always find when dating someone is their partner may not satisfy every single quality but can still be an amazing person. The more you get to know someone, the more you fall in love with the qualities you like and the more you ignore the qualities that are not what you are looking for.

No interpersonal relationship, regardless if it is dating or friendship, is going to be perfect. You have to learn to love the person even if they have a few shortcomings. It is all about taking the bad with the good.

If you do use dating apps, next time it might not be a bad idea to swipe right on the person even if they are lacking in a few things. Have a conversation with them before making any judgements.

If you always keep your expectations unattainably high, you will end up missing a lot of opportunities.