Finding love on Tinder, CMB or Bumble? The hard truth about dating apps
Stress, anxiety and low self-esteem – looking for romance online can be a headache. CNA Lifestyle weighs the relationship pros and cons.
If you’re a single woman who finds online dating somewhat crazy-making, you’re not alone – and it’s not your fault.
Take the story of Rachel Tan, a 32-year-old single mum who spent a year on dating apps but has now sworn off these for a reason.
“Since 2015, I had been concentrating on raising my daughter, who’s now five. Then, I purchased my own home in 2018. Finally, I felt my life had settled down nicely,” recalled the former bank executive.
And so she downloaded a few dating apps: Tinder, CMB (Coffee Meets Bagel) and Bumble. As a newbie, it was a steep learning curve. “How to filter the fake accounts, sidestep would-be scammers, print-screen the person’s image and do a reverse Google search, and adopt a ‘if he looks too good to be true, he probably is’ mindset,” she shared.
For Tan, it all felt a bit unusual. “While apps allow me to get out and meet more people, they feel like free-for-all buffets when you actually prefer a-la-carte dining. You’ve got to sift out the good from the bad. You swipe based just on a few photos and a short introduction, then wonder if perhaps you might have swiped away the right match,” she shared.
“Then you have to filter the ones who are keen. You worry some might be weird or obsessive, based on their texting patterns. After that, you have to talk to them for a bit before deciding to meet them in person. Some back away when I tell them I have a kid,” said Tan.
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“No matter how secure you are, you always have it at the back of the mind that the guys you meet could be telling you white lies,” she continued. “In most probability, they’re meeting other people at the same time and to be honest, so am I – it’s like a game of roulette. While out on dates, I notice them texting other women. Some say ‘Oh, I’m only talking to you and another lady’, or ‘I’ve quit Tinder’, but my friends will send me screenshots of the guy still being active on the app.”
Despite making it clear from the start that she’s looking only for a meaningful and committed relationship with single men, she has encountered men who later disclose that they want “friends with benefits” arrangements, who aren’t technically divorced yet, or who’re still married.
Sometimes though, friendships are forged. “I met someone who, like me, is keen on entrepreneurship. I also met someone with a passion for mixology, so we catch up occasionally for cocktail and spirits tastings,” she shared.
“To me, the best outcome would have been to find someone who really likes you and wants to quit the app with you. However, this hasn’t happened yet. I want to set a good example for my daughter by having high standards in terms of the company I choose to keep,” she said.
Having recently started a new job as a private client development partner in the alcohol industry, Tan said: “I’m meeting a lot of new people organically so I’ve stopped the apps for the time being, and hopefully one day I’ll meet someone who’s right for me.”
We’re keeping our fingers crossed for her – but have you also thought about the science behind all of these dating apps?