Dating Apps: loving or losing it?


“Dating apps are not the best, but the humans using them sure can be.”

Lane and I met on a dating application called Hinge. I seriously wouldn’t have our story be any other way. The only thing I would do differently: go back into the system and archive our first conversations before they were deleted for good.

More and more, my friends meeting and finding love on dating applications. It’s one of the most popular emails I get from readers: Should I do it? Should I take the plunge and try a dating application?

I asked my friend Ashley to chime in here. I forced her into trying online dating and she is now engaged to a pretty phenomenal dude: “Dating apps are not the best. They can seem cold and impersonal and trivial. I had some less than lovely experiences using them in college and my first two years post grad. For a long time, I swore them off, bound and determined to “meet somebody in real life.” But I’m so glad I listened to other friends who had dating app success stories. Lucas McKenzie Whaley is the cutest, most giant, sweetest human being alive – and because of the internet, I get to be relentlessly loved by him until we are old and wrinkly and gray. Which is why I tell every single girl I know to give dating apps a chance. I extol the virtues of Bumble nearly once a week to someone. Dating apps are not the best, but the humans using them sure can be. The Internet has given me the some of my best friends, some my best surprises and greatest gifts. So it only makes sense that God would use the Internet to give me my greatest love and the best gift of them all!”

I figured this would be a perfect Honesty Hour question to extend out into the world: Dating applications: finding love or losing it? Got any good stories? I’d love to hear. The floor is open. 

43 thoughts on “Dating Apps: loving or losing it?

  1. Your “Go on Tinder Dates” advice from one of your writing classes got me to take the plunge and try online dating. I know, you said that lesson point had nothing to do with dating, just with going out and living and risking 🙂 but that’s the risk I needed to take.

    I tried Tinder for about one day and realized it’s not my style. Then I jumped into a bunch to figure out which ones were my style, and I stuck with OKCupid, where I found the sweetest guy I’ve got to know and to love for the past year and a half.

    Online dating was scary and vulnerable. It kinda felt like you were exposing yourself as prey in the middle of a field, hoping you’d find one of the few deer instead of the swarms of lions. But those deer can be worth the risk 🙂

  2. My biggest question about dating apps is how old should you be before you try it out? I’ll be a junior in college in the fall, so I’m still young and have plenty of time to meet “Mr. Right.” But, the stigma at my private, Christian university makes casual dating incredibly difficult. Everything turns into dating or courtship before the blink of an eye. What if I want to get out there and casually date before my time of singleness and being twenty-young is over? Is a dating app really so bad?

    1. A dating app is all how you use it. Just like being a Christian is all how you use the word of God given to us. There is nothing wrong with casually dating unless that leads to impure relationships. It all depends on what you want out of it and what the person you are talking to wants out of it. Go out there and have casual dates that lead to laughing and telling stories at 1am. If you don’t try casually dating how will you know the type of guy you are interested in or the one God made for you if you don’t test the waters of singleness. You have to experience casually dating different types of people to determine which type fits you best and what you are looking for in the future. Protect your heart and see what is out there. You may be pleasantly surprised.

  3. Online dating is worth the try but there are (as in most things) lessons that can be learned. I have met some wonderful people but some were looking for things that they should have tried to find within themselves first.

    I am an educator, so I have a few nuggets of info. Love yourself and make sure that you are in a healthy state of mind and body. Do not let the opinions and statements of others dictate how much you will love yourself. Everyone is worthy of love, treat others as humans. You may learn lessons in unexpected ways through unexpected people.

    There are amazing people looking for a true connection. I have learned so much about myself through my many attempts and use of different apps. I met the man of my dreams in person but we found out later that we were using similar dating apps but never crossed paths then. I believe there is a master plan for everything, so be patient and enjoy the journey.

  4. The problem for me with online dating is that in a blink of an eye over the internet is it easier to ghost someone, for the person you are talking to and getting to know decides out of the blue to stop talking to you and you never get a reason why. Maybe it wasn’t you, maybe those conversations didn’t mean as much to them as it did to you and maybe they found someone else. But I think online dating makes it easier to ghost people and think there are always other people out there, why should I keep talking to this one? How do you know they are the only one they are talking to when the conversation turns deep and you start to think maybe the connection you are making could turn out to be something more. The problem is for me how easy it is to ghost someone, to stop replying to their messages, to delete the app, to unmatch with them. I don’t believe it should be easy to leave someone wondering why. It should be hard, and not done with the click of a button. But though I have been ghosted and left wondering what happened with online dating in the past I have also gained a great friend I wouldn’t trade for the world out of it. We probably won’t end up together, he isn’t the great love of my life and I’m not his. But he decided to stay, to not unmatch and stop talking. He didn’t take the easy way out and that is why we are friends.

  5. I’ve had many friends, and even family members, recommend me getting on Bumble and I just can’t get myself to do it. I’m fearful that it’ll hurt my confidence or that I’m setting myself up for failure. It’s also hard to think that I need an app to meet a guy.
    I’m 25 and have been very single for 3 years now. I’m getting to a point where I”m always the bridesmaid with no plus one, full time job and starting to put some roots down.
    Will it look bad to guys if I’m using an app to meet someone? What will they think? Do I want someone to judge me solely from pictures on my profile?

    1. Andrea, I am right there with you. Just starting to settle in a city, twenty-something, don’t want to “give up hope” yet. Is that what it is about the online dating thing? We felt that we have given up the hope of meeting someone in real life? I attend an incredible church and have made several male friends through that and I have to wonder…if none of these wonderful dudes are interested in dating me, will anyone else be? So I put myself “out there”. I tried Buble for about 5 minutes. I felt weird about it. I met a nice guy but nothing came of it. It is now the thing I turn to when my roommate goes on a date or I feel lonely after a week of studying.

      All this to say, I don’t have any advice or answers I am just here to say Me Too. I feel like there are a lot of us out there and I wish there were more opportunities to have this conversation.

      1. So thankful for this. I have had a LOT of these same feelings. Lots of great guys at church but none seem to be interested in dating. I’ve gone through spurts on several dating apps but haven’t felt right about any of my connections. It also seems to be something I try when I’m feeling extra lonely or feel like its my “last resort” and I don’t like that!

  6. I cannot recommend dating apps enough. I had tried using Date My School awhile ago during my junior year in college, and meet my ex. After that relationship, I swore off of online dating/apps. Fast forward to more modern times, and my best guy friend talked me into Tinder. I told him I would try it for a week. Low and behold, on day 2, I matched with the awesome, thoughtful, sweet, Godly man who will be my husband in 6 months. I did not even know human beings like him existed. Online dating is rough, and there are certainly safety/privacy concerns, but HB’s friend said it perfectly: “dating apps are not the best, but the humans using them sure can be”!

  7. Hmmm I’ve tried online dating a few times, but I only ever get men who are decades older than me trying to message me. It has always creeped me out. I just recently started thinking about it again because I’m in my 30s now and there really are just no Christian men that I know in my age range who are single. I feel like now there are SO many apps I wouldn’t even know where to begin, so I don’t because it’s too overwhelming. And I’m always afraid someone I know would see me on there and that feels embarrassing, like I’m so desperate I had to look online and couldn’t just find someone in real life. I’m indecisive.

  8. I met one of my best friends off Tinder. We dated off and on for 3 years, and it didn’t work out – but he is one person who understand some pretty dark sides to me. For that, thanks Tinder

  9. Man, I have never known how to think about online dating. It’s always been one of those things where I’m like “I don’t care if you do it nor do I think of you differently, but I don’t want to do it.” I wonder if I am too young to go on a dating app (just graduated college), I wonder if going on a dating app emits an air of desperation, and I so desperately long to know whomever I fall in love with as a friend first. Maybe that is weird…but the idea of going on dates with a stranger is wholly terrifying to me. I do feel hopeless that I’ll ever fall in love or be pursued as I have never even been asked out on a date. Part of me doesn’t care what the story could look like, but I am having a hard time getting over my personal stigmas with dating apps. At the end of the day, it just feels weird to me & I don’t know when the timing would make sense! (insert emoji of monkey putting hands over eyes hehe)

  10. I had a few seasons of life where I would try all the apps, then let myself breathe for awhile. It wasn’t a great method, but it kept my girlfriends entertained with the stories I’d collect from harmless first dates. It wasn’t until an “almost” relationship let me down, a friend encouraged me to try out a new app, and I reluctantly agreed. I entered the world of Hinge with a goal in mind of the type of match I was searching for. I immediately found my “Lane”, and he’s been better to me than I ever imagined an internet boyfriend could amount to.

    I’ve given the advice to friends to give it a shot. If you’re indecisive, what is there to lose? A few first dates may feel like a waste of time, but if you’re ready for a partner in life, the risk is beyond worth the reward.

  11. First off, I feel you. I was in the same position. But, does it look bad to you if the guys are using an app to meet someone?

    The internet has truly transformed how we interact with humans. 10 years ago we could have never imagined using the internet to get into a strangers’ car, stay in their house, or to go on a first date (with the exception of You’ve Got Mail). There is a bit of trust that you have to put into each situation.Just some food for thought!

  12. Hannah, I couldn’t agree with you (and your friend!) more. I think that dating apps have definitely changed the world of dating (for the better and for the worse) but I love that, like blogging, it’s an avenue to meet new people you might not otherwise meet. I’d still love to bump into a guy at the grocery store and then fall in love, BUT, I’ve been using apps on and off for a year or so now (and had relationships as a result) and it’s given me a lot of food for thought as to what I’m looking for in a relationship and it’s also opened my eyes to all of the people out there, too.

    And if anyone has any recommendations for their favorite apps, I’d love to hear them! I’m a little scared to try Tinder but it seems like people like Hinge and Bumble? I’ll have to look into those! 🙂

  13. Im currently on a break from dating, online dating to be exact. For me, the break was needed because I started seeing dating as a duty, and not “fun” like it used to be. Also because I felt for every date I would go on, I could see the guy matching me to his “list”. Such a weird feeling lol But I did meet a cool friend a year ago haha we dated for like 3 months and then he ghosted. We would ramdonly say hi, until I asked why he dissapeared and he said he wasn’t ready and now we are cool friends. I guess it has to do with the level of maturity one has to see whether you stay friends or block each other lol

  14. Due to a pitifully small pool of single guys in my area who are believers (seriously, where are they hiding?!?), I’ve really been considering a dating app. Honestly, the idea of going on a date with a guy who is a complete stranger freaks me out. I’ve been on one blind date, but a mutual friend set us up so I at least knew he was a real person. Totally dramatic…but how do you know they aren’t a psycho?? I also know that a lot of different types of people use dating apps, so a guy’s expectations for a date might be different than mine. Of course, I assume there are opportunities to get a read on that kind of thing if you’re having conversations within the app, but it still makes me a little antsy just thinking about it!

    Are Bumble and Hinge less creepy than Tinder? I feel like it’s the gas station bathroom of dating apps…yuck.

    1. Hi Kate–I have also been wondering where they are all hiding!

      One thing I do appreciate about online dating is you can usually get the Bottom Line Up Front. Unlike when you meet someone at a bar, where it would probably be weird to ask them right away what they are looking for, because people are looking for a wide variety of things, it’s not weird to ask right away. Many guys I’ve talked to were looking for friends or relationships, and others were not. The ones who weren’t just didn’t message me back when I told them what I was looking for, and it was fine. I do think Bumble and Hinge are less creepy. Bumble lets you make the first move AFTER you and the guy have already matched, so it lets you control who you actually talk to and who can talk to you. Hinge, theoretically, connects you with friends of friends. (it kind of depends on your area). You can make it pretty explicit in your profile(s) what you are looking for as well, which can tone down the weirdness.

      I had never been on a date until I started using dating apps. I’ve had a lot of misses, but each time has shown me something about myself and who I am looking for. I recommend trying them out. You can always delete your profile if you decide it’s not for you, and who knows? You might meet a great guy. Or at least get some “free” meals 🙂

  15. Hi Hannah!
    I think that it is amazing that we can meet people at the click of our fingertips, but I also think we need to be careful and do our due diligence. I didn’t have the best of luck with meeting quality people on a dating website years ago when one of my friends made me a profile to help me get “out there” after a painful break-up.
    I gave up on meeting people through technology pretty early in the game, but dating apps might be better. Then one day when I wasn’t looking for someone, the love of my life found me. So it can happen when you least expect it :).
    I have gotten mixed reviews about dating apps from my friends, but I do highly recommend:

    If you meet someone in question. Here’s also a post that I wrote about it. I wish you the best of luck!!!

    ❤ Alana

  16. Here is a quick story regarding my experience with online dating. I met a sweet blond hair blue eyed and just absolutely wonderful man I spoke to online for months. When it came time to meet, he asked if I would wear an open toe sandals and so I did. He spent the entire time of our first dating obsessing about how beautiful my toes were and if he could touch them. So, it is not always bad but it can be very interesting.

  17. I met my boyfriend of 4 years through online dating (not an app, but close enough right?). I felt a little like a crazy girl at the time, but I did save all of our messages before we deleted our accounts and I’m so glad I have them.

    As for my general thoughts: Admittedly, I was lucky. I signed up for a dating site, got a message from my guy the first day, only responded to him, and that was it. One and done. He had also signed up the same day and only went out with me, so our story is kind of rare in the world of dating apps and sites. That said, I know so many other people who have had successful relationships and marriages through dating apps/sites and as long as you are safe and willing to weed through the muck, I don’t see the downside to trying! I certainly don’t think there’s anything wrong with a digital “how we met” story. It’s just like a blind date, only the internet set you up.

    For those I’ve seen commenting here with safety concerns: Super important to be safe, of course! Just make sure you meet in a public place, that friends know your meet-up details and times so you have to check-in. After the first date or so the risk of going out with him/her is no different than any person you met “in real life.” To me, as soon as I met my guy in person, he was no longer an online stranger but a real life acquaintance.

  18. I have two very dear friends who met their spouses on dating app, one couple is about to celebrate their one year anniversary and another couple will likely be getting engaged in the next few months, so between Hannah and them, I definitely have an optimistic view on dating apps. I just got out of a two year relationship about two months ago and I’ve slowly but surely been putting myself out there on dating apps and even met up with a super sweet guy last night, who I think I could really like. Like many people have mentioned above, once you meet them in person for the first time they’re just like anybody else that you would’ve met in real life. Now, I can say though that my nerves were through the roof meeting up with someone from an app for a first date than they have been for other first dates in the past, but it was well worth it and I’m excited to see where things go!

  19. I met my partner on a dating site and it was the best thing that ever happened to me. That being said, I went on a tonne of unsuccessful dates and a a couple short-lived flings before I found him. Online dating is hard. Hell, dating is hard. But when you eventually find the right one, it was all worth it. I love your blog. If you have time please check out mine and follow back. I can’t wait to read more of your posts!

  20. Interesting! My mother says the Internet is the pathway to the AntiChrist so she’s absolutely against anyone using dating on apps and online. I’m going to be 26 in about two weeks, and haven’t been in a relationship in around 3 or 4 years.

    Trying to keep hope alive but I have a lot going against me when it comes to dating: I live at home with my mom as a 24/7 caregiver and have no car so she’s always in my personal business, I’m asexual and guys run from it, I look like I’m 14 no matter what I do to my hair, face, or clothing… So much… So much.

    Seems like online and in real life dating is just gonna always be hard for me.

  21. Well… settle in because this might be a long one. I loathe dating sites because they’ve brought nothing but strife to me. It started all as (bad) stories do with a catfish who turned up on our date looking like he’d borrowed a suit from his Dad. He’d claimed to be 6’3″ but actually was 5’5″ if he’d been wearing 6″ heels. Then there was a guy who stalked me, swiftly followed by the man who told his wife he was having an affair with me (we’d never met) which caused her to go batshit crazy all over my social media.

    There is the man who has a fetish with the size of my hands, the man who always wants to know if I’ve ever kicked anyone in the balls, the adult baby who asked if I’d be his new Mummy, the adult baby who said he’d pay me to change his nappies, the man who wanted to ‘finish’ (being polite) over my spectacles and the man who wants to buy my shoes as long as they ‘very used’.

    In terms of good prospects they are few and far between. I’m rapidly losing hope. I did go on a date with a man who was a great match on paper, and very handsome however in person was THE most boring man I’ve ever met. I wasn’t sure what happened but he spent the entire night talking about quantitative easing… I did the only thing I could do in that situation which was get drunk, snog him, and ask to lick his teeth.

    Maybe I’m the issue?!

  22. Some from my country they used the app to make some money. And for some country they used the app to make it dirty for money.

    Well I have to admit it I have tried and downloaded several dating apps. I felt like I was so lost that no one loved me and I said to myself why not try dating apps and so I did. Sadly there are a lot of guys who were only lookin for hookups or online pleassure. I wassnt able to meet a decent guy that can be interesting.

  23. It is hard to say online dating is good or bad. It works for some people, while does not work for others. It depend on how you look at it and how you treat it. A lot of people meet their partner online and some of them get married, ready to spend the rest of their life together. Some people deny it inside their mind before they start it, so that definitely not work fot them.

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