Glad I Missed Dating Apps
Until I edited Beyond the Swipe—a new book out this week—I never knew that “swiping” right or left represented a response to a dating app invitation.
Now that I’ve been educated on this brave new world, I can confidently say that I’m not sorry I missed out on this 21st century phenomenon.
In several email exchanges with author Kristin Fry (a staff member at Pastor Andy Stanley’s North Point Community Church near Atlanta), I commented that it seems human nature hasn’t changed in 50 years. It’s just that now people can be jerks so much faster.
Image Isn’t Everything
In the blink of an eye, today one can find an array of attractive, exciting date matches. But like so many things in life, what you see isn’t necessarily what you get.
Put another way, how many of you are willing to hop on a plane to go meet that wonderful woman (or gorgeous hunk) for the weekend?
Kristin shares about a woman who met a guy in person after online chats, only to discover over dinner they had nothing in common. Needless to say, it was a short-lived relationship.
This story reminds me of the recent conversation I had with a friend who has relative in Hollywood. She once had a date with an actor who would fit in the “household name” category.
She mentioned not caring for the guy. When my friend remarked that he was rich and famous, she replied, “Who cares? He’s a jerk!”
One of the hazards of the kind of dating apps Fry reviews at length is the series of ongoing options they create. She calls it “optionitis.”
Fry writes that it’s a “a disease (that I made up) where men are unable to make a decision due to too many options: This results in men choosing all the women on their phone instead of just one, which essentially means he has chosen no one.”
In what had to be somewhat painful revelations, the 30-something Fry shares some of her own tales of being treated as an option.
One involved a six-months-long, rather volatile relationship that she persisted in despite God’s advice in that still, small voice: “Let him go.”
She finally came to her senses after a call that ended badly just prior to having to deliver a talk at a conference.
That’s when she realized he was only interested in her when it was convenient for him, he had nothing else to do, and there were no other women vying for his attention.
“That’s all I was ever going to be,” she says. “An option. And when he no longer needed an option, he moved on.”
Fry shares another story about canceling Friday night plans with a friend to meet a guy. He showed up a half-hour late, whispered proverbial sweet nothings in her ear for 30 minutes, and then rushed off.
She learned later that he only came to pick up some materials from her that would help him connect with another girl he was interested in.
The Golden Rule
Lest you think Fry is on a diatribe against men, she acknowledges that plenty of women maintain dating “rosters,” play games, and in general act in uncharitable ways.
Her point is that people should use dating apps with integrity and use the Golden Rule at all times.
While I agree, when I finished editing Fry’s book, I was overjoyed to have been married for a long time.