So there you have it, an honest Philly girl take on how our online dating world works. A big thank you to Carly, Victoria & Miranda for helping me with this post. If this is a topic you’d be interested in hearing more about, let me know. I have loooots of tales that deserve to be told. Have you dabbled in the world of swiping & blind dates? I’d love to hear some stories!
I don’t even remember how I first heard of Tinder. All I know is the night I signed up, I was on the app for probably two hours straight, swipe-happy, chatting with so many “eligible bachelors” and thinking this was, well, the greatest thing ever. I went on some good dates. Some not so good. I enjoyed going out to new places and perfecting my first date conversational tactics, but I needed more than a split second decision based solely on my appearance to see what the online dating world was all about.
Fast forward to six months later, and my OkCupid profile now brings in the majority of my new dates. Once again, I’ve met some gems, but a lot more lackluster . . . stones? (Side note: for the majority of my previous dates who know about my blog, you are in the gem category)
I was so intrigued by what other women living in Philly thought of our city’s online dating scene, so I chatted with three of them. Let’s see what Carly, 27, from Bella Vista, Victoria, 24, from Center City and Miranda, 25, from Rittenhouse have to say:
What dating sites/apps have you tried?
Carly: OkCupid, Plenty of Fish, Match.com, Tinder, Coffee Meets Bagel.
Victoria: OkCupid or OkStupid primarily. Sometimes Tinder, but it’s a complete wash.
Miranda: I’ve only tried Tinder.
What site was your favorite/least favorite & why?
Victoria: They’re all pretty dismal to be honest. I have been on seven OkCupid dates and every time I swear it will be my last.
Carly: Although I didn’t have a particular “favorite” site, I liked that OkCupid allowed you to answer questions and view other’s answers to questions, and Coffee Meets Bagel was just adorable and built suspense knowing that every day at noon you’d get a new match — it wasn’t overwhelming like other sites. My least favorite part of all sites (or maybe dating in general?) is that some folks say they want something different than what they actually are looking for.
Initiation of conversation – is that the guy’s job or do you start off any chats?
Miranda: I have never initiated any conversation, but I think it has more to do with my personality . . . I’m not the aggressive type. I think girls who have the guts to strike up a conversation should go for it!
Victoria: Absolutely positively the guy’s job. I receive a lot of messages and rarely, if ever respond to most.
Carly: I initiated contact with men I was interested in, but I always wished it had been the other way around. I’ve heard it before, and though I hate to put it like this, it really is a numbers game!
What is the funniest message you ever got?
Miranda: I once had a guy ask me where I would go if I could travel back to any point in time. I thought it was an interesting conversation starter so I gave it some thought, replied, and then asked what he would answer. He then responded saying “I would travel back to the night you were conceived and give your parents a high five for making you.” That was the end of that conversation.
Victoria: “I would like to give you a foot massage” or things along those weird creepy fetish lines are always funny.
Carly: A man in his late 40s interrogated me in a message about why I’m online dating — he said that people online seem to be either psycho or desperate, and if I’m not either, why am I single and resorting to online dating? As a busy, young twenty-something, I found this question hilarious coming from a man almost old enough to be my father!
Any tips for men when sending you a message to get you to answer?
Carly: Don’t send a message if you haven’t read her whole profile. I liked to see the effort of someone who took the time to “get to know me” and attempted to make a connection, or at least identify what in my profile made you want to say hello. Keep the message short and natural for you — however you usually communicate and interact with people should be how you write to potential dates.
Miranda: Just having a normal conversation works for me. No need for cheesy pick up lines.
Let’s talk dates – what Philly spots you recommend for online “blind” dates?
Victoria: Farmer’s Cabinet is where dates inevitably always take you, they think they are being so smooth and clever but it’s quite played out really. I had a discussion with my favorite bartender about how many blind dates he sees in there and it was hilarious. Tria is pretty good or any of those places on 13th Street. The dudes never want to buy you dinner it’s always just drinks and I would recommend several glasses of wine before meeting up with them.
Carly: Outdoor events that aren’t too crowded — stuff at the Piazza, Penn’s Landing, or other festival spots during the warmer months. Stick to public spaces with something active to do or see, but not so public that it’s too loud to talk and share with each other. A unique bar or beer garden-like place can be fun to check out. The Uwishunu blog is a great resource for a variety of Philly-area events and happenings! No matter where you go, make sure a trusted friend has your location, date plans, and as much information about your date as you can give; safety first!