Dating apps. I hate and love them at the same time. They can be great because we meet someone we’d never normally meet, but what are the downsides? Tinder came out in 2012 and that was the first dating app created. Nearly eight years later, with so many different dating apps on the market, are they helping or hurting our society?
I’m Laura Jacobs, and I’m a professional Matchmaker. While my profession is as old as time, the emergence of dating apps has vastly changed the landscape of dating today and makes my job extremely interesting.
The biggest question I get is “Well, why do I need you? I can just go on Bumble or Tinder and find someone….I don’t need a matchmaker.” If I had a penny for every time I heard this, I’d be rolling in it, yet people are still dissatisfied beyond belief. They are still single, they are still searching every app looking for the “next best thing” out there. They are still afraid of commitment, and some are even using dating apps as pure “entertainment,” forgetting that there are actual people with emotions on the other side of the photos they’re swiping left or right on.
I believe gender roles also have a part to play in all this confusion. I am a millennial, and when my baby boomer parents met, my father approached my mother, in person. If you are also a millennial, you likely have similar stories from your parents and grandparents of how they met. Why is this? Because back then the man had no choice but to walk up to a woman, he found attractive and say hi to her. There was no other option! He wasn’t going to go on his smartphone later and swipe away at other women. Therefore, the risk of rejection was worth the price to talk to that woman. I don’t know about you, but the last time I heard a girlfriend say a guy came up to her as a total stranger and said “hi” was, never. Isn’t that sad? And herein lies the problem. We’re all confused now. Who is supposed to approach who? We live a half-life in a digital world, glued to our phones. Why would a man come up to a woman in life and risk that rejection when he can just do things the easy way and swipe left or right? Apps trick us into thinking we have unlimited options and don’t need to take risks anymore in our real lives when it comes to love.
The disconnect here is women are still raised with something I like to call “Princess Mentality.” Disney Plus just came out, and I was re watching the classics I grew up with. Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella. What do these stories have in common? The Princess meets a Prince who once he sees her, is totally devoted to her and doesn’t second guess his feelings or go swiping for other Princesses! He knows she’s the one. I suppose we all search for that feeling. As women, we want men to be sure of us, and how can they be when now they are thrown thousands of other options virtually every single day?
I asked different men and women their main complaints with dating apps and these are just some of the things I heard.
One woman said she felt due to all the other “options” out there, she had to be unrealistically impressive on every single date she went on. She also felt once she went on two or three dates with one man, he got bored. He stopped texting as much because he wanted something “new” and “exciting.”
One man admitted to me he used apps for “entertainment” and didn’t take them seriously. When I inquired further as to what he meant, he said “well I’m not going to meet my wife on a dating app, those are for hookups and just seeing what’s out there.” This harsh truth surprised me. Many men have told me the same thing that they don’t take women seriously who they meet on apps.
One man told me “I use them when I’m bored, not when I’m looking for an actual relationship.”
The truth hurts. Yet it’s a vicious cycle because as women, how are we supposed to meet men any other way when societally we are all conditioned thinking men should approach us and ask us out, yet barely any of them are doing that anymore due to dating apps?
Let me also clarify and say that by no means am I saying that women can’t be guilty of using dating apps for the superficial reasons too, but it generally wasn’t the feedback I got. As a woman myself, I must emphasize and relate to the way men shamelessly act on dating apps. Hypothetically, that guy who asked you to come over for Netflix and chill and doesn’t even know you COULD be a good guy, but he doesn’t take this app seriously, or you.
I became a matchmaker because I truly believe in love. I also love connecting people and helping them find love. There is nothing more fulfilling then hearing I helped two people find a loving relationship. I use my intuition every day to “feel” who would be a good match for one another. I interview a client for over an hour sometimes, finding out what they are looking for, and more importantly, WHO they are. Someone going to a matchmaker, is tired of the regular methods and wants to get serious about their love life. We set up dates with caution and care. I’m not sending my clients unlimited options, because all you need is one. All you need is that ONE person to be a game changer for you. You don’t need to swipe hundreds of people. After I meet a client, I sit down and wonder who would be good for them based on what they’re looking for. My clients also trust me. I met a client yesterday after I convinced him to go out with a girl who is not usually his physical type, but I said, “please trust me.” He reported back to me that they had a great date and he was so pleasantly surprised by her and would see her again. As a matchmaker I “vet” each person that comes into my office. You aren’t meeting some stranger off Bumble you saw 3 photos of, you are meeting someone I vouch for, a quality person. You are meeting someone you read an extensive bio on who is looking for a meaningful connection.
I predict with the rise of technology the use of matchmakers for my generation will become more mainstream. People are tired of being overlooked on apps. They are tired of not being taken seriously. One thing that makes us human is our desire to connect to each other. Love is the optimum connection, and Matchmakers provide you with a much better chance of achieving that connection.
Blog Post contributor – Laura Jacobs
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