I was discussing the Charlotte dating scene with a coworker the other day. She asked me which dating apps I use, and I ran through my roster: Bumble, Hinge, OKCupid, Tinder (premium), and even Instagram and Twitter sometimes net dates.
She asked, “So do you just never ask women out in person?”
In the past I’d be able to say yes. In the past I preferred the bar scene to the swipe scene. But I didn’t have an answer for her. I can’t remember the last time I went out with someone I didn’t first meet online.
My entire dating life has moved to the apps, and you know what? It’s never been better.
I’m going on more dates now than ever, at least twice during a typical week.
And the dates are better. The conversations are easier, the laughs come more frequently, and I’m more optimistic about how many attractive, successful women there are in Charlotte.
Dating has been more fun since I deleted in-person flirting and went all-in on apps.
I can’t believe I didn’t realize sooner it could be this way.
[Agenda related story: More and more single Charlotteans turning to Hinge and flirting on Instagram]
There are three ways to meet someone in person and they’re all risky.
You could meet someone through work, through friends, or go with the cold approach.
Unless you plan to marry that person in line for coffee at your morning networking event, have fun seeing your ex climb the same corporate ladder as you.
Unless your friends set you up with someone who’s moving across the country soon, have fun splitting your group chat in two weeks when things don’t work out.
And unless you’re a fan of shooting your shot a dozen times in a weekend, have fun playing the numbers game at Suite.
I’ve decided to skip all that. The apps package near-perfect dates.
At 29, I’ve realized singles are not a monolith. They each have things that make them uncomfortable or interested. But a lot of my single friends say they want to be approached in person.
No way. What they mean is they want to be approached by a specific type of person in a specific way. I could guess who/how that is, or I could just wait until we both give the green flag by mutual right swipes.
I could check for wedding bands at CreativeMornings.
I could go to Howl at the Moon and have the mom friend in a bridal party tell me who is or isn’t available.
Or, I could just have a handful of people per day straight up tell me, “I like your face and I want to become more acquainted with it” with the swipe of their finger.
It’s an easy choice for me.
Plus, without the distraction of flirting, I actually have more fun when I go out.
I’m tired of dudes boxing out each other for single women at networking events. I thought we were here to exchange business cards. I’m tired of not being able to get through a conversation at Blind Pig without my male friends dragging us to some group of girls. Skee-ball is way more fun.
There’s more enjoyable ways to spend a night than prowling for singles. Having dates literally in my pocket means I get to focus on having fun regardless of whether I meet someone.
I still meet plenty of people, but it’s a lot more natural when it’s not based on dating. Newsflash, people are more fun to talk to when you aren’t trying to mack on them.
It’s the practical choice for me. I feel sharper at networking events, more attentive with my friends when we’re out, and it allows meaningful in-person connections to happen organically.