A Chronicle of App Dating

At the beginning of 2017 I found myself in the market…for love that is.

Dating apps are the new normal.

But San Francisco is a fickle market, as many of my girlfriends can attest. Unsure how to navigate this new terrain I decided to do what all the young kids are doing and give dating apps a try.

So, one day I got ALL of the apps. Clover. Tinder. Coffee Meets Bagel. Bumble. Happn. The League. [I’ve since deleted most of these and use Happn and Bumble the most.]

I added my best photos. Updated my profile.

I approached it like a user study. Myself being the user of course. Overall I found some interesting men.

I had many dates during the first month and it was rather exciting.

Then I started to get really honest with myself about why I was doing this and what I wanted to achieve.

I decided to go into each first date only expecting a first date. A conversation. A drink. A coffee. A walk.

All with no expectations.

After all, as Shakespeare wrote:

“Expectation is the root of all heartache.”

This proved to be difficult, but deciding to stop expecting to find this magical Disney character and instead live in the moment allowed me to just enjoy the experience.

Viva la vida. Live life.


At this point you’re probably wondering how the study is going. I haven’t yet decided how to quantify the results.

Measuring dating can be tricky.

Sure, sheer numbers are easy enough to count but experiences are the more interesting data point. So for the purposes of my study I will expand on my experiences, developing a chronicle of my dating life.

experience one:

This first experience helped me formulate my current philosophy on dating.

[be honest with yourself, no expectations, enjoy the art of dating, you get out what you put in, expect the unexpected.]

I met a charming older man rather quickly on coffee meets bagel and we dated for a couple of months. It was a whirlwind romance and I found myself falling for him. We ended up breaking it off rather suddenly which seemed a pity because we had great chemistry. But I learned something very important in that first post-relationship experience; dating is underrated.

After all society idealizes relationships. Women are taught to aspire to marriage but…

Why shouldn’t women enjoy courtship? The excitement of possibility without regard for anything more than a connection with another human being.

experience two:

After experience one I embraced this sentiment and went on a few dates with a few guys.

French. German. Italian. [Disclaimer: I like European men.]

I met them on different apps [(2) happn and bumble] and saw each of these men more than once. I had interesting conversations and moments with each but ultimately didn’t continue dating any of them.

The key take-away from this was quality over quantity. Technically with dating apps it’s possible to go on a date nearly everyday if you really put the effort in.

I did that for a couple of weeks but it was too intense for me. I prefer spontaneous encounters more. Serendipitous situations.

These first two experiences really set the tone for the rest of my dating chronicle. I’ll continue to write about the more interesting ones periodically and expand on my dating user study.

I’m not sure what my findings will be at the end of this experiment, but I’m sure it will be an adventure.

Like what you read? Give J. Wells a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.