I Went to a Bumble IRL Event And Finally Understood Why Modern Dating is a Mess
I interviewed over 50 single people and asked them about their biggest struggles in modern dating. Men and women had very different responses.
About a month ago, I decided I had finally healed from my last breakup a year ago and waded back into the cesspool known as online dating.
I chose Bumble. Although I find their women “make the first move” premise flawed, they are the only dating app that cares about safety. If you send dick pics or gross sexually inept messages on Bumble, you will get booted. It’s a low bar.
A month later, I have yet to message a single person.
My reticence is not because I have given up on love. (I will never give up on love.) But as an artist, I need to smell, feel, and take in someone’s presence.
So when Bumble invited me to their IRL (in real life) event, I envisioned a room full of hopeful singles with their blistered swiping thumbs on the mend.
Plus, this was the perfect research opportunity. I could finally get answers to the question that tortures many single people — Why is dating so much harder lately?
The event is at a swanky rooftop bar in the heart of Boston. At the entrance, the maître d’hôtel greets me with a bemused smile. He looks like he is quietly predicting who will get kicked off our rooftop island. I don’t blame him. I would do the same if a bunch of horny single people descended upon my workplace.
I get in line at the bar behind two pretty dark-haired women. Their arms are folded over their stylish cropped tops, and they cover their mouths as they giggle even though they are speaking Korean. With each conspiratorial laugh, they move closer to each other like a calf huddling next to its mother’s udder. I wonder how to penetrate their fortification.
I lightly touch one girl’s shoulder, introduce myself, and apologize for interrupting their conversation. They both smile back and seem relieved their first scary stranger is speaking to them.
“I write for a love and relationship column. I was wondering if I could ask you three…