Graduating from college? Graduate from Tinder and Bumble

Ok so I hate to be the one to say it but we’re getting to the end. I certainly wasn’t looking for a ~~ring before spring~~ like some of my Southern friends may have been, but I’d be lying if I said it never crossed my mind that I could potentially meet someone here. But I didn’t.

So what now? Do I turn to app dating??? Probably not, but let’s talk about it anyway. I’m sure you’ve heard about Tinder and Bumble – but what about the more obscure apps?

The League

While facetiming with my friend a few weeks ago, she excitedly told me she finally got off a waiting list for a dating app she signed up for. She waited for months to get on the app – so I researched it. Apparently, The League is just as elite of an app as it’s name. According to this article that was written in 2016 (when the app was only available in both NYC and San Fran) it had a wait list of over 130,000 people.

If you go on the League’s website, the opening page reads, “Are you told your standards are too high? Keep them that way. We’re not saying Tinder doesn’t have its uses (hello Vegas!) but why not spend your time a little more…intelligently?” So what differentiates The League? The only people who can see you are those who meet your preferences – which includes gender, age, height, distance, ethnicity, religion, and education level. The app background checks users with their LinkedIn profile, which eliminates anyone who isn’t deemed “worthy” to be on the app. Further, the app requires both your Facebook and LinkedIn access to block any connections from your friends and colleagues, so nobody you know will see your profile.

I asked my friend to show me how the app works when I saw her over Easter break, and she told me it’s much more of an interactive app. You can like people’s photos or quotes they post – instead of just matching with them. When I asked her if there’s anything she didn’t like about the app, she said that you only get 3 matches at a time. When you have a match on your phone, you’re not necessarily on theirs yet. So it’s not as quick as swiping hundreds of matches on another app, and what’s the fun in that? Isn’t part of the reason people like dating apps for the gratification of a match?

Hinge

Hinge’s mission is “inspired by love, and guided by authenticity. Hinge creates meaningful connections among those bold enough to seek real relationships.” So how do they do that? Hinge uses your Facebook to connect you to Facebook friends and friends of friends. That can give users something in common to chat about. You can also use it to vet out matches and ask your friend in common about your match. In addition, Hinge acts you questions as you swipe. For example, it may ask you if you like to hike. Once it gains more knowledge about you, the artificial intelligence can connect you to more people who share common interests and experiences.

Hinge also allows matches to comment directly on someones photo, just like Facebook or Instagram. You can also select what type of relationship you’re looking for so that you know exactly what your matches are interested in. If you’re just looking to go on a few coffee dates, you’ll know if your match is looking to get wifed up – and hopefully can get out quickly.

Of course, there’s a few downsides to Hinge too. Unlike The League, you have to be pretty willing for your Facebook friends to know you’re out there swiping left and right. You can only add photos from your Facebook or Instagram, which is somewhat limiting if you aren’t active on either of them. Further, since you’re only matching with friends of friends, you can run out of people quickly on the app.

My Opinion (even though nobody asked for it)

I have mixed feelings on dating apps in general (not just The League and Hinge).

The Good: My brother and his girlfriend met on Bumble, and they have been happily dating for about a year. They live together and are getting a puppy (YAY) – they seem pretty perfect for each other. App dating allows you to find someone who’s looking for the same thing as you, so you can avoid the awkward “what are we?” stage. It opens up your scope to so many more people who you may have never met at a bar or a concert and helps you realize that the world is much bigger than your hometown or your own group of friends.

The Bad: The flip side to knowing that your matches want a relationship just like you is that it seems most people skip the “courting” stage of a relationship. Maybe some people think this is a good thing, but I don’t think I do. Every couple I know who met on an app seems to have skipped the awkward flirting in a bar, or going out on a few dates without knowing where it’s headed. That’s part of the fun of a relationship, and sparks a lot of funny stories to tell your friends about.

The Ugly: You’re literally swiping right or left based on a few pictures of someone and maybe a witty caption. For me, that seems pretty superficial. Some argue that you wouldn’t necessarily spark up a conversation with someone you don’t find attractive in person, which may be true. But for me, the difference is that face-to-face interaction may make you become attracted to someones personality, instead of solely based on their looks.

So does graduating from BC mean we have to graduate from Tinder and Bumble? Maybe. If my blog post inspired you to sign up for an app, here’s a list of the eight best dating apps according to digital trends. Swipe away, people!

 

10 comments

  1. My wife and I went to first grade together and then also attended the same college, but we didn’t start dating until two years after we graduated. Although it’s been 25 years for me, I’m not sure I share the same nostalgia for the traditional dating scene, particularly after college. The challenge becomes meeting available people, for which the dating apps are perfectly suited.

    1. laurenmsantilli · ·

      Interesting POV! I see your point – I think it’s interesting how dating app perceptions change between age groups. My friends under 25 who have met on dating apps don’t typically admit to meeting on one – almost as if they’re embarrassed. On the other hand, my 31 year old cousin will swipe matches in public and doesn’t have the same sense of shame college-aged people tend to. It would be interesting to see consumer behavior/reactions over difference demographics to map it out more!

  2. dcardito13 · ·

    This was a very educational post for me, being that I’ve never heard of The League or Hinge! I agree with you that I’m not as big of a fan of dating websites and apps, and don’t see myself using them in any near future (hopefully will never have to). However, I do think the two platforms you highlighted are much more useful in terms of dating than the everyday Tinder or Bumble apps that most people utilize. It really allows you to find people that have things in common with you, with intentions to speed up the dating process. I wonder how AI will be further used in more dating platforms to try to find your “perfect match.”

  3. clinecapen · ·

    Nice post. I really had no idea all those different apps existed and League seems pretty snobby to me but what do I know. Although someone may not share all your interests, or enough for the algorithm to decide you would make a successful couple, does not mean the relationship is not worth pursuing. It may not end in a walk down the isle but every step along the way is important to your journey of growth and that includes meeting people who may not like to binge watch Girls. Getting to know someone is an important skill not just for marriage but life, make sure you don’t let a website deny you that opportunity.

  4. DanKaplan · ·

    Great job, Lauren. I too have seen several people out of college still utilizing these dating apps. You bring up great points about these applications in that they can have several benefits by matching like-minded people in search of a relationship that either do not have the time or do not have an outgoing personality that allows them to reach people like this. Although apps like Tinder and Bumble may seem “frowned upon” from time to time, I do not believe anyone who uses them should be ashamed or even remotely embarrassed. Sometimes people just need a little push in order to make themselves vulnerable and I believe these dating apps provide a wonderful platform to do so.

  5. isabel_calo1 · ·

    Great post and so funny! I didn’t even know about Hinge or the League but its so interesting to see other apps really dive into dating and make it more exclusive than just swiping right. I do agree there is a weird feeling about online dating but it so kind of cool to see it becoming a norm- especially with a 130,000 waiting list. At BC we talk about the hook up culture stopping us from going on dates and meeting people, do you think in a few years the app culture will be hindering the younger generation from making meaning relationships?

  6. When I left college, online dating (website, not apps) was just starting to make headway into the mainstream. If you think people feel weird about online dating now, try ten years ago.

    I think one scary idea that has crossed my mind is that once online dating becomes the norm, we will end up putting our romantic futures into the hands of robots and algorithms. That’s great for those of us who know (or think we know) exactly what we want in partners, but sometimes you don’t what you don’t know and online dating might make it harder to figure that out.

  7. Interesting post! My sense of it is that these apps become more useful after one finishes college. The reality is that leaving college will drags you out of a comfort zone. I am not sure that these apps totally eliminate the courting stage of a relationship, it really depends on the two people and how they use it. It’s very possible to have a healthy, long courting phase of a relationship with someone you have met online. It does bypass the ‘how we met’ phase, but even before social media, I think it’s possible we were making a shortcuts or conclusions about being based on a couple of superficial indicators.

  8. diiorion · ·

    While I personally have never really used any of the dating apps very seriously, I’ve gotten the feeling that they have started to lose some of the negative stigma that may have first surrounded them when they were becoming popular. As time goes on, while there are plenty of horror stories, there are also an equal amount of stories of people meeting on Tinder or Bumble and actually finding out that they may be a good couple! I think as the stigma continues to disappear, dating apps will become even more normalized just has online dating sites like Match.com have in the past few years.

    I also find it funny that even celebrities have their own version of Tinder. Reading about The League reminded me about Raya which is basically Tinder for famous people (or at least Instagram famous people). It has ridiculously strict application requirements, people are rarely approved, and you aren’t even supposed to talk about it if you actually are on the app. It’s just crazy to me that this craze of dating apps has reached a point where an app like Raya exists.

  9. erinfitzpatrick123 · ·

    I really like reading about this topic because I always learn something new. I’ve seen the League app before and I know it has faced some backlash for being a little snobby and exclusive – which is fair. There is a preference no how “prestigious” you want your matches college to be. i do like that AI is really being used here because I think it is productive and helpful for the user. Also, I like how facebook has become a type of verification system for these apps which had been a problem in the past. Personally, if I have a mutual facebook friend with someone, even if I don’t know that person well, I’d definitely trust the person more.

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