Editor’s Note: Welcome to our weekly feature called Seattle Dating Scene, featuring readers’ thoughts and stories about what it’s like to date in Seattle. For our next feature, follow this prompt: Have an anniversary coming up this month? In under 500 words, tell us how you met your significant other, and send in your story and a photo.
By Thursday, July 30, please email your submissions to email@example.com or submit them via Instagram direct message to @dating_in_seattle, and they may be published in a future edition of The Mix.
As a senior who has been single for a couple of decades and now living in Seattle, I decided to try using Match.com. I ended up with a good dating experience with one kind and intelligent man, who became a friend instead of a partner by mutual agreement. But outside of that, my experience with Match.com was creepy — men lying about their ages, fake accounts and no consideration to what I chose as requirements.
So my question is: What would be the best app to use if I definitely want choices to be screened to my preferences? For instance, I’d like someone with a Buddhist practice, but therefore get pretty much everyone who occasionally lights a candle or reads a self-help book. I’d be happy to get a choice or two each month that actually met my criteria instead of wading through a bunch of men who don’t.
Dear Creeped-out senior,
I’m sorry you’ve had unpleasant experiences on Match. Dating apps can be frustrating, regardless of age. Many of us have had similar experiences to yours. People lie about their age, height, job, etc. Talk about being “creeped out” — I’ve received countless screenshots of appalling dating app messages from my Instagram followers … so please know that your trauma is shared and you are not alone.
I want to highlight something you wrote: “I definitely want choices to be screened to my preferences.” I know exactly how you feel! I went through similar frustrations and was fed up with not getting the results I wanted.
In Aziz Ansari’s book “Modern Romance,” about dating and love in the current age, the comedian writes, “That’s the thing about the internet: it doesn’t simply help us find the best thing out there; it has helped to produce the idea that there is a best thing, and, if we search hard enough, we can find it.”
When I read this, it made me think … is there some perfect creature we’re searching for that we completely conjured up? Are we searching for something that’s impossible to find? When given a list of preferences, sure we’ll check those preference boxes, but how important are they?
Thinking about couples who have met IRL (in real life), if they were to have seen their partner on a dating app, would they have swiped right or messaged them? Would their current partner have even shown up with their ideal set preferences at the time?
When we meet IRL, we don’t necessarily go through our preference checklist. Sure there are some nonnegotiable, must-haves, and must-NOT-haves. Yet we tend to judge people for how they appear and what they say, asking questions and then deciding if we want to see them again.
Now ask yourself, “Do I want my preferences to be filtered exactly?” If finding someone who is Buddhist is a must-have, then definitely keep it in your dating profile. If you’re concerned about marking the religious checkbox, leave it blank and explain in your profile that having shared Buddhist beliefs is important to you.
If you’re thinking there may be some other traits listed in your preferences that you might be more flexible on, then I’d suggest easing up on those.
Dating apps just help expose us to a pool of people. My overall advice: Go on plenty of dates (virtual ones for now, probably), meet up with people who may not necessarily meet your exact match criteria. You may surprise yourself and meet some incredible people you may not have met otherwise.
Go get ’em tiger,
Here’s the monthly “Seattle Dating Scene” lineup:
- First week: “Dating Question of the Month” — Readers respond to a dating-related question we’ve posed.
- Second week: “Happy Anniversary, Tell Us Your Story” — Have an anniversary coming up this month? In under 500 words, tell us how you met your significant other, and send in your story and a photo.
- Third week: “Best Date/Worst Date” — In under 250 words, tell us an anecdote from the best or worst date you’ve been on.
- Fourth week: “Ask Marina” — Marina Resto, who runs the lively @Dating_in_Seattle Instagram account, answers reader questions about dating — or finds a special guest to answer the ones she can’t!