What Is Dating About?

Millennials. Individuals reaching adulthood around the turn of the 21st century. According to Howe and Strauss (1991), millennials are born between 1982 and 2004. Therefore, I and, most likely you too, are part of Generation Y or the Net Generation, the demographic cohort that directly follows Generation X.

Being the last generation born in the 20th century, we are also called the “Hookup Generation”, a name which, it turns out, doesn’t really pair with the studies results on how much sex we’re having these days. That’s right, our grandparents were having more sex than we do now. Researchers of the Archives of Sexual Behavior discovered that the prominence of online dating as millennials’ primary means of coupling is a likely factor in their dropping rates of sexual activity. Why you ask? Well, if you assumed that it’s so easy to get laid these days because of Tinder and Bumble apps, for most of the users having an average appearance it leaves them quite reluctant to continue the search. It’s a jungle out there, trust me. What used to work three years ago as an online strategy comes extremely outdated and overused today. You match because you are both on the same hotness level, you say hi and three hours later you meet – because you already have plans for the rest of the week and this is your only day off, thus you having time for such boring activity. Also, for most of the dating apps users, the best time of using it is on the toilet. I know, now you gonna imagine the other one sitting on that throne when texting you. I know. I am sorry, it was tough to accept for me as well.

However, researchers don’t see this a bad thing. Having less sex is correlated with the fact that this generation has become more picky about what constitutes consent and less accepting of pressured sex. “It’s probably a good thing… I think [taking it slowly] is going to lead to better first marriages”, said anthropologist Helen Fisher. Fisher also points that the aforementioned youngsters, also work harder (often unpaid) to pursue their career goals. And now you say “well, that makes so much sense!”. It does, doesn’t it? “It’s a highly motivated, ambitious generation,” Fisher said. “A lot of them are afraid that they’ll get into something they can’t get out of and they won’t be able to get back to their desk and keep studying.”

Harvard University spent 75 years researching the correlations for a long life, thus conducting the longest study on happiness. And you know what is the number one?

MEANINGFUL RELATIONSHIPS

It’s not about how many friends or partners you have or don’t have. “A person only needs a few close relationships to be happy” (Waldinger, 2015). Now, dating is indeed more fluid than in the past. It looks different and feels different…but at the end of the day, creating a relationship that brings meaning to your own or someone’s life is all what dating is supposed to be about. Because that’s what life is about.

Enjoy dating! 🙂

 

PS: next time I am gonna write about how I made myself a girl-friend through a dating app. Stay tuned!

My life is like a movie

You’re life sounds like a movie.

If I had a nickel for every time I heard that, well I wouldn’t be rich, but I would definitely get extra incentive to think I am being watched. 😀 No, it’s because of the stories I tell. When I was younger I used to make them up, not I just live them (guess I ran out of imagination). I know what you’re thinking, someone should be paying me, but not to worry, that day will come, my friend!

Most of the times I write about myself, but sometimes I describe other characters in a silly way meant to make people smile. That reminds me I should thank again to all my tinder dates who participated in my experiments just to entertain my readers. Well, also to get some – which didn’t really happened as expected… (sad face). There were some people who unfriended me, but hey, if you don’t get my humor, our friendship it’s doomed at my first joke anyway. Therefore, I hope today’s character won’t take it very personally. He actually asked me not to write about him, so I will make it again just about me.

He’s a guy I went on a date with recently. Well, actually there were three dates in one day. I know, right?!! Damn, I am kinda proud of this too. It’s been ages since I got to the second date. So, are you ready to read the script for the next Dafta movie?

It was a Wednesday, January night, almost as dark as this one, but with a less entertained me, so… as any unemployed, single slash hot and pretentious modern girl, I went on the App Store. That’s right. Tinder popped out yelling hard “You, quitter!”. Can’t lie to you, it made me think twice about my adventures there… but how can I go back? I said I won’t do it again – too much history repeating – every time the same shit: “You look hot, I wonder if you’re smart” and then he goes: “Of course my darling, I can be anything you want!”. Bah. Booooooring! next!

So, I didn’t reinstall or create a Tinder profile (for the 7th this time), but then I did remember a friend telling me about this other app which is really accurate and serious: Ok, Cupid! Let’s see what you got.

OkCupid is a dating app which uses “math to find you dates”. So just like other 1M “magic algorithms” that find people I will “actually like”. Haha, so funny. I thought I was the only girl creating a profile that night, but over one million people install it per week. There are 7.3M messages per day and I got 47 guys texting me in less than 24 hours with at least 2 lines of text – that means I contributed…Umm, just about x% to that achievement, Ok Cupid?

“Making the ineffable totally eff-able

When it comes down to it, there are 3 principles that make OkCupid the best dating site on Earth: our love of math, we’re always free, and everyone’s welcome.”

Math, freedom, and…welcomes? Doesn’t make any sense, but I love math. So, back to my experience. I was surfing and could see guys who were online, guys who recently joined or guys who were checking me out – which I don’t appreciate! I mean, I know they are doing it, I don’t need the confirmation of that, ok? (oh, look at that: I grew up!). Then you could just text everyone you want – the match thing is just for this cupid to remind you that this is all a game which you’re playing with real people. Sick! Oh, but the best part of this dating app is the matching percentage. After answering a bunch of questions about yourself, your future relationship and the rest of your ideal daily life, you can see who do you match with from 0 to 100%. I checked out all the guys and the maximum I got was a 78%, which I would say it’s ok for 3 pictures and checking some boxes. The algorithm is using the answers I checked for “him” because every question has the option of your answer but also what you would like your match to answer. In other words, you build your date/SO just like tomorrow’s office look.

I realize now that I developed an interest in exploring this kind of apps; think I should add it as a hobby in my CV? Don’t think I have room for that so I will just increase my level at UX 😉

So, while I was exploring the profiles of those I got high match percentages, guess what? Most of them were fat, ugly or Muslim. I mean seriously?!! What kind of questions did I answer and how come this “Match in the name of love” algorithm can’t tell I fall for hot-fit-agnostic ones? Oh, funny thing: I got a message from a guy I met on Tinder 2 years ago, emphasizing on our situation. Then we did some catch-up, and I have to say that I was a bit jealous when I heard that meanwhile he even had a relationship, broke up and got back on dating apps. Tsk, tsk. Made me wonder: what did I do the past 2 years?? Oh, yeah, that MSc thing, CBS, Australia and the whole contemplation on my life.

But hey, enough with the details, and let’s go back to my date. I liked his profile, don’t remember why, but I just got this feeling it’s a perfect written one and it had such great impact on me I had listened to this guy over and over again. First, when he suggested we should have a date on Skype. Second, when at the second date he made me listen to music so I would just read his lips, and last when I deleted my profile right after our third date – just like he implied I would do. Smart, right? Well, I only date smart guys – unless they are hot and funny. 😀 This guy was 70% perfect for me (according to OkCupid). Too bad I wasn’t (I couldn’t read his lips right when he said he wants to dance with me and I thought he was proposing. Ooopsie).

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a 10 minute feature

“You are too old for me. I mean don’t get me wrong, I have always been sexually attracted to you, but I don’t think I can live up to your expectations.”
That’s what he told me last night. At 2 am while I was busy feeling good and getting enough attention, he came by my table to have a little chat.

 Okay…
We met 2 years ago. I always thought he was cute, but with a very young taste – somewhere around 22 years old – that never got us in the same circle. He’s a heartbreaker with a broken heart. So I asked him about sex and expectations – because that’s my way of being diplomatic these days. No, seriously, I am not even sarcastic. Surprisingly, even though we thought it’s only chemistry, there are actually some things we have in common. Like our small brown eyes that love to stare in other irises and our favorite sex position. But that’s about it.

After I elegantly took his unexpected, unwanted and unasked-for rejection, he asked me to dance. That never happen. We could have kissed, but then again he was rude, arrogant and drunk. And I am too old for him.

XoXo

PS: this is just because he always wanted me to write about him 😉

Coffee Meets Bagel

It’s a cold night in Denmark. You’re single, tired of watching Netflix alone and wish you could have someone who you could just cuddle with. So where are you going? Shopping. To the app store. Entertainment category. Tinder comes up first. But you don’t want a one night stand. Happn is too creepy, OkCupid takes too much time, Bumble is full of cute, smart but insecure guys and the rest of them…well, you don’t wanna be that desperate. But hey what about Coffee Meets Bagel (CMB)?
ntwj1g9
CMB was founded by 3 sisters, 30+yo on Valentine’s Day in 2012 (though Wikipedia says it was on my birthday). These 3 females/feminists are confident that their app is the best dating app for women. So called “Anti-Tinder”, CMB names its users ‘bagels’ (I’m not sure if only the guys are bagels or girls too?) and here is how it works: you log in with Facebook, answer to a few questions about yourself including what you expect from your date, then you get daily (at noon) 21 ‘bagels’ who are supposed to be suitable for you. Also you get coffee beans for liking people, playing games and other quizzes, which you can use as the currency for buying extra bagels or to send them to your friends. Convinced yet? Okay… But heads up: single, smart, busy men are not hot, not on this app. Or at least not in the first ‘order’ day and not for sophisticated, high-maintenance women. 🙈

🍩

After 10 minutes you realise you basically cannot even swipe right once. You get 21 ‘bagels’ (gosh, how can one be attracted to someone who’s so highly objectified?! 😛 ) for 24 hours and keep thinking who to chose. But eventually you pick the 35yo engineer guy who looks a bit too serious and old for your taste, but hey, you’re curious about his PhD in solar energy and he looked nice in one picture – which was probably taken 3 years ago on some happy holiday. Oh what a surprise, you match! CMB sends you notifications on what to ask him. You only know the bagel’s name after you match. Everyone is just a bagel until they…eat each other?

☕️

🍩

The app’s algorithm tells you to ask the Bagel about the last book he bought. You do it. The bagel makes you wait. Overthinking mood on: “double check my photos, am I probably too superficial to him? I am way hotter so he must’ve think that there is no point of this anyway. Or maybe he’s at some dinner. Or he’s already sleeping. He seems the kind of guy who goes to bed early.”

🍩

☕️

So what do you do? you poor yourself a glass of wine, install Bumble, swipe a few times right, get some matches, text 3 of them and even start a conversation with one. Bagel keeps you waiting, but who has time for that at the end of autumn 2016?! You text Bagel that you’re not here for random chatting, small talk and meeting tons of people. You have been here for 20 hours and it was enough to tell it’s a waste of time for you, but if he wants to text sometime and see if is there any connection, you can give him your phone number. If not, best of luck amigo! Bagel answers you after you already got two dates on Bumble and he sounds like writing an email:

🍩

☕️

“I like the honesty. I am not a fan of chatting too much here neither. I prefer to meet and see how it goes face to face. We can meet one day, have a coffee without making a big deal out of it and see. This Sunday morning would work for me. Please let me know what suits you.”

🍩

☕️

This Bagel obviously hasn’t been on the dating apps too much. But at this point you are super happy about this Bumble guy who cannot shut up and makes you smile so you don’t wanna be too mean to Bagel (even though he deserves more of your honesty). Tell him that ignoring your offering of your phone number was a turn off and Sunday morning is definitely reserved for a special guy who can make you fall in love on a perfect Sunday morning. Anyway, it’s late, winter is coming and nobody asked you for dating counselling. Though they should, cause that’s something dating apps made you good at.

🍩

☕️

Apparently Coffee Meets Bagel made more than 2.5 billion introductions and created more than 50,000 happy couples. Called LadiesChoice because it’s the app with more women users than men (60/40 ratio). Also, one of the co-founders found her boyfriend on CMB when her sister sent the right bagel to her. Are you a coffee who needs bagels?
“Coffee Meets Bagel wants to be the place to find love, not hook-ups.” (TechCrunch, 2016)

Falling in love (Master Thesis)

[Introduction]

 

When I left Australia I knew I will go back someday and that’s because I fell in love. Some people say I fall in love every day with something or someone, but the way I did it in Australia was absolutely amazing. My experience there reinstalled my belief that I am able to feel things I thought there are only for the fortunate ones. Unfortunately, now I have plenty of unanswered questions about this newly rediscovered phenomenon called “love”. This article aims to answer a few of them.

 

[Literature review]

 

Aron et al. (1997) have made this practical experiment to create closeness between individuals under controlled conditions and illustrated its applicability for testing theoretical issues. The idea behind was to structure self-disclosure between strangers in  only 45 minutes. However, being inspired by the “acquaintance paradigm” of Collins and Miller (1994), the study was meant to develop a temporary feeling of closeness, not an actual going relationship. Closeness is defined as “including other in the self” by Aron et al. (1992) and similar to what researchers call intimacy. “Intimacy is a process in which each feels his or her innermost self validated, understood, and cared for by the other” (Reis & Shaver, 1988). But as you probably agree, there are plenty of other definitions to words like these.

 

Furthermore, to have a better understanding of the closeness study, I will use the more popular and modern love essay written by Mandy Len Catron (2015) called “To Fall in Love With Anyone, Do This”. She calls the closeness study a success of making two strangers fall in love in the laboratory and demonstrates it with her own. Her experiment was quite like mine in Australia:  I went there to fall in love, but when four months had past and the only one I could feel some kind of closeness was my unattractive roomie, I gave up on men. I was like “damn it, I am incapable of feeling and maybe I will actually ending up marring a friend and not a lover like my roomie”.

 

[methodology]

 

In June I went to see Uluru, the biggest rock in the world. [😃 Sorry, is just I cannot smiling whenever I start this story…] The night before I had a date with a guy that looked just like prince William (for real). Let me explain the correlation. When I saw their picture (Figure 1) in 2014 I just knew I wanna go there. I had no idea why, but I really wanted a picture like that. Additionally, the photo has history (figure 2).

 

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Fig 1

 

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Fig 2

 

The day before my trip I went shopping for a similar royal dress. All I could find was one with bears and I didn’t fall with my date William, nor did I take him with me.

 

My trip to Uluru was planned long time before I arrived to Australia, but I didn’t know it until I left there. It was a rainy day and I was one of the 2% lucky tourists to be there when it rains. 3 hours after my arrival I freaked out. The sun was up, I checked everything out but what in the God’s name was I doing there all by myself? It was the first time I went somewhere completely alone without any plans. I think it was minutes later I heard his voice. It wasn’t God, it was the guy that now is part of my “eat, pray, love” story down under.

 

But let’s go back to Catron. Just like myself before Uluru when I said outloud and very serious that I need my love to eat and pray, Catron needed a man to make the love experiment. They knew each other from university and she chose him after just a “glimpse into his days on Instagram” and a few rounds at the gym (fair enough).

 

I explained the study to my university acquaintance. A heterosexual man and woman enter the lab through separate doors. They sit face to face and answer a series of increasingly personal questions. Then they stare silently into each other’s eyes for four minutes. The most tantalizing detail: Six months later, two participants were married. They invited the entire lab to the ceremony.
‘let’s try it’, he said

 

I know, right? this just made you think of that one person you would wanna fall in love with and text them right away. But hold your horses for a second here, will ya?

 

[discussion]

 

Just like so many other people I know, Catron turned to science whilst being in the midst of a breakup “hoping there was a way to love smarter”. With an iPhone and 36 questions, these two “acquaintances” fall in love in a bar that night and they are still together.
I didn’t have to ask my guy too many questions. I just got sucked into his ocean blue eyes, his wide and silly smile, and …ok, can you hear my chuckles now? 😃
Catron (2015) brings upfront how everyone has a narrative of themselves that they offer up to strangers, but Dr. Aron’s 36 questions make it impossible to rely on that narrative. She says that when you are young, it feels natural to get to know someone quickly and it rarely happens in the adult life. I would add to this the fact that we know so little about the world as youngsters and too much about ourselves when we grow up. Please feel free to disagree.

 

[findings]

 

Falling in love in a laboratory is definitely less romantic than in the middle of Australia’s red desert under the starry skies. But getting to know someone, evolving, growing in and out of love, being in a relationship and letting someone to know you, well that’s a successful story.
I’ve skied steep slopes and hung from a rock face by a short length of rope, but staring into someone’s eyes for four silent minutes was one of the more thrilling and terrifying experiences of my life. I spent the first couple of minutes just trying to breathe properly. There was a lot of nervous smiling until, eventually, we settled in.
[conclusion]

 

You need to trust yourself and go for what you want with all the patience in the world. Staring into someone eyes might make you the most vulnerable you have ever been. Letting someone to get to know you might be dangerous, but seeing someone seeing you increases way more the level of your vulnerability. Now, my Question #37:
Are you willing to fall in love?

how to get a 3some Tinder date

Tinder is an awesome way to make friends when you’re single, brave and new in town!

Funny thing is that I know about Tinder from the first Australian guy I met in December 2013 and now I am in Australia… back on Tinder game.

I feel that I am getting reallt good at this game, but I still haven’t got any boyfriend from Tinder (well not more than 12 hours, anyway), soooo still playing. But tonight I am going on a special date. This is a complicated story, so are you sitting down?

He’s name is Tim. From his pictures he looks like any other guy I won’t date from the first sight: one of those muscly guys that make a girl feed bad for every single minute she spends on the couch and not in the gym. But he had a large sexy smile! An honest one too. And when I read his description I just had this competitive instinct to swipe right. Apparently he’s “not a fan of online interactions, here to see what the fuss is all about, but who knows, maybe there’s someone worth my time. Truth is…my friend Masha decided that she would pick for me and let me deal with the mess she leaves! So if you receive a weird message, blame her!

Ha! This could be fun! So we matched and I get a text saying I’ve been checked and I seem really cool!

“Thanks, Masha! :)))” getting straight to the point!

Yes, it was Masha and my first conversation with a girl on Tinder. Weirdly is lasted longer than I imagined…but that was because of my crazy idea of going on a date with a guy and a girl. And guess what! she thought it’s a great idea too! only that she couldn’t do it (Masha is married with one of Tim’s friends and she kinda bet him she will find him a nice date on Tinder). No pressure here! :)))

So I stuck on my idea on having a 3some date (don’t worry, we’re gonna wear clothes) and I suggested I should bring a girl friend. So…tonight is the night. Only there a few details:

Tim has no clue who is he meeting with. For him this is a blind date with 2 girls. He only got a text saying he has a date with 2 cool girls Thursday night. That’s it! Not even a picture. But I already swap some texts with him yesterday and… unexpectedly, he seems smart and nice (maybe he thinks I am gorgeous and all). I wanted to do some role play with my girl friend, but guess what! she has another tinder date few hours before ours! Oh boy… this is gonna be messy.

I have no idea what Tim expects and, to be honest, no clue of how this is gonna end. I am just writing the story! 😀

Wish me luck!!!

keep-calm-its-just-a-3some

ps: I am quite nervous…