It was Saturday morning and I was hungover, laying in bed watching the progress bar on my iPhone: “Installing.” This had to be the sixth time I was downloading Tinder.
I hadn’t deleted it because I’d had no luck with it (even though I didn’t); I’d deleted it because I had become absorbed by it. I would find myself zoning out and swiping through faces and before I knew it 20 minutes would go by. That’s a valuable 20 minutes I could have been doing something constructive like reading a book, writing an article or even approaching a real, live woman. I have a friend in Manhattan that kills it on Tinder and his strategy is to “like” every girl he sees and then sort them out from his matches. You can’t argue with results, but for me it took the fun out the app. So in addition to getting Tinder, I also downloaded Coffee Meets Bagel and the new kid on the block, Hinge. So which one is the best?
Tinder is far and away the most popular dating app, so it’s going to have the widest pool of women to choose from. But herein lies Tinder’s flaw: By being presented with seemingly unlimited options, both men and women are crippled by the “paradox of choice” — the more options you have, the less likely you are to commit to a choice that might be “wrong.” Plus, why commit when there’s always something else around the corner? Tinder is only beneficial if you’re an attractive woman. Ugly women hate it, and men hate it because it’s impossible to differentiate yourself to an attractive woman when she has 100 matches to choose from every day. Very few men have the Gosling-like good looks or Tatum-like swagger to differentiate themselves with only text and photos. At least in real life, I can stand out by being the only one with enough balls to approach her. Tinder isn’t a dating app, it’s a video game — where instead of earning points, your brain squirts dopamine when it sees an attractive face, and you get an ego boost from these occasional “matches.” If you actually want to meet someone IRL, I’d have to say Tinder is the worst possible dating app for this.
COFFEE MEETS BAGEL
Coffee Meets Bagel solves Tinder’s “paradox of choice” by showing you only one woman (called a “bagel”) each day at noon. If you think this is too restrictive, that’s because it is — but by only giving you one woman a day, it forces you to carefully consider your match, rather than immediately swiping left as soon as you see her doing a duck-face selfie. Once you match with a girl, you can start to chat via the app — but there’s an expiration window, putting pressure on the two of you crazy kids to meet each other. So what’s the problem? The problem is CMB’s monetization model. If you don’t like your bagel that day, you can “see more bagels” by purchasing ones you like and they’ll show up in your feed the next day. What does this mean for you? All of the attractive women are being bought. The desirable women are only going to be shown to paying customers, and even if you do happen to see her organically (i.e. for free), then she’s certain to have a backlog of men that spent credits to buy an e-meeting with her, so she may not see your profile for weeks if not months.
Think of Hinge as the perfect blend of Tinder and Coffee Meets Bagel, but with a better UI. Here you’re shown 10 women a day and those women are extensions of your Facebook social network (to the 2nd and 3rd degree). This means, as the app describes, you get “no randos” and have an automatic talking point with any girl you match up with. This also arms you with an important psychological advantage because she already “knows” you, signifying social proof (i.e. that you’re not a creeper stalker). Once you mutually like each other, the app introduces you and you can chat from there. The only problem with Hinge is that it hasn’t reached the galactic popularity that Tinder has yet, so you’re limited by the amount of your Facebook friends that also have Hinge. Why am I telling you this? Because you should share this article with your hot friends so you can meet more hot people. If you want to meet more women in the real world, whatever your goals with the opposite sex may be, Hinge is the way to go.
Of course there’s always the other option: you can stop hiding behind that digital crutch you call your phone and actually start talking to women. I’m completely familiar with the fear and rejection you’re going to endure while doing this, but let’s face it, we’re the gender that’s built for it — so put down your phone and go talk to her. And if that doesn’t work, use Hinge when you wake up the next day.
Chris originally published this article on Johnny Moxie
Title Photo Credit: flickr
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