My Journey For Love... Online
When I transitioned into the workforce at the prime age of 21, almost 22, someone forgot to mention how mundane the day-to-day would become. Had I not been warned I would eventually grow numb of my morning commutes? That I'd stop meeting new people, unless I took the initiative to embarrass myself on a Friday night? Or maybe I just refuted anyone older telling me I'd miss college. Oops, that was a mistake.
I complained to my friend, slandering the 9-to-5, and lamenting how my routine consisted of showing up to work and aiming to make it home before 7:30. He, in turn, asked why didn't I go on dates with people, guy or girl, pick your poison. I scoffed at him; he knew I wasn't gay. Try this new app, Coffee Meets Bagel, he suggested, claiming it was harmless enough to just give it a try. I had heard about the app multiple times before, though unwilling to venture down the path of online dating.
A few months later, I gave in after being pestered by at least four other friends. I downloaded the app and within minutes felt absolutely overwhelmed by the information I had to put in. Does 6'0 look better than 5'11? Am I willing to date older? I hardly knew how to make myself sound interesting, much less state what I looked for in a girl. This seemed bound to fail before I had even begun. I ended up having a few of my friends select profile pictures for me, and with their approval, create a profile intriguing enough for someone to take a quick glance, but nothing too unbelievable. I had to be a little bit honest.
When my first set of matches came in, I slowly filtered through the profiles and pictures of each "candidate," though admittedly focusing more on the latter. God must've thought I was incredibly shallow to put so much emphasis on someone's pictures, but I couldn't help it. I actually liked the first match given to me, surprised by the quality of the app, though she was merely on the fence of my preferences. I didn't want any chance of having my soulmate slip away out of my need to to find the supposed perfect person. In case you were wondering, she never liked me back.
I experimented with Coffee Meets Bagel quite extensively the next few days, playing around with the discover section, where people both inside and outside my preference would be displayed. My daily "bagels," or matches, averaged out to three a day, with me liking around one for every twenty matches, perhaps a testament to my unrealistic expectations. The app played out a bit like a game at first, as if I were some MMO character trying to equip myself the best I could. I asked a few friends who used the app for some tips and did some research online around the mechanics of how the app matchmakes. In a way, I was back in school.
A few days later, I found one girl who was nearly perfect match. This was someone I knew I would be interested in if I saw her tomorrow. I referred to her as the pinnacle of my Coffee Meets Bagel experience, who only appeared on my discover because she was an inch shorter than what I listed as my preferences. But everything else was perfect! I made an exception, liking her anyways, but I guess the same couldn't be said for her impression towards me.
Not to brag or anything, but I did have a people like me, though none came remotely close to my preferences. I left them without responses, feeling a slight tinge of guilt. My heart didn't enjoy the passive rejection I gave them, while also wondering whether this is how the pinnacle girl felt when she saw my face pop up on her feed. To be honest, she probably didn't think much of me, but I knew I felt some kind of anticipation in hopes of seeing a conversation start between us. I can't feel too bad if someone did the same to me, right?
Quite frankly, and many of my friends would say the same, my expectations were simply too high. I refused to compromise over any of whatever I had set as preferences, at most slightly increasing the age range and lowering my height requirement by an inch. If I missed another pinnacle girl, then so be it. I had no way to judge which aspects could make me compromise, so I figured might as well not do so. Yes, I'm that petty.
Unsurprisingly, I managed to rack up close to 3,000 beans simply because I never bothered using them to increase my chances of finding any girl somewhat compatible; I no longer thought one existed. I worded my profile differently, probably made it more unattractive, and of course that didn't work as well. The "likes" stopped coming in and I even had a few days where the app couldn't find any matches for me. My life was still as barren as the damn Sahara Desert.
So I guess here's the PSA for any girl reading this: I can be pretty picky and shallow. Wipe any memory of the person you thought I was; even I found it discouraging myself to see how I navigated Coffee Meets Bagel. Over the course of three months, I liked exactly six girls, the majority of them on a whim, and made no connections. What used to be a daily routine at 12PM became an afterthought at 2PM. The excitement faded, replaced by my routine Excel sheets at work once again.
When two of my friends got engaged a few days ago, I thought back to the app and decided to deem it fruitless and deactivated my profile. As far as I was concerned, I did my due diligence, and found nothing worthwhile of investing. The engagement ring I saw reminded me I was nowhere closer to being married than I was before creating my Coffee Meets Bagel profile, and I had no issues with that. So while I didn't learn much about other people, I found my experience to be much more introspective than I thought it would. Here's to my selfish, shallow self, and the hopes that the realization of such vices can make a change for the better.
Until then, I'm always free for a morning coffee and bagel. Hit me up.