Finding Love in a Hopeless Place, But Not Really

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As the resident Young Single Women, in light of the holiday we embarked on a new lease on love: Tinder.

This week, many in Israel are celebrating Tu B’av, a holiday of love, kind of like the Israeli version of Valentine’s Day.
And as most of our Valentine’s Days (Galentine’s Days?) are celebrated, we are single yet again.
So as the resident Young Single Women, in light of the holiday (and a not-so-subtle nudge from our editor), we embarked on a new lease on love: Tinder.
Tinder, one of the most popular dating apps, allows you to swipe right if you like someone, left for no. If it’s a match, you’re allowed to start chatting.
But Tinder is certainly not the only way to find a match. There is an obscene amount of different dating apps, each varying in design and features — but not varying when it comes to who’s on there.
Between the two of us, one is more versed in the dating app world while the other is totally new to the game (because yes, this is kind of like a game).
So in an attempt to get as many matches as possible across way too many apps, we opened a bottle of wine, plugged in our phones and figured what’s the worst that can happen?
Tinder
Tinder has a reputation for perhaps not being the best place to find long-term love. Or long-term anything, really.
It also encourages you to completely ignore the old saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” Your decision to swipe left or right is pretty much based solely on a few pictures and maybe a witty few lines from your potential match describing him/herself. If you find that person attractive, you would swipe right.
One of the biggest turnoffs (aside from the relentless gym selfies guys seem to really love posting. Do you even lift, bro?) is the mutual friends feature.
Because Tinder connects to your Facebook profile, for someone who grew up in and went to high school in Philly, seeing all of your mutual friends and second and third connections (whatever that means) pop up on the profile of a match can either be a good thing as it gives you something in common right off the bat or makes you swipe left faster than Usain Bolt. The latter seemed to be the more frequent reaction.
While sometimes it’s funny to see someone you had AP Gov. with pop up (especially if you were good friends, so swiping right on them isn’t as awkward), nine times out of 10 you won’t want to match and create a high school reunion.
With the short-term love mentality of the app, the conversations were even less:
Guy: “Hey how’s it going?”
Girl: “Good how about you?”
Guy: “Good, just watching TV.”
Interest waned before the conversation even started.
But enduring a few awkward message exchanges like the one above — and a few really crude ones (ew) — for 30 minutes of swiping, we got a cumulative 27 matches and four messages, though we didn’t initiate anything because we’re classy broads.
JSwipe
Think “Matchmaker, Matchmaker,” but in the digital realm. JSwipe is the go-to free Jewish dating app, giving matches 18 days (get it?) to talk to each other.
If your mother is still kvetching about your life, JSwipe is the answer. The men are often very polite and respectful (like any NJB).
Although shout-out to the accountant from Cherry Hill who said on Tinder, “Wow, I can’t believe we’ve never matched before!” We have. On JSwipe.
But probably the most curious part of the app is the “Willing to Convert” feature, allowing non-Jews to join in their quest for love, too. And if you’re not interested in featuring a sect of your religious background (Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, etc.), you can choose “Just Jewish” if you don’t feel like thinking existentially about your life and world views.
There are many “Hebrews looking for She-brews” on the app, but like any Jewish mother shouting, “Just give him a chance, he’s a doctor!” it became apparent that many matches and profiles are recycled. Several (OK, dozens) of profiles that we’ve seen and talked to before reappeared on our screens, as if the 11th plague of Passover is a swarm of exes.
Here, too, the mutual friends feature can make you feel a little hesitant, but with the knowledge that all Jews know each other, having connections in common probably shouldn’t be that much of a surprise.
Coffee Meets Bagel
This app probably differs the most from the others, providing the user with only one other profile each day based on similarities and preferences in a match. But there’s also the option to buy more matches (you really can buy love).
You can buy virtual coffee beans that allow you to view more matches — aka bagels — and extra details of their profiles.
With just one match and very little activity, it’s hard to say how worthwhile this app is, though it might be better in the long run.
Now we want bagels.
Bumble
Bumble puts the pressure on the ladies.
Most guys make the first move in dating app chat rooms — by the way, a subtle “Sup?” has not and will not ever get our attention — but on Bumble, ladies have 24 hours to make the first move before the match expires.
However, that usually means the guys who are on there actually want to be on there because they know they can’t really do anything about a match unless the girl initiates a conversation.
Already, because of that, using Bumble was better than using something like Tinder. But keeping up with matches within that 24-hour window was rather exhausting as the phone buzzed for three straight minutes alerting about the final hour of matching opportunity.
Overall: great pickings, too much effort.
Happn
Finally, an app that lets you casually cross paths so you can tell your future grandchildren that you actually met at a coffee shop — he grabbed your order by mistake, and the rest is history — but sadly, Happn is just not going to make that happen for you.
The main feature of this app is that it continuously tracks your location and tells you how many times you’ve physically crossed paths with another. You could be walking down the street, driving by — sounds reasonable, right?
Until you realize that you take the same route to work and back every day and you’ve crossed paths with Tom six times already.
For safety reasons and personal creepiness, we deleted our accounts pretty fast.
So after all was said and done — and the wine was gone — we realized something about ourselves.
We both consider ourselves to be down-to-earth gals — we’re not picky when it comes to how we spend time with friends or where we go out to eat (even though one of us really should be picky because she’s lactose intolerant).
But of all the simplicity in our lives, we discovered — when your only option really is to judge someone by the five pictures they put in their profile (pictures with dogs are a plus) — how easy it is to be overly judgmental and picky when it comes to dating.
And though we didn’t actually meet up with any of our matches from any of these apps, it was certainly a learning experience to look at how people form connections.
The point of these apps is to match you with people who could be long-term partners, but — not to sound overly dramatic or pessimistic — it’s hard to find that real connection when your first interaction is a “Hey” on a platform where this guy has probably said that to literally hundreds of other girls.
Of course, this could be where dating sites like Match.com or JDate would come in, but we didn’t have the time (or funds for subscriptions) for that.
This experiment was out of both of our comfort zones. Nonetheless, it was an entertaining and thought-provoking way to pass the time.
And that, more than anything else, should give us the Jewish mother stamp of approval.
Contact: [email protected]; 215-832-0737
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