Healthy lives for young people
Relationships, Staying Safe Online

Dating Apps: Nicole’s Story

Nicole, 21, shares her experience of using dating apps and explains why she feels sometimes they allow people to be more disrespectful than IRL.

I signed up for a dating app a few months ago. I didn’t want to get into a relationship but other than that I wasn’t specific with what I wanted. This proved to be a problem. I would advise always only diving into a dating app when you know exactly what you want, whether that be a relationship, casual sex or a one night stand but it makes it much easier when you know what you want. You can set the boundaries with yourself and the other person.

In my experience, one problem that I immediately faced was the crude responses that I was receiving. If you met somebody in ‘real life’ they almost certainly would not approach you with the sexual approaches that I was receiving. 

Luckily, I often find the funny side to these explicit comments, screenshot them and send them to my two best friends for a giggle. However, I am aware that others may not find them amusing and instead be put off of dating apps all together.

When I have met up with people from a dating app, they often disrespect my time. I have encountered a very laid-back attitude with time keeping, perhaps it is because they do not see a future with someone they have just met. Therefore, they are often running late, hours late, cancelling last minute or calling at silly hours in the morning.

I wouldn’t tolerate this if a friend did these things, so why should I allow someone I have just met to disrespect my time in this way?

They also often assume that I am ‘kinky’. Perhaps, they assume that dating apps and being sexually adventurous are linked. However, we all know that that is not true, as people use them for a variety of reasons. I’ve found that dating apps allow conversation to turn sexual sooner, with the question, ‘are you kinky?’ or ‘what kinks are you into?’ being thrown around either before meeting or on a first encounter. There seems to be a fog shrouding the word ‘kinky’ and its definition. Instead, if it gets to the stage of wanting to be sexual with somebody, why not try, ‘what turns you on?’. Language is important.

Finally, they are predominantly not kind. Kindness is something I miss deeply from being in a monogamous relationship. I’m not saying they are particularly unkind, although there have been a couple, but rather they forget to treat others as they would like to be treated. It may be because they find it easier to be unkind being behind a phone screen. Or I think when somebody with a laid-back approach to dating apps doesn’t see the other person as someone ‘serious’, their kindness is also often left behind. It’s hard for me to understand this one when I think one should treat others how they want to be treated.

That was a lot of negativity about dating apps but I don’t dislike them! On the contrary, they have allowed me to meet new people that I wouldn’t have met otherwise.

I also love discovering new date places, bars, coffee shops, crazy golf spots. On top of that, I’ve been able to explore my sexuality and sexual preferences. And most importantly it’s fun and I’ll continue using them until it’s not anymore.

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