What were the main takeaways from each site?
JDate: So this one didn’t live up to my extremely high (and [unfairly] tall) expectations. If you’re not 5’11”, you’d probably have a much different experience. The one date I did go on was fun/full of jokes, but then I never heard from him again, so there’s that.
Match: Also disappointing. It was pretty annoying to search for guys, especially when the results really didn’t do any piquing of my interest. It also doesn’t help that the site is an aesthetic nightmare/my anxiety spiked the second the page loaded. Every single time. Fun fact for the guys out there: One of my besties says a bunch of her gfs use it to get laid. So um yeah. Do with that what you will.
eHarmony: If I was on some sort of a timeline where marriage was concerned, I would totally use this site. Everyone I came across was pretty serious/up front about their intentions – possibly a little too serious/up front for my maturity level. One thing to note about this one is that it takes a long time to get to the date. While I can see why the Guided Communication works, it’s a little exhausting – especially when an enlightening/off-putting revelation comes up late in the game and you mentally tabulate every millisecond you wasted on a date that never even happened – BUT, at least, in those cases, the date never happened. There was one time where someone I thought was just a little (ok extremely) douchey turned super creepy via text and I thanked every lucky star we never got together in real life. (More on that here.)
OkCupid: Oh man. Complete and total smorgasbord of every male archetype. I met some gems on here, but man, did it take some digging. Mostly because any guy who wants to contact you is allowed to do so – you don’t have to give them an okay/right swipe. Add to that the fact that it’s a free site, and you get a complete and total smorgasbord of every male archetype’s textual d*ck pic.
Tinder: I almost didn’t use Tinder in my experiment at all, due to its reputation as a hook-up only app, but I’m definitely glad I did. I enjoy the way it mimics the real world experience:
Real World: First glance…oh, I might be attracted to you – let me get real creepy and stare harder. (I’m nearsighted, so I can never tell for sure in real life if I think someone’s cute or not until I’m super close/or squinty.)
Tinder: Cute first pic. Right swipe.
Real World: Let me judge what you’re wearing/who you’re hanging out with to see if I think we’d get along.
Tinder: Judge other photos. Thanks to social media, we’ve all gotten pretty good at this. You can tell a lot about a person by the kinds of pics they choose, what they’re wearing, how they style their hair, where these pics are taken, and who they choose to feature in said pics. (Examples of strong personal no’s for each category: shirtless selfies, ill-fitting button-ups, spiked/gelled, Playboy Mansion, buxom blondes in bikinis.)
Real World: Chat in person, possibly exchange numbers.
Tinder: Chat on the app, possibly exchange numbers.
That being said, it does seem to have become much more over-saturated than it was when I was doing this experiment, meaning it takes even more time to weed through the BS/find the good ones. (Just like the real world?)