Back in early-April, I signed up for 5 different dating apps. Here's what happened.

valentine's day candles
Photo: ThinkStock

Spring: the time of year when the flowers and trees begin to blossom, shedding the dreariness that comes with a long Winter. It's also the time of Spring love and all the happiness accompanies it. In order to chase this euphoria myself, I decided to subject myself to signing up for FIVE different dating apps/sites.

I signed up for Tinder, Bumble, Plenty of Fish, OKCupid, and Coffee Meets Bagel. Each of these sites was terrible in their own unique way (Coffee Meets Bagel being one of the dumbest ****ing things I've ever tried), but universally, I learned a few things after trying each of these apps for a month. Here are my findings:

1: Finding Love Isn't Cheap

Pile of Money
Getty Images/Ingram Publishing

The great philosopher Jennifer Lopez once said "My love don't cost a thing." While that may be true for Jenny from the Block, love costs a lot more than "a thing" on dating apps. Every app I tried was free to sign up for and use, but all of the good stuff was locked behind a paywall. Sure, you can swipe and swipe to your hearts content and hopefully luck into finding someone, but if you want the advantage of having any idea of who might be interested in you, you better be ready to drop some bills. For just one month access to the good stuff on most sites, it's about $20. If you don't pay for the premium service, you're constantly reminded that people want to meet you, it's just your poorness that's holding you back.

Gavin Eddings
Gavin Eddings

Yes, after 1 month, 12 whole people were interested

Luckily, on Plenty of Fish, you can kind of make out who might be interested. However, if I wanted to guess what women look like based on blurry photos, I'd move back in with my parents and check the higher channels on the cable box.

2. Everybody Likes Everything I Hate

Getty Images/Wavebreak Media

I know I live in Southern Indiana and outdoorsy crap is popular, but I hate all of it. I don't mind getting out and going for a run, but I like to have some sort of destination that I'm running to. I don't want to just wander around the forest because the forest exists and that's what couples do. I can't swipe left any harder when I see someone say "I love the country and want to spend every night around a bonfire while we forget electricity is a thing that we could be enjoying." Don't get me started on hunting or camping; those both sound terrible. Especially camping, because this guy lives in the woods:

You can't get murdered in the woods if you never go into the woods.

And I realize this is just probably an issue with me and I should try to expand my horizons. Sadly, horizons normally exist outside and I'm not about that life.

3. Suspiciously Attractive Women Are Into Me Every Morning at 2am

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I can't explain it, but it would seem that after most days of no matches, I suddenly become very popular in the wee hours of the morning with women who all appear to be models. Sure, some of these women's photos have watermarks on them, describing how to see even HOTTER photos of them, but they seem like someone I could really bring home to mom. Sometimes, you'll even encounter a set of twins that look exactly the same yet aren't the same age:

Gavin Eddings
Gavin Eddings

Maybe one is just older by a few minutes?

You'll spend a lot of your time wondering how you got so lucky until you realize your computer/phone now has more viruses than the CDC.

4. Kids. So Many Kids.


Let me specify that so many people HAVE kids. And I understand that as a 31 year old man trying to find love in the "settle down and make more people" region, that kids are going to occur. But holy ****, people really like having kids (or at least making them). I have a female friend who encounters the same thing with guys. It's insane how many 23-24 year old ladies I scroll through and discover they have 3-4 kids already - and still want more.

I've only recently become accustomed to keeping myself alive; I don't think I'm ready to take on someone else's brood of younglings. And I'm not opposed to dating someone with kids. I've done it before. But it's hard to get past my mindset of "You're responsible for keeping a human/s alive and I collect Funko POPs."

If you're trying to catch up with your friends who already have kids, you can easily 1-up them by dating anyone in the 25-35 range on any app and acquiring the responsibility of their litter.

5. Your Options Are Ultimately Finite

Cocktail party

And here is the biggest thing I learned: If you're on one dating app, you're on them all. It doesn't matter what fun name or pun you name your app or site, you're still pulling from the same finite pool of mates. If someone didn't like you on Tinder, they aren't going to like you on Bumble or Plenty of Fish or Farmer's Only or Christian Mingle or Hater or any of the hundreds of other dating sites.

After awhile, logging into a dating app becomes the equivalent of walking into the same bar every night and seeing the same people you already don't want to date (or that don't want to date you). It becomes a mind-numbing routine where you swipe left or right, never really expecting to match with someone. If you do match with someone, you're immediately filled with fear. What if this goes somewhere? Do I even bother talking to them or do I just try to accumulate more matches? Will I get hurt emotionally? Could this actually be it?

Instead of letting those thoughts simmer, you go back to swiping and hoping that your insecurities won't seep into your next match.


Honestly, when I started this experiment I really didn't expect to meet anyone or for it to lead to any dates. And I didn't. That's partially my fault. I could have messaged the few people I did match with but decided not to. I actually had a few people message me and I even had a few conversations. But it didn't lead to anything, and that was mostly by choice.

I did find myself getting a little bit depressed the deeper I got into the month. Even if I wasn't trying to actively meet someone (and was mostly just doing it for this blog and the jokes written in it), I guess there is still that glimmer of hope in the back of my mind that something could have come from it. I even considered paying for one of the apps. I totally understand how the hope of finding someone can get people to open up their wallets month after month. I hope you enjoyed this blog and that maybe you can relate to it. I'll probably delete the apps in a few days so I can go back to not worrying about what else is out there.

But we'll always have 2am, identical-but-not-the-same-age-twins.

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