Wednesday, July 12, 2017
The ABCs of Bumble
I'm truly shocked that online dating apps are still a thing. They are merely vessels for anguish and despair, Bumble will make you miserable, it will make you cry and even though you are starting to worry about things like a 'biological clock' and your mom keeps making snide remarks about her lack of Grandchildren, I would suggest you avoid it like the plague. Full stop. But, like a middle school religion teacher going over the merits of abstinence, I know y'all are gonna fuck anyway, so I would be remiss if I did not present you a glossary of terms and warnings of the cruel fate you await.
'But wait, my best friend met her husband on Bumble!'
This is the worst part. Everyone knows ONE Bumble success story. This is like when Draymond Green hits his first three of the game and then goes on to miss the next ten. You are not the exception, you will not find love. You can swipe until you're blue in the face but it won't fix anything. It will lower your self esteem and possibly give you an eating disorder, but again, because I'm on the other side I've decided to attempt to help you out with some alphabetical terms. Call me the Sue Grafton of dating apps.
*I wrote a previous version of this four hours ago and accidentally deleted it. Now I'm really angry, and I'm drinking, so this is going to be about 30% meaner than it was at noon. If you take offense to anything I write, it's Ally Schnitzer's fault. Yes, I am a man blaming a woman for something. Get used to it, it's not getting any better from here.
A is for Average
You had hopes and dreams when you were young. You were going to marry some hotshot Ivy Leaguer who did college rowing and now works at Goldman Sachs. Now you're waiting at a bar in Studio City for Garrett the 5'9" assistant system's engineer at a small tax accounting firm. Not even the systems engineer, the assistant. I bet you guys are going to have stimulating conversation. Garrett chews with his mouth open, never got braces and has a hairline that recedes by the minute. But he's nice and has decent credit. Hell he will probably even pay for your meal. WELCOME TO BUMBLE, this is about as good as it gets.
B is for Benching
In one of the more sinister moves of the modern fuckboy, benching is a form of ghosting in which boy is not really interested in dating but contacts you just enough that it is conceivable that he could hit you up on a Saturday night with a 'come to Canal Club' and you will be stupid enough to go. Cut to Sunday morning he's just 'too hungover to drive' but will gladly call you an Uber. You will not hear from him for like 5 days at which point he will send you a stupid snap and you will think "OMG HE LOVES ME." He does not love you, you are on the bench, and the bench is deep.
C is for Crumbs
Crumbing or Bread crumbing is a variation of benching. It's best defined with an example. Let's say you are casually dating some guy for a while, you've been on maybe five dates. Maybe you had sex on the couch one time while watching GLOW on Netflix because he was really turned on by female professional wrestling. Then one day the guy just kind of wasn't there. It's probably because he started pursuing another girl. It doesn't work out so a few weeks later, boy starts passively contacting you. A snap here, a silly text there, but he doesn't come groveling back to you because that would give you the upper hand. No he leaves little crumbs of hope assuming that you will follow the trail and become interested in him again. It's the Inception of douchebag tricks, but it's effective. When you find yourself back in his twin bed in Mar Vista you will have only yourself to blame.
D is for Douchebags
The truth is not everyone on dating apps is a heartless douchebag, in fact they can be neatly categorized into four categories. WHO'S READY FOR SOME HARRY POTTER METAPHORS?!?!?
Hufflepuffs- Hufflepuff was in a bottom tier frat and subscribes to Reddit r/anime. He plays videogames. And not cool ones like Madden and Fifa. This guy Twitches Overwatch and shit. He's the guy from letter A. He lives in the valley, his intentions are pure, but you definitely introduce him as 'your friend' at parties because you are 40% embarrassed.
Gryffindors- The Gryffindors are the guys that just broke up with their long term girlfriend and got on Bumble because one of their shithead friends suggested it. He's a super cool guy, and you'll be a great rebound for 8 weeks before he inevitably gets back with his girlfriend.
Ravenclaw- The Ravenclaw is a good guy but he is also playing the odds and is simultaneously dating 12 women. He tells you as such because logically it makes the most sense to date lots of women when trying to find The One. You appreciate his honesty but start to resent him when you routinely get the Monday slot on his schedule.
Slytherin- On last night's Bachelorette Dean commented that the reason Bryan is still single at 37 is because he has been banging whoever he wants for the last 19 years. Why the hell would he settle down? But now that he's aging out of his prime he figures he'll do a national tv show that he certainly doesn't want to win mind you, just gain enough exposure so that he can keep fucking chicks in Florida based on his moderate fame for the next 20 years. Almost gotta respect the hustle.
E is for Energy
Energy. I just don't have it. The truth is I want to get drunk with my friends on the weekends and lay on the couch watching TV with my shirt off the rest of the week. Dating is hard and I can't imagine sitting around doing small talk with someone I'm not that into so BEST CASE SCENARIO: I go back to her place, spend the night and have an awkward encounter with her roommate in the morning and she offers me a juice. But like I guess if you're into juice it's worth it.
F is for Flaking
Los Angeles truly is a godless place full of selfish people pursuing hedonistic endeavors, but once in a while a miracle occurs: The 3pm text 'ugh gotta work late, can we reschedule?' The truth is 42% of all scheduled plans in LA fall through, and most of the time both parties are probably thrilled about it. When you are at work fantasizing about going home only to realize that you have drinks lined up with Crackle's Assistant Director of Development it can be a kick to the gut. Similarly, if you are looking forward to a night of happy hour Beergaritas at the Brentwood Cabo Cantina and homie cancels at the last minute? Don't despair, it's probably for the best.
G is for Ghosting
Look, it's 2017 and everyone knows what ghosting is, but I would be remiss in my journalistic responsibilities if I did not reiterate that you will be ghosted and you will be ghosted hard. The worst part is, you won't even be able to find out why because it has become quite passe to ask someone why you've been ghosted. It's the dating app equivalent of asking someone for a ride to LAX. And look, it's probably not because you had some thoughts on the travel ban, it's probably not because you wore a pair of high waisted jeans on your last date. (But maybe!) The likely reason you got ghosted is because your guy was so hungover on Saturday and Sunday after fucking you in a bathroom at Townhouse that he didn't plug his phone in the rest of the weekend and by Monday it had been 48 hours and he just decided to roll with it.
H is for having the upper hand.
It's shocking how much game theory there is in online dating. One minute you're Cersei Lannister sitting on the Iron Throne, the next you're Julia Roberts leaning on a door frame of a West London bookstore asking a boy to like you. In the game of Bumble you win or you die. Or you get drunk on a Thursday night after a pier concert and tell your crush that you will blow him if he meets you at Big Dean's. That is called losing the upper hand.
I is for incest
Right, so despite the GoT references in the previous paragraph, I'm not talking about actual incest. I'm talking about the fact that the longer you spend on dating apps the more likely it is that you'll start dating the ex of a coworker or a guy that had a one night stand with your roommate once. I mean it's fine, that's part of being an adult, but it certainly puts your roommate in a weird spot when you invite your new guy over to cook pasta and watch The Challenge and she has to sit there the whole time wondering if he remembers that they had sex on the beach following a Scorpion wrap party in 2013. Spoiler alert: He doesn't.
J is for January
The January rental is the new Turkey Drop. Instead of dumping you right before the holidays, fuckboys of the highest order will prey on your 'oh ya, I just dumped my boring boyfriend #NEWYEARNEWME' sensibilities to get them through arguably the worst month of the year. But let it be known, you will not make it to February 14th. Homie is just crossing his fingers that he's on the five week plan to butt stuff. But don't worry, after he makes some lame excuse to 86 you, there should be a new 50 Shades movie coming out that you and your friends can get drunk and go to and talk about how much you hate men. Hell, it's Prime Day, why don't you just go ahead and order yourself a new Magic Wand in advance, you deserve it.
K is for Kissing
I just finished reading a book about World War I and I must say, I find their dating customs very distressing. Woodrow Wilson, the president of the United States spent half the book sending whiny love letters to some chick who refused to marry him. REPEAT: THE MOST POWERFUL MAN IN THE WORLD WAS IGNORING A WAR BECAUSE SOMEONE WOULDN'T FUCK HIM. The book was specifically about the Lusitania, which was like the Titanic with less Billy Zane. There was a Vanderbilt aboard and he didn't kiss anyone before he died. I have a negative net worth and the last cruise I went on I hooked up with like five chicks. That said, if you're on Bumble, you will kiss a lot of people (many of them ugly!) and many nights you will end up crying in bed wishing you would have drowned on a British ocean liner.
L is for Lolz
Undoubtedly the best part of dating apps is when you find a D list celebrity like a recent cast off from a reality TV franchise or Terrell Owens. But it's all fun and games until WHABOOM doesn't swipe back and you have to re-examine your entire existence.
M is for Marriage
Haha psych! Never gonna happen. Things you will experience because of bumble: Impotence, Bacne (back acne) lots of body hair, halitosis, toenail fungus, stained sheets, but definitely not marriage. Bumble is like the show Fleabag but worse.
N is for No
Let's take some reader questions, shall we? Yes...you with the hair, go ahead.
"Hi Dave, I frequently agonize over what to say to men on Bumble or even through text after we go off app. Is this something that men struggle with too?'
Uh no. Let's imagine you are talking to a guy and he says he likes dogs. You may think 'oh he's into animals, I should pretend to be Vegan' or 'he's probably talking about hot dogs, I should feign interest in baseball' or even 'maybe I should bark in bed.' The truth is he probably just likes dogs and his next text is going to be '*eggplant emoji* LOL it looks like a dick, send me a picture of your tits.' You're truly dealing with the lowest common denominator here, try not to over analyze it! I apologize for all men.
O is for Overserved
One of the things that people forget to tell you about online dating is that you will be drunk the entire time. Every time you go out with some inferior peasant a little piece of you dies and you hate yourself a little bit more. But if you drink five glasses of Pinot at dinner and agree to go back to a studio in Burbank for some missionary sex at least you can close your eyes during it and imagine if you would have stayed with your high school boyfriend. Sure he works at Jiffy Lube, but at least he had a six pack and a huge dick. It's the Millenial equivalent of the Handmaid's Tale. Jesus this is getting dark.
P is for Picture
Honestly people on dating apps spend more time picking their five pictures than one might spend studying for the bar. There has to be a photo where you look super hot, then a photo of you doing something 'cool' like a Cubs game. Next is the photo with friends but they can't be hotter than you, but they also can't be uglier than you. Maybe a picture in Paris? Because travel duh! Something outdoorsy, oh I'm jumping off a waterfall perfect. Fuck I need a picture in a cute outfit, wait boys don't give a shit about outfits. My boobs look good here, fuck if only I could photoshop my upper arms in this one...you know what? Fuck it, here's a picture of me in college when I was hot as shit and 15 pounds skinnier.
Q is for Quick
The average length of a Bumble relationship is 8.2 days with a standard deviation of 7, and the truth of the matter is sometimes these relationships are just a few hours. Maybe you had a bad day and Dennis from Playa del Rey wants you to meet him at The Whaler. You throw back a few happy hour session IPAs, Dennis busts out some extra cocaine he has left over from the weekend, you end up on a futon in an unairconditioned room and are denied a ride home in the morning because of tandem parking or something. Life comes at you fast. Don't be sad that it's over, be happy it happened.
R is for Regrets
You don't need me to tell you that there will be regrets, because there will be many. In fact, any asshole that has ever said some bullshit like 'life is short no regrets!' never went on a Bumble/J Swipe/Farmer's Only date. It is the embodiment of regret. Regret is seeing your ex-boyfriend's engagement photos and deciding to meet up with Frank in Echo Park even though it is a full 50 minutes from your house. After having 6 Moscow Mules (of which you pay for because Frank is kinda in between jobs right now) you go back to Frank's place where you proceed to have sex for 78 seconds in a bunk bed (in the room he shares with his brother) and then taking an Uber home in the morning because Frank doesn't have a car. That Uber driver, even though English is not their first language, knows exactly what you have done. It's a bad feeling to be judged by an Uber driver. It's an even worse feeling when your hot neighbor sees you getting out of the car in your clothes from the night before when you get home. *Bell rings* SHAME! *Bell Rings* SHAME!
S is for Sex
You will not find love on Bumble, but you'll probably find sex. In fact you will definitely find it. There seems to be an unspoken three strikes rule on dating apps, if you can make it to the third date you're looking good. Woodrow Wilson wrote love letters and you get to fuck on school nights, WHAT A TIME TO BE ALIVE. But don't let the law of three be a hard rule, more a guideline. If you're having fun on a first date at bungalow on a Wednesday night and you just happen to live around the corner and invite this fellow home, sparks may fly. I mean you're an independent woman and you have a few Trojans on reserve in your night stand for 'special occasions.' Maybe you get a text in the morning that your guy is conveniently heading to Joshua Tree for the weekend, 'won't have much service.' If you have a one night stand, go 96 hours without talking to them and ever see them again, I'll do your laundry for a month. Timing is everything.
T is for Trust
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. No. Guys on dating apps lie more than the Trump administration.
U is for Ugly
Now I'm just piling on. Yes, you will hook up with guys less attractive than you, but hey spinzone, if your boyfriend is ugly no more reason to get up at 5am for Yoga right? Go for those carbs, eat that second (and third) slice of pizza. Your new boyfriend that still inexplicably has acne at 33 won't care, all he ever wanted was a girlfriend and now all he has to do to keep you is not fuck one of your friends. But it turns out your friends are so desperate that one of them will fuck your ugly boyfriend. And now you have to lose 10 pounds, and go out five nights a week. Clearly there is no time for the gym but I know from experience that Adderall and cigarettes are an effective way to skip lunch.
V is for Value
So maybe you're thinking to yourself 'Hey, I'm new to a city. I don't know anyone and I like restaurants. Maybe this will be a good way to meet people and explore my surroundings!' If that's all you're looking for you might get a kick out of this whole experience, but if you think you're getting a bunch of free meals out of it? I got news for you, Chivalry is dead, you'll be lucky to go Dutch.
W is for Wit
Look, as a writer I appreciate a really funny opener and as a man I am super stoked that Bumble allows me to be a total coward and puts the onus on the women to make the first move. But once you have initiated, that's over. You can think up the most clever bullshit ever and it might not matter. One time I spent three days writing the greatest cover letter in the history of written communication to Vice Media. And you know what? No one ever read it. Similarly, you can crowdsource with your friends the most hilarious prose in human history but if the guy decides he doesn't like your pixie cut, that's a wrap.
X is for X
I don't lose sleep over many things: The night before Christmas? Sure. Awaiting the casting of the Wicked film? Obviously. But nothing brings me more anxiety than when I know I have to X a chick and break it off. It's absolutely horrifying and I've only had to do it a few times in my life. Women on Bumble have to do this MULTIPLE TIMES A WEEK. At The Mindy Project, the girl I sat next to made me break up with all of her Bumble boyfriends for her and then we would lock her phone in a drawer for two hours afraid to look at it. This is no way to live. Conversely, by NOT breaking it off, you commit to stringing a person on forever or worse continuing to hook up with them because you are too much of a coward to end it. And won't it be fun when you see all of your ex boyfriends at Buffalo Club on a Friday night and they ask you what went wrong? It's 2017, just say you're gay now. Not a lot of follow up questions to that.
Y is for Young
One of the best things to hear women complain about is their age parameters. "These guys I'm matching with are just so immature, I mean maybe I should move my range up to like 30-40." Sure, an older man is more likely to take you somewhere nice, but he's also more likely to be divorced, have a 12 year old son and struggle mightily with Erectile Disfunction. On the flip side, the 23 year old UCLA grad that lives in Westwood and looks like Ansel Elgort can go all night but will also definitely show all the naughty photos you send him to his roommate. Such a catch-22. Hell Westwood guy will probably show your nudes to old man's son when he's coaching him in Little League. The circle is complete.
Z is for Zero
Zero. As in percent chance this will have a happy ending. You're doomed! Something catastrophic will happen, either you will post a photo of your mom and he will decide you are going to be ugly in a few years or he will decide that the 23 minute commute from Century City to Santa Monica is just too severe. You literally have every conceivable force in the world working against you. But what does this mean for you? That you should give up and start adopting cats by the dozen? Not necessarily, you could find some dude in your friend group that doesn't completely repulse you and just try to make it work or you could move somewhere far from Los Angeles, never come back and hope for the best. But I know you're going to swipe anyway. It's fun, it's exciting, It's a great way to kill time. Just don't fall into any of these traps ok? Men are pigs. Remember that! And if you're ever in a jam my crisis hotline is open 24 hours a day. Just don't call me for a ride home in the morning, I'm not your sorority sister.