The Dating App Experiment
As a single staff member of one of the Events & Adventures clubhouses, I decided to do a bit of an experiment with myself. Like a lot of people, I’m a dating app user; as a person dating in the 21st century it often feels like there aren’t many other options. As a simultaneous member of Events & Adventures, I started to compare and contrast my experiences with my online relationships and the ones I was seeing develop at Events & Adventures.
I’ve been on the classic apps like Tinder and Bumble and have tried some of the more obscure apps like Hinge and Coffee Meets Bagel. They each have different layouts and specialties that make them seem like lights at the end of a tunnel filled with fellow singles. In the end, each app seems to turn out to have a similar end: possible dates and little connection.
Dating apps turned the very real and emotional experience of dating into a very numb and robotic game. I’ve found myself mindlessly swiping through people without even looking at them. The sensation of matching with someone seems to create more of an endorphin boost than an actual opportunity for a true connection.
I’ll never forget when I matched with a guy and mentioned meeting up for dinner with him pretty quickly, trying to bypass the small talk and make something out of a match that seemed promising. He agreed, we set a time and location. The next morning, he was gone. He deleted our match and seeing as that was the only form of contact I had with him, there was no way of getting in touch to see what happened.
The experience stung, but a part of me accepted it because we hadn’t even met. How could I hold this guy accountable when he was only a picture on a screen?
I’ve gone on my fair share of actual dates through these apps too. I’ve even been in short-term relationships with some of the men I’ve meet. The large majority of the time the connection I thought I had with these guys online didn’t come through in person. If we did actually have something in common, there seemed to be a pressure to put a definition on whatever we had right away, which ended up scaring one of us away. When you make dating the primary focus of any activity, there’s an expectation of trust and vulnerability almost instantly. How can you put that kind of pressure on someone you barely know?
Having heard friends express similar frustrations, I know I’m not alone in my dating app woes. I even hear us wondering aloud if there is something wrong with us because of our lack of success.
Having experienced Events & Adventures for the last six months, I honestly believe it’s not us but the online dating system that’s to blame. Unlike the forced nature of online dating, Events & Adventures creates an organic environment for members to have fun being themselves.
Are you filled with random facts or a board game connoisseur? You can guarantee there’s a trivia or game night coming up with Events & Adventures. More of a sports fan? Every club has at least one viewing party or pickup game on the books. Are you a whitewater rafting, bungee jumping, or adrenaline junkie—or do you want to be? Events & Adventures has you covered there, too.
And the best part? Other people are doing all of these things with you. You’ll be able to build connections with people that have similar interests and have the opportunity to see these same people on a weekly, or even daily basis, without having to plan the get togethers yourself.
All of the romantic relationships I’ve seen develop between Events & Adventures members have come out of the weeks and months they have spent together at Events & Adventures events. When people have the chance to develop friendships, those friendships turn into trust, and that trust can very easily blossom into something more substantial like commitment and love.
Our members have the chance to cultivate relationships with each other without having to worry about defining their experiences, romantic or otherwise, because that’s not what Events & Adventures is about. Our goal is to help people live a life they love, and that definition is different for everyone.
As a self-proclaimed wallflower, I’ve really had the chance to soak up all of the wonderful benefits Events & Adventures provides its members. In a world so fueled by instant gratification, Events & Adventures slows things down and gives its members the change to enjoy their lives with friends, new and old. So why keep staring at a dating app filled with what-ifs and maybes and come have some promised fun with Events and Adventures? You never know where it might lead until you give it a try!