The Sea Hath Fish for Every Woman

by Sara Worth

wallcoo_Forbes_Stanhope_A_Fish_Sale_on_a_Cornish_Beach.jpg
Casting Our Lines on Bumble for 24 Hours
As a bona fide Millennial, it was only a matter of time before I downloaded a dating app, but after hearing horror stories of unsolicited dick pics and strange nomenclature pervasive throughout some dating apps, I was hesitant. Luckily, Whitney Wolfe created an app for people like me. It’s called Bumble, and it’s very similar to that other app she helped found, except that only women have the power to initiate a conversation with their connections. If they fail to say hello, the match disappears down the superhighway after 24 hours.

Because I am a “sexy single,” and also, like many of my generation, emotionally not out of freshman year of college, my best friend made me a Bumble profile one night while I sat in the corner giggling. Challenging me to try it for 24 hours, she started by granting Facebook permission to share my face and alma mater and then adjusted my age and distance preference, so as to avoid heavy traffic on the way to my many, many dates. It became apparent immediately that Bumbling combines some of my favorite activities: lounging, judging, and making idle conversation.

Similarly to analog dating, there are gems here and there, but bad choices and poor taste abound. Sifting through doofuses (doofi?) is difficult IRL, but is made easier by apps like Bumble. Instead of going through the agony of forced conversation, you can simply swipe left on the undateable. For your edification I have enumerated below 13 Automatic Turn-offs, as seen in real men’s Bumble profiles. I swipe left if…

1. Your girlfriend is in your picture 2. Your mom is in your picture 3. Your picture is of something other than your own face, e.g. Ryan Gosling or your abs 4. Your picture is of you meeting a famous person, e.g. Mindy Kaling, Jay Leno, or George R. R. Martin (twice!) 5. Your picture includes an object emblazoned with the words: “I can’t, I have rehearsal” 6. Your picture is your headshot, and there are six of them 7. You are holding a gun 8. You are holding an acoustic guitar 9. You are touching a turntable 10. White dreads 11. Your bio includes your height (e.g. “6’5” (yes really 6’5”),” or “Tall 5’7””) 12. Your bio indicates that you are a “CEO” (though you are younger than 25) 13. Your bio has directions for your potential dates (e.g. “Just don’t be basic”). Thank you to these dudes for reminding us that though we may all come from different backgrounds, we are united by our pettiness and sense of entitlement. (I include myself here, but will point out that on Bumble it’s our turn to troll the men.)

Otherwise, I swiped right, and ended up with several viable matches—including, but not limited to, a beautiful, blue-eyed Siberian husky.

Yet those who meet some of the disqualifications listed above could actually be wonderful and worthwhile. And yes, the idea of shopping for people based on their job and appearance is scary and gross, but judging people based on what they do and what they look like is nothing new, sometimes there really is truth in self-presentation. The costumes we put on indicate the costumes we think are cool. Our choice of words is meaningful, and says something about the kinds of actions we might take.

Some valuable Life Lessons I’ve learned on Bumble:

1. You can love all the same things as someone else and still end up hating their guts 2. You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. Some of you may miss 100% of the shots you do take, but on Bumble you can pretend the basket just couldn’t see the ball 3. Someone needs to be brave enough to move the conversation beyond Seinfeld references, and you should probably be that person

Most importantly, if you are to live and love well, you will need to get beyond idleness and snap judgments. 24-hours on Bumble taught me that, because everyone on here is bearing their all and trying their best, earnestness will win the day.

Image: Forbes Stanhope. "A Fish Sale on a Cornish Beach," (1884-5). Oil on canvas. 5 × 4 feet.

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