Blerg & Biz Blove Blog: Finding Your Niche

One last B&BBB for 2015.

MonkeyBiz: A couple of weeks ago I decided that I had had enough of online dating. I was striking out on Match, OKCupid, and Tinder. I’ve rewritten my profile as many times as I could count. A female friend that works in PR actually took such pity on me she actually rewrote my profile for me. Nothing worked. So, for the first time in as long as I can remember, I had zero online dating presence.

A few weeks ago a colleague at work mentioned that while he was on the road he would use JSwipe. “JSwipe”, I inquired, “What’s that?”. He explained that it was basically Jewish Tinder.

To preface, my relationship with Jewish dating is complicated. I’ve never used JDate, even though it’s been suggested about a billion times, for the simple reason that I was never really interested in dating any of the women I went to Sunday School with as a kid. Someone’s religion was never high on my list of likes or dislikes, save those individuals with an unhealthy amount of faith in their Lord. So, when this guy suggested JSwipe, I laughed my ass off. He tells me that he knows what I’m thinking, and that it’s not like JDate. Okay, I’m intrigued, but not sold.

So, on Christmas Eve, I was sitting around doing a whole bunch of nothing and I thought to myself, hey, what better time to meet other Jews than on Christmas? So, I downloaded the app, set up a profile, and started swiping. Within pretty short order, I had a bunch of matches. Like, more than I’ve had on Tinder probably ever, combined. I’m thinking to myself “Nah, this is fake.” Shortly thereafter I started getting messages. Women were messaging me! And they weren’t escorts or bots! I started chatting with the few I was interested in, and they were actual real people.

Last Sunday I went on my first official JSwipe date, and it was the best date I’ve been on in months. Nothing fancy, just coffee. We talked for four hours, and the conversation never dragged. We never had an awkward “So now what?” thing. When the date was finally over, we agreed to get together again. She texted me the next day, and we’re getting burgers and shaved ice on Friday.

Now, I don’t know if it’s a cultural thing or just random luck, but it’s possible I’ve spent all this time chasing women that weren’t interested in me when the ones that were I had dismissed for an arbitrary culturally biased reason.

MattBlerg: Awesome! It’s possible that being Jewish is nothing more than that single thing in common you need to spark a conversation.

I downloaded Bumble a while back, but I’m truly disappointed in it. Bumble’s thing is that ladies have to be the ones to start the conversation and if you don’t within 24 hours of matching, the match disappears on both ends forever. I’ve had a sufficient enough matches, but hardly any respond and when they do, it’s not a quick conversation. Needless to say, the app mostly goes unused on my phone.

Things have mostly fizzled out with Lumber Bae (of course, after we gave him a nickname) and I’m bummed, but it’s ok. I went on a swiping spree during my gym’s Christmas party and found a few new fellows to have some fun with.

Biz: It’s certainly possible. I find it interesting that out of all the other things that I do, it’s the thing that I’m probably the least invested in that may have been the key all along.

Sorry things didn’t work out with Lumber Bae, but hey, at least you have new friends.

OK, so Bumble. I get the concept. By eliminating the ability for men, who realistically are responsible for the vast majority if not entirety of harassing messages on online dating websites, to make that first contact, it gives women the power to either initiate contact or not. Essentially, it makes men passive participants until they’re contacted. It’s one way of solving the problem, but it has the byproduct of, as you noted, decreasing participation.

The solution to this particular problem has always been curation. Online dating sites have to take an active role in policing their user base and give members the opportunity to file complaints against individuals for shitty behavior, and have those complaints have consequences. I’d like to see a major site add some kind of three strikes rule – one complaint, banned for a week; two complaints, banned for a month; three complaints, banned forever. One or even two mistakes are understandable, but if you have three different people complaining about your behavior, it’s obvious what the problem is.

Blerg: The League is a dating app that really works on curating their users. It’s not an app you can download and start using. They don’t even serve every market. It’s considered “Tinder for elites.” Elite not necessarily based on social or financial status, but dating elites. Only people who meet your preferences will see your profile and you can hide it from your coworkers and friends. If you don’t respond to messages, you get kicked off the app. It connects to your Facebook as well as your LinkedIn app to make sure you’re a real person.

I’m currently 346 on the New Orleans waitlist (the app isn’t live here yet) and like 46,000 out of 150,000 on the general waitlist. It sounded pretty cool when I first heard about it on Bustle’s sex and relationship podcast back in September, but those are my same waitlist numbers from when I signed up right after hearing about it.

What, if anything, would you say you learned from dating this year?

Biz: “Dating elites” seems counterproductive. Like, would you want to be matched with someone that’s a pro at dating? Isn’t it enough to just be not shitty?

I’d say this year I learned about myself. Who I am, in the context of a potential relationship partner. I looked at how I was approaching dating and changed my perceptions on what I really bring to the table in terms of a relationship. You?

Blerg:That’s a pretty low standard you’ve set – just don’t be shitty. I think “dating elite” means someone who is actively dating and looking to date rather than some troll with a fake profile who’s just going to message awful things to the other person.

This year I definitely came out of my shell. I think I gained a bit more confidence, but learned/re-realized I’m terrible with expressing my feelings with the person I’m in a relationship with. I definitely do not like being vulnerable. But, I’m ready to take this knowledge into the new year and be ready for whoever or whatever comes my way.

Biz: It’s amazing that “don’t be shitty”, despite being as laughably low a bar as anyone could set for an interaction with another human being, is something that a decent enough percentage of people, both men and women, would have issues clearing.

I’m sure Biz and I will see you all from this blog in 2016!

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