Swipe Right

Let’s talk about an emerging medium of social interaction: Dating apps.

I’m not going to lie, I love them. I think they’re great. And kind of hilarious.

1. Hot or Not: I can’t really decide whether this is actually a dating app or merely a self esteem validator, but nonetheless, it’s kinda fun. There is an endless stream of members of the opposite sex (or same sex, up to you) and you just say whether you find them attractive or not. And like all of them, once you both rate each other “hot” you can message from there. Personally, I would have to give this app a “not” because there’s no way of validating your profile information or age setting. And honestly I just don’t really like the formatting.

2. Coffee Meets Bagel: Honestly, I think this is a really great app if you’re interested in legitimately meeting someone you could have a connection with. The app takes into account your interests and preferences, and, using your facebook profile, supplies one candidate everyday around noon. This candidate normally has a number of mutual facebook friends and meets the criteria you deem important. You are allowed to see their age, pictures, mutual friends, and interests, but not their name which I find to be very interesting. Overall it’s a great app, again, if you’re actually looking for a date.

3. Bristlr: This one’s kind of the black sheep of the list, but I thought I’d include it just for fun. Basically, it’s specified for men with beards and women looking for men with beards. So you are legitimately just shown guys with beards within a predetermined radius and decide whether they’re attractive or not and they do the same. I’m not going to lie, I downloaded this app just kinda to see what it was and was kinda bored by it. Maybe it’ll take off, but for the moment there’s not that many people on there and the one’s who are aren’t really in the age range most of us would be interested in.

4. Tinder: My personal favorite. I have had a Tinder profile since about my junior year of high school and, I’m not going to lie, I’m kind of obsessed with it. Originally, I was one of those girls who used it just as a self esteem boost, but honestly the people on there are hilarious. Many people have trouble hitting on people in person, but when you add the cover of a cell phone, all bets are off. You get some very elaborate, entertaining, and sometimes just scary pick up lines and even better conversation. Now, it’s something of a time killer.

But with Tinder, you need to take some precaution. First and foremost, stranger danger. Tinder takes all of your information and pictures from a facebook profile in order to deter false info, but that doesn’t necessarily protect you. If you use it and plan to meet up with someone, use your internet stalking skills to try and make sure they’re real. Google, google, google. And never meet them off the grid. Meet in a public place and always tell a friend where you’re going, what you’re doing, etc. Also, Tinder  has become a very popular app, so you WILL find people you know. There’s no ifs and or buts about it. You will. So know your strategy. If you swipe right (the attractive option), there’s some possible mixed messages and awkwardness. However if you swipe left (the reject option), you risk offending them, thus creating awkwardness again. Personally, I have taken the rule to swipe right on every single person I know, because I love awkwardness. But if you choose to do the same, prepare to be hit on by some people you kind of know, or have some tension the next time you see them in person. Finally, mostly the worst thing that can happen to you on tinder (besides actual physical danger) is having someone recognize you in person. It’s WEIRD. For some reason guys find it socially acceptable to message you saying they saw you somewhere IRL, and, honestly, it’s kind of stalker-y. If you recognize someone, please keep it to yourself.

Overall, I think dating apps are fun. Granted, I don’t actually use them for dating, but they’re certainly entertaining. If you’ve already beaten candy crush and are getting sick of trivia crack, I recommend them.

Valentine’s Day

Whether to you it’s Valentine’s Day or Single’s Awareness Day, it’s coming up.

Valentine’s Day is a lot like New Year’s Eve (besides having poorly regarded movies despite an A-list-saturated cast). Both holidays are hyped up for weeks, only creating high expectations which inevitably are left unmet.

Now, I hate the “Hallmark-Created Holidays” preachers as much as the next person, but out of all the conspiracy theorists out there, these have the most valid point. Men shell out hundreds of dollars on drug store chocolates adorned in red tin foil and reject teddy bears that give you recurring nightmares. (Don’t act like you haven’t seen them). It’s just absurd.

First of all, since when does a stuffed animal and a box Russell Stover’s count as a romantic gesture? If you and your significant other subscribe to the Valentine’s Day hype, then do it right. It may sound cliche, but do something that actually comes from the heart. Even a Hallmark card with a nice handwritten message inside goes further than a 3 foot stuffed animal with a bear-related pun.

I know it’s difficult to do big romantic gestures from a dorm room, so here are some suggestions for your and your SO this V-day.

1. Don’t overshoot it. Not everyone needs a big romantic evening, and you should know whether or not your SO is one of those people. Instead of a big romantic dinner or home-cooked meal, why not go to Baby’s and share a milkshake? Just enough cliche, but it won’t cost you 2 weeks pay.

2. Take advantage of our surroundings. As of now, it’s supposed to snow on Saturday in State College, and we have the advantage of what I believe to be one of the prettiest snow-fallen campuses in the country. Snow is nature’s own aphrodisiac. Take a walk holding hands, buy hot chocolate, have a snowball fight, have a stranger take a picture of the two of you in front of old main. Any of it, all of it, is gag-inducing cute. And I know you probably don’t want to be spending your Valentine’s Day freezing in the snow, but think about it. Once you’re done, all either of you will want to do is curl up next to each other trying to warm up.

I know what you’re thinking, and no, I didn’t forget about the singletons on Valentines day. Here’s your to-do list.

1. Get French Fries. Or Nachos. Or really any salty junk food. It’s comforting, but not in the depression-inducing manner that chocolate gets you.

2. Watch an action/comedy. Avoid chick flicks at all costs. Even the movie “Valentine’s Day” is a no. They’re all just going to make you sit there wallowing in self-pity wondering why you weren’t given Rachel McAdams’ bone structure. So go for something with less of an emphasis on the romantic plot-line. For this year, my movie of choice is Guardians of the Galaxy. I haven’t seen it yet, but Zoe Saldana is painted green, and, honestly, who doesn’t want to see quirky Chris Pratt shirtless.

3. Go to CVS. Not on Saturday. Go on Sunday when all of the Valentine’s Day is 75% off. Drown your insecurities and self-pity in chocolate the next day, when at least you have the droning of unsatisfied girlfriends to comfort you. Trust me, you’ll feel better.

So, whether you are starting a relationship, in a relationship, or riding solo, you can still have a half-decent Valentine’s Day (because that’s really as good as it gets). So go out there and have fun! And remember, theres always 75% off chocolate the next day.

Relationship Dictionary

This post is a college student’s guide to the different types of relationships you can have, as told by a girl.

1. Talking: Talking is the sort of preface to dating, however it doesn’t necesarrily have to lead to dating. Talking simply consists of two people, well, talking a lot. It’s the stage where you get to know each other, and often text on a regular basis. It can include hanging out on occasion and tends to elicit the common question “are you two a thing?” Talking is not by nature an exclusive relationship, however it is subject to change at the will of those parties involved. In the beginning stages, either party can hold the same relationship with a number of other individuals, as it is merely a form of getting to know another person.

2. Hooking Up: Hooking up means you hang out with another person for no reason outside of physical desire. Most communication in a hooking up relationship is simply to ask if the second party wants to meet up. This relationship can be complicated by an already existent friendship between the two parties, as it elicits a confusion in regard to which part of the relationship is more dominant. Like talking, hooking up does not necessarily imply monogamy. While it is more common for men to have more than one hook-up, it is not uncommon for either party to hook up with other individuals. However, due to the rather instable emotional state that comes with the territory, hooking up can often lead to other things. More frequently, a girl will seek something more than the hooking up relationship and hope to progress to at least a talking relationship.

3. Dating: This is a very rare relationship to have in college. Dating is basically talking without the technological aspect. It consists of hanging out with another person on a semi-regular basis for the purpose of getting to know them better, and to figure out if you want a relationship with them. As with talking, this is a non-exclusive relationship and either party can date a number of individuals at a time.

4. “In a Relationship”: this is the only truly exclusive relationship in college. This is when you call the other person boyfriend or girlfriend and spend a lot of time together. It is the traditional form of a relationship, where your only romantic interest is for your boyfriend or girlfriend, and any deviation from that relationship is considered cheating.

 

Now, these are merely the definitions I have gathered from my own personal observation and experience. These definitions can certainly vary from person to person, which is why communication is so important between two people. With any type of relationship you have it is imperative that you define not necessarily your status, but your expecations for yourself and your partner. While it may be uncomfortable, it’s a lot better than being hurt further down the road because you expected more from someone than they believed.