Dating App “Success Stories” Get Too Much Goddamned Credit

Shani Silver
8 min readJul 20, 2021

All the couples you know can’t make up for all the crap you take.

Photo by Helena Lopes from Pexels

Every now and then, I lose my shit. I see someone publicly ranting and moaning about the perils of online dating, and I physically cannot prevent myself from pointing out the obvious: If you’re single, dating apps are optional. (If you’re married, dating apps are off-limits, but it’s not like that’s stopping anyone.) We don’t have to use dating apps, they are not required like rent and taxes, but for some reason, the single community still sees them as mandatory. And anytime I point out that instead of getting angry, frustrated, or upset at dating apps (again), we’re allowed to just delete them, I’m always met with the same response: “But then…how will I meet someone?!

Let’s ignore that we’re ignoring that we haven’t met someone yet, because we came by this blindside very, very honestly. We ignore the fact that online dating and dating apps aren’t working for us because we keep seeing them work for other people.

Well, she met her boyfriend on an app, so apps work!” This is the logic. We take something that happened to someone else and assume that very same thing will happen to us. We believe this so blindly that we rarely if ever acknowledge that in perhaps years of giving dating apps chances to “work,” they never have. In addition to giving dating apps chances, we also give them our money. We hear about someone else’s win, and we keep pumping money into the same slot machine they used, hoping that we’ll win too.

I’ve long sung the praises of listening to people’s “how we met” stories. I think they’re important to hear, because I think (especially when dating apps are not involved) they remind us of the infinite nature of the world. There are literally limitless ways people can come together and meet, and each time we hear a “how we met” story, we’re reminded of the possibility that we can meet our partners in an endless number of ways. Notice I want us to hear these “how we met” stories as reminders, not as instructions. I never want a single person to ask someone how they met their partner and then try to recreate that scenario for themselves, because that’s impossible. It’s also the act of someone who’s ashamed of their singlehood and who has never stopped the dating grind long…