Dating apps have killed romance.

Yes, I said it. And yes, I’ve tried nearly every dating app out there – Tinder, Bumble, OkCupid, that breakfast food one – what’s it called… Toast? Donut? Pancake? Whatever, it doesn’t matter. Point is, they’ve got you swiping through profiles like you’re ordering take-out – which is essentially what you’re doing.

It’s love on demand.

And by love, I mean an artificial filler. You know, like what they put in Twinkies to try and pass them off as food. Both are bland, odd feeling, and very bad for your heart.

See, it doesn’t matter how great you are, how smart, funny, or gorgeous, because when someone is using a dating app, they're making their selection based solely on your photo. That’s all. They've already locked you into their brain as being a purely physical thing.

You were objectified at the start, so you’ll always be an object to them.

I know, I’m coming off like an asshole. But I’m trying to be real with you. I think this goes for both men and women – we sell ourselves on our surface qualities and then wonder why no one tries to go deeper.

It’s infuriating, I get it. But don’t worry, I have a solution.

A whole new kind of dating app.

First: Let’s start with the profile picture

It’s your favorite breakfast food. Yup, that’s right. No selfies, no shirtless shots, no oh look I’ve traveled so I must be interesting hullabaloo. Just an unfiltered photo of your favorite thing to nosh on in the morning (or anytime). And don’t you dare put something healthy up there! Nobody’s going to believe that your dream breakfast is half a grapefruit, ya liar. Be real.

Mine would be french toast with a cinnamon roll on top… and a side of cereal.

Essentially, I want my profile pic to scream – I love carbs! It would also be dark outside, indicating that I’m eating all of that sugar and fat right before bed, because that’s how I get down.

Next: A simple Q & A

Everybody hates the About Me section on dating apps and sites, which is why most people skip it or list three of the most generic things imaginable – I like music, movies, and travel. Oh really? My God, you’re like a unicorn.

Ugh.

Let’s eliminate the About Me anxiety and toss in a handful of simple but poignant questions about what really matters.

  • What time is it okay to get in your PJs, shut out the world, and binge Netflix?
  • How many servings do you consider a large pizza?
  • Who’s your favorite Parks and Rec character?

In case you’re curious, my answers would be: the second you get home from work, two (if I like you), and Andy. Honestly, I’d accept any answer for the last question – except Mark Brendanawicz. If you list Mark Brendanawicz as your favorite P&R character, so help me, we are sworn enemies. Forever.

Then: The Captcha

What’s a captcha? It’s that little box at the bottom of a contact form that forces you to put in a series of numbers to prove you’re not a robot. Ours would function in much the same way, except it’d be making sure you’re not an idiot.

Find a breakfast food you like? Want to make contact? Well first you have to respond to a shockingly easy small-talk question to prove you can hold a conversation like a human being. Brilliant, right?

Now, these will be different every time, but I've listed a few options below to give you a general idea of what I'm talking about.

  • Hey, how are you?
  • So, what do you do for a living?
  • Are you watching anything good on TV right now?

You have to respond in a way that would carry a conversation forward, rather than bringing it to a dead stop. Because let’s be honest, if you can’t conjure an “And you?” or something similar when you’re talking to someone, then maybe dating (or human interaction in general) isn’t for you.

Finally: The First Message

There isn’t one! Why? Two reasons.

  1. Nobody wants to say they met on a dating app. No matter how mainstream quick-order dating gets, it’s still embarrassing and will always carry a stigma. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
  2. It eliminates an asshole’s ability to be an asshole behind the safety of their phone. No dirty messages, no cut and paste opening lines, no demands for justification of your favorite breakfast food.

Instead, we’ll use the address and budget info you dropped into our private section to select the perfect first date spot right in-between you two. It’ll be cute, public, and quiet enough that you can actually have a conversation.

As a bonus, since you haven’t seen the person, we’ll also treat you to that butterflies-in-your-stomach feeling first dates are supposed to have. Free of charge!

And that’s it. That’s my pitch.

So forget the endless parade of dating apps and sites out there – faith-based, sex-based, activity-based, blech.  Go with one that’s life-based. Stop selling yourself short. Get past the BS. Remember what it’s like to see someone across the room and feel your heart skip a beat.

It’s a game-changer. I promise.

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Posted by Rich Lister

Rich Lister is a writer and editor living in Los Angeles, CA. He can be reached through richlisterwrites.com or at [email protected]