Do I have to date on apps?

Today's letter has a lot to do with the podcast episode that will be released tomorrow. Subscribe so you don't miss it. If you're a Spotify person, it's here.

I am vehemently opposed to dating apps ... and yes, it's a pride thing. I always imagined I would organically meet someone. Maybe starting as friends, maybe a group project we got assigned to (I'm an undergrad), or at a friend's get together. Honestly, I'm just very opposed to the idea of seeing a picture or two, a witty bio, and then deciding if I want to take a chance on a guy. I feel like I can only become attracted to someone when I really get to know them. I'm even more opposed to the idea that my own profile is shown on the other end. I would want a guy to pursue me because he likes me for who I am, not my hyper-contrived online profile.

But it seems that the world has moved on to the Tinders and Bumbles, and I'm foolishly missing out. I have been so painfully single all my life. What do I do when I feel like apps have completely destroyed the dating landscape for 20-somethings like myself? I resent it so much, but there are times I realize it's my own stubbornness that keeps me from possibly meeting new people. After all, it feels like literally everyone is on these things. How do I navigate this? I can't be single for the rest of my life, but I won't be caught dead with any form of dating app profile. Feel free to change my mind.

– Stubborn


I'm not going to try to change your mind. Apps work for a lot of people, but they're not for everyone. They're especially bad, I would imagine, for people who like to get to know someone over time before starting a romantic relationship.

There are many single, non-student readers of this column who will tell you how lucky you are to be in school right now, because even though apps have swept your campus, you still get assigned to group projects. You're still in a world where uncoupled people are out there making friends-with-potential. Yes, many undergrads are glued to their phones, but you have opportunities to interact with your peers. It is possible to meet someone that way. Apps have altered the dating landscape, but they haven't stopped people from going to classes, jobs, and friends' parties.

I will tell you that you seem 5 percent worried that you're missing out on something you might like. It's also worth acknowledging that in real life, we might choose to speak to a person we find physically attractive. Then we try to get more information about them. Then maybe there's more. Apps aren't so different; it's just a lot of that at once.

It doesn't have to be all or nothing. You could hop on an app – maybe try it in the presence of a friend – and then delete it if it feels wrong. No pressure, of course. But if you're looking for confirmation that apps aren't for you, there's an easy way to find out.

– Meredith

Readers? Are apps necessary? Should the LW give one a try? How can the LW interact with more people IRL?