12 August 2016

Of Bagels & Lemon Bars

In my absolute determination to write a post about ANYTHING other than the fact that randomly, against all odds, I've been accidentally running into (and deliberately ignoring) Mr. Charming which for some reason led him to add me on SnapChat at 2:00 A.M. one morning, I downloaded a dating app.

So welcome to my review of Coffee Meets Bagel. I was inspired to retry this app because one of my new roommates met her current boyfriend on it about three months again. (Both new roommates are completely awesome, by the way. Thanks for asking.)

So I re-downloaded the app and deleted all of my previous profile information on it, as it seemed to be under the impression I still live in Fort Lauderdale. I set up a new profile and filled out a variety of profile questions, which was the first thing that distinguished the app from industry standards like Bumble and Tinder. As opposed to an About Me section which someone can either fill with their life story or leave entirely blank, this profile prompts you to fill in the blank for such sections as "I am…," "I like…," and (this one's my favorite) "I appreciate when my date…". A user can then either place their entire life story in these sections (although rambling is probably a mistake here, as it appears on your view-able profile in list-format) or leave them entirely blank.

There's also an Ice Breaker section where you can fill in a few fun facts about yourself or something a person could ask you about to start a conversation once you've matched. Not bad. So far none of my matches have put them to much use, however. And the only initiating messages I have received from matches are the classic and timeless "Hi there," and, slightly more creative "I like your doggie." (Obviously this last is referring to a photo with my parents' dog.

Other major differences: You are only presented with a few matches meeting your parameters (ethnicity, religion, height, etc.) once every day at noon, and only up to 6 at a time. I like this part. I like that I'm not necessarily spending hours at a time, endlessly surfing this app and wasting phone battery to increase my chances of making matches.

Of course, for those who love window shopping, there's a "Discover" section where I can sort through a few extra "Bagels" (this is what the app calls your potential mates, by the way) who have either liked me or might meet my preferences, but there's a maximum number of those you're going to be presented with at a time. So for the bottomless pit of men (or women) you're going to have to head back over to Bumble or Tinder.

So far, of the Bagels I've been offered, I have only chosen to "connect" with a small handful, and none that I feel especially excited about. Of those, only the two previously mentioned have messaged me, and those obviously weren't real conversation-starters. Color me unimpressed.

The app also has one other unique feature that I feel is worth mentioning: under the Discover section, if I find I Bagel I like, I can "take" it (using a point system the app refers to as "coffee beans," which you can both earn or purchase). But what I think is even more cool is that I can send one of my Bagels to another friend using the app if I happen to think he might be a good match for her. Not bad, Coffee Meets Bagel. Not bad.

I'm not honestly expecting much success off of a dating app at this point, but it's helping kill the time. On the bright side, I'm spending some time this weekend with one of the most important men in my life: my older brother. He's on leave from the Air Force and coming to visit me before the military ships him out to South Korea for a year.

And you'll excuse me, but I have to go pull some lemon bars out of the oven that I baked especially for him.

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