Remember “The Notebook“? It’s that movie where Ryan Gosling chases his dream girl, he writes her hundreds of love letters, builds her a house, and then—when she’s old and gray but finally his—cradles her in his arms as they pass away together.
What an idiot. All of that nonsense has no place in society. Grand gestures have become chauvinistic and sappy pickup lines misogynistic. Given a chance to rewrite the script, that heartthrob should just wait for Rachel McAdams to swipe right.
So throw away the roses, Ryan. Romance is dead. Apps like Bumble killed it.
A Brave New Dating World Where Women Lose Again
Bumble promises women empowerment and an emotional connection. Instead, it provides an avenue for objectification and emotional apathy. Basically, it’s the worst.
Created by Whitney Wolfe—an original developer of Tinder who was eventually dumped by that sleazy team—Bumble is all about putting women in the dating driver’s seat. Like every other hookup app, Bumble is á la carte. Swipe left on your phone to pass on a match. Swipe right to see where things go. But unlike other banging buffets, only women can begin the conversation.
That’s Bumble’s appeal. Women go first. At first glance, Bumble makes sense: let women pick up the slack by being choosier and making the first move. Tinder is full of creeps, the bar scene’s a total crapshoot, and apparently a good man is hard to find. Unfortunately, the app only makes these problems even worse by enabling the adolescence of overgrown boys.
As William Shakespeare observed, women “should be wooed and were not made to woo.” Flip that midsummer prescription on its head, and predictable trouble ensues.
Bumble: Perfect For Hooking Up; Terrible For Finding Love
Like a trout line for digital dating, Bumble is ripe for objectification. Instead of making the effort, rather than working to win a number, dudes just have to swipe right and wait for women to come their way. Honeys might be responsible for starting conversation, but they’re far from being in control. No, with this app, they’re on the menu. Men don’t woo, they log on, and women lose.
That’s cool if users are just looking to hook up. If that’s what women want, then feminist Tinder is perfect for finding and scoring apathetic ass on lazy and horny Saturday nights. Ladies, you do you—or whatever random stranger appeals to your appetite.
But if you buy what Bumble’s selling, if you download the app in hopes of finding “something meant to bee,” you’ll be sorely disappointed. Once one cuts through the buzz, it’s obvious there aren’t any Ryan Goslings on this dating service.
A quick scroll through the iTunes store reveals as much. With generally negative reviews, the app has earned two and half stars out of five. Turns out twenty-first century women still want to be pursued. But even if users do discover someone “relationship-ready,” they’re likely to be left unsatisfied. Why?
Because men too lazy to make the first move don’t buy flowers. They don’t plan picnics. They don’t remember anniversaries. They’re the wrong guy—the effeminate kind you’re embarrassed to introduce to your father or the rude kind you’re ashamed to meet your mother. So log out, bet on yourself instead, and recognize that there a still a few good men out there.
Strong, Independent Women Should Demand More
Although it’s easier than ever to hook up today, it’s still harder than you might expect to sincerely ask for a number. Speaking from personal experience, sometimes your heart just won’t tell your mind to tell your mouth what it should say. And that’s a good thing.
Courage—liquid or otherwise—is that elusive quality that enables guys to chase after the women who are out of their league. It’s the stuff that inspires love. If men want that date, we have to take that risk, because regardless of digital innovation, cute girls will always be intimidating. All of this demands investment, something Bumble doesn’t require.
If anyone can elevate a bottom-floor dating scene today, it’s women. In an age of impersonal and instant communication, they can reignite romance and encourage would-be Ryan Goslings to pull those roses out of the trash. And they can only do this by demanding more.
Women shouldn’t try to railroad a date, but they shouldn’t assume the damsel in distress role, either. Instead, empower yourself by investing in yourself. Make men come to you through strength of personality. Make men rise to high standards. If they don’t call, if they’re looking to hook up and hang up, they’re not worth it. But you always are.
And fellows, man the hell up. Take a play out of Gosling’s playbook, delete the damn app, and do a man’s job: sweep her off her feet.
Philip Wegmann is a Staff Writer and the Radio Producer for The Federalist. Follow him on Twitter.