Start Meeting friends online not dating

Meeting friends online not dating

During the month that I used social dating apps to find new buddies, I sent countless unrequited salutations, offered up priceless New York City travel recommendations, and even gave my number to a guy who wanted to discuss first amendment rights. When I started, I believed that, with millions of people just searching for company online, I'd easily find my new bestie or at least someone down for a platonic hang.

Turns out the apps didn't create that restriction though: we did.

On Tinder particularly, "The purpose was never just for dating, it was for social discovery in general," Rosette Pambakian, vice president of communications for the app, told me.

But I ended up hating them for dating because of their "all or nothing" protocol.

The ample matches I'd make would either a) never talk to me or b) always and incessantly talk to me and get upset if I didn't reply as rapidly or enthusiastically.

So I filled out my profiles honestly, noting in each I was not looking to date, "only make friends :)." This practice got trickier on more information-intensive apps—I literally responded to Coffee Meets Bagel's "I like it when my date…" query with a "doesn't want to date me. But Laurie Davis, author of and an online dating consultant, later told me that strategy was all wrong: Being direct was the kiss of death.

"If you're looking for friends, I would just not write anything about that until the very end if they ask you a question about it," she said. "On OKCupid, they ask you 'you should message me if…' and I would say something really casual there like, 'You think having a drink would be fun.' Use words like 'fun,' which is an indicator of more for social than anything else." She didn't have a lot of faith in my whole friend-getting scheme, really.

Tinder was the worst of them: All I saw were a couple of group shots (but which guy are you, Steve?

), ab selfies, and if I was really lucky, a suit shot.

I associated more with her: She had zero chance with me romantically because of my sexual orientation, and I'd feel unethically deceptive talking with her even though I wrote "straight" in my profile and that I was just searching for friends. I always wanted an English friend, in part due to the accent and cultural intrigue.

I also doubted, after a while, people really read what I wrote. As forward as his message was (Did he want to hang out with me already?!

With no other criteria, I swiped right on guys who I found attractive and could write a literate sentence in their About Me, the same method I used when trying to date.