My Mutual Story

2:36 PM

Mutual and Tinder are popular dating apps, and they are not altogether bad. However, are they really helping you reach your goals? For some, perhaps they are. However, for many of us there is probably a better way. Below is a story from a friend of ours, Elysia, about her experience with Mutual.

I came home after church and face planted into my bed in utter despair! I was frustrated and tired of my dating life in my hometown singles ward. I felt rejected, insecure, and completely unlovable. So, I did what any ordinary person would do: I picked up my phone and started swiping through mutual! It was my self-esteem’s haven, my only comfort, my sunshine on a rainy day, to see the promising exclamation “it’s mutual!” reassured me that at least someone thought I was attractive!

One of the guys I matched with that day started a conversation with me, I shrugged my shoulders and said, “I’ve got nothing to lose” and jumped headfirst into a witty and flirtatious storm! It soon blossomed into a constant stream of communication via text. We just understood each other on levels that no one else could! We talked in depth about our Hogwarts houses, our color code personalities, what our families did for Christmas, our favorite foods - we felt like we really knew each other! He told me I was different from other girls, he said he wished I lived in Utah where he was, he even said “I think you’re my soulmate.” I couldn’t believe I was so infatuated with someone I met on mutual! I knew I was being impractical, but the idea that I had finally met my future eternal companion was so exciting to me, I didn’t worry about it much. After about two weeks of talking, we decided to meet up in Utah. 

However, upon meeting him it became clear very quickly that who he was in real life was not congruent with who I had pictured in my mind! He looked the same, but he wasn’t the same. There was something off. Conversation that flowed so naturally over text felt forced and awkward in person. He didn’t use facial expressions the way I had imagined. He wasn’t as playful in person. There was absolutely zero chemistry. And I ended up crushing his little heart.

Now, things could have been much, much worse. Unfortunately, some people have been sexually assaulted by people they have met on dating apps. Others have used these apps as a means to hook-up or participate in NCMO’s, only to feel a lot of regret afterwards. Although my experience was unpleasant, those types of experiences are far more damaging to someone's well-being than was mine. But I was clearly blinded by the infatuation I felt while texting for two weeks and had the wrong idea going into this mutual date. This is something that could have been avoided. My expectations (and his) could have been more realistic if we had met in real life from the beginning, rather than making assumptions about how well we knew each other. Even though it was only two weeks, we invested a lot of time and energy into something that really wasn’t. To help you avoid the same mistake I made, here are a couple suggestions:

If you must use Mutual, use it wisely

While using mutual, meet them in real life as soon as possible! Once you match, ask your match on a date! You don’t need to spend a lot of money or do anything elaborate, because it’s #justadate! Just get to know them and follow the instructions here to avoid messing up the first date. If you are the girl and you feel weird about asking a guy on a date, you can encourage him to ask you by saying something like “Hey! I’d really like to meet sometime!” (obviously, always take caution when meeting people from electronic sources, suggest meeting in a public place during daylight hours, or even start with a double date).

Mutual, but in real life

From what I’ve observed, the top reason people use mutual is because they don’t want to go on dates with any of the people they already know, and they are having trouble meeting new people. But let’s be real, even if you do use mutual wisely as a tool to meet and date people, it’s a lot more fun to go out with friends and meet new people than it is to sit on the toilet and swipe through a bunch of profiles of people you’ll probably never meet. Instead, network through the people you already know! There are opportunities to meet new people all around us without using mutual! This can be done in a number of ways:

*Hang out with groups of friends and meet their friends! Once you make friends with your friend’s friends, then meet their friends!! Then ask your new friends on dates!

*Ask your friends if they know anyone who’s single and would be a good fit for you

*Sit next to someone new at church every week

*Join a club or join a ‘get involved’ group through student living (BYUI)

*Catch up with old missionary companions

*After you meet new people, invite them to do things with you! (Going to Wal-Mart? Invite someone to go with you! Going to devo? Invite someone to go with you! Going on a hike? Invite everyone you know!)

These methods of meeting people require more effort (and maybe more discomfort) than swiping up and down or left and right, but at least you’ll be doing something! You’ll be having fun, creating memories, and expanding your pool of potential dates!

A happy ending

After that little disappointing mutual incident, I deleted my mutual account and started making an effort to connect with people in real life. I got in touch with a district leader from my mission, we started dating and now we’re engaged! In the meantime, I helped another missionary from that district meet one of my new friends and they started dating and now they are engaged too! You never know what could happen if you just invite someone to do something with you, meet new people, and ask people on dates!

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  1. I think mutual just attracts a lot of self absorbed people, kind of like the girl writing this from the sound of it. She comes across as very entitled

  2. You're absolutely right about me being self absorbed! One of the main points of this story is that I was acting in selfishly, using mutual as a means to boost my self esteem. My expectations of finding that perfect person to satisfy all of my wants were unrealistic. Instead, I had to learn to meet people in person and think about what I could do for them rather than what they could do for my ego. Inviting others to have fun is not only a good way to find people to date, but it helps others to feel loved and wanted too =)


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