My life, including who I date, sleep with, and interact with, aren’t a game, and all these algorithms and left/right swiping has started to feel way too much like a mindless game of Candy Crush.
It’s entertaining, sure, but largely just unnecessarily stressful and more than a little bit uncomfortable. Attempting to create something real in the online space just feels… weird, right? Hinging potential emotions on complete strangers, or a successful sexual experience on a pretty face– Honestly, ain’t nobody got time for that.
Enter, Happn. I have been using this cool French dating app in the past weeks, recognizing how invaluable the app, which displays singles you’ve crossed paths with within 250 meters (~ one city block, for those as woefully confused by the metric system as I am), can be. Happn is an app for those of us more interested in doing our own thing rather than effectively throwing ourselves at people with only one goal in mind.
Now I recognize that age-old concept, most recently popularized by Drake, that “it’s more attractive when you hold it down.” Meaning I know I’m much more interesting, much more elusive, much more dateable, when I’ve got my own things going on.
Whether I’m drinking brunch bloodies at Pine Box Rock Shop, or scarfing down tacos at L.A. Burrito, hitting Tuesday trivia at The Cobra Club, or celebrating a holiday with my parents at Cafe Ghia, I’m usually too busy to do much besides eye someone in passing, or from across the room. And honestly, what in the world would I even say?
Happn’s answer: nothing, at least not right now, or even in real life. Instead I get to trade in, “Come here often?” for something much better curated and well-thought out.
That blue haired babe with her septum pierced I checked out the other night? Rather than chat her up in my pajamas at Hana Foods, I commented in the morning on her two adorable photographed cats, and asked her which is her favorite sandwich there. That guy I must have passed while running and sweaty through Maria Hernandez Park? I asked him if he ever takes his dogs out to play there (did I mention people love their pets on Happn?), and he asked if I’m looking forward to the farmers market there in a few weeks. That amazing drummer I saw play at Silent Barn, but didn’t get a chance to tell how amazing the set was? I sent a message later that week, and in the very least, now I have a new favorite local band.
Even better, the app gives me the ability to “charm” anyone I’m especially interested in, making sure they’ll notice me regardless of a mutual “crush.” Reminds me of that ever-present Cinderella-esque fairy tale trope of the dating scene, only this time, the proverbial shoe got dropped because I had places to be and shit to do. Pfft, princes, I’ll do the “charming” myself, thanks, on my own time.
Because ultimately, Happn thankfully seems to understand that women (and men!) aren’t always out and about looking for compliments-cum-pickup-lines or dates, and instead want the space and agency to live their lives, unbothered or concerned with their singlehood. Perfect for someone who would love to find a partner in this crazy Brooklyn life, but can make do on his or her own too.
I guess I’ll see what “happns”!