I Asked My Dating App Matches to Be My Valentine: A Valentine’s Day Experiment

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Valentine’s Day 2024 is not just another day on the calendar for me—this year, I decided to do a Valentine’s Day experiment since I’ve spent the last couple of years scowling at other happy couples on Feb. 14.

No, this year, I was going to be bold and a little bit aggressive when it came to securing myself my very own Valentine. 

Now, I am by no means a professional or trained scientist, but that doesn’t mean I can’t experiment a little! I don’t have a white lab coat or fun face goggles, but I do have experience with dating apps, so I put on my thinking cap and thought about how to conduct my research. 

My thinking cap wasn’t getting me anywhere, so in the end I settled on the most direct approach possible—straight up asking my dating app matches, “Will you be my Valentine?”

Corny? Yes. Cheesy and cringey? Heck yeah! But why not? I’m never going to come across these people in real life (hopefully), so why tap dance around the heart of the matter? How did it turn out for me and my matches? Read on to find out if I crashed and burned, was left on read, or scored myself a Valentine!


rules

Valentine’s Day Experiment – The Rules

All experiments need variables, test subjects, a control group, and some other fancy scientific measures, but this is not a lab, and as I said before, I am no scientist. So, I made a few simple rules for my research, and they were as follows:

  • Swipe right on some interesting (and attractive, c’mon, they can’t be ogres) dating profiles.
  • Pop the Valentine’s question after a mutual match.
  • See what happens.

By the way, my search and preference filters are set to men, but there was a twist waiting for me in my matches. No spoilers, so more on that later!


Valentine’s Day Experiment – The Subjects

I came, I swiped, I waited. Surprisingly, I didn’t get reported for creepy behavior by any of my matches, which I kind of expected to happen by aggressively sliding into their DMs with a point-blank question. I didn’t say, “Hi,” and I didn’t do any sort of icebreaker—why not just be direct? For the benefit of science (and my Valentine’s Day experiment), of course! Here are the responses I got—and one that I didn’t.

red silhouette

Jake

My first response came from a guy named Jake, who seemed skeptical but curious. “Is this a joke?” he asked. “Are you psychotic or just a catfish?”

First off, I was super flattered he thought I was a catfish—that means he thought I swapped my own pic to lure him in. But it’s me, so I take that as a sick compliment! Secondly, although I could be considered slightly psychotic, that hurt my feelings, so I unmatched him. Jake can spend Valentine’s Day by his lonesome, as far as I’m concerned.

green silhouette

Liam

Another match was even more skeptical. “You can’t be serious,” he wrote. But after I charmed him with a few one-liners and we developed a cute back-and-forth, he sort of warmed up to the idea.

He said he would be my Valentine, but then I never heard from him again—I was ghosted. Shame on you, Liam! You said you’d be my Valentine.

yellow silhouette

Mia

Now, here’s the twist I talked about above—despite setting my filters to men, I matched with a woman named Mia. I was a little confused, but in the spirit of scientific experimentation, I thought, “Why not.” I shot my shot and asked her to be my Valentine, too.

She responded with, “LOL how did we match?” I told her I had no idea, my filters didn’t include women. She told me hers didn’t either, and we LOL’d over the dating app’s apparent glitch. 

But guess what? We kept talking, and she was lovely and interesting—we had a lot in common, and we both thought that if we were to meet up IRL, we’d def be besties. It’s too bad she lives three hours away, but we exchanged numbers, and if we ever are in each other’s area, we’ll meet up! I didn’t get a Valentine, but this was a nice connection.

Noah

Noah was the only match who actually agreed to be my Valentine for realsies. When I asked, he shot back a quick reply of “yes 😎.” This startled me because I hadn’t had much luck during my experiment, and I also hadn’t seen the emoji with sunglasses in a minute.

We struck up a little banter, exchanged numbers, and are going to get drinks on Valentine’s Day—fingers crossed for me that he shows up, and cross your fingers for him that I show up!

pink silhouette

Kevin

This match was tough, as he has the same name as my ex. But I soldiered on with my research, slid into his DMs with a lump in my throat, and asked the fifth and final person to be my Valentine.

This man not only left me on “read,” but I’m pretty sure he blocked me on top of that. And that’s fair! Happy Valentine’s Day to you, Kevin. I’m sorry if I scared you.

results

Valentine’s Day Experiment – The Results

Although this Valentine’s Day experiment will certainly not be cited in any scientific journals, it was a fun experience that made me get out of my comfort zone. But I’d have to say the highlight was matching with Mia. In addition to becoming online friends, we had a convo about how love and attraction aren’t always confined to ticking the boxes and tweaking search filters on dating apps.


Takeaways

As the great Valentine’s Day experiment of 2024 came to a close, I realized that Valentine’s Day, and love and romance in general, is unpredictable, sometimes disappointing, and always a gamble. It’s not so much about the perfect match or following any set of rules or preferences— it is all about a connection, even if it’s platonic and you meet a potential friend instead of a romantic Valentine.

So, cheers to a romantic Valentine’s Day in 2024–a day for you to get out of your comfort zone and experiment, that you have the capability to outdo yourself, and a wonderful reminder that love comes in many forms and, sometimes, from the most unexpected places.

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