Feb 17, 2020

Dating Purgatory: A Review of Dating Apps in Small Town Colorado

If you look back at my posts for the last five years or so, you see references to my smoking hot girlfriend. I used to mention her quite a bit as she and I both work in the IT field, so when I would help her with an issue, it was relevant to the blog.

Well, last year we broke up. Not sure the catalyst exactly. Maybe I'm an asshole and people can only take my crap for so long. Maybe it was because all of her kids grew up, and moved out and she finally had the freedom that she never had after high school, and I was cramping her style. Maybe it was because she is into chubby fat guys, and when I lost a bunch of weight four years ago, I was no longer her type. Who knows for sure, but it ended. At least it ended somewhat amicably. I wish her all the best.

Anyway, since then I've been in what I like to refer to as Dating Purgatory. I say that because I live in a very small town, and the dating pool here is extremely shallow. All of the local bars are completely dead or filled with old drunks. The only way to meet anyone is by using one of the myriad of dating apps available. It's like a living hell.

On top of that, since it is small town Colorado the quality of prospects aren't that good either. How's a nice way to put this? There are a lot of corn fed women, and women who look like they have lived really hard lives around here. I can only imagine the type of creepy dudes that show up on these apps for the women.

Don't get me wrong, there are attractive women around, they are just few and far between. I'm assuming it is the same for quality men too. Just the luck of the draw I guess.

With that being said, here's my review of the dating apps I'm on:

Facebook Dating:

I'm starting with this one because just about everyone is on Facebook. In fact, the town I live in is such a technological black hole that businesses around here don't even have their own websites! They just use Facebook.

So if everyone has Facebook, you would think there would be more people using the dating feature right? Well, you are mistaken. There is almost nobody on this app, and the people that are on it are pretty ghetto. This is my least favorite.

Plenty of Fish:

This app is the first app I ever tried during my separation and subsequent divorce back in 2014/2015. Sometimes it's good to see things stay the same, but not when those things are complete garbage. Plenty of Fish, or POF is trash folks, and it hasn't really improved since 2014. Sure, it's free, but it's worthless as a dating app. They added a "Meet Me" feature that is almost just like Tinder (See below), but what is the point when they are showing you pictures of people 5 hours away?

One of the biggest drawbacks of POF is that when there is nobody in your area, they automatically expand your search to 100 miles. Seriously, I don't know about you but I don't like driving 35 miles to Grand Junction for a date that might not work out. I sure as hell am not driving 100 miles for a date that might not work out! Expanding my radius is a waste of everyone's time!

Another drawback to this app is that anyone can message anyone. The problem with that is that legit prospects are getting bombarded with dick pics constantly, so they are afraid to look at messages. They are flooded and overwhelmed and eventually leave the app.

Finally, since this is one of the more popular free apps, there are a lot of... low class people on the app. It really does make finding decent prospects more difficult.

This is my second least favorite.


This is probably one of the most popular dating apps/sites out there. They are heavily advertised on television. One of my best friends from growing up met his wife on Match. I actually had a brief reprieve from Dating Purgatory myself when I met a smoking hot cop on Match a few months ago. Unfortunately that didn't work out... I digress. It was the only successful story I've had from that app though. At least she and I are still friends. It's always nice to have a friend in law enforcement!

Match isn't a bad app, but it certainly isn't one of my favorites. It is like a slightly better version of POF. You can limit your search radius, and the quality of people on it are better. The issue here is that anyone can message anybody, and you have the same issues you have with POF. Women get overwhelmed and rarely message you back.


I just started playing with this app, and to me it is like Tinder and POF had a bastard love child. You have all of the swiping goodness you have with Tinder, but the range filter is completely worthless. In fact, it is even worse than POF.

I have my max range set at 35 miles, and I am constantly seeing chicks from Pittsburgh or Sacramento. Ladies and gentlemen, I've already established above that I won't drive 100 miles. What on God's green Earth makes you think I'm going to buy a plane ticket and fly to Pittsburgh?! It's a waste of time, and you are inviting scammers!

Some good things about this app are that the interface is pretty nice, and you can't message anyone unless you've matched with them. This is very important in an app in my opinion!


This is another newer app that I've just started using. There aren't a whole lot of people on it in my area yet, so I haven't had the opportunity to dig in too much. I like what I see so far though.

This app gives you a very minimalist profile, which is nice because when you have too much in your profile I feel like people judge you before even getting to know you. It also gives you a couple of "prompts" that other users can like individually and strike up a conversation with.

I'd say the drawback is that again, anyone can comment on your prompts, which leads to women getting overwhelmed and not wanting to check their inbox. Still, this seems like an improvement over Match and POF.


This app at first seemed like it would be my favorite. It is almost just like Tinder in my opinion, but you have expanded profiles and the biggest thing is that women must make the first move.

That, kind of makes me wonder about lesbians using the site then... Who gets to make the first move there?

What about gay men? Do they not even get to message each other? I digress...

Anyway, the interface is nice and there seems to be a decent number of quality users in my area. The drawback comes to that women must make the first move rule. I honestly don't think most women WANT to make the first move. They get too nervous! I have had countless matches that eventually time out because women don't want to make the first move on the app! It's kind of ridiculous if you ask me.

Ladies, if you are too scared to make the first move then this app is NOT for you!

I mean, if you look at the issue above with Match, POF and Hily you would think that would be appealing for women. The conversation can only start if THEY start it. Well, I guess the creators are ahead of their time with the women's equality movement, because it seems that women are still old fashioned... At least in my area. They prefer that the guy initiates the conversation.

A good thing about this app is that if you don't like someone, you can un-match them and they disappear forever. Tinder has the same feature. Some might find it rude, but if you've only been messaging for a little bit, or only been on one or two dates, do you really owe them anything?


Last, but certainly not least is the king of the dating apps in my opinion. A lot of folks think of Tinder as a hook-up app, but it's not. I mean, it can be, but that's not the only thing it is good for. I met my aforementioned smoke show girlfriend on Tinder at the end of 2014 and we ended up dating for four and a half years!

Meira Gebel just wrote a piece on Business Insider about how she met her husband on Tinder. So again, it isn't just for hooking up!

This by far is my favorite app. I've had more success on this app than any other. The interface is simple, the profiles are minimal and you can only contact people you match with! The best thing about apps like this is that it really cuts out the bullshit. You see a picture, you either like it or you don't. If you want to see more, then you can open a profile, but attraction at first site is important and very real.

It's like the electronic equivalent of being at a bar or a club. You see someone you are physically attracted to so you swipe right. The difference being that if they don't swipe right too, you don't get to approach them with your witty pick-up line. That means they have to find you attractive as well! Again, it cuts out the bullshit!

I think the stigma of this being just for hooking up is what keeps more people from using it. If the word got out that you can find your long-term partner on this app, more people would start using it for that.


These are my opinions of the dating apps I've experimented with in small town Colorado. I think the experience with all of these apps is way different in heavily populated areas. I've noticed that when I travel to Denver or to San Diego that my phone blows up with all sorts of prospects. That leads me to believe that you might have a different experience with these apps if you live in a big city.

It would be certainly nice if the creators of these apps found a way to advertise them more to people in small towns. It would be good to let the eligible ladies around me know that they have other options than the dive bars with old creepy dudes available for meeting men their age!

Are you using a dating app? Which one is your favorite? Is there one that you recommend trying? Let me know in the comments!

Side Note:

Ladies, can you please stop using the Snapchat animal pics in your profiles?! They are not cute, they are childish and stupid... just stop.

Update - Zoosk:

Since I originally wrote this, I also hopped back on Zoosk. I had tried this one back in 2014, but subsequently forgot about it... and for good reason. It is a complete scam!

They promote it like it is free, but you have to have a premium membership to do pretty much anything worthwhile on the site. One might argue that making someone pay keeps the riffraff out, but Zoosk goes way beyond that. Even with a premium membership you can only send one initial greeting per day! Want to send more? No problem, that will be an additional $50. They nickel and dime everything!

One particular thing that I find annoying is that you constantly get messages that someone viewed you. It is meaningless! Every time you pop up in their carousel feature or a local search and someone scrolls by you, you will get that notification. It doesn't mean they are interested at all! In fact, if you check your viewed notifications, it will send them a notification that you viewed them. When they check their notifications and see you again, it will send you another notification that they viewed you! It's a vicious cycle of pointlessness!

I did see a lot more users on this site, but it is very hard to tell who are active users and who aren't. Long story short, this app is a rip-off!

EDIT: Actually, that message limit is not true. Turns out there was a bug with my account. I called Zoosk support, and they fixed the messaging limit message I was getting for me. Still... The app is trash. I stand by that statement!

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