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Working in cryptocurrency isn’t always something to brag about, as I’ve written on before at length. 

So if you find yourself single, working in crypto (and loving it) and looking for a partner who shares your interests, it’s probably best to keep your love of crypto to yourself in the beginning. 

Because liking crypto is the quintessential “red flag” in dating culture — there’s literally a building-sized advertisement in Brooklyn for a dating app with the tagline, “If all they talk about is crypto, invest in yourself.” Barbie movie actress Margot Robbie and director Greta Gerwig derogatorily called the movie’s producers “such Kens” whenever they mentioned Bitcoin. Pop Americana singer Lana Del Rey mockingly croons the lyrics, “‘Crypto forever,’ scrеams your stupid boyfriend / F*** you, Kevin.” Viral internet songwriter Salem Ilese dedicated an entire (incredibly catchy) song to being fed up with dating crypto boys, aka those “CEO[s] of bein’ unemployed.

Putting my own feelings, and those of pop culture, temporarily aside, and with the spirit of Valentine’s Day in mind, I conducted my own very small, very unscientific experiments to see just how damaging it could be to your dating life to showcase crypto as a big part of your personality from the get-go.

Read more: From Razzlekhan to SBF: Here are crypto’s most iconic couples

First, I crowdsourced. My X poll, with a whopping 50 plus participants, leaned firmly into the “crypto = red flag” camp. Considering that my followers all come from Crypto Twitter, the 65-35 results may actually be skewed in favor of crypto — an even more crushing blow. 

Then, I turned to some of the biggest swipers I know for their first-hand experience. Without exception, they all agreed that while liking crypto is not a dealbreaker, bringing it up too soon is a black mark in their books. As one succinctly put it, “I would probably swipe left on crypto.”

However, (at least in my sample group’s online dating experience), even at bitcoin’s all-time high and the peak of NFT mania, there are always way more men holding fish or posing shirtless in mirrors than mentioning crypto. 

Read more from our opinion section: If you’re in crypto, you’re an Allan

At this point, you may have noticed that I’ve been exclusively talking about what women think about men and crypto in their dating experiences. And there’s a very good reason for that — unfortunately, when a woman mentions crypto in a romantic context, it’s overwhelmingly likely that she’s a crypto scammer, if the sea of pig butchering reports are anything to go by. 

Not only did I not find anyone in my personal life who had ever experienced a women professing a love for crypto on a first date, my internet research made it abundantly clear that the only written online information about women liking crypto (in a dating context) is about their intentions of stealing all of your money. Hell, I myself have even received unsolicited Whatsapp messages from AI-generated-looking women asking me if I’ve heard of Bitcoin and telling me that I look pretty.

Having now exhausted the intel I could get from my own sample groups, it was easy to find testimonials online from couples whose relationships had survived a brush with crypto. There’s even a term for it — crypto widows.

If this it the face you want to see, mention crypto. Photo by Molly Jane Zuckerman.

One Bloomberg article from 2022 detailed the almost-demise of a four-year relationship over NFTs:

“Malone remembers peering into Hiller’s room, his computer light aglow, and walking over to kiss him. “And like a toddler, he starts shaking back and forth, and he goes, ‘I wanna buy a worm!’” she says. “And then immediately turns around and goes to buy this NFT worm. Like a child in the candy aisle. I was like, ‘This is what I just tried to kiss?’ It was a real bummer.”

As financial therapist (who herself trades crypto), Debra Kaplan wisely noted: “They think their crypto work is so important, the relationship should bend around it.”

“Crypto, NFTs — they all are the shiny object that hijacks the reward circuitry of the brain. But what are you avoiding? Intimacy.”

And it’s not just your personal life that can be affected by your partner’s love of cryptocurrency. A New York Times investigation from 2022 found that divorcing couples were running into legal problems when the ex-husbands (yes, always the ex-husbands) were less than forthright about their crypto holdings when dividing their assets. In fact, there’s even a family lawyer who has been quite vocal on educating other lawyers on where to look for money in these newfangled divorce cases — hint: it’s no longer in the Cayman Islands.

All of this goes to say that if you’ve found yourself single and searching for love, it’s best to bring up your love of cooking, hiking, or even taking shirtless selfies with fish before you bring up crypto. 

But for those who consider crypto to be such an integral part of their life that it needs to be mentioned on a first date (or a first swipe), all hope is not lost for you. Just look at this list of crypto power couples — and you decide if it’s something you actually yearn for. 

The wisest advice for crypto lovers looking for real life love this Valentine’s Day is probably best said by Salem Ilese in her aforementioned satirical “Crypto Boys” song: “Mention NFTs one more time / And it’s guaranteed we’re not f****** tonight.”

I don’t care much about tech, I don’t care a whole lot about finance, either. I care about writing stories and watching weird things unfold. And that’s why I’ve ended up in crypto.

But because I’m missing that passion for what crypto and blockchain are all about — finance, tech, privacy, yadda yadda — I’m going to write instead about what I am actually interested in. Everything about crypto that has very little to do with crypto.

That’s what this column will be about. All the tangential stories that come out of the blockchain and crypto space, what I think about them, and how I navigate it all as a skeptical former Russian literature major.

It’s precisely my perch as an outsider that lets me do what I do: Opine on all sides of any crypto issue, no strings attached, no skin in the game.

If you want to talk crypto with me, let’s go off topic.

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