When I started this Blog, I was optimistic about online dating. I thought it would be a bit of fun. That there was no harm in it. But after a several months of concentrating on other parts of my life, I.e. Renovating a house, I’ve come to realise it’s really not all that.
It used to be low investment…it didn’t really matter whether I met someone or not. But today it hit me that these apps can be toxic. I mean really toxic. In the two and a half years I’ve been on and off dating apps and online dating sites I have only come across four people who were even remotely a potential for a serious relationship, and two of them I had already met in other capacities.
I’d heard of friends of friends and other people meeting their future finances on Tinder, or on Match.com. I thought perhaps I could be the same, but the more time I spend on them the worse they make me feel.
They’re like an addiction, and it makes total sense why.
People these days want an easy fix. A quick swipe right here, a swipe left there. They like the superficial, the images, the impulsive, dismissive, hit that these apps give you. Oh hey, I got a match! Now what? Naaaaa I won’t bother talking to an actual person, I just want another high from matching… Off I go again!
It’s not real. Its not meaningful. It’s not deep. For people who are looking for that, for a bit of casual fun, I’m sure these apps more than serve that purpose.
But that’s not what I’m after. I’m not interested in the “Hi, How are you” conversationalists of the world. I’m after actual conversation. Interesting topics, thought provoking questions that help you discover the person behind the face thats put out to the world. Looking a real life human being in the eyes whilst on a date with them, and actually getting to know them for them, not their on screen persona.
Believe me I’ve tried. I’ve messaged first so many times and not got replies time and time again. I’ve read the dating books. Updated the profiles, put up the right pictures, said the witty comments. I’ve done the suggesting they ask me out. It hasn’t succeeded. And it’s a constant blow to my self esteem.
I used to think dating apps like Tinder and Bumble made you feel good about yourself. But they can make you feel so much worse. Paranoia about how your profile matches up to other peoples. Constantly checking to see if you’ve got any more matches, or people to swipe for. Turning to your phone any time you’re bored as a distraction. Thinking you’re not pretty enough, or witty enough, or “Why won’t they ask me out” or “What’s wrong with me?” or “I’m not loveable”. It creates these insecurities in me that I thought I’d overcome.
I find myself comparing myself to others who are with people, wondering why I’m still single. The apps reinforce in me the idea that being single isn’t OK. And if you are single, you should be hooking up with whoever you can, no strings attached, no emotion attached.
But that’s not me.
So in order to save my sanity, and regain some control over the downward spiral of negative thinking that happens every time I now go on one of these apps, I’m deleting them…All of them.
If I never meet anyone again and remain single forever, then so be it. I would much rather focus on myself, on smiling at strangers in the street, on starting up conversations with fellow public transport users, or festival goers, or bar frequenters, than feel the sting of disappointment and worthlessness that these apps give me. I’m abandoning that mindset for something much more productive.
It is much more fun to actually live. To actually talk to real people instead of through a phone screen. To go speed dating where at least you’re actually meeting other human beings face to face. To focus on friends and family. To work on myself more. Start a new hobby. Get fit like I keep thinking I will. All of this would be a much more productive use of my time.
I haven’t given up on Love. I don’t ever want to give up on it. But I don’t think online is where I’ll find it anymore.
So I apologise to my readers because, at least for the time being, there may not be any funny dating stories that I can write about. This Blog may transform entirely, into something else. But thank you for being with me on this online dating experience.
I won’t miss the apps, but I will miss sharing these posts with you.
If this has resonated with you, or you wish to make a comment I welcome anyones opinions and suggestions.