You may have read that title and immediately thought “girl, you just started dating. What could you possibly know yet?”
Okay, true, very true — but hear me out for second.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still on dating apps. I mainly use Bumble, while a lot of my friends are on Hinge (one even enjoys Coffee Meets Bagel — to each their own). I have met a few people online here and there, but I’ve never been overly excited about the whole process. Uploading pictures of yourself and overthinking about which images show who you are, but not too much about your life; having to basically write an elevator pitch about why you’re so great (maybe this one is just hard for me because talking about myself has never been my forte); swiping through dozens of profiles to find the one guy who might be a good fit. Say you do match with a guy that seems somewhat normal, then maintaining a conversation to get to a point where you two decide to meet up is a job in itself. The whole thing is EXHAUSTING.
If you’ve managed to find love (or at least a relationship), from a dating app, honestly kudos to you — share your secrets to success, please! I’m not trying to be a negative nelly, and I know there are people who truly enjoy being on dating apps. Online dating is super convenient if you don’t have time to go out and meet people, or if you are new to a city and don’t know anyone yet. I even see the thrill of someone new being interested in you and getting to know them. A study even found that heterosexual couples that met online got married faster than those who met offline — so, I see the perks.
With 40 million Americans on dating apps, I can’t be the only one not completely into this trend. I find myself swiping while I’m trying to pass the time or on my commute to work, never putting too much effort into it or taking it seriously. That’s the thing about online dating, I’m not so sure many people are actually taking it seriously. So, if we’re not really invested in it, then why do we continue to swipe? To see what’s out there? To gain affirmation that we’re as attractive as we think?
I’ve seen it over and over again. Maybe you two talk for a little and decide to go out on a date. You could see it working, and get excited about what the possibility of a relationship. Then just as the excitement built, it fizzles away, and poof — they’re gone. Back to the daily swiping sessions, and it starts all over. The sad part is I know so many girls who believe they’ll never meet the one because they haven’t met anyone great online yet, or who think they’re not amazing because none of their matches have turned into anything. There is so much reliance put on dating apps that when we’re ghosted, we become frustrated and disappointed with ourselves.
I may only be 22, but I have spent enough time swiping through profiles to see how online dating is not all it’s talked up to be. Here is why I’m over it:
It’s a community of judgment
It’s teaching our generation to be solely focused on the looks of an individual without getting to know them. If there is one thing about a person that might be unattractive, we will dismiss them without a second thought, because we’ve never actually met them. As women, it is causing us to put a lot more stress on our appearance as well. It’s almost 2019, why are still allowing men, or anyone for that matter, to put the value of our worth on how we look.
It keeps us from stepping out of our comfort zone
If you can easily meet your next beau from the comfort of your couch, then why would you ever feel the need to go out and interact with anyone? This mindset can be a slippery slope. The less you go out and actual meet people, the harder and more daunting the task will seem to be.
Go put yourself out there, go have those awkward icebreakers — you’ll thank me later.
It makes us believe there’s always a better person waiting
Being “swipe-happy” is a real thing. Online dating has led to the belief that there is always a better option out there, and if we just keep swiping, we’ll find them. With endless choices of people to date, we will never feel the need to get to know someone or fully invest in one relationship. If there’s one thing about them that doesn’t fit what we’re looking for, we’re quick to bench them. I’m absolutely not telling you that you need to invest yourself only in one relationship, but I’m just saying the grass is greener where you water it.
It puts self-worth in a match
I think we’ve started to feel a justification in ourselves and our worth when we look down at our phones and see a notification for a new match. Now we crave that justification and use online dating to feel good about ourselves. It’s a false source of confidence.
Let’s find our self-worth in the work we do, how we love ourselves, and the way we make people feel. You’re so much more than a second thought right swipe, bb.
It leaves love life up to chance
Online dating is like throwing a fishing net out there and seeing what you catch. Most of the time it’s garbage, a lone struggling fish, and a whole lot of nothing — not a realistic picture of the whole dating pool. When we solely rely on a dating app to meet someone, we are leaving it up to chance that we’ll catch a good one instead of being an active participant in finding our match.
It makes it easier to flake
How many times have you made plans to meet up with someone and you’re already thinking about the excuse you’ll use to get out of it? For me, it’s a lot. If you’ve never met someone in real life, it’s so easy to cancel plans and put off actually going out on a date.
If you are using dating apps, be more cautious about how they are making you think and feel about yourself and others. Are you using it for the right reasons? If you are using dating apps seriously, I challenge you to maintain those conversations with someone who originally sparked your interest, or follow up and reschedule with the guy that had to cancel last minute. So, I’m not here to tell you that dating apps are the enemy, or that you should even delete your profiles. Heck, I’ll probably never even completely quit online dating. Sometimes, I like to be a hopeless romantic and convince myself that the next time around will actually work.