I’m an Everygirl, and… I’m tired of being known as “the single one.”

Bumble, Tinder, Hinge, Coffee Meets Bagel, OkCupid, Match… the list goes on. Online dating is not something that’s new; it’s the norm. Swiping right and left has become a part of my morning and nighttime routine. I often tell my friends when I’m going on a first date, and, of course, I get the question: Where is he from? That question does not mean which part of the city — it means which app did you find him on. I shrug my shoulders and say, “Bumble” — or whatever other app I recently downloaded on my phone. My three best friends (my core group of friends) are all in relationships; two are the outcome of Bumble.

 

‘Single Ladies’ is just not my jam anymore.

 

Whenever we go out and the bar puts on “Single Ladies,” all of the fingers are pointed at me; I might as well just have a spotlight on me at that point. After an enormous amount of time of being single, “Single Ladies” is just not my jam anymore.

I’ve been on and off the dating apps for about four years now. I’m sure I’ve swiped over a million times (my poor thumbs). I’ve had small successes with men, where the “What are we?” phase lasts over five months, but only once have I ever been able to tell people I met my boyfriend on a dating app. Because of that one swipe right, I still think there’s a glimmer of hope on those apps. As I swipe (and swipe and swipe) I think of how some girls are always meeting great guys off these apps, so my time must be coming.  I truly believe I missed the “how-to” article that’s floating around the Internet, since so many girls I know seem to have this online dating thing down pat — and I’ve been swiping left and right for what feels like an eternity.

When my best friend went on Bumble for the first time, I swear she swiped for maybe five days before she met her current boyfriend. I heard about the first date, second date, third date… the official boyfriend date. I thought: Damn, what the heck am I doing wrong? It went through my head before I could even say congrats to her. I absolutely love my friend and her man together and tried my best to be so happy for her, but part of me was just so sad. What did she do differently than I did? Have I just been getting a bad batch of guys? Are my standards too high? I think the answers to those questions are: probably not, maybe a few duds have been thrown into the mix but overall it’s usually quality men, and definitely not. I’m just hoping one day she gets drunk enough and tells me the secret to online dating that most of my friends have figured out. Even TV shows seem to tell us that dating apps work. It seems as though a relatable character on the show will be sad and single for two episodes, then downloads an app, swipes a few times, and by the next episode, she’s in a relationship and madly in love. Thanks, TV.

 

I end up a little depressed because whatever confidence I had going into the date was completely gone by the time my head hit the pillow.

 

After going on a date that I thought went extremely well, I usually send a text when I get home, saying that I had a lot of fun. I usually get a similar response saying they had a nice time too. Of course, I think, “Oh great!” and then the next few days I hope to hear from them — and when I realize I’m not going to and have been left completely ghosted, a thousand questions come pouring into my head. These questions usually range from first being about my personality and then they get extremely specific — like it must be my 38-inch hips. Because of thoughts and questions like this, I end up a little depressed, because whatever confidence I had going into the date was completely gone by the time my head hit the pillow.

After first dates, I assume the reason why they don’t want to see me again is something to do with my looks. Sometimes I’ll even think I must absolutely smell and no one, not even my best friends, can tell me how terrible it is. Usually, that thought lasts for five seconds, and then I think, “Nahh.” Being ghosted after three or four dates is what hits me the hardest. I assume they liked my looks enough to go out a few more times, so then I’m thinking it has to be my personality — or better yet, they probably swiped on a prettier girl a few nights ago and they are having a great conversation via the app.

With all of that being said, I go through phases of swearing off men. Unfortunately, they don’t last long. I declare to my friends after a terrible date that I think I should take a break from men and focus on myself for a while. About a week later, I come into work with my shoulders shrunken and tell them I have a date that night. I’m mainly embarrassed because I couldn’t last that long without swiping.

 

I’m tired of the whisper in my ear saying, “I told everyone not to bring their boyfriends so you wouldn’t be alone.”

 

I’m a young girl living in a vibrant city, so I have no shortage of eligible bachelors — so where is he? I’m completely exhausted of being alone on Saturday nights when my lovely, lovely friends are with their significant others. I’m grateful and tired at the same time of my friends asking me questions about my dates, trying to set me up with one of their boyfriend’s friends, and especially the whisper in my ear saying, “I told everyone not to bring their boyfriends so you wouldn’t be alone.”

 

I am beautiful, I am strong, I am smart.

 

I am a firm believer in “everything happens for a reason,” so with that mindset, I truly believe that all of these semi-unsuccessful dates have actually brought me closer to my Mr. “Right” swipe. It’s a journey and a process to find that special person, and with modern technology I have been very lucky to meet and go on to date some incredible people that I would have never, ever met before. Having not met these men and gone on these dates, I certainly wouldn’t be the person I am today. They are helping me understand more of my likes and dislikes, and, even though I have spent countless nights crying — because I blame my body, personality, you name it —  I am beginning to understand that those men are not the right people for me. I am beautiful, I am strong, I am smart. The right person will come around soon. I just have to be patient and keep swiping.

 


Also published on Medium.

  • Alexis Graham

    Omg did I write this article!? This is my life right now. Can we be friends? Lol. I got out of a LTR in March and I’ve probably been on dates with 20 different guys, all leading nowhere. It’s so exhausting. I just haven’t found someone I click with. Currently deleted all the apps, but I’m sure I’ll redownload by the end of the week out of sheer boredom.

  • I’m so over online dating/dating apps because I haven’t found anyone of substantial quality on them. I’ve wrote about the subject so much and yet I feel like there’s still so much to say. In fact, I have an article about meeting someone organically coming out this week. Needless to say, I’m just going to try the old fashioned way of meeting and if it happens, it happens.

    -GG
    http://www.girlingamba.com

  • Rebecca Ann

    I feel this so much in my soul. My last relationship was super serious (we were engaged), but ever since that ended – 3 years ago – I have been perpetually single, and feeling completely undateable, unlovable, and hideous. The WORST is when people ask, “OMG how are you still single? You’re so great!” Like, if I knew, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. #ForeverAlone

    • pumpkinspiceupyourlife

      I hate the “how are you still single” question! In no way does that make me feel better!

  • Dee

    I hear your pain! Although it is very sweet of your friends to try to “accommodate” or show their “acceptance and support” of your single status, it only highlights even louder that fact, right? Is it better that they just not try and just be, bring their boyfriends and all, and then you likely will feel it yourself? I think regardless of the “do/not do”, you will feel it anyways, likely more so because of your yet-unsuccessful attempt to find Mr. Right. And all those sentiments you feel….wow, I thought it was just me! 😉 Glad you know it’s NOT YOU. I’m reassured b/c people often tell me they can’t believe I’m single. 😛 All people. I hope you get that reassurance too because you sound absolutely fabulous!
    When it comes to ghosting after 3-4 dates, that’s just disrespectful. Been there. And it was by a guy whom I met in-person/organically, and was a client of his business. Point is, it happens even when not online, and no one (guy/girl) should do that. Text a “This ain’t working, sorry but thanks” is better than ghosting…in my opinion.
    But this is what I used to tell single friends and remind myself often: How many Mr. Right do you think there are out there for you? Now plop him into that sea of dudes on and offline. How easy/hard is it to find him? Yeah, give it time. It’s all about timing, right? 🙂 And in the meantime, yeah, absolutely, enjoy YOUR life, unrestricted, unhindered, uncommitted as you see fit to self-discover, explore the world/your surrounding, etc… That just makes you stronger, more beautiful, and smarter. 😉

  • B

    Dear Karen,
    I feel your pain! I myself am the perpetual single friend in my ladies group.
    Recently I started reading a book that has changed my perception – okay so I know this sounds like those commercials telling you “I did this and I changed my life completely and without me doing anything!”. This is not that type of experience 😉
    I don´t know if the name Louise L Hay rings a bell, but she wrote a book called “Heal your life” and in my opinion this woman is an absolute saint and somehow the incarnation of love. The loving yourself part being the crucial point to the book.
    For years I have hated people telling me “it all starts with you embracing and loving yourself” – for me this has always been the worst, because how do you suddenly love yourself? So I have been doing mirroring work – which basically is about telling your reflection affirmations like “you are worthy and I love and forgive you”.
    1 month in and I am starting to believe myself.
    I wish you lots of love – if this is not for you something else will be, and I am 100 percent certain, that great love will find you.
    B

  • You might as well put me as a co-author to this.. been swiping for 5 years, with 1-2 month “blips” as I call the non-relationship but multiple dates or whatever.. I much rather meet organically as well but no one talks to anyone in. Are anymore and I’m pretty sure I’ve thought of every possible option when it comes to all my girlfriends in relationships’ boyfriend’s friends… I however don’t have friends that are willing to accommodate not bringing their boyfriend anywhere, especially not if it’s anything outside of a quick dinner earlier in the evening. It’s frustrating because I love all their significant others but, could we have girltime occasionally?! Until then, in the words of dory, I’ll “just keep swiping”.

  • Kelly Brophy

    Thank you for writing this. I actually teared up reading it. I’m 38 and feel like giving up. It’s so exhausting. I swear I’m never using the apps and delete them all. Fast forward two weeks and I’m lonely on a Saturday, wine drunk, and I find myself downloading them again. It’s a vicious cycle. Thank you for writing what’s in my head. It makes me feel less alone.

  • Gosh this article is so true and relatable to me right now, in fact there are parts that I could have written myself! I always feel like giving up and then get back into it again. Thanks for sharing

    Eme x

    http://www.peoniesandpassionfruit.com

  • pumpkinspiceupyourlife

    This article! I have to say the OP is doing something right if she gets guys off the apps to meet at least once in real life…most of my convos just live in/fizzle out in the app with no “real life” momentum. Also, so tired of my lovely friends telling me about their romantic plans, and then I’m left to Netflix and Uber Eats alone every weekend! Or, bringing their partner along for friend dates… or making sure everyone at the party knows I’m single so if anyone knows anyone… because HOW is she still single! #eyeroll

  • Elise R

    This is exactly my life. Except with a brighter ending perspective, which I appreciate! The craziest thing for me to read that I guess others also experience is the “I’m taking a break” only to have a date a week later. I feel like if I truly stop swiping I will miss something/one…it is such a viscious cycle! In any case, I suppose we must soldier on…there’s something to be said for knowing we are not alone in these feelings!

  • Taylor Jacob

    This is my life right now! I’m just trying to be optimistic about it all too…

  • Kasee Williams

    I’m right there with you! I’ve been on the app dating for 4 years with one boyfriend for 8 months out of hundreds of dates. It’s a beating!!! BUT I do believe that if I give up trying then finding the right guy will not happen. I’ve always been told to envision what I want my future to look like, put out positive vibes, and don’t give up! So be your happy vibrant self and don’t get in a hurry the right guy will come along for all of us!

  • I’m 35 years old now and I’ve been single for nearly 11 years. I’ve tried online dating many times because of how successful I keep hearing it is, but still no luck. All of my friends are married now and some even have children. Typically, I don’t let being single affect me or make me think poorly of myself but sometimes I can’t help thinking that I’m doing something wrong. It’s natural to feel as if you’re making mistakes and slipping up … just take it one day at a time. That’s what I do.

  • J

    Never have has an article mirrored my experience. I’m sitting here dumbfounded that EVERY.SINGLE.WORD of your story is the same as mine. I’m sorry you’re plagued with the perils of modern dating as well, but it’s nice to know we’re not alone. Thank you for this.

  • Kelly Brophy

    Thank you Heidi for the kind words and encouragement. I don’t committing to a smarmy approach to love sounds smarmy at all! I’m making steps to do activities solo or with friends and let the universe do the rest! 🙂

  • Did I write this article? I very well could have. I am also waiting for my friends to get drunk enough to tell me the secrets to finding and dating a man who is interesting, confident and ACTUALLY WANTS TO BE IN A RELATIONSHIP WITH ME. Unfortunately, all of my friends are married with children (or children on the way) so they don’t really get *that* drunk. Sigh.

    I get really tired of being the 3rd wheel all the time, never having a date to a wedding, never having a partner to bring to the friend get togethers, being the one who has to go get my own car while everyone’s husbands are bringing the car to the door, not getting invited to things because I will be the odd one out (like, friends who will invite another couple to do something with them because that’s fun, but leaving me out because I’d just be coming alone). I’m tired of being told that it’s “okay” that I’m not in a relationship because I have so many great friends, and I have a great career. Um, does a career share in life’s burdens, joys, and challenges with me, and support me along the way? Nooooooooo.

  • Did I write this article? I very well could have. I am also waiting for my friends to get drunk enough to tell me the secrets to finding and dating a man who is interesting, confident and ACTUALLY WANTS TO BE IN A RELATIONSHIP WITH ME. Unfortunately, all of my friends are married with children (or children on the way) so they don’t really get *that* drunk. Sigh.

    I get really tired of being the 3rd wheel all the time, never having a date to a wedding, never having a partner to bring to the friend get togethers, being the one who has to go get my own car while everyone’s husbands are bringing the car to the door, not getting invited to things because I will be the odd one out (like, friends who will invite another couple to do something with them because that’s fun, but leaving me out because I’d just be coming alone). I’m tired of being told that it’s “okay” that I’m not in a relationship because I have so many great friends, and I have a great career. Um, does a career share in life’s burdens, joys, and challenges with me, and support me along the way? Nooooooooo.

  • FromTheRib.com

    I think this article tries to make some points. But men are coming from a different perspective a lot of times. I found a very good article about men’s view on things as this. http://fromtherib.com/life/13-culture/16-walk-a-mile-in-the-shoes-of-chivalry-and-understand-why-men-are-scared-to-be-gentlemen

  • CaseyJ

    WOW this is me too! My best friend met her boyfriend on tinder after swiping for 5 minutes. I’ve been off and on these apps for 2 years! Thank you for writing this article, it’s nice to know I’m not the only one. Here’s to finding them!

  • Angela

    Thank you for this article!! We need more of this perspective! I’ve also been single for 5+ years and on and off dating apps with zero luck. All my friends are married or engaged and several even met on dating apps! So refreshing to see this perspective and all the commentators in the same boat!

  • Stephany Weaver

    This was perfect. Also I just want to say that 38 inches of hips sounds amazing!

  • Vivi Girl

    Thank you thank you thank you. You couldn’t have described my life at the moment better. I, personally, have so much trouble even downloading the online dating apps because every time I do, I swear I feel like I’ve given up a piece of myself. Not to say that online dating is wrong, it’s just wrong for me. I just personally can’t do the whole “let’s get to know each other over text”. I do so much better through in-person conversations. However, the last paragraph of your article really left me feeling inspired… I won’t give up hope and I totally agree with everything happens for a reason. Hopefully both you and I end up finding Mr. Right, whether it be through on-line dating or in-person. 🙂

    P.S. To all the girls in the comments section, I hope you know that you don’t need a man to make you happy or whole. It’s something we all struggle with but you are amazing and you should know it!

  • I may as well have written this. I am SO tired of being alone, or being the third or fifth wheel. I’m also sick of swiping and swiping and really trying to give guys on dating apps a chance, only to find the whole thing a waste of time because no guy on there seems to actually want a relationship (or at least not with me). I HATE bouquet tosses at weddings (mostly because I find the whole thing tacky) because I feel like it just puts my singleness on display and magnifies my feelings of loneliness. Like I need some Beyonce song to point out to me what I feel in every fiber of my being on a regular basis.

  • Hope Jack

    This is my life!!! I can’t tell you how much i relate to that! Currently on the time out part as i can’t bare it any more and i will last as it’s just broken me!!!