Alright, today’s post is a little different than the norm. I’m adding a new section to my blog called “Feel Good” and it will incorporate short stories, thoughts, and some mental health related content. I’m going to start this category off with a subject I discuss with all my girlfriends and strangers. I am a firm believer in love and think that love comes unexpectedly. I believe in romance, passion, compatibility and that we shouldn’t settle for something we feel is not right for us. I also believe that sometimes too much of something is not exactly great either. So, let’s talk about online dating apps- where there really is TOO MANY fish in the sea!
For example, dating apps have given us unlimited options when it comes to dating. I think that it helps in many ways but I also think it can devalue the idea of dating. If there is one thing I learned about dating, whether it be online or the traditional way, is that you have to know what you want.
By knowing what you want, I mean, you have to be aware of what your expectations are, and who you are a person. Before you date, you should love yourself, know yourself, and be okay on your own. I know dating for a lot of people is a fear of loneliness, but let me tell you, dating can be just as lonely. Because if you can’t put up with yourself, then nobody is going to be putting up with you!
I’ve tried a few dating apps in the past (about two years ago) but have recently participated in use of them via my friends. I won’t lie, it’s fun to swipe left and right and learn about all these potential guys and girls who are also on the hunt for whatever it is online. But it’s also very overwhelming. Online dating apps are like the new version of “Hot or Not”. It’s very shallow, but it’s also very fun.
Dating apps remind me of Netflix too. You can spend 15-45 minutes perusing though hundreds of faces but the time you actually like one enough to swipe right, you have entered a game. You spend time slinging awkward convo to appear “good enough” to exchange numbers. I personally find this exhausting. But, I know a lot of people who live off that high of back and forth messaging. I’m also that person if there is no effort (whether it’s dating or just friendship), I’ll move on.
I think the biggest fear we have is that we have no time. We have TOO much time. And spending it trying to pull someone’s teeth to make an effort about something that should be easy is not my cup of tea. For me, working full-time, traveling, and using the little time I have to spend with people I value, and who value me is how I choose to spend it. Remember, just because you’re not on a date and you’re just texting doesn’t mean it’s not valuable time.
I’m much of a vibes girl, and for me, the internet does not really help me feel someone’s vibes. It’s like picking the nicest looking, least damaged keychain from an overfilled bin at a souvenir store. At the end of the day, you really don’t know what you have until you actually talk/see a person. For me to actually leave my house and give you time is roughly 1/100000000. Possibly even more.
I’ve also noticed that even though we may start enjoying the company of a person we have met, we still can’t help but go back and look to see what other possibilities are out there. It’s a never ending cycle of searching for what we feel is “perfect” for whatever reason we feel fits.
I had a friend who went on date after date after date, and she loved it. Each guy gave her a different feeling. One had the physical appearance she was looking, one had the intellectual capacity she craved and the other had the safest career and was the most kind. Still, neither of them were perfect.
I remember thinking to myself how exhausting that must be. I won’t lie, like everyone, there are a certain amount of things I would love have in someone I date, but nobody is perfect. The concept of perfection is completely distorted. Yes, EVERYONE can do better. In every context. We can have a better job, a better car, better health, better hair, but nobody will ever be happy if you can’t appreciate what you DO have.
Like the rest of life, we chose our mates based on what works for us, what makes us happy, what makes us grow. Sure, we can find a better looking partner, or a better dressed partner. But, most likely, they will be lacking something else. They may not stimulate your mind, or make you laugh, but then we can just go online and try to find someone who can make us laugh now. Over time, that won’t be enough again. It’s a cycle of constant searching- IF you cave into it.
I know I’ve had my fair share of having conversations mid-way with people and once their “online first impression” wore off, I just keep swiping. I also know not to make any of this a big deal because it’s not. At the end of the day you either connect with someone or you don’t. They either make an effort, or they don’t. One of the most important things when using online dating apps is just not take it personally.
I always see people who just use it for selfish reasons as those who if you probably took away the screen, the pressure that we created about dating, you’d realize that those are the people who have no idea what they want or who they are. This is a huge tool for people to boost their false ego’s and define themselves because they have nothing else in their eyes. I’m not just saying men, women do this too. I know a lot of women who talk about how good they feel matching and connecting with all these men. It’s like getting likes on Instagram…of course it feels good. Every like/match releases a little bit of dopamine into our brains making us so happy! Like drugs, and alcohol, social media and online dating apps, can be very addictive.
On the plus side, it does allow you to connect with those you may not have had the possibility to connect with otherwise. This is one of the most valuable reasons why dating apps are excellent, but in my opinion, it’s not enough to just stop there. As our society advances in technology, human connection seems to be so limited. People don’t allow themselves to be as vulnerable as they once used to. People don’t value one another as they used to.
I am sure this post may make me sound old school, but I miss the day when someone would just call. We have become lazy yet we work so hard to find instant gratification with as little work as possible. I will talk about social media and how it hinders our ability to communicate and form solid bonds in a another blog post, but for now…let’s continue.
When I was seeing clients at the community mental health center I worked at, the biggest problem with most couple who came in was…COMMUNICATION. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. A lot of clients who were single said the apps overwhelmed them and just was full of people who were back and forth, so it made them go back and forth with putting effort into anyone they met.
Technology in it’s own way, has taken away real forms of communication. It almost feels like human relationships are becoming lost in translation.
On the bright side of this kind of unsavory article (apologies!), I’ve met some great friends through these apps and enjoy partaking in other’s experiences with them. Also, I know many happy couples who have met through these apps. I just know, it’s not for me. I for one, prefer the more “traditional” technique of just being me and letting the universe do it’s thing.
How do you feel about online dating apps?