Not too long ago, I moved to a new city, and I was convinced by a friend that joining some of these ‘dating’ apps would be a good idea to find people in my new area. So, I joined, and this was a big deal for me since I have always kind of been against the idea of these kinds of apps; I am what most would call, a hopeless romantic, and I just had a hard time believing you could find anything real. *(I must note that I’m not saying I feel this way about everyone’s situation. I know there are plenty of happy, and healthy relationships out there that started through a dating app)*
One of the apps (Bumble) had a BFF feature, and I was easily persuaded to make myself a profile. For those who aren’t too familiar with this app, BumbleBFF allows you the option to swipe through potential ‘friends’ and I really loved the idea of that. That was truly my intention when I first started using Bumble, and I have since met someone who has become a really good friend of mine. BUT, it wasn’t long before I found myself ‘swiping’ through the potential matches in my area, and ‘seeing’ what’s out there. It quickly became an addiction and an app that I would grow to check way too often, just to see if someone had responded, or became a ‘match.’ Keep in mind, I wasn’t looking for anything or anyone before I joined this app, but the idea of someone ‘swiping right’ on you is enough to keep anyone coming back for more.
I went on a couple dates through this app, and both times, the suitors were very kind and well mannered, but it was just knowing that I met them through an app that I couldn’t seem to get over. I realize that dating apps are the new way of meeting people, but the hopeless romantic in me wants to believe that there is another way; you know, the good old fashioned way. What I learned through using this app is that it allows people to hide behind their keyboards, or be someone that may not be a lie, but may not be the whole truth either. My profile was very honest, probably too honest, but hey, what is the point in lying when I already live my life like an open book? My original profile had some clear no- no’s, varying from “Writer” (scares people off), and “Recovering addict” (scares people off and attracts a certain person). I changed my profile accordingly because apparently, there were rules to this whole thing. It was very obvious to me that I had no business being in the dating app game, but there was just something about the “potential” that kept me opening the app, and “swiping” for more.
The longer I had this app, the more I was finding that it was affecting my mood. Before joining, I had already accepted myself completely, loved who I am, and knew that I had a lot to bring to the table. Like I said, I wasn’t ever looking for someone because I learned to love my own company, and quite frankly, I got really good at being alone. But because of this app that allows people to judge you based off 6 pictures, and a tweet sized bio, I was finding myself questioning my worth every time I opened this app. I did not like how it made me feel about myself, and honestly, I strongly disliked feeling so superficial in my choices of people; because let’s be honest, we aren’t swiping right because we can tell they are a good person; we are swiping right because their pictures deemed worthy.
One of my biggest frustrations was the number of people who just seemed to be swiping to see if they would match with you. They weren’t really intending on communicating, they just seemed to be using the app for an ego boost, and again, too each their own, but what was the point in the app if you are just going to hide behind your phone? These apps have made it much easier to play games with people, keep them guessing, and make them feel less than; as someone who is a chronic over thinker, I have accepted that dating apps just aren’t meant for me.
These apps are creating an entirely new way of communicating with people, and I think a lot of people are losing the ability to have face-to-face conversations, and the confidence to approach strangers and just…talk. They have added a new sense of ease when it comes to the dating world, but how many people on these apps are there with the best intentions? Of course, I believe that these kinds of apps work for a handful of people, but I guess I am just learning what works for me and what doesn’t. I am not here to bash anyone who has found love this way; I am simply just saying that if you classify with being a hopeless romantic, you are probably feeling the same way as me.
I have since deleted the app, and I am much happier to no longer be checking it out of habit, and curiosity. I have always been a firm believer in not looking for anything, and rather, just believing that the pieces will fall into place when they are supposed to. These kinds of apps have a way of making you feel like something may be wrong with you if you can’t find someone, and that is simply not true. Everyone is worthy of being loved by someone else, but make sure you have learned how to love yourself first; That is always going to be the most important part. Don’t lose yourself in how many ‘matches’ you have or how often your profile gets ‘swiped right’ on. Live a life that is filled with reasons of why you deserve to be loved in the first place, and the right people will find you when they are supposed to. There is nothing wrong with finding love through an app, but there is also nothing wrong with doing it the old-fashioned way either.
I know what works for me. Don’t think that you need to be on these apps just because everyone else is doing it. Be your own person, and stay true to yourself. Don’t let dating apps dictate your happiness. Go out and create your own.
Thank you for reading. I appreciate you.