I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with dating apps. To put it into perspective, I like to compare said “relationship” to that annoying couple in high school that breaks up every other week but always finds some ridiculous excuse to get back together.
I don’t know why every time I delete Tinder or Bumble, I always find some reason to get back on. I think this comes from a very unhealthy mix of boredom and loneliness.
My first experience with a dating app was with Tinder. I went on one date and ended up dating that person for 5 months before he decided to cheat on me. In the words of Vonnegut, “so it goes.”
I jumped back into the Tinder-sphere almost immediately after and met someone I thought was perfect for me. A month and a half in and he told me he wasn’t ready for a relationship. Two months later, he had a new girlfriend. "So it goes."
I waited a little longer to get back into online dating after him but once I did, I realized that things had changed quite a bit. Tinder was a total mess and everyone seemed to be using a new (at least new to me) app called Bumble. I wasn’t too keen on having to message first but I figured “What the hell, I have nothing to lose.” If I’m being completely honest though, this venture into a new dating app was primarily motivated by the fact that I was on the rebound. Not proud of it, but at least I can admit it.
My breakups shattered me and I was feeling so low. I needed something to make me feel better, even if it was only for a little while. I knew I was entering very dangerous territory. Seeking a new relationship with a broken heart ain’t pretty, my friends. But I let my loneliness get the best of me. So off I went, swiping away.
Since then, I’ve gone on 4 mediocre-at-best dates and I just couldn’t wrap my head around why it was so difficult to find a guy I genuinely had a connection with. And then I realized, maybe it was me.
Sure, dating again was a good distraction from the pain of heartbreak. I’m a huge advocate of being around people after a breakup because it’s always refreshing to meet new people with different perspectives – especially strangers who know nothing about you. But my problem was that I wasn’t ready.
I was still so broken up about my failed relationships yet I was forcing myself to jump into the dating pool to find a new one. That reminds me of a quote I read once that goes:
“The best way to heal a wound is to stop touching it.”
I hadn’t fully healed yet and here I was exhausting myself over strangers who did nothing more than make me laugh on a first date, yet weren’t really worth a second. I realized that I was using these apps to feel less lonely. But again, it was only temporary and I always felt a little lonelier after. Over time, it started to feel hopeless.
How many first dates am I gonna have to go on before I meet someone who’s worth a second or third or fourth?
I thought back to the boys I’ve met on these apps. There was the one who cheated. The one who couldn’t commit. The one who couldn’t get off his phone. The one who stood me up. And the one whose mugshot I found while doing a post-date internet search. (Oh boy,) Clearly, the odds were not in my favor here.
As I write this, only about an hour has passed since I made the decision to be off-again with dating apps. I think I need time to heal and figure out what I want before I start cyber-shopping for a relationship again. Am I really ready to be with another person or am I just lonely? I’m not exactly sure yet and I guess that says something about where I am.
So cheers to you, Tinder and Bumble. It was fun while it lasted. But it’s not you, it’s me. Maybe we’ll see each other again someday.