An ‘Ode to Online Dating
Like many young adults, I’ve spent an unfathomable amount of time swiping on my phone in hopes of sparking an interesting conversation with “the boy next door.” I swipe left, I swipe right, and suddenly I’ve swiped until I’m tired and can no longer interest myself in starting a conversation with yet another “management consultant’” located 8KM away.
About a year ago, I joined Bumble for the first time to see what the hype was all about. After matching with a few guys, I sparked up a conversation with one who had asked:
“So, what are you looking for on here?”
At the time, I didn’t have any real intention of looking for anything serious - I was just curious to see who was on it and how the online dating world worked. So, while being my true, deep self, I decided to go on a long-winded whim and respond with:
"Well, personally I think we are all trying to look for something meaningful at the end of the day, right? I mean, if I put in work towards my education, career, family and friendships, then why should I treat men and romantic relationships any less? If the cards are right, then I’d hope to grow and build something with someone by my side.”
I was proud of my response - it was true to my values. However, the conversation had fallen silent. When I checked my phone again, he was gone.
Adiós, boy next door. I guess you weren’t meant to take on a woman with a strong head on her shoulders. *rolls eyes*
Dating has been one of the most interesting experiences thus far. I’ve never been good at it either because I always feel like I need to have myself at a certain point in my life with my career and projects before I can even add a second person to the equation.
But that got me thinking - perhaps that’s how other people feel as well.
I mean, with so much going on, the expectations we put on ourselves can be a bit ridiculous, but admirable. It’s tough to add someone else in because we simply cannot control what the outcome may be - and that can take such a toll - mentally and physically.
It never made sense to me how we, as humans, could neglect love on so many levels. It’s the one thing everyone needs, but it also seems to be the one thing no one wants. It’s a constant game of proving “who could care less”. I’m not sure what sparked this crazy trend in dating - but it’s a bit silly and I wish I knew how to curate more love and compassion in this crazy world filled with swipes and likes.
Throughout the ups and downs, I’ve come to realize a few things:
It’s best to be yourself, and upfront with your intentions
Don’t lie about what you’re looking for, if you’re honest and upfront, then you can avoid disappointment or “catching feelings” for the wrong person.
Don’t “ghost” people
It’s inconsiderate. We’re all adults - man/woman up to your responsibilities as a human being and let that person know where you stand.
Don’t force things
Relationships take time, and a whole lot of work - if it’s meant to be, it’ll find a way.
Do keep your mind open
Sometimes we have such high standards, but sometimes the best gifts are found in places you least expected.
Do continue to build yourself and take care of your mental health
If you’re not continuously growing and feeding your mind, body and soul with positive energy, then you can’t expect to grow and share a life with someone else unless you make time for yourself first and foremost - your development is the most important
Overall, just remember that you’re worth fighting for. If you can’t be yourself, then damn, just swipe left and keep on moving because ain’t nobody got time to waste this year!
The Awkward Adult