The Death of Online Dating
Is it hard to find true love in a world full of endless options and swiping left and right?
We have all experienced moments of loneliness, but with apps like Tinder and Hinge taking over our lives, are we becoming a generation that’s too greedy for its own good?
Shannon’s article explores her experiences with online dating, why it’s no longer working for her, and how she’s learning to put herself out there without relying on apps. Read on while she reflects on the rise and fall of online dating – you may even learn something along the way!
“Online dating is like a box of chocolates – you never know what you‘re going to get.” – Unknown
It’s become a habit. Scrolling through the same people every time you searched for a quick attention fix, you never made it past the ‘what do you do for a living?’ conversation to even class it as recycling. There are habits worse than building a dating roster, but one without action truly takes the cake.
In my personal experience, after a discussion (rant) about dating apps with my girlfriends, I recently concluded that the death of dating apps is upon us. At 27, I have yet to secure a serious relationship in over ten years. Taylor Swift could argue that I’m the problem, and trust me, on those one too many lonely nights, the belittling thoughts have certainly crossed my mind.
It’s something, but not serious
While I haven’t signed along the dotted lines of commitment, I have had two relationships without the title in recent years, two guys that worshipped the ground I walked on. According to them, I was the most beautiful, talented, intelligent, and incredible woman they had ever met. We would go on dates and holidays and spend days upon days together. Weirdly, though, calling me their girlfriend was almost considered a sin, yet saying the L-word was easy.
Many of my friends have had the same experience. A person falling at their feet, months of talking and lucky enough to meet face to face, yet they wouldn’t dare ask ‘What are we?’ in fear of the answer they would always dread.
“Sorry, I’m not looking for anything serious right now.”
As much as I’d love to say that after years of using these apps, I have at least produced a novel on the dos and don’ts of dating, I still can’t grasp an understanding of committing to someone without the commitment.
Don’t get me wrong, when Tinder first appeared in the app store, my little 18-year-old self thought I’d find my husband there. The lucky ones do, but it’s hard to find the hope I once had in today’s meaningless hook-up culture. Sometimes I feel like Carrie Bradshaw in her pre-Mr. Big phase, constantly dating the same underqualified men in my city and dreading the ‘You up?’ text at three in the morning from the one that ghosted me months previously.
We are all to blame
It’s not necessarily a male-oriented view. My friends and I tell ourselves we are seeking the one, yet half of the decent people with great careers and heart-warming traits are shoved to the side while we focus our efforts on the ones that couldn’t care less. With endless options at our fingertips and plenty of apps to explore, are we becoming the greedy generation of endless choices?
The over 30’s who once feared a life of childless singlehood are the first to mention ‘Friends with benefits only’ in their profiles, and the gorgeous dreamboat you matched with an hour ago has now connected with five of your close friends. There is no longer any excitement but fear that you will waste too much of your precious younger years trying to make things work with someone mediocre when you didn’t even like them that much in the first place.
An environment of oversaturation has left us all suffocated, and many of us no longer have the energy to do what dating was designed for in the first place – the excitement of getting to know new people. Even as the world transforms and we become more comfortable, letting someone judge you and your life choices through six of your best photographs on a dating app no longer sits well with me.
The return of the meet-cute
Just because the world has gone digital doesn’t mean your love life has to crumble. You can do many things to get back in the game without playing too eagerly.
How to leave dating apps and still meet the one
Going to the cinema alone for the first time was the most nerve-wracking experience, but once the lights went out, I realised just how peaceful it is not to have to make an awkward conversation with the person next to me. I could enjoy the film and, most importantly, not have to share my popcorn. Stop waiting for people to accompany you and go to those places you’ve been dying to visit! Go on that solo holiday or visit that exhibition. They wouldn’t have appreciated the artwork as much as you do, anyway!
As the designated single friend, I have always dealt with my peers trying to set me up with their boyfriend’s friends. I hated that they thought I was desperate, but after letting them set me up with someone in recent years, I realised it’s not as bad as it once seemed. Whether it turns into something special or is just a bit of fun for the time being, it’s worth giving people a chance. At least you know they are safe and come highly recommended.
Put yourself out there
I tell myself it’s difficult to find the one organically, but I am a hermit that stays home at any opportunity. Without dating apps, it’s doubtful you will come across someone unless you leave the house. I’m not promising you’ll meet the love of your life reaching for the same bottle of wine at the supermarket, but you may get the opportunity to accept a free drink in your local bar.
As we all come to terms with our sexuality and find our true identities, dating can be challenging when you dream of the perfect relationship. In 2023, I feel that apps may have ruined our perception of reality, and many of us, including myself, have become complacent and lazy.
Swiping left and right on the same people you know you’re never going to meet in person has built a strictly virtual connection neither of you has the desire to pursue. They might like one or two of your Instagram photos every few months, but the chat has run dry. It will have a different outcome compared to The Notebook, and rarely will you get to live out the Italian dreams of 365 Days. Settle for How to Be Single and enjoy the rom-com experience for yourself for now.
I recently went cold turkey and deleted all of them, and while I still find myself in moments of temptation, I know restarting my profile isn’t worth it. Instead, I remind myself that I am so much more than a couple of images on a profile, and I am more than happy to let dating apps rest in peace.
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