Let me be clear, this is not a campaign against Tinder. Or Bumble. Or Hinge. Or *insert any dating app you’d like*.
I’ve never had a problem with online dating. I don’t think it’s weird. Technology streamlines so many things, why wouldn’t dating fall into that category? I don’t think it’s something to be ashamed of. Like, hey, all you guys with profiles that say, “Willing to lie about how we met!” …don’t worry about it. You met on a popular dating app that a solid 90% of your single friends probably also use. There’s nothing to be embarrassed about.
All of my recent relationships and flings (with one exception — the Hot Chef, oh Hot Chef, you’re a story for another time) were birthed either from Tinder or social media. I’ve never been someone who goes to a bar and chats people up. It makes me feel uncomfortable. I’d rather sit at home with a screen in front of me. There’s an easy power in swiping, in unmatching, in choosing to just ignore a message that might be a little too appealing to me.
Dating online means I might never have to actually give that person a chance.
It means I can stay in my comfortable bubble and only venture out if I’m lonely or think ‘talking’ (which my stepfather reminds me is texting, not talking) to someone has given me a reasonable idea as to who they are. Online dating means I can message and like and text and maybe never even meet, if I don’t want to.
Tinder is a way to have someone there who isn’t actually there.
At this point, I’m so resistant to love that online dating apps are just something I do at night when I can’t sleep. The repetitive swiping is my version of counting sheep. Left swipe, left swipe, right swipe, left swipe. It’s a distraction. I don’t want to meet up. I don’t want to have coffee or drinks or discuss our favorite TV shows. Stay right there as a tiny picture on my phone. Remain a two-dimensional figure without any real possibility.
I’m deleting Tinder because I’m not going to find love that way. And maybe more importantly, I don’t want to.
Love is not something I’m looking to find right now. Would I turn away if it approached? I hope not. But it’s certainly not a short-term goal. It’s certainly not something I’m expecting to bump into in the hallway. I don’t know what I’d even do with it. Would I be gentle enough? Would I fall back into an instant routine? Is love like riding a bicycle and, no matter how long you’ve been away, the muscle memory kicks back in?
I’m deleting Tinder because it’s just taking up space on my phone and time and I could be reading books or trying meditation when insomnia kicks in. I’m deleting Tinder because validation from strangers is so much easier than going back to therapy. I’m deleting Tinder because I bet there are are at least a few good guys sending genuine conversation starters and I’m just not interested. I’m deleting Tinder because meaningless sex sounds like one more thing in my life to be empty about.
Maybe when I’m ready and not quite so stuck in my own head, a real love will come my way. But right now, I simply lack the energy to go looking.