Maybe It’s Okay To End Up Alone After All

Flickr / kaybee07
Flickr / kaybee07

I was recently talking with a friend of mine about Tinder and the negative effects it has had on dating. If you’re not looking for casual hook-ups and no strings attached set ups, it’s very difficult to be a millennial on the dating scene right now. All I know is that the current dating world is something that I do not want to subject myself to.

I feel like now is a good time to mention that I am never one to shame other people for the choices that they make, so long as their behavior is not hurting other people. If the current set up that our generation has going on works for you, great! I’m genuinely happy for you. A lot of times I wish I were wired in a way where it worked for me too, but I’m just not.

On the flip side, I was also never one of the little girls who grew up dreaming and meticulously planning what her fairytale wedding would look like. I never knew if I would get married or if I wanted kids, and I still don’t. These were never dreams that I could clearly envision on my own, and when I did think that it would happen for me it was framed like “Well, this is what happens to everyone so I’m sure eventually one day it will happen to me.” But one thing that I did know I always needed out of a relationship was some form of emotional bond; something even just slightly deeper than what is deemed “cool” for most 20-somethings. It doesn’t have to be some cheesy cringe-worthy cliché that would make any self-respecting human being want to throw up. But just something of substance, even just a little bit, would be good for me.

The truth of the matter is, it feels like most people only want to hook up with no emotional attachment. And they want to hook up with multiple people. And if you ever find yourself in that weird grey area, you better not get too attached because they can ghost you when they find something better, and you can’t get upset about it because it’s a common practice and “everyone” does it. The burden is on you to take the hint; as opposed to being on the other person to actually have the gall to have a slightly difficult conversation. I mean, you were never together anyways, right? So why do you feel upset about it? How crazy are you to expect a “hey I’m not really feeling this anymore”? For god’s sakes, you met on TINDER! You knew what you signed up for!

The thing with me is, I think casual dating with no pressure works well for a little bit. But if I’m spending a lot of time with you doing couple-like things, it’s because I enjoy your company. And eventually, sooner or later, my answers to my friends’ questions of “Do you like him?” will go from “I don’t know” to “Yes.” It is impossible for me to be seeing someone for a while and not get emotionally invested, because if I don’t feel any sort of emotional attachment it is because I don’t feel any chemistry. I’m just as afraid of leading someone on as I am of being led on, so I tend to get out of situations the minute I begin thinking “I don’t feel the extra spark that I know I’m supposed to” which is typically very early on. Most people would probably say I make my decision prematurely, but for me there’s no waiting to see if it develops in time. I’m not here to waste anybody’s time.

While trying to make dating simpler, I think apps like Tinder have made it more complicated in certain respects, for certain people. Never before has it been easier to order up a human like you would takeout. “What do you feel like having tonight? That guy with blonde hair and blue eyes is pretty cute, or perhaps the tall, dark, and handsome guy from Spain is what you need.” Suddenly, everyone’s potential dating pool has gone from friends and people you’ll meet at social gatherings to…well, virtually every available person in your city and the surrounding areas, and that’s intimidating. Hell, sometimes the ones who aren’t technically “available” mix themselves in there too. Why would anyone want to settle down when the pool of options is endless and there are surely better options if you just keep swiping a little longer?

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