Like most people nowadays, I’m familiar with Tinder. In fact, I used to have a Tinder account, which I have deleted a few weeks ago. My Tinder experience started in October when I first got back to University after three long months of summer holiday. I would say at the time I was bored, but on second thoughts, why would I need an excuse like that to be on Tinder? Maybe I wanted to meet someone. Maybe I was looking for romance. Maybe I liked to go on dates. I don’t know. Whatever it is, it’s cool.
I did meet a few people on there. I had many first dates and very few second dates and even fewer third dates. None of the people I met was looking for anything serious whereas I did not know what I was looking for. I thought I was in a good place myself but it turned out that I was wrong. I actually had absolutely no clue what it was all for. I mean, dating. Or, you know, even love. I guess I just wanted something to happen, desperately. I enjoyed the attention, the meet up, the intensity, the possibility. I did not really enjoy the person, or the real thing if there could be anything. Obviously. What did I even need from these people?
The truth is, no, not even sex. At least, now. No. It was a helpful experience, though. I have to say meeting these people did help me grow a lot. I have learned more about myself, my needs, my wants, my boundaries. I’m sure now that I need respect. I can be playful, naughty, dirty, whatever, but I can’t tolerate disrespect. I can’t allow in my life someone who doesn’t treat me with care and consideration while I commit to treating others that way. I value stability and reliability. A lot. I like to talk about life, about feelings. I want to take my time to do that and to be with someone. Ultimately I need to stay true to myself. I need to speak up my mind, treat myself right and focus on the big picture. The big picture, that’s the key thing. It tells me that I don’t need a Tinder account. It’s a final decision now.
Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against Tinder. It’s only a tool that does its job by connecting people, so whether it is good or bad depends a whole lot on the users. Anything I, or anyone for that matter, comment now about this app is certainly biased as it is all different for everyone based on who we are, who we meet, our approaches to dating, etc. For me now, this decision to quit is not about Tinder, nor is it about online dating. It’s simply that I think it’s not the right thing, right time for someone like me. I’m still this confused young adult searching for my own answers of life.
I can’t put myself out there if I don’t know what it is all about and what I try to get from it. At some point I did stop and ask myself what I truly wanted from these people. Right. I swiped right at some pretty faces. But do I really need a good look? Okay, maybe we did have some fun chit chat that revealed a few common interests. But so what? What are these people? Why do I like them? Do I like them?
I can’t tell because all I have are some photos, a few words of self-introduction, age, location, whatever but, yeah, mostly the photos and how physically attractive the person is— the superficial stuff. I guess when I was younger, this would be the determining factor and I would be more excited about the prospect of it. However now, it is no longer good enough. It’s not even important any more. What I look for is the people who are the same kind as me, sharing with me the core values and goals in life. But how do I find these people on Tinder? How could I possibly know while we all have assumptions about each other based on some photos, some words, social media and are presented in such lights? Or even the fact that we are now on Tinder?
The reality is that, there are people whom I’m ridiculously attracted to in real life for their ways of being and the little things they do but who, quite frankly, have the worst online profiles ever whereas most of the photogenic people I swiped right turned out to have nothing but their good look. Evidently, I was meeting people at the wrong place. This just doesn’t work for me.
However, considering the big picture, deleting Tinder is still not about Tinder. Tinder has done what it’s supposed to do and we are all aware of it. It’s all me and my wrong approach. It’s me choosing the wrong people because I was lost, desperate, clueless, lacked self-esteem and boundaries. Sometimes I did not even know why I was waiting for an invitation or why I felt bad about a text unanswered when I wasn’t interested myself. It appears to me that I was seeking for some kind of external validation from these people because deep down I wasn’t feeling okay on my own. This isn’t something that anyone could help me with; it must start from me. That’s why I have decided to take a step back, living life at my own pace, learning to feel whole and become a better person. I tell you something — this feels good. For once in my life I could focus entirely on myself and meet like-minded people through the activities I participated in out of interest.
I finally understand that I don’t need someone to feel good. I can and do feel good living my life like now. I feel enough being myself, doing my things, being around my friends. This is all kind of new to me but I guess I like it and it’s the way things should be for me. If anything, I would like love to happen naturally. I want to feel the real and raw bits, to have face to face conversations and to get to know someone in our most mundane states without feeling like we have to try so hard to prove something.
After all, I suppose I should thank Tinder and all the wrong people I’ve met for letting me know that I could do so, so much better.