I have been using Tinder on and off for about a year now. I have went on dates with many, hooked up with a few, and genuinely liked a couple. In a somewhat small city where you hang out with the same people and do the same things on the weekends I thought it would be interesting to try new things, I was wrong.
It started first as a rush of excitement every time I was matched with someone. I had low self-esteem a year ago and enjoyed the confidence boost of guys who I would think were out of my league actually swiped yes. I was flirty with my messages, creatively constructed to make myself seem like the most happy-go-lucky girl out there. I felt the competition for their attention. I knew these guys had many more matches and were talking to many other girls at the same time. I always said it was like a kid in the candy shop for them and you had a week tops to gain their attention and go on a date.
I went on bad dates and bad dates. I drunkenly hooked up with many that I met up with at the bar. I cried and complained when I never heard back from them. I felt angry and used. I would delete Tinder and swear I would never download it again, that was until the next hungover Sunday occurred when I felt lonely watching Netflix in bed. I wanted a companion, I wanted a boyfriend.
As the cycle of Tinder continued I became more and more discouraged when things didn’t work out. I was always told by my closest guy friends that Tinder is a hook up app, it’s not for finding what I am looking for. It was a place where guys could have their egos boosted and get their number of kills up.
I didn’t believe them, I wanted to believe there was a guy out there that was just using it because they fell into the same routine as I did and wanted to meet someone knew. I began to lower my standards, increasing the age and distance limits. I hoped that the guy I went out with would be the one who would call the next day and we would date.
It wasn’t until this fall when I downloaded Tinder again when I really began to learn it wasn’t for me. It’s where I met Matt. Matt and I connected right away, we exchanged numbers and texted constantly for a week. We drunk dialed each other and talked for hours. After only a week we had so many inside jokes and made each other laugh. He was interested in me. He made plans with me like teaching me how to skate and me showing him some of my favorite places in town.
I began to be confident that this was going to turn into something, until it stopped. After we hung out he was honest with me and told me that he was using me to fill a void in his heart where his ex-girlfriend used to be. I was some distraction, a play toy.
I was used to keep his mind off of the girl he truly loved.
That is when I learned the biggest lesson Tinder could have taught me about dating; I will no longer allow myself to be a void filler. I have constantly been okay with being an option with men. I used to think whatever I could get from them was as good as I could do. I was a void filler until they found something better because I allowed myself to be. I was constantly available, texting 24/7, allowing them to booty call me. I never thought I was good enough to be anything more.
I now know that I am better than that. I refuse to be seen as a void filler from now on. I have my own life, I am content with the people and things that it is filled with and there is no room in it for a guy that won’t stick around.