It’s hard for me to accept compliments — and even harder for me to come up with nice things to say about myself on dating apps. I never know how to describe myself, which pictures to post, which hobbies to mention. I second guess everything I place in my profile, so it takes me ages to even start swiping.
I don’t want to attract the wrong people. I don’t want to come across the wrong way. I don’t want to lie about being spontaneous and adventurous in order to sound interesting because the other person will find out I’m lying later. But I don’t want to tell the truth either. I don’t want to admit how most of my weekends are spent scrolling through social media and lounging around with my dog. It will make me sound too boring, too bland.
Even after stringing together something halfway decent for my bio, finding the right pictures is just as stressful. I don’t want to use unattractive pictures of myself — but I don’t want to use pictures that are too flattering either. I don’t want to paint the wrong picture of myself. I don’t want to come across like my hair and makeup are always done flawlessly. I don’t want to end up meeting for a date, locking eyes with the other person, and seeing disappointment cross their face because I look completely different when they’re able to view me from a bad angle under bad lighting.
Dating apps suck when you’re still learning to love yourself, when you suffer from extreme insecurities, when you aren’t sure if you are worth being loved back.
Whenever a little bit of time goes by without getting any matches – or when a string of toxic guys message me in a row – I wonder whether my profile is the problem. I wonder whether I’m the problem. I wonder whether I’ll ever be able to find my person when there are so many other girls out there, looking through the same set of guys as me. I wonder whether I’m wasting my time, wasting my energy.
Matching someone doesn’t even manage to raise my confidence. It only makes me more nervous. It makes me feel like I have to meet some sort of expectation. It makes me feel pressured to impress them.
I rarely send the first message myself even though we both swiped the same way, even though we both expressed interest. It’s hard for me to accept the idea someone might like me, even when they’ve made the point clear. Even when they’re the one to initiate a conversation, it takes me forever to come up with a cute, flirtatious answer. I will type and delete, type and delete, until the message sounds too robotic and rehearsed.
Dating apps are supposed to make me feel more comfortable and confident with myself – but they only make me guess myself more. They only make me wonder whether modern dating is ever going to work out for me.