Today I attempted to join a dating app, Hinge to be specific. I told myself I would give it a genuine attempt, which in my book is 24 hours. I didn't last 15 minutes.
The fact I didn't even want to complete the 3 prompts required to start the profile should've been a red flag, but I got out of my head and forced myself to complete it. As soon as I did, I got bombarded by messages, which is actually a good thing except I became overwhelmed and ridden with anxiety. Soon after, a man who had been trying to holler at me even when I was still in a a relationship, dm'd me on Instagram asking if I was single. He just so happened to see my newly created account. That's when I started crying. Despite having a seemingly good immediate response to the dating profile, the experience made me feel discouraged and lonely. The flood of men in my inbox made me miss my ex even more. Suffice to say I was not ready.
Fast forward a month or so later, I decide to give it another go. This time, I last a few weeks. Amongst the plethora of fishing, golfing, gym, dog, and Burning Man photos, I manage to find a few seemingly decent dudes (and a few probably not so decent ones) and have a consistent conversation with 3 of them. Maybe. The novelty of it all died pretty fast, but it wasn't until I got the, "We should probably meet up soon don't you think?" that I realized I wouldn't be making any love connections via swipe.
No one likes to admit they're a dating app person, but I'm barely a dating person period. You've read the blog, I'm horrible at it. But there are a few reasons why it didn't work for me. First, my COVID caution esp with people I don't trust is relentless. So what's the point of it all if I'm going to be unwilling to meet the person in person? Sure, you can have a walking coffee date on the Great Highway 6 ft. apart and masked, but what fun is that?
Second, I overthink. That's no surprise, but let me give you a peek into one of many downward spirals I had while using the app:
I am not attracted to this man at all, but he's not ugly and that answer was pretty witty *matches*.
He messages me, I message him back out of courtesy, he responds, and I stop.
Gosh, Abi that was really mean.
I hope he doesn't think I'm an asshole.
Gosh, Abi it took a lot of courage for that man to message you.
Gosh, it must be so hard for some men to date. I hope he finds the love of his life.
You get the idea.
Third, no one was witty or funny or interesting enough for me to want to continue a conversation with them. I don't care if you look like Rege-Jean Page if you have the personality of a potato. There are only so many times I can ask and answer, "How was your day?"
Lastly and most importantly, nothing compares to gradually and innocently getting to know someone in real life. Most of the men I've dated were friends of friends. Men who saw me and all my quirks and awkward glory first and still wanted to date me despite it. Men who I maybe wouldn't swipe right on, but would fall for after seeing how smart they were. How kind they were. How funny they were. How driven they were.
I'm well aware that we have to adapt to the current times in order to thrive, and that means finding ways to meet people that don't involve a birthday party at a new bar, a Warriors game, or a Snoh Aalegra concert. Unfortunately, there are just so many things you can't see from a templated profile with strategic photos and carefully curated answers that would normally attract you to someone in person. Don't get it twisted, I'm not rushing to date again - I'm excited to. For now, I'll continue to work on myself. To sit under trees and smile at the clouds. To work on my strumming and improve my drive. To be a better friend and work on my wheel pose. But if Duane the bass player and project manager is reading this, I didn't ghost you I just deleted the app - holla!