Grown-up dating anyone?
I bet everyone who is sexually active have heard of Tinder, Happen and similar dating/easy-hook-up apps which are popping up like mushrooms after a summer rain now.
Initially these apps started as a cool networking platform that would allow a busy, modern and technologically progressive young professional easier to connect with people. With a few swipes in between meetings during a business trip one could arrange for an interesting and exciting encounter in a new city. When not travelling, similar thrilling meet ups are just as easily arranged without the hassle of hunt, meet and greet on the local turf. Seems the apps were designed for efficiency and convenience, weren’t they?
Perfect to meet people (more importantly of opposite sex) in your area whether you travel, recently moved or simply a helpful tool boosting your confidence if you have just fallen out of relationship. Wide choice and no rejection - similar to walking down the aisle of fresh meat cuts in the butcher's shop and picking that good looking piece of meat for the steak dinner you are going to have tonight.
Sure, everyone heard the story of how someone found their true love on Tinder and now they are happily married with a couple of beautiful kids (have couple of stories like that myself). Just like everyone heard the story of people meeting at the local postal office or on the plane and fallen in love instantly. That's the beauty of love, one never knows where and how it will hit you and you will meet your significant other.
But in reality, how many times you swiped right with the feeling - that's the one? Swiped and then put your phone down waiting for a match? Yes, yes, not continuously swiping till you reach the limit for a day in order to have a larger pool of choices in case that “the one” won’t reply.
So here we are, a “couple” of swipes and the magic of Tinder begins - the phone is lit with little orange icon of match notifications, meaningless small talk and exchange of recent jokes heard from colleagues earlier that day, meeting for a drink and awesome mechanical sex after. Next morning you wake up hooked-up. To Tinder, that is, of course.
The easy accessibility of dating apps offers you game like experience, immediately absorbing you into playing the field, The wide choice of prospects can turn you into a serial swiper with memory of a goldfish in a matter of days; making it impossible to remember who you spoke to or met just the other day.
Yes, you might find that one or two individuals that you may be really comfortable with: you’re having great sex, good laughs and interesting conversations. But, hey, they know you met via dating app, right? They can’t expect you will be off of it too quickly, right? I mean, come on, little curiosity never harmed nobody. And the circle goes on.
Not willing to accept that the one match you have been seeing for the last couple of months may actually be “the one”, you are addicted to the process itself. Swiping, swiping, swiping.
Some do not even meet anyone in person, but still won’t delete their profile for the “just in case” situations. Just in case he is busy at work for a few days in the row and you need attention here and now, or just in case you didn’t like that last IKEA trip where he argued with you for 35 minutes whether the carpet is blue or green, or whatever else “just in case” you can come up with when your fingertip is itching for a swipe and your ego for an instant gratification.
This is when the game gets dirty. Designed as an exclusive club for cool people to meet, Tinder turned into a trash karaoke bar serving cheap drinks and streaming EuroNews on the background.
Diluting focus from a person next to you and promoting easy access to endless variables, online dating apps have created an illusion that most chose to fall for since it is so “accessible”, “fun” and “harmless”. Fast love is trending now. Just a few years ago you’d only confess your registration on a dating site to a couple of close friends, nowadays we compare our matches among girls during an afternoon tea.
Bragging about a number of sexual partners, running away from commitment and being in constant search is justified by “I need to be sure”, while in reality it is more of “I am scared shitless to be rejected by someone I accepted to settle down for”.
Well let me reveal a big secret to you - you will never be sure, unless you stop now and give it a try. Try to commit at least to yourself and stop wasting energy on random encounters, try to see the personality of another person behind those orgasms, don’t be afraid to dig deeper.
After all we are humans, and humans differ from animals in ability to build relationships, not only procreate. Humans are social, they develop next to someone, so let yourself loose and give it a go. Put your phone down, go to a movie with someone that makes you smile, learn what popcorn he/she prefers, ask how you companion feels about Kevin Spacey being fired from House of Cards, or where they see themselves in five years. Explore yourself in both sometimes silly and other times deep conversations. Exchange not only your fluids, but ideas and fears. Don’t let Tinder and alike to suck the joy out of falling into unknown.
Uninstall and start living.