This past November, I was a dependent woman. And not on any guy, but on none other than Tinder. Through many dates and many men, I’ve come to the conclusion that dating apps can be extremely limiting (especially when all of your friends are using them, too). In my experience (and you know I loved online dating at one point), after a while, apps can hold you back. My friends and I would go out in the city and not entertain any conversations with men, because, for all we knew, they were creeps. And why talk to creeps, when we could (hopefully) vet the endless supply of men waiting right on our cell phones (before we even had to deal with looking them in the eye)?
My girlfriends and I kept putting off deleting our dating crutch, and then there we were, together celebrating Friendsgiving and the pressure was on. And the big X was pressed. Cya later, Tinder.
Even though I have been single for over a year, this felt like I was being ushered into the dating world in a new way. I had nothing to fall back on, no endless supply of guys who I knew may sort of be attracted to me just because they swiped right. I felt like I had been blind to certain situations, like the guy who let me pay before him at the drug store for really no reason at all, or the guy who held the door for me and kept looking in my direction at the dry cleaner. Even if situations like these were not love connections, they were ways for me to practice being open and available (aka not staring at my phone the entire time while out in public) and striking up conversations without fear of them going terribly wrong.
It took a few weeks getting used to (and cleansing the Tinder men from my life), and I am certainly not dating at the sheer velocity I was at the height of my online dating career, but I still am enjoying it. I’ve gotten a lot better at letting myself look available when I’m out, as well as getting my game face on to do some chatting up myself. I like going out and getting a little rush when I think a man is attractive and deciding how to approach him. I like being confident enough to approach guys in general. And maybe I just haven’t tried enough times, but right now, the rejections are fine by me. Perhaps slightly embarrassing for two seconds, but then I just slither on back to my girlfriends and everything is good again. And I’ll probably never be comfortable dancing with a guy in a bar, but I’ll keep trying, because YOLO, ladies, YOLO.
My non-dating app interactions haven’t resulted in anything substantial so far (my friend did get a UDP – unsolicited dick pic – from a man she approached out at a bar . . . as I was writing this . . . so there’s that), but I’m optimistic. I’m starting to realize I can get (and deserve to get) what I want, and honestly, it’s more than the guys who don’t like to actually make plans, who just want to hook up, and who honestly just aren’t that into me. If you’ve been feeling too dependent on your apps, delete them for a month and give it a try out in the world. I promise you won’t regret it! xx