For my inaugural installment of “I Lived” I decided to step out of my comfort zone mildly. I had to start somewhere.
I let my disinterest of online dating be well known. We are in an era dependent upon technology. We chat via texting; we gossip over social media; we make friends through video games. It only makes sense that we also find dates in a way that dissolves face-to-face interaction.
You’re right. The use of technology is not the sole reason I abhor online dating. I don’t know how to approach the subject in real life, why would the Internet or an app be any different? If anything, I’m more open when I use my fingers to talk rather than my mouth.
I can’t stomach online dating because it puts too much emphasis on appearance and not enough on the story behind the photograph. A photograph acts as the first impression; it leaves you wanting to learn more or move on. One could argue that the same amount of judgment is passed upon walking into bar and seeking out the perfect person to buy a drink. While this is true, not everyone goes to bars to find an attraction. Some are there to drink, be social, or play trivia. But on a dating site, everyone merges into one pot for the very same reason.
Despite my never ending disdain, I decided to join Tinder, the app known for its obsession over physical attraction. Forget even reading what people write. Swipe right if they’re hot or left if they’re not. If you’ve been following along with my story, you clearly understand that I am not the most comfortable with my appearance, at least not for dating. I decided to join anyways just to witness this platform.
I created my profile, added my pictures, and began swiping. I won’t pretend to be holier than thou. I can be just as judgmental as the next guy (ahem…girl), but I also read what guys wrote. I saw a couple people I knew (awkward) and I had a couple matches (whenever you and the other person swipe right, it’s a match), but most of my matches didn’t last. They either decided they should have swiped left or they deleted their accounts. I expected that. I believe in putting your best photo out there, but also a few that show who you really are. Mine would be of that which defines me: my hearing aid and little ears. It was easier for me to show people than for me to feel pressured to write about it in my bio. Either way though I felt obligated. Were those photos the deciding factor that I wasn’t “swipe right” worthy? Who knows- and quite frankly, who cares? It’s me, for better or worse.
I did talk for a week or so to one guy but when he asked if I wanted to meet, I froze. I waited an absurd amount of time, fought the urge to hover over the porcelain God until I came to my senses, and did the should-I-or-shouldn’t-I dance until I was finally ready to give him an answer. And just like that I had fallen into his “swipe left” bucket. Am I devastated? Nah. I didn’t actually know if I wanted to meet him. I’m a very distrusting creature and the whole “meeting someone from the Internet” scenario freaks me out. Plus, I’m not all that eager to change my solidarity. I’m comfortable flying solo and change can be a frightening leap.
I expect to be on my own until I find someone actually worthy of this whole song and dance. And when I find that someone, if I find that someone, you can bet it will be in person and not through an app that devalues my existence. Despite many people finding relationships through Tinder, I get the impression it is still more of a means of hooking up rather than finding a lasting relationship. Some people go as far as to state that in their one sentence bio too. If I have to question whether or not the person on my screen is looking for a (very) short term deal, I probably should seek dating guidance somewhere else. We all know I’m not really the one-night-stand kind of girl.
Bye Tinder. We clearly weren’t meant for each other. I’ll stick with the old fashion method…