Why I Deleted My Dating Apps The Same Month I Got Them
It's 2018, online dating isn't new. I'm actually rather late to the online dating game. It's fine, I'm not worried about it, but suddenly I am more nervous and weirded out by it...
I am the type of woman who has always been confident, strong, and on top of it. I am the woman who bounces back after let-down's stronger than before. I am the woman that truly learns from my mistakes. After my off and on again final 7 year relationship breakup in the fall of 2016 I was completely thrown for a loop even though I had been the one to do the 'deed'. Letting go of something you've fought for is extremely hard and sometimes letting go is all you can do. I was between a rock and a hard place. The line was drawn for myself and I knew what I had to do, something that was best for myself. I think as women we forget that it's okay to be selfish. As women we tend to take the care taker role and the people pleasing role - this has got to stop. Sometimes taking a step back and looking at your life from a different angle is key.
I had been single for a little over a year (noted: I chose not to date, I needed time to myself) when a friend said to me, "Sawyer, you have to start dating! Try online dating! You travel all the time, so what other way are you going to meet people?". They had a point. A very very valid point. I did travel all the time and I do travel all the time. Dating isn't easy when your work involves hoping on a plane and being gone half of the month. It is extremely hard to find somebody who understands that lifestyle as well... so online dating seemed like a good fit! I said to myself, "Why not? If not you can just meet some cool people... but then again I really don't know how I feel about meeting somebody online..." I took the day and went to beach for some me time, reading Darling Magazine, I read an article about how important it is to do something out of your comfort zone because even if it doesn't work out you'll have learned something. From there I downloaded the apps The League + Bumble, I did a lot of research before I picked a couple of apps to try out. I am a very very intentional person and these seemed to be the most fitting for my personality.
When I got home I had already forgotten about the apps, so they honestly sat for a couple weeks before I even used them. Again, I'm very intentional and if I can't give something my all then I prefer to just not do it. I also promised myself that the next time I date and if I was to get into another relationship it would be with complete confidence that it could be something great and certainly nothing with 'games' involved. That's the real intent of dating, right? Dating with purpose...
So I hopped on the apps and sure enough the first person I swiped right to I matched with. I remember being like, "what the heck, this is so weird but fun!"... well friends, this mindset truly quickly changed. What they don't tell you about online dating is that it can make you feel shallow, well, it certainly made me feel shallow. You become so quick to judge people for their online profiles. To clarify that's how I felt, not to say all people feel that way, but it's the way that it made me feel. I quickly panicked and was put in a place to talk to this stranger online, again, I had never done this before... so I was SO nervous to talk to person I had never even met. How is that even possible? Well it was and I felt all the nerves. Luckily they were a total gentleman and actually wrote me with complete intention and purpose. It made things a lot easier for me.
Another thing they don't tell you (but is an unsaid, duh, I just didn't think about it) about online dating, you learn so so much about another person before you even meet them in person. You can google them, facebook them, exc. That is some toxic stuff right there. I found myself doing these things... I quickly was like, "wow, who am I?"... I get it, it's totally normal to look up people and all that but when I had been in a relationship for almost a decade I never had the need to do this prior to meeting someone. It really didn't feel right but nobody is stopping me from doing it! I was automatically setting myself up and making myself so nervous for a date that hasn't even happened. Friends, I did not like this side of myself. I would have rather learned all that I learned in 5min of google searches over a drink at a bar after accidentally bumping into somebody and having instant chemistry...
Finally I go on a 'date', I was a nervous wreck, let's not forget I hadn't been on a first 'date' in years friends. Years. Honestly if I were them I would have just walked out and left me hanging. If you have had the opportunity to see me nervous it's not the cutest, I am a mess. When you are planning a date with somebody you've never met you can get in your head, that is exactly what I did. So for the reasons I've listed above I no longer online date. It doesn't feel right for my personality... so if you've seen me on dating sights and you happen to be reading this and you think I left you hanging, I did.
Dating apps can be great for some people. It's a great way to meet people - for sure! For my personality it certainly ins't. Fact of the matter is I like knowing nothing about people when I meet them for the first time. I love not being able to feel anything expect for how I feel in that moment of first interaction face to face. I like knowing those first feelings, those are usually right. I like the getting to know somebody slowly over drinks, dinners, and even walks in the park. Call me old school or romantic but I think if something's not broke then don't fix it. So I deleted my apps and I am back to the old school way of meeting people organically, because yes friends, even in 2018 you can still do that.
Full disclosure, online dating DOES work for a lot of people. I have photographed many many couples who met on dating sites! Their love is great and it's real... and you know they might not have met without the apps.
Everything does happen for a reason and like I read on the beach that one day, get out of your comfort zone because even if it doesn't work out you'll learn something. I certainly learned a lot about myself. In the best of ways.
• Are you online dating? Do you like it? I would love to hear your thoughts on it!