Yes, I am aware that you have a co-worker whose best friend met her husband on Tinder, like, two days after she broke up with her boyfriend of five years. The third option is rare enough to count with the fingers you have available while holding a Starbucks. And now, 10 years into being single, I do not have any interest in playing the game. The illogical nature of online dating has always perplexed me.
It took the far-fetched notion of love at first sight and made it something you were supposed to be able to find with your thumb. There is nothing, and has never been anything, about online dating that actually connected two people. In the IRL dating world, two people are often acquainted, at least in some loose capacity, before dating, which creates, if not a respect, then a fear of consequences.
Online daters have never been burdened by this. I have never had any success really connecting to someone in the span of two glasses of chardonnay. I like to think both myself and the other party would feel more invested if we were introduced by a friend from camp.
The amount of effort single people put into online dating has moved from excitement over a shiny new toy to people who can barely be bothered to move their thumb an inch to the right or left. Where once I had an inbox full of messages to respond to, now I just have an endless scroll of unresponded-to attempts at starting a conversation. What was the point in the right swipe, I wonder? The date tally is even more shameful.
I used to go on at least a date a month. I went on three dates last year. The conversations that do begin in an app fizzle out after mere moments. The only way I actually meet a human being in real life is if I put forth percent of the effort.
Suggest we meet, suggest a date, suggest a place, suggest a time. But no one does. Are we exhausted, over it, or is this just not a thing anymore? Instead, I should have just been myself. I should have just followed my instincts the first, not the 50th time, a man on Tinder asked me to do something overtly sexual, if not offensive, the very first time he sent me a message. I should have done what I knew was right after flipping through my first 1, faces without so much as meeting for coffee.
The voice in the back of my head was right all along. I was always going to end up here, with nothing. Wait, you know what? I kept participating in online dating because I thought I had to, because it was there.
No one would offer anything or anyone so much time, so many chances to come around. Where are single men? Where do single men go? Where do single women find single men to speak to? So when online dating offered up a bottomless bucket of single men to interact with, I jumped at it, and I kept jumping, and jumping, no matter how high in the air the apps held the brass ring. Online dating is full of single men, and full of single women.
And absolutely nothing else.