I’m a millennial. I came of dating age during the onset of AOL messenger, web chat rooms, and online dating sites.
My introduction to online dating began in my college years with (ick) Hot or Not. Later, I dabbled in Plenty of Fish, OkCupid, Match, and Tinder, to name a few. From free memberships to paid; from one attention-grabbing sentence to entire life stories.
Today, the derivatives are endless.
Over the past decade, I dived into these dating apps in earnest, looking for the one — only to be disappointed, bored, and go into temporary dating app hibernation. I probably messaged with hundreds of people. I met dozens. I went on to seriously date a small handful of them.
Now, let me clear. I’m not quitting dating — I’m quitting online dating. I’m going the old-fashioned route.
Why? Because, over the last year, I’ve met men in-person that have surprised me, charmed me and intrigued me. I didn’t get to evaluate them in advance. I didn’t get to screen them based on what’s in their profile and how well they photographed. We met and connected based on mutual interests and mutual experiences. (Cheers to you!)
Truth be told, if I had encountered them online first, I may have swiped left. I may have prematurely judged. And I would’ve missed out on making the connection.
The problem with dating apps is that it’s very, very hard to make an emotional connection via photo and text, especially since the earlier online dating standard, an email-length message, has shrunk to a basic, blase “Hey what’s up?” (And if you can believe it, some men make those first messages EVEN MORE APATHETIC by skipping the punctuation. Really?! It only takes an extra microsecond to add punctuation… but I digress.)
For me, it’s beyond difficult to invest in someone without experiencing their presence and personal energy. Which means, as a woman with a burgeoning social and professional life, I can’t really take the time to invest hours of texting and my limited free nights in a virtual (literally and figuratively) stranger. Correction — I don’t really want to. I’m not invested enough.
And it’s not just me. Let’s be honest… both sexes aren’t invested enough.
I know lots of people had luck with dating apps; but maybe they have more patience — more determination — more desire — than I do to be coupled up. Instead, I’m keeping an open mind to the enigmatic man who crosses my path in-person. 💕