In our culture where online dating has become the norm and meeting people organically is rare, one is made to put their heart on the line over and over again at a rate faster than ever before.
The ‘Swipe Right Culture’ has given us a never-ending option of choice, so much so it can be paralyzing. From Hinge to Bumble to Tinder, your soulmate could be one swipe away. Or, maybe just one more? Ok, definitely the next one.
It’s been accepted that we are living our own version of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. Anyone you meet could possibly be talking to two or more people. Dating has become a numbers game. My friends and I joke that we can have the most romantic date of our lives with a man and then never hear from him again. Or we do but communication has evolved into a slang term on urban dictionary; bread crumbing, bench-warming and the like: staying in contact just enough so they can circle back in if they so please. As someone who is newish to the dating scene I’ve found it a constant struggle to not get jaded when people continue to disappoint. It leads to many a philosophical question – Is it who I am attracting? Am I not doing enough due diligence to make sure this person is in the same place I am? Have I asked the right questions? Is it me? (Which is the most damaging of all). I feel I am forthright with my feelings and to be fair, I’ve met many a good and sincere guy in my dating journey. I’ve also met those who say one thing but their actions show quite another. These are the ones who break hearts, who ‘ fade away when they realize you are not an easy lay’. So to speak.
My biggest fear is not that I won’t meet someone but that I’ll become untrusting, cynical and jaded in the process. I am a romantic at heart and have always believed in love and the power it can have. I would hate to lose that hopeful feeling I get before I meet someone. The magic would be lost. So, is there an answer? I don’t know that yet, but I do know the steps I’m taking to not become the antithesis of everything I believe in.
I date with purpose. I’m authentic in my conversation and I am not afraid to say how I feel. This has eliminated so many possible issues. At this point in life I have decided not to date anyone with children. If men are not forthright with this I let them know that as much as I may like them, that dating them would be doing a disservice to the both of us.
I ask the right questions. How long since their last relationship? What are they wanting right now? Are they ready for a relationship if they meet the right person? If someone isn’t sure what they want or if they are just dating to pass the time, then that’s something to consider.
I don’t swipe mindlessly. It’s so easy to get on the app and swipe until your eyes glaze over not really reading or ‘thinking’ about your choice. Focusing on what I really want and not the superfluous has been key.
Ultimately,you can never control someone else’s experience. You can only control how you react to the events that unfold. If you know that you are doing what you can to be the most self-aware, authentic and giving version of yourself; that gives you your power back. Dating can be terrible, but it can be pretty awesome as well. It’s always going to be a risk but I still believe it’s a risk worth taking.