Online dating apps help people battle their loneliness by giving them an opportunity to talk to new people and explore their own personalities. Yet, they could also make some people feel lonelier, as in the era of small talks, they find it hard to have deep and meaningful conversations.
During this lockdown, almost everyone would have sunken in the thoughts of loneliness while experiencing a quarter-life crisis at 3:00am. The devil might have used this vulnerable moment to kick in the ideas of “finding your soulmate”; and through what? Dating apps. In that very moment, you forget all your assumptions or prejudices about online dating and take the onus of your “love life” in your hands. But think again, are you doing this because you’re lonely or because you simply want to make new friends? After taking that big leap of faith, you realise that the real battle has just begun. Infinite options make you feel extremely validated and before you know it, you spend the entire night just swiping left and right and centre (If you know, you know). You match with around 20 people and those first conversations make you feel super giddy and excited. After talking for hours straight, you come out of your blanket and realise, maybe this is the happiest you’ve been in the lockdown? Maybe, this is God’s way of making things right for you? Or maybe, 2020 is, after all, your year!
You narrow your conversations down from 20 people to 10, and then to that special one. You both start oversharing every aspect of your lives, and during this friendly banter, you somewhere realise that after so many months of staying alone, you’re starting to feel loved and comfortable again? But in that very moment, ask yourself a question- why did you depend on someone else to love you in the first place? Why didn’t you love yourself first? The answer to these questions itself would solve half of your problems.
I joined Bumble with the hope of passing my time during the lockdown, but I ended up finding someone very non-judgemental and caring. It’s been 3 months since we’re dating, and we thank ourselves for trusting our impulses, and for giving each other a chance.– SD, Hindu College, University of Delhi
People should understand that there is nothing wrong with talking to new people and feeling appreciated by them, but solely depending on that as the only source of love and appreciation in your life, could be extremely toxic. According to me, if you’re entering the world of online dating and are ready to feel warm and validated, you should also have the courage to handle rejection, in the ugliest ways possible, making sure that you never question your self-worth, due to the unpredictable actions of others. In fact, some people ended up feeling lonelier after joining dating apps. In the era of small talks, people found it hard to have deep and meaningful conversations with someone they barely know, just based on their photographs. According to an interview by Elite daily with Todd Baratz, a sex and relationships psychotherapist, he pointed out that “the abundance of potential matches on dating apps could make using them stressful. If you or your match are overwhelmed with options, meaningful, deep conversations can be hard to have. Flooded with choices based on two dimensional profiles, any person will easily become overwhelmed and spread thin.”
In the world of ghosting and being left on seen, you could use these apps to broaden your own horizon by learning and unlearning different aspects of your own personality and choosing not to be affected by these rejections. Don’t ever let the world decide how interesting, smart or beautiful you are by your 5-question profile.
I joined hinge with the intention of talking to new people, nothing specific as such. I did meet someone that I talked to for months, we ended up connecting really well but as soon as it got real, the whole equation crumbled in front of me, leaving me wonder for days about what happened. Took me some time to process everything, but it taught me a lot too. Now when I look back at it, it was more of a learning experience for me for the future and possibly for not making the same mistakes again.– Anonymous, Jesus and Mary College
If it works out for you, take a minute to cherish and embrace it! But if it doesn’t, there’s a pool of opportunities and relationships in store for you, don’t ever forget that. Having said that, I’ve also known some people who have been patient and never given up on these dating apps and have ended up with beautiful relationships with utmost understanding and warmth. This is because they were clear with their outlook and what they wanted from these apps in the first place. In my opinion, the healthiest way of handling online dating is by having a clear conscience and knowing what you’re looking for. But wait, even if you don’t know that right now, fret not; this journey would help you in that as well.
In conclusion, always remember one thing, when dating apps start making you feel more isolated than connected, you must take a minute to ask yourself these above questions and re-evaluate the main purpose behind joining the app- to use this journey to love yourself more and end up finding people you could connect to, which would be nothing more than a cherry on top.
Feature Image Credits: CNN