I’m currently on a dating break. I didn’t choose to be. It’s just kind of happened. Maybe I’ve completed Tinder. Perhaps doing #VixSwipes has exposed me to far too many annoying men. It might be down to a date I had not too long ago.
The date started well. We’d matched on Happn and had been talking on and off with much ‘banter’ and ‘flirtation’. We arranged to meet for a few after-work-drinks. I turned up to find my date had brought a hilarious present. Things, and gins, were off to a good start. We talked the entire time – no awkward silences but plenty of eye contact and swapping of our top stories. He walked me to my bus stop and gentlemanly gave me a kiss on the cheek and asked if he could take me out again the following week. I agreed and got myself super excited. He text as soon as he got home asking if I was OK. The next day he text again to ask if I enjoyed the date and sent a further jokey text the following day. Then nothing.
I legitimately wondered if he had died. We had gotten on so well, there was chemistry and the follow up texts were in theme with the pre date ones. So I checked Happn. Yep, he’d been online. Clearly deciding that it was better to get a few more first dates under his belt.
Not going to lie, Sassy Vix suddenly felt unsassy and not really bothered about setting myself up for another rejection so quickly. It’s one horse I can’t be bothered to jump back on in a rush.
This is not an uncommon story. Ghosting is a thing. A thing that is solely reserved for dating app match ups. It leads me to ask, have dating apps ruined dating?
A huge part of me disagrees when I hear this. I’ve had it said to me by friends and by guys that I’ve dated. However, this part of me knows that due to my life circumstances, I have little options when it comes to meeting a potential suitor. I, like many of you, don’t work with elegible batchelors or have friends that are friends with elegible batchelors. This used to be our main ways of meeting people – school, work and mutual friends. But now, especially as I approach my 30s, these aren’t options for me. Luckily, I have no qualms in chatting to people whilst I’m out. It probably has something to do with always starting dance offs/perfecting the perfect ‘Come and talk to me’ gaze across the bar but this is costly and limited.
So that’s where dating apps come in. The quick and easy way to facilitate that initial introduction. I mean, is it really that different from the initial introduction through a mate or first laying eyes on someone at work? It appears not. You still need to arrange a date and see if you actually fancy that person. It’s not all that different in that respect.
But it really is different from meeting in ‘real life’. And this is the part of me that does believe dating has been ruined by dating apps.
There’s something about meeting someone in real life that means somewhere, in the subconscious, you believe you owe them the decency of honesty. When we met guys through work or college, we, for the most part, didn’t keep looking for guys at work or college. We stuck or folded, we never twisted. Our options were limited so we had the brain space to focus on the person we were seeing. We looked forward to hearing from them and planning dates.
However, dating apps are like ASOS. You know you’ve found a great pair of black skinnies on page 2 but by fuck will you scroll through 274 more pages to see if there’s a better pair. A pair that make your bum look perky or legs look longer, never quite satisfied that the first pair will do the trick.
You only have to match on Tinder and you’re being asked if you want to ‘keep playing’. It’s this ‘keep playing’ mentality which means there’s no permanence in dating any more.
As humans we constantly strive for perfection. Whether it’s in life, love or work. We always want to better ourselves and our situations. Previously, we’d bunk up with people who we knew were right for us but the vast amount of options that are now at our fingertips make us wonder, ‘is there someone righter?’
Perhaps it’s a good thing. I know for sure that I have bin emojied guys that weren’t quite right or didn’t treat me exactly as I wanted because I knew I’d have all his things in a box to the left in 5 minutes flat.
Perhaps dating apps are a double edged sword. With each swipe they giveth the possibility of meeting Prince Charming and with each ghost, cancellation and let down they taketh away the hope we’ll ever find someone who’s better than they appear in their profile.