(16) online love story

April Awakening: Day 16

I’ve gotten back on the dating apps. I don’t know how serious I am about it, though. It’s just recreation at this point. Something to do. People to talk to, maybe. I’ve met plenty of people off them in the past, ranging from quite a nice time to “Oh dear God let me go home.” But that’s pretty much how it goes in all aspects of life, isn’t it?

I just find these services so fascinating. The potential to meet and converse with virtually anyone who wants to, all right there in your phone. Swipe left, swipe right, you have every opportunity to meet Mr. Right, or at least Mr. Right Now. And I just love seeing what these guys all do to optimize their profiles. It’s different for guys, I know that. So I try not to judge too hard. But it is crazy to see the lengths people go to pique interest and hopefully get laid make real, meaningful connections.

The apps have also come a long way since I started on them shortly after college. They used to be relatively straightforward: Here’s some photos, what are you looking for, how old are you, how far do you want to travel. Now they really want you to showcase all aspects of your personality, right down to putting a straight-up badge of personality right on your profile. On Tinder and Bumble, you can tell the ladies if you’ve gotten all your shots. On OKCupid, you’ve got a laundry list of sexual orientations to choose from. Have you ever heard of akiosexual? How about recipriosexual? Aroflux? Don’t worry. you can find that identity right then and there. Even your gender identity. Feel free to put your pronouns down, too. Because that’s a thing we’re apparently supposed to care about.

I’m just torn between saying ‘to each their own’ and ‘what the literal fuck are you all talking about?’ Doesn’t anybody just fall in love anymore?

I think I’m just far too cynical at this point in my life. I don’t want to meet my future husband on a dating app, especially not one where you’re expected to box yourself in. I know people who have, and I’m not passing judgment. I just want it to go differently for me. But maybe I’m not that far off course. I still think the love of my life is just going to knock on my door one day as I spend yet another day feeling my ass grow into the couch. What’s so weird about doing the same while swiping into my phone?

I complain all the time about things not feeling “real,” and I think that’s been the problem for me on these apps. An entire personality has to be showcased in just a few words or photos. The quirkiest one always wins. On Bumble they tell the girls, who have to message first, to be witty! Make sure you’ve got a great opening line, or else he won’t message! I can’t do that. I can’t muster anything else other than a “hi,” and I’ve yet to receive a message back on that. I don’t know what people expect on these sites, or what they expect from them, I just hope there really is a pot for every lid. Casting my net can’t hurt, even if I don’t come up with what I’m ultimately going to be dining on for the rest of my life. Might as well dive in with both feet. Even if nothing comes of it, it’s yet another fascinating observation of the human condition. Personality badge and all.

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