Let’s talk about dating apps. We all either know of them, or have had them. Bumble, hinge, tinder.. the list goes on and on.
Online dating has not only completely disrupted the traditional ways of dating but it also has become more popular at a time when norms and behaviors around marriage and cohabitation also are changing as more people delay marriage or choose to remain single.
The biggest question I have come to wonder is can they do more harm than good? Are people my age actually using them to meet people anymore or have they turned into an easy way to hookup with strangers? Do we use them because we actually want to meet someone or are we just passing time?
After a long quarantine, my friend and I log onto our dating apps and we entertain ourselves with meaningless conversations with attractive men. It then hits us, are we actually looking to meet someone or are we just wanting validation from strangers? Do we actually like these guys or are we just in such a vulnerable state that any compliment from anyone has us hooked?
I think thats when it hits, when you are still getting over someone you realize how toxic these apps can be. How bad they are for someones mental health. With hundreds of men and women on these apps, how can you actually form a connection with one single person?
Let’s break down the app quick. You go on, you match with 10 people. You entertain 10 different conversations and let’s say 6 catch your attention. Then maybe you exchange numbers with 4 of them. You have to sit back and come to terms with the fact that those 4 people you are texting, are also all texting multiple people from the apps.
So to go even farther, you hangout with 2 of them, maybe even 1 of them. Are you okay knowing that someone who you are letting occupy your time, is also occupying the time of other people?
In a world of friends with benefits and casual dating, the thought of asking someone if they are talking/hanging out/sleeping with other people until at least a month or so in is cringy and can make you come across as crazy, so how comfortable are we with knowing that this person could be playing you? Could be using you to pass time as well? Could be telling you and multiple other people the same things? Giving you and multiple other people hope for something in the future?
It took awhile for me to realize that I am not okay with it. I am not okay with gambling with my happiness. I am not okay with allowing myself to be vulnerable with someone who could also be entertaining multiple other people.
Yes I understand these apps aren’t that serious, especially for someone my age. However, I feel like these apps have made traditional dating less appealing. They make it so easy for you to meet multiple people with the swipe of a finger.
These changing realities have sparked quite a debate between my friends and I about the impact of online dating on romantic relationships. On one side, some highlight the convenience of using these platforms to search for dates, as well as the sites ability to expand users dating options beyond their traditional social circles. Others offer a less flattering narrative about online dating, such as the fact that these apps facilitate superficial relationships rather than meaningful ones.
In a world where people are breaking through traditional dating norms, what is even considered normal anymore?