Why Have We Stigmatized Online Dating?

When was the last time you were approached by someone while you waited for the train, while doing your usual shopping at the grocery store or when drinking your favorite latte at a cafe?  

It would seem nowadays, meeting someone face to face and having the courage to start an actual conversation is practically a thing of the past. This spontaneous romantic gesture or casual encounter, however you want to call it, is an action portrayed only in romantic cinema. Who could forget that memorable scene where Noah sees Allie for the first time, and decides to swing off a Ferris wheel until she agrees to go on a date with him? Why is it that this type of interaction seems so far-fetched and unrealistic to us? The answer to that question can be summarized by two simple words: social media. Our dating life has been turned into a twisted game that consists of unlimited swipes towards left and right. We are living in an era where establishing a physical human connection is seen as rare and uncommon.

If you’re the owner of a phone, you’re probably no stranger to the endless amount of dating apps that are easily within our reach. I’m sure you’ve heard of Tinder, Bumble, OkCupid, Grinder and the list continues on. I personally am a consistent Tinder user, so I speak with complete honesty when I say that dating apps are a route that often lead to disappointment. I started using Tinder about three years ago in order to, you guessed it, meet guys. At first, I was repulsed by the idea, but after some serious and exhausting swiping I manage to make over more than 100 matches. Not long after, I began to date the men I met through this app. Long story short, most of these encounters did not end very well, date after date I was left unimpressed and utterly disappointed. Unfortunately, I could never find someone who was on the same page as me. This left me no other choice then to start labeling these dating apps as completely unsatisfactory and downright pointless.

These apps want us to believe that with the stroke of a finger you could potentially meet the love of your life. We dive into the idea because it seems easy and can quickly become a highly addictive necessity. But are we finally reaching a point of realization? I know after an endless amount of swiping and the occasional inappropriate message, I feel exhausted. Not because I’m nowhere near close to finding “the one”, but simply because it becomes a monotonous hobby that inevitably leaves me right back were I started. I feel as though I’m stuck in a never-ending game of Pac Man, but each time I’m closer to the finish line I manage to unexpectedly die and find myself starting the game all over again.

It’s not an inconceivable idea to think that dating apps can be that helpful tool which connects you with a decent and interesting person, that could eventually turn into a potential partner. But would it be that terrible to hit rewind and start meeting people the “old-fashioned” way? I want to dare you to challenge yourself by approaching someone you find attractive and starting a conversation. Whether it be on the ride home on the train or after a few drinks at the club, the place is completely up to you. What matters is that you dig for that hidden courage within yourself and for once, not depend on a machine to be your personal channel of communication. Who knows? You might even be surprised with who you meet.  

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