Online dating

How online dating apps have changed the face of dating.

Tinder, OKCupid, Plenty of Fish, Coffee Meets Bagel, Her — there seems to be no shortage of dating apps to turn to nowadays.

The dating world has changed significantly from years in the past. Online dating used to be stigmatized as something strange or abnormal, but it’s increasingly becoming more commonplace.

After going on anywhere between ten to twenty dates with different people this past summer and throughout the fall, I’ve learned a few things about myself and others. And about dating in general.

The online dating world is kind of tough.

For one thing, people often place a lot of emphasis on appearances. Don’t get me wrong — I do the same, too. They say first impressions matter a lot, and they really do when it comes to dating. Snap judgments made on a first date can determine whether someone will go on a second, third, or fourth follow-up date.

It’s an unfortunate truth that the way you present yourself leaves room for judgment by others. As I’ve heard my English professor quote, “Hell is other people.” (The original quote was spoken by Jean Paul Sartre)

And as for another thing, what really sucks is that it seems like dating has progressively turned into a contest to see who’s less invested in the other person.

Whoever’s less invested protects themselves from getting hurt, but it also prevents people from forming meaningful connections.

It’s so hard to tell nowadays if people would get along really well in person based on online interactions or vice versa, if they’d have trouble maintaining conversation online instead of face-to-face.

But with online dating apps, sometimes all you see are a couple of photos and a brief one- to two-sentence description of someone. And then you decide whether or not you swipe left or right.

What’s crazy is that, as I’ve heard many people mention before, once you’re out in the adult working world, the number of people you meet dwindles to a much smaller number. And the older you get, the smaller the dating pool becomes.

So it almost seems like there’s kind of a time-crunch on how long you have to find someone to go through life with.

The thing is, most millennials nowadays spend a lot of time planning their careers, but no one’s really talked about planning for love or committed relationships.

Isn’t it so strange: when the process of finding someone who could potentially be a life partner through financial troubles, big moments in life, and more has become a tiring game of whoever can appear to care less about the other person?

Those who care get called overly sensitive.

Those who don’t care gain the “upper hand,” if such a thing truly exists.

It’s really quite unfair when feelings are not reciprocated and no emotional intimacy of any kind really exists.

But who knows — maybe I just haven’t met the right person yet. Maybe I’ll bump into someone someday who isn’t afraid to be emotionally vulnerable, to lay bare their soul as opposed to merely their body and open up to me about their deepest worries and fears.

Until then, I guess I’ll just have to remember that regardless of what happens, there are still Plenty of Fish out there. And at the very least, I’ll have collected a series of stories to tell about all the places I’ve been, the things I’ve done, and the conversations I’ve had with some of the most interesting (and boring) people I’ve had the (mostly) pleasure of meeting.