The byline of this blog post is as follows. I deleted all my dating apps from my life, and it improved my self esteem immensely.
In the summer of 2012 a friend came to visit me. He was a nice guy, but a bit of a busy body, and at some point the conversation turned to my (non-existent) dating life. The friend insisted that we do something about this, and I downloaded my first dating app on whatever the fuck passed for a cellphone back in 2012. It was OkCupid, and I made a half-hearted profile. I am writing this in the fall of 2021, and so this app existed on all the devices I have had between then and now. Over that time, I worked on that dating profile frequently, taking in advice from friends, trying to pick good pictures, trying to write something about myself that would make me sound like a human being. I put into it, I would like to think, some genuine god damn effort.
Nothing came of it. Not in the nine damn years that I used the thing. I probably matched with a dozen people at best, and attempted to have conversations with a few of them. It always went south for various reasons, and I never managed to ever even meet a person from them.
At some point I heard about Tinder, which was described to me in the media-generated hysteria tone as a hook-up app. Well, I have no moral issues with that. Hell, I would like to hook-up with someone.
Same song second verse, just reduce the numbers a little, matched with you, spoke with even less. On Tinder there was the additional phenomenon of women matching with me, and then unmatching soon after.
They were desperate, but not desperate enough for me.
And as always, those few times I did speak with someone, it never went anywhere.
Bumble? Hinge? Happn? Yea, I tried most of them. Same effort, same results.
People talk about addiction like it comes along only from illicit substances. Dating apps became an issue for me. The moment I could try my luck at swiping (every 12 hours or so), that’s what I would do. I was always hoping some thing would come of it all, and nothing ever did.
Then the shit mood started kicking in. Then the desperation. Then the suicidal ideation.
People will tell you that your self-worth shouldn’t be tied to what people think about you. Yea, sure. You try it. At the end of the day, we all want to be liked. And at some point, when you realize that for some god damn reason you can’t be, it is going to affect you.
Over the years that OkCupid account I mentioned racked up some 50 or so matches that I couldn’t see (IE, people who swiped on me but I didn’t reciprocate for some reason), and as I was deep into my depression over my loneliness I decided to see who the fuck these people were. All of them were super disappointing. A good majority of them were the ‘Follow me on instagram for XXX pics’ scammer types, but there were also a series of people who lived in counties a hemisphere away, who were just looking to get to know a foreigner.
Sorry, I am not flying to the Philippines to meet you. I am also not going to buy you a ticket to meet me. I’ve been on the internet, I know what the scams are.
That was the final straw. I deleted all the apps.
It didn’t happen overnight, but it happened pretty quickly. I started to feel better about myself. There wasn’t a constant reminder of my loneliness. Granted, I still am lonely, but somehow it feels bearable now. It also feels like I can actually put in the effort to better myself, and maybe put myself out there again in the future.
I may not be worth much socially. But I don’t need an every day fucking reminder of it.
In short, fuck dating apps.