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When I was thinking about giving up online dating for the entirety of 2018, I made a poll on Insta Stories about it.Honestly, I thought I’d get 100% of responses that “yeah, girl, give up the dating apps! It was around 70%, which is still the vast majority of my friends, but I was curious about the 30% who thought giving up the apps was a bad idea.When you’re single, people want to know all about your dating life. It’s an exchange that always stuck with me, mainly because I don’t have people in my life who pressure me when it comes to dating.They want to know if you’re “putting yourself out there” and “keeping yourself open to love.” I remember witnessing an exchange between a good friend and one of her (married) friends, and the married friend was admonishing my friend that she wasn’t trying hard enough when it came to dating. My mom isn’t making snide comments about my chronic singleness and how she “wishes she could have more grandbabies.” (This is probably the only time her getting married too young to a guy who didn’t treat her right works in my favor.) My friends are happy to listen to my dating stories, but don’t make me feel bad for being 30 and single…It’s a neverending quest of swiping and messaging and first dates and first kisses and texting and hopefulness and heartbreak. As if all my opportunities were going to pass me by and I’d just be alone for the rest of my life. I firmly believe in the statement, “What is meant for me will never miss me,” which means that if I was meant to find love through online dating this year, I wouldn’t feel the peace that I felt when I deleted my dating apps.And since I have that peace, it means this was exactly the right decision for me. I’ve told all of my friends that I am happy to be set up by them and I’m keeping my heart open for something to happen organically.We texted every day in a fiery and amusing fashion, and shared a similar sense of humour. Cats are assholes, but at least they’re consistent.
I can’t tell you how many conversations have stalled because the guy doesn’t ask followup questions or gives me few-word answers.I ranted to my friends until they couldn’t take it anymore. He said okay, mewed an apology and insisted we keep seeing each other. The shock came from the fact that I had taken such pains to clearly articulate what it was I needed, had invited him to have an open conversation and then ended up being entirely disregarded. Alongside the wage gap and the emotional labour gap, the antics of softboys, f-ckboys, fading and ghosting constitute a pronounced communication gap. Regardless of whether the circumstances involve just hooking up or the potential for a relationship, men are ignoring what women are asking for.Later the same week, when the brother of a man I’d slept with months before invited me to a games night attended mainly by people who were strangers to me, I went. People of all genders are guilty of bad behaviour, but women are taught from childhood that they need to monitor and be responsible for other people’s feelings. They don’t care if we get off, and they don’t care if our feelings get hurt.(The answer is no, of course, but that doesn’t mean that the guy won’t think I’m a tease and thus, not worth his time.) Dating is fucking exhausting, is what I’m saying. I feel a sense of peace and relief that I don’t have to worry about online dating this year.I was talking about this with a few friends, one of which is on the dating circuit like me she’s an extrovert who has no problem meeting new people and making friends, and even she acknowledged how exhausting online dating can be. And so, I’m stepping away from the online dating world for all of 2018. There’s always been this level of pressure to make sure I spent time every day to check in on my dating apps, swiping and responding to messages, and if I went a few days without checking in, I felt as if I was not trying hard enough with my dating life.
(Of course, after I published the poll, I realized I didn’t word it well, so it’s possible that people thought they were voting for the first option.