“Dating apps are NOT a cure for your dating woes; they’re just a tool to expose you to more options.”
The older we get, the smaller the dating pool gets. Growing up, we had so many options to choose from being in high school and college. We spent full days with these individuals and no one was concerned about mistakenly dating someone who was married. We were young, wild, and free. But as our 20s came to a close, not only do we rarely meet people we’re interested it, we also have to be worried about the Cheaters van pulling. (The rate of people having marital affairs these days is real ghetto.) It seems like the only time to even be in the environment to be seen by a potential mate is out at a bar or lounge, at work, or hoping someone notices you at your favorite gas station on grocery store. But if we’re being honest, we most likely aren’t going to meet our Russell Westbrook at the places I just named. So where are us singles supposed to mingle?
Lately, more and more people have been asking me my opinion on dating apps. Many women question if it’s the right thing to do seeing that the bible says “he who finds a wife” not “she who swiped right”. Being the analytical person I am, I wanted to dig deeper into that question because I hear so many people shunning dating apps. It confuses me because I do get that some apps are awful because most men are only on there for sex, but not all dating apps are created equal. I myself have taken a swing at a few dating apps including Tinder, Bumble, and Coffee Meets Bagel just to name a few and I can honestly say it’s just like dating normally just with more options. Listening to more and more people talk down on dating apps made me realize why many people aren’t having great experiences with these apps like I have. One word; expectations. For some reason, people expect dating apps to solve their dating issues. Since many believe the purpose of these apps are for dating, most people go on with the hopes of finding their perfect match in 2 weeks or less. But I’ve realized that there are 3 factors people are failing to take into account when joining these dating app…
In pursuit of anything, there’s a risk of rejection…
Even when dating the good old fashioned way, there’s a chance that you’ll be rejected. Rejection isn’t just someone not being interested in you. It could also be a person saying “no, I don’t want a relationship, just something casual” when you are ready for marriage. It could also be someone not being as consistent as you’d like so eventually you just take the L and move on. It could even be you finding out they are in a whole relationship and you had already invested feelings and they had no plans on ending their current relationship for you. All of these scenarios are forms of rejection. But we aren’t exposed to it as much when we’re dating the “normal” way. Think about, when you get on a dating app, you get to blatantly see who likes you and who doesn’t. When you don’t receive that “You have a match” notification you were waiting on, you know right then and there that this person isn’t interested. This could happen several times in one day on a dating app. Do you realize the psychological affects of that?
An article on Psychology Today called 10 Surprising Facts About Rejection talks about the mental and emotional affects of being rejected. One can literally feel physical pain from rejection. (Did you know taking Tylenol after being rejected can reduce its effects. You learn something knew everyday boy I tell ya.) Rejection also destabilizes our need to belong which just means it wakes that feeling up. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs explains how every human being needs to feel like they belong. This isn’t an opinion, this is a fact. Anyone who tells you their need for belonging doesn’t exist is a liar and very miserable. When one is rejected several times in a day like one would experience on a dating app, it could cause them to go to extreme measures to regain their stability or self-esteem. This could include texting a raggedy ex, swiping right on people they know they don’t like just to get a response, or completely deleting the app and telling everyone it sucks.
I said all this to say, when going onto dating apps, make sure your self-esteem and self-worth levels are adequate. I talk about this extensively in my Self Worth Bootcamp. If you think getting on a dating app is going to increase your chances at healing from rejection, you are WRONG. It will actually make it worse because you’re more likely to be rejected at a higher and faster rate due to the exposure to all the options. Dating apps are NOT a cure for your dating woes; they’re just a tool to expose you to more options.
No matter what kind of dating you do, there has to be a vetting process…
Just because the profile says looking for a relationship doesn’t mean they are. Just because they have a profile on Christian Mingle doesn’t meant they’re Christian. Just because his face is that face on his profile, doesn’t mean he isn’t catfishing you. I don’t know what it is about meeting someone on a dating app but it seems like people trust quicker online. It totally baffles me because people will fall for what is written on a dating profile without even checking to see if the information is valid. When dating anyone, there needs to be some sort of process you go through to determine if this person is actually who they say they are and a good fit. The issue is, most people get so excited that they matched with someone halfway decent and they’re getting some attention that all their reasoning goes out of the window. This is why contentment while single is so important. You run the risk of mistaking attention for a true love connection when you get tired of being alone. I think the biggest issue with dating on and off dating apps is people aren’t standing on their standards. They learn what they like and don’t like from past dating experiences but fail to apply them when they meet someone new. Loneliness kicks in after waiting on the right person to come along and they start meeting people and their list of standards goes out the window. They settle, it doesn’t work, then they’re left wondering why this keeps happening. Duh! It’s because you refuse to uphold your requirements and walk away if someone doesn’t meet them. You need to set standards and stick to them, period.
One of my fav sayings is “All I need is one”. This means I can date 1000 guys and fail with 999 and still be okay because all I need is 1 Mr. Right. In a year, I’ll probably meet 1 person that’s interesting enough to date. Not even on an exclusive level, just someone good enough to speak to consistently and see where it goes. Just one a year and that’s after meeting at least 40-50 guys randomly who approach me while out and about. (I’m just throwing numbers out there. Your numbers are probably way lower or higher than mines.) Seeing that genuine connections happen rarely, I understand that patience must be applied dating online of offline.
“You run the risk of mistaking attention for a true love connection when you get tired of being alone.”
It is a proven fact that you’re more likely to meet more people and go on more dates if you’re dating online. This does give you a higher chance at meeting that genuine connection but it doesn’t mean you’ll meet that someone as soon as you get on the app. I hear this complaint a lot from people I know on dating apps. They feel like they aren’t meeting the right person quick enough. But the app doesn’t guarantee you’ll meet a perfect mate in 2 weeks tops, it’s just guaranteeing that you’ll meet people. Patience must be applied. Dating apps are just another avenue at possibly meeting someone great. It’s not a guarantee. If you aren’t having any luck, maybe switch dating apps or just don’t put so much pressure into it. Your timing could be off, who knows? That doesn’t mean dating apps suck just because you haven’t met the right person. It could just be God trying to tell you single is your season right now.
In a nutshell, I think dating apps can work once you adjust your expectations. It’s not a solution for your dating woes; it only offers a larger selection. If you have bad taste, you lack awareness, and/or you’re low in self-esteem/self-worth then your dating will still fail because these issues are within you. Don’t shoot the messenger. I had to fix myself before my dating life improved. Now dating is actually pretty groovy when I choose to actually date. So get your dating app on but do your research. Tinder is definitely a smash app so if you’re looking for a relationship, I’d say avoid it. Bumble and Coffee Meets Bagel are good for relationship seekers. Comment below your suggestions on the best apps to meet people intentionally dating to settle down.
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