‘I Hate Dating Apps So Much!’ By Heather Havrilesky
(Link): ‘I Hate Dating Apps So Much!’ By Heather Havrilesky
I’m a huge fan, and I’m so grateful for your writing. There is one area, however, where I think you may have a blind spot, and that is the absolutely terrible plight of trying to find love on dating apps.
Your general advice about the pursuit of love always resonates:
Build a life alone that you love; hold onto your belief that love exists even when it makes you feel vulnerable and uncool; if you meet someone you think you like but they’re tepid or not fully invested, go ahead and tell them to fuck off.
I now read this and think, “Yep, got it, great advice, duly noted.”
My execution is sometimes imperfect, but I remain fully convinced that you are right about these things.
However, that belief doesn’t change the day-to-day, grueling nature of what “being open to love” in 2019 entails.
I am 35 years old, and I have been on and off dating websites or apps for almost a decade.
During that time, I’ve met a very small handful of people I ended up caring deeply for, or felt I could deeply care for, but for various reasons it has never worked out.
In fact, my longest relationship in that time was just shy of a year. No deep, abiding loves, no planning a life together, absolutely zero domestic bliss. Just lots and lots of mediocre dates with a touch of minor heartbreak.
It’s impossible to estimate how many first dates I’ve gone on, but even given all the weeks and months I’ve sworn off the apps, it’s easily over 50 and likely closer to 100.
One hundred men, no true love! That’s so much time wasted on men who had no meaningful role or impact on my life, men I forget as soon as I say goodnight.
On good days, I’m happy for these experiences. Bad-date anecdotes are funny. If nothing else, these encounters bring color to my life.
But it is truly — and I can’t emphasize this enough — exhausting. I hate it. I want ZERO MORE DATE ANECDOTES.
I am so sick of my happily partnered friends who have nothing but good intentions, asking me, excitedly, to recount every detail of every date.
I don’t want to do it anymore.
Please, can we just talk about your Sunday of going grocery shopping and folding laundry with your partner? That sounds great.
I know that, as a reasonable, open, attractive woman, if I keep trying, I’ll find someone eventually.
Romantic notions aside, statistically, something eventually has to work out.
But what if that means, say, another 62 first dates over the course of five years?
All that swiping, all those tequila-sodas, all that very precious time.
And out of those 62 men, I’ll feel a genuine connection to maybe four who won’t work out, and maybe No. 63 will be IT. (I work with data in my professional life, can you tell?)
And by IT I simply mean someone who inspires me to get off the dating apps for a significant amount of time. Okay, great.
But will all that time lost on all those men really have been worth it? Despite societal pressure and the excitement of those few close calls, I remain unconvinced.
(And I won’t even go into the very flawed nature of trying to find love on these things at all! It is so hard to look at pictures and a small bio and know if this person might excite you. Why don’t more people talk about that??)
So that’s the crux of it. If I find the process so grueling, why should I do it?
My life as a single person is already pretty great, so what if I spent all that date time going on long walks with my dog?
Getting really, really fit (the only thing standing between me and a Megan Rapinoe bod is MEN)?
Reading books? Making veggie lasagna with my friend, her husband, and their 3-year-old? Isn’t that a better use of time than drinking at a dark bar with a man I’m most likely to find boring and unexciting?
Why do I have to keep on spending my time this way? Can’t I just lean into my life of being single and abandon the pursuit of a partnered life?
(signed), Dating App Detractor
Falling in love demands a giant, graceful, thrilling leap of faith. But it’s a leap you can’t really train for.
As a detail-oriented overachiever, you want to get it right, so you’re doing a series of stretches, running sprints, doing squats with weights — you just want to master this one simple feat and get the love you deserve as a reward.
Sadly, online dating turns that leap of faith into an awkward spectacle that’s at once performative, high stakes, and risky.
Instead of spontaneously leaping into the unknown, you’re approached by a reality-TV producer who says, “Put on these big-ass red clown shoes, this clown nose, and this idiotic orange wig, and LEAP ACROSS THAT GIANT CHASM OVER THERE.”
But can you take a flying leap under those conditions? Or do you feel like a jackass in your dumb wig?
Does the prospect of clearing that enormous ravine in your huge red shoes make you shake and sweat?
Do you back up and try to get a running start, or do you sit down in the dirt and cry until your nose falls off?
You can click the link above to read the rest of that page.