That is the exact noise I made when I read your last post and learned that you have gotten 2 significant relationships out of 150 online dates.
To be clear, I’m impressed. I also strongly feel like all the dating apps you’ve ever used should pool together to send you a gift basket. Because if 150 online dates doesn’t earn you chocolate, cheese, and assortment of unwanted sample soaps, what does?
On the other hand, the stat — in fact your whole post — made me go, “Ooof.” In particular, I was struck by your observation that dating apps can be emotional crutches. I am fully guilty of getting home after a date and checking my app. Great date? Don’t want to get my hopes hope: check the app. Terrible date? Don’t want to fall into a pit of despair: check the app! Neutral date: Don’t want to become ambivalent: check the app. And, on some level, the app rarely lets me down: there are usually dozens of available, mediocre, date possibilities at the tip of my fingertips.
This isn’t news, of course. Technology can be used to connect but it can also be used to numb, and I’m actively trying to pay more attention to the latter. Am I Googling the latest soap opera spoilers because I really need to know what’s happening on The Young and the Restless two weeks from now, or is it possible I’m avoiding a feeling.
Which leads me to an obvious truth: dating as an adult is kind of the worst. It involves really a lot of liquid, three times the healthy daily dose of small talk, and a fair chunk of vulnerability. This is bound to lead to emotions. My question is, then, rather than ditching the apps — as you suggest — is it really about ditching our coping mechanisms? What if, after your upcoming speed dating event, you ban yourself from going online for a month? How will you cope then?
PS: You have always been, and will continue to be, my personal dating guinea pig: you try things first (admirably; with courage). I support and and tease you as appropriate (and also take all the notes).