Ugh, I have been online dating for 5 months now. I was never really curious about it for so long because I had a moral problem with consuming “personhoods” like commodities. Then, I realized this is here to stay and my protest is ineffective. I am already in the system reducing my personhood in some form or the other- my resume, social media presence, this blog and any conversation really— because we tend to prepare a face to meet the faces that we meet.. Besides that, I was also damn bored. I do (controlled) reckless shit when I am bored.
Obviously, I have become numb to it now. But I credit myself for handling it well. Still, here are few perils that constantly tug at my conscience now and then.
The classist/racist rigged game
Let’s be real— any social app will reflect the stupidity of real life in its purest undiluted form. It is classist because you’ve to create your profile in English. In this country, it is a fucking privilege. So, getting irritated with someone for broken, strong accented English is just classist. Also, my soulmate could be a person who doesn’t speak English at all, but in this app, I’d swipe left because I don’t have the patience to discover someone.
It is racist, you know, because this works only for good looking people with the European standard of beauty. Also, it bugs me to realize that my match-percentage is highest among white boys, and it makes me reflect— am I a white gyrle with white privilege and white sensibilities and a white worldview? Whhhhhhyyyyyyyyyy.
It hurts me, because I am suspicious that it might be true. :((
The cheap thrill of swiping
Initially, I used to open every message or look through a profile to swipe left or right. Because, again, I don’t want to reject The One just off-handedly. He might be completely opposite of me, right? But now, I know, he is not the opposite of me. Some political views I just can’t take. And if you can only message “Hi” to my amazingly funny profile, then we really have nothing to talk about.
Also, I get annoyed with beard and it acts as a filter and contributes to 90% of the left swipes. I don’t relate to that kind of masculinity. Also, why do men aspire to look like uncles? You’d ask, “K, but a beard can be shaved off? It is a temperory state”. To that I say, “If all your pictures have beard, that’s your self-image; and I don’t want to be the one telling you to shave it off because I prefer it that way.” That’s just mean. So, I save myself that trouble.
Also, like exams and interviews and fame, swiping right on someone is so god-damn arbitary. I might have already lost The One.
I am sure that I would have had an amazing experience just looking at and reading about amazing girls. But with men, the categories are cocky or clueless or innocent. Men have no game. And if you have no game, the least you could be is earnest. And fuck off, if you’re going to mansplain me about something I joked about in my profile.
And because I talk about sex openly in my profile, it was supposed to act as a filter for what I specifically want, it actually has the opposite effect. It invites everyone to imagine that I am in for hook-ups. Please, I am not. I am paranoid about my safety.
With dating apps, of course you’d argue, the game is in the favour of women. But mate, at what cost? Fine, I do not get as many advertisements as guys get. I definitely get more likes on an average, because I am sure the ratio for women to men is super-skewed. But, I also get more weirder messages and an onslaught of alpha-males entitlement. Even after the infinity filters that I have, I still end up having bad dates and bad experiences. Men seriously have no game because they don’t have empathy.
Also, again, do only white guys clean-shave, ffs? When will the beard/mustache/goatee go out of style?.
The fatigue of emotions
Any app where you have to put yourself out there is really tiring! I sympathize with people who are looking for relationships here. Because, it is just as emotionally draining as a job search. You have to go there, smile, say how much about them excites you, what you want and have to offer, and then it mostly closes without any explanation, or fizzles out naturally. And, then the cycle repeats.
I try to be nice about it if it is not working for me. But only, if the person hasn’t been a douchebag.
I mean, why am I still on this app?
I am still on this app because when you find someone you gel with, that’s the little push that keeps you going on. I found a new best friend on this app, and the emotional care that is needed— the regular check-ins, the venting about daily life, the teasing— that is fulfilled because of her! But guess what. My perfect friend lives all the way in Argentina! I told her that I am on this app hoping to find another strong connection that may translate into a relationship. And she pointed out that that’s exactly the reason I should not have hope. If I do find a connection like hers, it would be someone miles away. The app is an anti-hope app! I have to agree with my new best friend!
Inevitably, the anti-hope app has contributed to me losing my zaddy-cum-trophy husband. Zaddy had messaged me first! He was beautiful and tattooed and he had pictures of him without a beard too! We hit it off. I, in my mindless swiping, saw his profile come up again, and wondered why does he have a different account with which he is sending me a “hey” again; and I swiped left. To my horror, I realized that his old account is not there anymore and he tried to get in touch again, but I have lost Zaddy forever! He is a model (damn yes!) so he is contractually obliged to not be on social media sites. You see my twisted fate!
I hope y’all will empathize as I try to search for meaning again in my life. My new best friend reminded me that I was not going to do anything about Zaddy in the first place but now that I have lost him, I dwell in possibility.
PS: Requested by Rivulet*, the person to whom I bitch about online dating. If you are online dating, please have a friend to touch base with, the app will mutate you!
July Edit: Zaddy was a catfish account. Can you believe it?!