Do I want to quit dating apps in times where it feels harder to cope with loneliness? Even it can be hard, I decided for my good to quit dating apps. After using it for years, I concluded dating apps don’t suit me, I’m constantly facing fetishization, gaslighting, harassment. I want to take time to know someone, but dating apps encourage you to rush, to go on one date after another, on this frenetic race for love. I tried many of them, OkCupid, Bumble, Tinder, Muzmatch. And guess what? Nothing worked.
I had good and bad dates. I remembered a couple of them where they were not looking like their photos. I didn’t run away but I never them again. My last good date was in January, where I met a pretty good-looking, smart and funny man. But we met, a couple of days later, he came with one of the classic excuses many of us used: ‘it isn’t the right time for me to date someone’. I was disappointed and frustrated for many days, and that’s how I mostly end up with dating apps, I end up frustrated.
Many times I find myself being frustrated because of me and dating apps because I imagine the perfect scenario in my mind. After all, I had a lot of expectations, because I can’t handle rejections. I came to the conclusion that I’m the type of person who needs to prioritise mental health and then learning how to navigate through dating apps, on my own or even with a dating coach.
I project a lot of my insecurities through dating apps and dating in general. I project because I have been exposed to domestic violence while growing up, I have a pretty pessimistic view of love and tend to be overdemanding to protect myself. By using dating apps, I realised how I tended to picture the perfect person for me. I was spending hours to swipe right or left, to find the rare gem that will shower me with happiness. It is like being in a shop and buying a product that is supposed to fulfil our needs (all kind of needs). Love became a market, people became goods to consume, to keep or to return if we’re not satisfied. I find it very disturbing how we consume love as anything else. I guess it is how consumerist culture impacts our vision of love. But that’s not the only reason why I quit dating apps.
I quit dating apps as to me, romantic chemistry can’t emerge with dating apps. I’m a passionate person in love and to me, seeing the person face to face for the time, talking to them, is the only way I could fall head over heels for someone. I always find so romantic to have such a special ‘how we met’ story. However, with dating apps, everything is somehow impersonal. If I get ghosted, if the person I met once, does not want to go on a second date with me, I take it personally and question myself for days, on what I did wrong, on personality and physical attractiveness. As I use dating apps over the years, I realized how it impacted my self-esteem. I felt pressured to find love because as we get older, and particularly women, have to get married and have children.
If my experiences with dating apps were not the most exciting ones, I do think it was my responsibility to work on my patience, frustration and to learn to put boundaries to any interaction to avoid to experience multiples times of racial fetishization, gaslighting, ghosting and other negative experiences.
Besides my negative experiences and how it was difficult for me to navigate dating apps, I need to first love myself and dating myself, to deconstruct the idea I will feel true happiness and accomplishment by finding love, the one. In a nutshell, I need to focus on my issues before ever thinking to start again. Even though I have to cope with loneliness in those uncertain times, deciding to quit dating apps was the best that could happen to me.
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