Addicted. The one word I could use to sum up an ongoing love affair with online dating.
I remember when I was with my significant other, (waaaaaaay back in 2012) I would say, "If we broke up, would you try online dating?" Even back then, when it was starting to become the norm, I thought of it as taboo. Why would anyone want to meet a stranger off the internet? How scary could it be? How weird would it be? How DESPERATE would it be? Of course, flash forward to just this past year, I was still doing the online dating gig. It would be TERRIBLE, and I'd delete all the apps (why limit myself to one?!) and cry into my pillow, or some sort of carbohydrate, in order to make myself feel worthy.
After a couple months, or a couple weeks....heck, even a couple minutes, I would think , "OK, I'll try this again. This time it will be different. This time I won't invest so much. This time I'll act THIS way or this time I'll act THAT way." All a ploy to trick myself into getting back into the game. How else would I find 'the one?!' How else could I meet new people in my super old age of 31? I'd let this consume me, spin me out of control, make me feel like something was clearly wrong with me.
It's now been three whole months into the new year, and I feel like I am a recovering addict. I've haven't had one relapse of hitting up Tinder, or downloading the latest "meet new, hot singles, in YOUR area!" It's so FREEING. To actually feel like I've escaped it. To actually feel like I can live my life without needing to find someone, or constantly putting up with the non-sense that comes with being an active online dater. I've been ghosted, rejected, you name it. And I mean, not all of it was terrible. I had drinks paid for, and met nice people, we just didn't mesh right. It always felt like a chore to go on a date, and less like a fun activity. The anxiety leading up to the night or the pitt in my stomach afterwards of knowing it wasn't what I wanted, grew old.
I've busied myself with sports, fitness, girlfriends, my dog and my family. I was always doing this before, but it felt like it was just something to distract myself between dates. It's been wonderful to let go of that impluse to be with someone and the impulse to feel validated. We all know only we can validate ourselves. You'll fail if you rely on someone else to do this for you. And as much as it feels "great" to have men swipe right on your face, is this person really going to add something to your life? It's liberating to feel like I'm the master of my own ship. I've worked so hard over the last 4 years of living life as a single lady. I know my stories these days deal more with the lastest Zumba routine moves than a juicy dating adventure, but I'd perfer it this way. They say it takes about 3 weeks for a habit to form, so now after 3 months of no dating, I feel this is the better way to go.
I've heard this before...a million times (cough, mom!) ....'something will happen when you least expect it'. It would make me cringe hearing this before. I'd roll my eyes and give the usual "whatever, I'm dying alone", retort. But really, when you're not looking, it will come to you. And you know what? Those who have said this to me are 100% right. Unexpected things have occured in my life since putting down the apps. The focus has been 100% on myself, my hobbies, and passions, and that has been the most fun. As soon as the switch in focus occured, life became more fruitful. So no more looking, expecting, and feeling that constant cloud of disappointment. It's better to live life for me, and on my terms.
And Mr. Right? All he needs to download is Google Maps.