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Dating apps have me feeling down


Etac
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I have been feeling down a bit and need advice, maybe more so reassurance.

 

Turning 30 this year, pandemic things opening back up, have never put much thought into dating around. I've been on and off of apps (bumble and hinge) and never let things get very far, haven't met a match in person and go back and forth on them, a lot of times getting frustrated from swiping. Anyway, something got over me last weekend and I actually engaged in a conversation with a match and then he asked to meet up....i haven't responded to that message. Nice and seems decent, but our messages were brief and superficial so it makes sense that the next step would be to meet in person. Here's the thing, though, this morning I realized i have absolutely no desire to start meeting up with people....essentially, dating. I am pretty introverted and am clearly stuck in my ways at this point. It could have just been the day (or hour) but I was thinking how nice it is to get up and be able to do whatever I want this morning. Would it be nice to have company? Yes. I am surrounded by family and good friends. A partner would surely be nice, but on the flip side, maybe not (lol) But I can't seem to wrap my head around this and it's all so silly because absolutely nothing will probably come from this...

 

Anyway, I don't have much "dating" experience and am now feeling bad that I don't really feel the need to. It occurred to me that I really just want to meet someone organically and be friends first (ideally) and that world just doesn't exist anymore. Basically, I can't get past the point of the apps. It's always in the back of my mind that the only reason people are on there is for dates....it all sounds so ridiculous, I know! 

 

This probably doesn't even make sense, but wondering if anyone else feels this way at this age? 

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1 hour ago, Etac said:

It occurred to me that I really just want to meet someone organically and be friends first (ideally) and that world just doesn't exist anymore. Basically, I can't get past the point of the apps. It's always in the back of my mind that the only reason people are on there is for dates....it all sounds so ridiculous, I know! 

I get it. But I'm 15 years older than you and my experience with online dating has been over for more than 10 years. I think the first time I tried it was in 2004 or 2005. Back then, it was not the norm and people could be super awkward about it. I remember being at a boyfriend's friends' house in 2006, being asked by an older couple how we met. He and I felt so weird saying, "Online..." and the older couple looked uncomfortable too lol. 

Obviously, a lot has changed between then and now. Online dating became normal, became dating apps, became "swiping" and fishing for likes. What a weird world. I'm glad I grew up before the internet became what it is today, because I'm still grounded in the way that things were before. 

I had some interesting relationships through online dating, but I much preferred meeting organically and getting to know someone at the natural pace and rhythm of life. I always felt an emptiness with online dating. I missed the mutual shared experiences, mutual friends. With online dating, it tended to feel like we were thrown together with a rigid purpose, like a mission to mate. It was very off-putting. I often wished we could be friends first, but you wouldn't believe how many people were upset by that idea. 

I wonder if a lot of people who were born in the 90s and 00s feel the way that you do, where online dating looks like the norm but doesn't feel like the norm. Even with arranged marriages, there is involvement by the families, and culture and tradition that support the process. Not so with the dating apps.

Edited by Jibralta
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Being an introvert, I get it.

So don't feel you need to just jump at the first option to 'meet' someone.  If it feels off, leave it be.

Only consider moving forward when you do feel it's something meaningful for you.

Yeah, I've been in dating sites & I've met a few , dated a few.  Rarely did things progress- as we have all kinds, lol.  At this time I have no interest in 'meeting' anyone.  I've hit a road where I know I need to just be on my own for a good while and work through some things.  Has been over 2 yrs now and I'm fine on my own and happy 🙂 

Don't worry about this one, if your heart's not in it.  Take some more time and move on.

You never know, you can meet someone face to face and who catches your interest in the 'real world'.

If you do feel a connection with someone online, take it easy with it.  Talk for a little bit before you agree to meet them.  Not just a few sentences...Then maybe consider meeting for a coffee, proceed from there. ( Often we come to see IF it's anything within the first cpl times meeting).

Good luck.

 

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9 hours ago, Etac said:

  I actually engaged in a conversation with a match and then he asked to meet up....i haven't responded to that message. 

Sorry this is happening. If you want to meet someone you'll have to meet in person.

Dating apps are not for amusement or penpals. 

Don't waste your or others' time by refusing to meet.

It's very simple. Exchange a few messages, arrange a brief low-key coffee meeting at a mutually convenient time and place and day.

Take a break if you are getting burnout from swiping.

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25 minutes ago, Wiseman2 said:

Dating apps are not for amusement or penpals. 

 

This.

If you want friends I would suggest that you actually do something else about it. For example join some club or even enroll into some course. There is even an app called "Meetup". Where you can arrange that kind of things with like-minded people.

You, on a dating app, its a complete waste of time for you and for them. It suggests that you only want "the kick" of feeling desirable, getting matches and such. While you yourself say how you have no desire to actually meet and do something about the actual relationship. Its dishonest from your side to actually be there. So either specify in your bio that you just want friendship not to waste the other people time with rest, or find some other ways to meet(or in you case not to meet lol) people.

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I didn't date online but used online dating sites to meet around 100 men in person from around 2000-05 (did personal ads before that and many blind dates -also set up people on many blind dates).  I met in person ASAP. We developed a friendship while dating.  I had enough friends and didn't need to be "friends first" -we were dating and part of dating is developing a friendship that includes affection, intimacy, flirting, romance. I had enough platonic friends.

My best advice to you since you are introverted and not interested in meeting strangers in person to see if you should go on a date is to volunteer backstage at community theater.  Or a church-based theater.  I know many shy/introverted types who met friends, dates, spouses, long term partners through that activity.  Help with costume design, lighting design, painting, building sets.  

Volunteer work -other types than community theater -are great too but this is what I recommend.  I have friends who met their spouses through salsa dancing (she married her instructor), tennis, posting an ad on Craigslist for a cycling partner (they were -they both wanted that, then started dating).

I also wonder if you're simply not that interested in finding a person to be in a long term relationship with. Are you? Because dating and meeting people to date requires a lot of time, effort, thick skin unless -rarely- you happen to meet someone early on you just click with and you're done -you've found your person (for many reasons wasn't that way for me at all -we married at 42, we're now 55).  It's more than fine not to want to be in a romantic relationship -and if you just want someone to date once in awhile that's easier but I wouldn't do online for that -too much work IMO.  

Good luck!

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Thank you all for taking the time to reply- these answers are really helpful and giving me a lot to think about in general (in a good way!). Definitely taking this advice as I move ahead.

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Is it the dating apps that make you feel down? or the idea of dating itself? if that person you have met anywhere, not online, would you still accept his invitation ? or is it the idea of dating someone you don't know very well, if that's the case, have you considered just meeting that person, there's no commitment or anything even if dating is something that you may consider later, and just be friends, talk, hangout, until you know for sure what you want ?

What I understand from what you say is that you are interested in dating but it's not something important for you, because if you were not interested in dating even a little bit I guess you wouldn't think about using dating apps or even writing this post or feeling down about it.

Because people are on dating apps for dating seems very logic as it is the goal of using those apps. There's nothing silly or ridiculous about looking for dating, it's natural to need a partner, nothing shameful about it even if it's frustrating and disappointing sometimes, it is only ridiculous when someone is desperate about it.

If you are not interested in dating, but only looking for friendship, then dating apps are not the right place for that. Because what's the point of having conversations with strangers that you know for sure that you are not interested in meeting them, or not having the same goal as them (dating).

There are other types of apps, and places, where you can go and meet new people who are not looking for dating.

Edited by HugoB
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On 3/13/2022 at 6:05 AM, Wiseman2 said:

Exchange a few messages, arrange a brief low-key coffee meeting at a mutually convenient time and place and day.

Take a break if you are getting burnout from swiping.

This ^^^ is something to consider, because of course it's uninspiring to commit your valuable time to an entire date with some stranger.

Plus, most people are NOT a good match--you can usually tell within 5 minutes whether there's even the slightest potential for chemistry, and in most cases, it's a NO.

So if you treat OLD like a 'speed meeting' tool, you can just set up a few quick meets each week over coffee on your way home from work, and it's not really that big of an investment.

If you get stood up, you just take your coffee with you. Otherwise, you'll spend maybe 20 - 30 minutes checking one another out and being kind. You can agree up front before meeting that neither will pressure the other for a date on the spot. Either can message the other afterward, and if the answer is yes, the other responds, but if not, then no response is necessary.

 

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