Love in the Time of the Dating App

Angeli Soneja

It all began on a random Sunday afternoon spent at home. Bored out of my wits, I decided to download that much-hyped about dating app that rhymes with Tender.

On my twelfth or so left swipe, I chanced upon a profile that looked a lot like a guy I used to go to school with. I quit and deleted the app from my phone right then and there.

Out of shame, maybe? I do always try to put up a tough girl front, and that I’m fine riding solo. Despite what my gushing social media posts on love and pogi guys would suggest, there is a part of me that says joining a dating app would mean accepting defeat. It means giving in and conceding that, yes, I am getting tired of my perpetual singledom and have finally taken the plunge.

I am not that kind of girl. Or maybe that’s just what I’ve been telling myself all this time.

Nevertheless, the idea that I would find the love of my life on an app still seems so far-fetched to me. Can it really happen there amidst all the posturing and the casual dropping of the word “sapiosexual” on every other profile on the app?


One of the last holdouts

You’d be surprised to know that I am actually friends with people who sing praises of dating apps and sites. In fact some of the people that I hold nearest and dearest to my heart have found the love of their lives on some of them.  One is about to get married, and the other now shares a last name with a guy she met on one of those TV text chat shows – one of the OG ways people used to find a date back in the day.

A few months back, news broke out that comedian Amy Schumer met her boyfriend on a dating app and people cheered her on as a dating app success story. The story was proven to be false later on, by the way. Be that as it may, the “You go girl!”-type of articles that came with the announcement suggest that joining one doesn’t hold as much as stigma as it has been before.

And then there’s the fact that people often wonder why I’ve remained solo all this time. When you’ve seen your share of weddings enough to last you until the next decade, and fellow guests keep on asking where your boyfriend is and I again replied with a shrug, (oh God, it’s like that scene from Bridesmaids) it does make me wonder sometimes why I’m not drowning my sorrows on Tinder to just shut them up.

Given all these things, you’d think this would make me more receptive to the idea of joining one. My neuroses suggest otherwise.

I find the idea of actually finding an honest-to-goodness relationship on a dating app absurd. Don’t people usually lie on those things? It’s the reason a show like “Catfish” exists. That tension you feel when you’re with someone you like – how does that translate when conversing online? Shouldn’t that be taken into account? And how sure are you that the person on the other end is not a mass murdering psycho?

They say, “Don’t knock it till you try it.” Well it’s a door I’m not too keen on knocking at the moment.


That rush you feel when you meet someone cool for the first time

This is where my extroverted side takes over. What I realized is that chatting with a stranger online just doesn’t cut it for me. To me, nothing beats face-to-face communication – seeing, hearing, heck, even smelling a potential friend/partner is all part of the equation. I’d much prefer  getting introduced to a friend of a friend, or bonding with a new co-worker over your shared love for weird, ‘80s movies during lunch.

And yes, as cringey as this may sound, I really do believe “The One” is out there and I won’t need the help of a phone to find him. Love and life works in mysterious ways, and I feel like it would all work out according to the way I want it to be – #tamangpanahon and all that shit.

Was that corny? Did I just out myself as a marshmallow to the entire world?

Let me be. We’re all allowed to be cheesy once in awhile, and this is the perfect time of the year to do so.

Header pic link here

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