Week 17: To swipe or not to swipe

Today, that really seems to be the question.

Online dating (actually, not even online — app dating) is the new thing. I’ve heard it said it’s the only way to meet people. I’ve heard it said everyone is doing it. I have more than a few friends who found their current relationship through an app, and I have many more friends who have at least gone on some dates thanks to a profile.

So I’m feeling some pressure to start swiping.

But I just don’t want to.

I still find it weird — for me, anyway. It might be great for other people, but it confuses me. It feels fake and contrived. It feels way too difficult to gauge someone. It feels like a way to avoid putting yourself out in the real world.

Mostly, though, it’s not how I want to meet someone. I want to meet someone by catching his eye, by liking his smile, by feeling some chemistry, by laughing at something he says. I don’t want our first interaction to be swiping right at edited pictures of each other. I want to have more of a story than “we met online” or “we met through [insert app here].”

I’m not saying others shouldn’t go for it. I’m not judging those who swipe. Clearly, it’s working for many, so you do you.

I just don’t think it’s for me. I value so much the feeling I get from people, the energy of a social environment and — hello! — the way people actually look. I am a people person and a social person, and “meeting” a potential date electronically simply doesn’t mesh with that.

This is not to say I won’t try it. I really enjoy dating, I really enjoy talking to new people, and I would like to be doing more of those right now. A dating app would certainly provide a means to that end. Plus, as a friend pointed out recently, you don’t have to take it seriously, you have nothing to lose, and after swiping, then you meet and see if you have chemistry.

The fact of the matter is meeting people is difficult. Once you leave college, no matter where you live, it is much, much harder to find people of similar age, mind and background to date. I can see how a dating app would make that a little bit easier.

But I don’t want to try that hard right now. Not that meeting people — friends or boyfriends — in person doesn’t take effort, because it definitely does, but that’s an effort I enjoy. Managing a profile and messaging matches and trying to make conversation online sounds like work I wouldn’t.

It’s possible I sound lazy or idealistic. I would say I’m just not that eager. I’m not in a hurry right now. I’m perfectly happy being single for a while. I’m not so bored that I want swiping for entertainment. I’m busy enough that life without dating is still wonderfully full.

I reserve the right to change my tune, but at least for now, I’m going to hold out for an in-person meet-cute. I have faith those still happen.

Endnotes:

Currently reading: The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes

Currently watching: Catching up on Scandal, Brooklyn 99, The Good Wife and the new season of Orphan Black.

Song of the week: Walk the Moon’s “Shut Up And Dance” (first song played at both the weddings I went to last week)

Plans for the weekend: SLEEPING! I am so very tired from five weeks of crazy traveling and hosting and working. This week, I’m just focused on getting back into my rhythm and catching up with friends.

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