I’ve been on dating apps since I graduated medical school.
I’ve come to encounter all walks of life on these apps. Name the whole medical hierarchy: medical student, clerks, interns, residents, fellows and even consultants. Everyone was on the list. I’ve met all people who chose to use apps because they virtually have no time out of the hospital. There are medtechs and the nurses whom I met too. Lawyers, seamen, business owners, baristas, bar managers, models, airline staff, college students, etc.
Apps are a convenient way of meeting people. They skip the whole eye-to-eye and serendipity on the first meet-up. You virtually know the name with the face and a few stuff about the person depending on what was written on the profile. It brings a whole world that’s outside the four walls where I work in.
With the ease of eyeballs and encounters, why would I completely shut down all of them and end up still single? Is it really me or just them?
1. The connections seemed to get too shallow.
Someone interesting comes up. You talk for a few days. It seems like the bond you’re making actually leads to something long-term. Good morning and good night texts are easy to get. You know each other’s lunches, dinners, everything that happened throughout the day.
When one gets tired and bored, shutting down was also quite easy. Just ignore their messages. Post a few selfies or groupies that you seem not to care. The rejection was quite hurtful too. The relationship that seemed deep was actually a blur. It was easy to give up on a person and move on to the next.
2. You forget the ones who are important to you.
You set a reunion with your best friend but you cancel. You got a date with someone on the app. The dinner was great and call your best friend up. Missing your dinner with your best friend was the best decision you had because you met someone whom you thought was for keeps.
After two or three days, there were no replies. No second dates. Suddenly what seemed to be the best date you’ve ever had was now just a memory. The endorphins and the high you got that night were all transient. You’re back on the ground and regret missing that date with your best friend. She flies back to her work and blow that only common time you had.
3. You missed the values you once had.
There was this good-looking one on the app. The invite comes and you get invited to a date. You get invited to a party after. What happened was for another day but sufficed to say, the values you once had were all gone with a few shots of tequilla. The inhibitions were all down. You do things that you thought you’d never do. The values you once had were actually clouded by curiosity.
4. It was actually all about getting laid.
It was only about your body. The night caps off with you sleeping in someone else’s bed. You wake up distressed and freshen up to get to work. A simple message you sent was read a few hours after. Then, you hoped for a second, a third, but it never came.
You come to work with an ASG. Your friends come to you and suspect. The rush was still there but as you ponder on what happened, it was all a rush of hormones, giving in to the rage and releasing it all.
It was a vicious cycle. Meeting up, dating, sleeping then going back to a reality that actually slaps you for yet another night wasted on a hormonal rush.
5. You’re procrastinating on the things that matter.
You’ve missed your gym membership for certain dates. Studying for that exam was postponed to meet someone who might be that one you’ve been seeing in your dreams. Finances aren’t kept in check when you’re trying to please your date on that extra coffee or dessert on the side.
The things that matter are actually saved for later. You put aside your other goals for this one particular goal of meeting someone. Actually, goals can be done side-by-side and meeting that one who comes along the way.
You don’t find love on apps. Meeting people who can easily block you out of reality aren’t worth your time. The real connections are made in the real-world setting. The one you meet in the cafe, the workmate who brings you coffee on duty, the seat mate you have on your flight to Bangkok, those are the real people who are actually there, not selfies or profiles that only depict the good parts and omit the bad.
It’s quite difficult to find a life partner but nonetheless, if you’re going to be with this person for the next couple of years, make it worth it.
No app can defeat the value of true contact. If the right one comes along, make it all count and remember, apps are just mediums to make connections and that genuine ones are made using all five senses.
Love isn’t just as simple as a swipe to the right.
It’s a story worth telling the next generation.