Dating. I’ve never really been a fan of the term. Not only do I think it’s very American, but the word itself makes me incredibly awkward. Whenever I hear the word date, I automatically picture two strangers sitting in close proximity to one another in an often controlled environment: uncomfortable body language, pecking at food instead of wolfing it down, planned topics of conversation to fill the silence…. nobody is ever truly themselves, and to be quite frank, I wouldn’t expect it to be any different either.
After all, when you’re meeting someone for the first time, especially after a few weeks of texting (and possible virtual stalking), it’s only natural to have certain expectations of them – as they’d likely have for you. So making a good first impression is an unsurprising goal for most. Everyone is simply trying to be the best version of themselves – which in retrospect, isn’t exactly something to fault them for.
As a recent blog post would suggest, I jumped onto the online dating game rather late. The now deleted dating app, Plenty of Fish, gave me a countless amount of giggles. While it was fun for the most part, it did teach me things that I would never have known had I decided against exploring this contemporary dating wave . They are the raw truths about the dating world which most people would be inclined to leave out:
1. It’s bloody exhausting!
From praying you remember the details of your conversations to hoping you don’t confuse his occupation for someone else’s, dating really can be mentally draining. It’s one thing to be mentally exhausted from texting two or three POF lads at a time, but it’s a whole different level of exhaustion when you thought you had something special going with someone, only for things to fizzle out after a few weeks – then you have to start all over again.
2. You might gain a few
Nobody wants to be that annoying gym head who orders a caesar salad with no caesar dressing on a first date. So naturally, you’re going to bend your diet rules a little bit. Extra side dressing here, a creamy dessert there and before you know it, you’ve piled on a few around the waist – not a fun predicament!
3. It can be time consuming
Instead of spending your time productively and doing valuable things such as reading (a book, not a FB status), you may find yourself randomly scrolling through messages or swiping left and right during a commute. You may become so engulfed in the online dating world that waking up to Facebook newsfeed becomes a thing of the past because the thought of waking up to Tinder sounds more appealing.
4. The ‘spark’ tends to fizzle out
You see someone you like. You match with them. You talk for a bit. Meet up. Continue talking, but a lot less this time. You forget about each other. You see someone else you like. You match with them. Talk for a bit. Meet up once. Continue talking, but a lot less this time…. see where I’m going with this? It is frightening how typical it is for things to fizzle out. Nobody ends it, nobody’s feelings get hurt. It just dies. Evaporates. Into thin air.
5. You’re not the only one who has his attention
This may sound like a no brainer to some, but if you get easily attached to someone you like then a reminder is needed. It’s quite likely that you’re not the only one talking to this person. Try not to put all your eggs into one basket, you’ll only find yourself disappointed.
6. There are a lot of broken hearts out there
You don’t realise how much baggage others carry until you actually talk to them. You’d be surprised by how many people have gone through similar experiences as you (if not worse). It might make them a bit more guarded and more closed so I guess you have to be patient.
7. It can promote the idea that people are disposable
This whole swiping business on Tinder can instill the mindset that people are disposable. Considering how easy it is to organise a ‘date’ with someone, you might find that some people put very little effort into it because they know they can always find someone else just around the corner.
8. You don’t know anyone’s true intentions
He can say he wants to date you, he might even wine and dine you for a while. But how can you be sure that you won’t get kicked to the kerb after he gets what he wants? You don’t. Unless you have some sort of superpowers, you won’t always know. You’re taking a leap of faith with the whole thing. The only certainty is that nothing is certain.
9. You can build friendships from it
Sometimes a romantic relationship isn’t the only thing to flourish from a Tinder or POF date. You might meet someone amazing and after a while, realise they would make a better friend than a partner. Everlasting friendships may come from ‘dating’ apps as well, and that can be a good thing.
10. You get to know what you want
Putting yourself out there to meet new people and going on random dates does have its perks (and I’m not talking about the free meals here) an even bigger benefit has to do with self growth: you get to know what you want. Be it romantically or platonically, it helps you discover what you like and what you don’t like. Sometimes, you might even surprise yourself to find that what you thought you always wanted isn’t what you need.
WHAT YOU THINK YOU WANT ISN’T ALWAYS WHAT YOU THINK IT IS