Addicted to swiping

There are 3 things that I know about myself: I am extremely stubborn, I make jokes about absolutely everything (Just ask my dead grandmother…relax, she honestly doesn’t mind) and I can easily become obsessed with something I truly like. And I’m talking like a decade-long fixation and not a passing fad. Can you guess what my latest compulsion is?? Swiping on a particular, popular dating app, and not just any ole’ swiping. Swiping left is the new petty. I’ve gotten to a point where I don’t even read the profiles and look at the rest of their pictures, I just fucking swipe. I obviously I have specific rules for swiping like if there’s a cat in the first picture I see of you, you are dismissed. If there’s a big ass fish being hung from some sort of line, you are dismissed. If your first picture is of you in a group of 20 deep, you are dismissed. I’m addicted to the rush of mass rejection. What is it about rejection that makes us feel (well, those of us that are dead inside…) so goddamn powerful. And before you shake your head in disbelief, ask yourself why the whole world is on so many dating apps…

Let’s be honest, rejecting someone is the equivalent of a tiny shot of delicious power. Power in knowing that someone is lusting after you, power in knowing that this person would literally do anything for a moment of your time. When we talk about rejection, we usually talk about being rejected but we never really talk about the way we reject others and why we rejected them. We tend to focus on the way it makes us feel, and not so much as to why the other person rebuffed our advances. Don’t get me wrong, rejection is one of the biggest worry every human has, to varying degrees of course. But there’s no one in the world who enjoys being rejected. It undercuts the feeling of being loved, while making you believe that there is something very much wrong with you.

I can say with absolute certainty: I reject people on that dating app because it makes me feel safe. I know how utterly ridiculous this sounds, but there’s some truth to it. Remember how I told you that the last 4 months have been amazingly and emotionally both great and draining? Well, your girl had an AHA moment in those 4 months, mostly propelled by an exciting project. I reject people because it’s easier for me to isolate myself then to take a chance and perhaps like someone. I’m so afraid of being hurt that I intentionally seek out men who I know will disappoint me, I’ve coined the term “disposable dates” because of that. I don’t care to know much about them, because if I do then I might like them. So what’s the point being on a dating app at all then? So that I can say that I tried…

I’ve decided to take a little break from any sort of online dating. This truly feels very strange as it was the cornerstone of my dating life in my mid-twenties till now. It’s been hard part of my dating identity and for such a long time, I’ve convinced myself that it was the best way to meet people. All the while knowing I’ve never had a long term relationship with someone I’ve met online. So knowing this, why would I continue to do this to myself. I’m sure some of you are thinking “she doesn’t want to be alone” and while that’s not necessarily false. My biggest fear is that I won’t ever love someone again or that I’m incapable of loving…but rejecting everyone that crosses my path is sure way to make it happen.

 

*Illustration by Brad Amorosino*

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