7 Things I’ve Learned About Love By Being On Dating Apps

­­If not good for anything else, dating apps are quite the learning experience. Much like love itself, there are ups, downs, times of excitement, and times you’re ready to call it quits. While it can seem like a bumpy ride and ultimately not worth it, there are people finding matches and entering marriages off of these sites and apps. While I have yet to find love myself, here are 7 things being on dating apps has taught me about love, relationships, and people in general.

  1. People really do have a “have a “type.” The whole premise of a dating app is basically to choose by looks. Despite the info provided on someone’s profile, we initially pause and read on because of their photo. Have you ever noticed some married couples look eerily related? This can’t be a coincidence. It could mean we’re all narcissists looking for ourselves in others and only liking what resembles our one true love: us. I’ve noticed my usual type tends to favor my dad and yes, unfortunately, I fall into the whole daddy issue category. So maybe I’m trying to find love for myself by replacing the love I wanted from my father? I don’t know, but it all could just be boiled down to one big psychologically driven pursuit.
  2. Love does need to be patient. It’s important to have realistic expectations. It’s an app. People don’t check their notifications all of the time and especially don’t want them popping up on their phones when they’re at work or doing something serious. Some of the dating apps, like Bumble, for instance, can get pretty glitchy and take time to show new messages. There’s also the chance someone you’re compatible with isn’t even registered on the app right now. There are several popular dating apps and people get tired of looking. It’s common to delete and remake profiles. So, you can’t expect to meet the love of your life in 24 hours of putting yourself out there, or if you do match, to hear from them right away. There’s no commitment to casual dating and until you exchange phone numbers, go out a few times, and determine you’re exclusive the whole thing could be spotty and up in the air.
  3. There’s no set standard for what love should look like. Everyone is looking for something different. Hence, filling out the basic information on your profile. It’s a good idea to just be honest because someone might be fishing for your type of catch. There are married individuals looking for side flings, couples looking to turn into a throuple, transgender people looking for same or opposite-sex relationships, and so on. I know I personally tend to seek out rugged type men while other women lead toward an effeminate one. There isn’t a right or wrong when it comes to love. It’s all just finding someone who wants what you want, and everything is out there somewhere. The key is full disclosure about what you need and to not waste someone’s time if they’re offering something different.
  4. The stars don’t lie. At least for me personally, it’s not even worth it to try to match outside of my compatible signs. Even if someone looks good, if they’re not within my usual zodiac pairings it tends to clash and go nowhere fast. I’ve also noticed how important it is to know the rising and moon signs of someone I’m trying to date to fully understand their tendencies. While astrology doesn’t tell everything about a person, it does give you some insight on their approach to communication, conflict, and ambition and this can help decode their life moves.
  5. It can’t be forced. As promising as a match may look to you, you can’t make that person like you. And being desperate is not a good look. Just let it go and move on if it fizzes out. Even if they seemed 100% on digital paper, you don’t know what they have going on behind the scenes. You could be mourning a blocked “blessing” that was actually a curse waiting to happen. Go with the flow, take what comes your way, and detach from what isn’t meant to be. Expectations serve no purpose other than to set you up for emotional failure.
  6. You shouldn’t take a fail personally. Relationships take two people. You can see even from the very beginning while trying to match that we all have stuff going on and it’s not always about you. Someone could pull away or be distant for many reasons. It could be they don’t like something about you that isn’t bad but just not what they’re looking for or they thought they were ready for or had time to date but realized otherwise when they tried it out. Either way, it’s not worth internalizing every time you get ghosted, stood up, or looked over. You could be the best thing coming and even that prospect could be scary to someone who is used to relationships failing, wanted otherwise, but isn’t sure how to handle the real thing when it presents itself.
  7. Love is more than a feeling. Recently I matched with this guy and went on a date with him. Nothing was wrong with the time we spent together, and I had no issues with him whatsoever, but I left feeling mildly disappointed. There was just no spark and immediate sense of pull on my end. The date was super normal. I thought about writing him off due to lack of chemistry, but then I thought about all the previous guys I was head over heels for at some point- and what complete duds and potential psychopaths some of them were. Not being highly attracted to him right off the bat may be a sign that he’s a stable guy I could have a healthy relationship with. I decided to hang in there and it’s only been going up from there. Sometimes you have to use rational thinking over temporary emotions and pheromones.
I’m Cara, not to be confused with Carrie, although you could say I’m a Millennial Bradshaw of sorts. Pop culture connoisseur. Lover of all things creative and passionate about health and personal well-being. Follow me on IG @cara_vale_writer