I loved swiping right on the cute guys I saw pop up on my Tinder account. I’d sit in my apartment for hours on end, swiping and talking to dudes I’d never end up meeting, let alone dating. The conversations made me feel important and wanted even though most of them were superficial and damaging. Tinder did things to my mind that were dangerous and took forever to leave behind. Here are just a few of those things:
- It made me crave attention 24/7. I saw all these people messaging me and it was a good feeling (for a while). These men really wanted to talk to someone like me—I was worth their time! Once you crave that feeling, it only gets worse and worse, sometimes without you even realizing it. If someone wasn’t acknowledging me, I wasn’t really happy. I needed that validation that I wasn’t able to find within myself. Embarrassing as hell.
- I was never satisfied. It didn’t take long before a cute pick-up line or adorable picture from a guy wasn’t enough for me anymore. How about two pick-up lines and five pictures? The more, the better. Plus, there was always some flaw I saw in the person I was talking to, and I told myself I’d just go and find someone new. It was simple and way too easy. In a world where online-perfection is sometimes real, you can never settle.
- I got bored in 2.5 seconds flat. This goes along with never being satisfied. No one could honestly keep my attention. That same mentality carried over into other parts of life, where no one was as interesting as I’d hoped they were. The guys I talked to out of the app seemed, well, boring.
- I created a fake online version of me that (to an extent) became dangerously real. This is the worst part of social media and dating apps like these. You only have to show people what you want to show them. They’ll never know if you’re lying or covering something up because they don’t know you in real life. I perfected who I was and it started forcing me to think I was someone different in real life too. I couldn’t just be myself, flaws and all, and that felt limiting and a bit depressing.
- It led me to believe chivalry was dead. So many of the conversations on that app were horrible. It’s a hookup app, but I always stayed around hoping it could be something more. I read way too many messages that were demeaning to women and there wasn’t any chivalry to be found for miles. I began to think that maybe all men acted this way. In reality, I was just attracted to the type of man that frequented that app—one that needed to seriously grow up.
- I was afraid of having conversations with men in real life. Why would I do that when I could just message people online and say whatever I wanted? Online, there was always a delete and autocorrect option; you don’t get that in real life. However, I made the mistake of thinking if it was easier, it must be better.
- I didn’t think going on dates was necessary. This goes along with the last one. Why would I spend time out of my day getting to know someone, when I could just quickly send a message when I had free time? In my eyes, it was the same thing. This was a win-win for me in college, when days were packed but the phone was always glued to my hands.
- I felt like I wouldn’t ever be able to trust men and that they couldn’t trust me. What is trust when you have dating apps like these? Everyone talks to so many people on there and exclusivity is not a thing. It was a lot harder for me to give up the conversations with other men to just talk to one. Even if I said I was just talking to one person, sometimes that wasn’t true. He was probably doing the same thing, so it didn’t matter. I simply learned not to trust him.
- I said things that I’d never have said in real life. How many messages have you exchanged with other people where you knew it was something that would never actually come out of your mouth? So, in a way, it’s not the real you who’s saying those things and who the other person is getting to know. That was so damaging for me when I actually met those people in real life. In reality, I was a lot shyer than anyone knew. It was definitely the cause of the ending of a few friendships.