Dating Apps Aren’t Destroying Dating — We Are

The idea that technology and dating apps have ruined our ability to find love seems to be the norm these days. However, we’re the ones responsible for our own bad behavior, so let’s blame ourselves. Here are 12 things that we’re guilty of doing to ruin dating that the apps are innocent on:

  1. Going on too many first dates It’s super tempting to say to ourselves, “I’m hot, I’m single, and I want to go on tons of dates.” Because why not? We want to meet someone and we don’t want to sit at home all the time (no matter how much we love Netflix). But there probably aren’t actually 10 guys who are right for us, so seeing them all this month might be a little much. Let’s agree to slow down, choose our dates carefully, and think more about who we really want to add into our lives. 
  2. Going on second dates “just to see” There are so many reasons that we go on second dates with guys that we’re not totally convinced that we should be seeing again. Maybe we’re sick of being the first date, never a girlfriend type (the modern dating version of “always a bridesmaid, never a bride”). Maybe we’d rather go on another date instead of facing the unchartered online dating waters once again. The apps aren’t making us do this—it’s all on us.
  3. Not ending dates properly We’re all super guilty of saying something along the lines of, “Okay cool, nice to meet you” at the end of a date. We’re scared to say that we had a good time in case the other person didn’t and we just don’t want to take the risk. This is a really crappy way to behave. If we like someone, we really have to tell them. Otherwise, what’s the point of even dating in the first place?
  4. Not texting after a good first date Guys and girls, we all do this, and it proves that our fear of rejection is even worse than we thought. What’s wrong with simply texting, “Hey, last night was fun, would you want to do it again sometime?” It’s not like this is totally unheard of. If the date went well then this is absolutely what the other person wants to hear. We’re pretty ridiculous when we think about it.
  5. Ghosting each other An oldie but a goodie (or a not-so-goodie). We love to act like technology is basically forcing us to ghost each other. After all, we’re invisible to each other once we use our iPhones, right? This is really just an excuse for crappy behavior. If we’ve gotten to know someone, we owe it to them to tell them that it’s not going to work out and be polite about it.
  6. Keeping someone on the back burner No, we don’t actually need a backup person. It’s actually a really horrible thing to do. We tell ourselves that if our current relationship doesn’t work out, we want to be able to start dating this other person ASAP. But why do we need that? Can’t we just start from scratch all over again?
  7. Being afraid to talk about our emotions. To be totally honest, texting has made talking about our feelings easier, not harder. We just need to change our perspective. Sure, we don’t want to hide behind tiny screens—we want to talk to each other face to face. But if we start by being vulnerable with each other through texting, it could help make us more confident about saying this stuff in person.
  8. Calling each other clingy. We should really stop with this one. If we don’t tell someone that we like them, we’re commitment-phobes, but if we do then we’re clingy AF. When did this happen? Even sending a simple “how are you?” text can be classified as clingy in this crazy society. It’s truly confusing.
  9. Leading each other on We seem to think that because we “met” someone on Tinder or OkCupid, that means that we can pretend that we never were that serious about them and that things have always been chill, cool, and casual. We end up leading each other on and then saying, “Oh, I just wanted to be friends” or “I’m not in the right place for a relationship” when things approach something real. It’s pretty lame and we have to call ourselves out for it.
  10. Only wanting almost relationships At this point, it’s more normal to be in an almost relationship than an actual one, and it’s almost like we think that being someone’s boyfriend or girlfriend is way too old-fashioned. That’s honestly weird. It’s not cool to act like someone isn’t good enough to be our actual partner. That’s a surefire way to ruin someone’s self-esteem.
  11. Acting like we’re too busy No, we’re not too busy to date. We’re choosing to prioritize other things, like work or friends or travel, and it’s time that we admitted that. Our dating apps aren’t changing our behavior. We’re doing that all by ourselves. And we definitely need to stop… unless we’re cool with being forever single and constantly frustrated.
Aya Tsintziras is a freelance lifestyle writer and editor from Toronto, Canada. In addition to writing about dating and relationships for Bolde, she also writes about movies, TV, and video games for ScreenRant and GameRant. She has a Political Science degree from the University of Toronto and a Masters of Journalism from Ryerson University. You can find her on Twitter @ayatsintziras and on Instagram @aya.tsintziras.