I ended 2020 with an obsession with and over-reliance on dating apps. I'd wake up every morning and go through each app, looking at matches and messages from the night before. It was mentally draining. I'd spend hours swiping out of boredom, waiting for someone to message me first. Every new conversation either started dry and boring or became overtly sexual. I decided that once 2021 started, I'd delete all of the dating apps and stay off of them for a year, taking time for myself. Although 2021 has only just started, I've learned a lot of new things about myself.
- I am my own best company.
With every bad dating story comes an even greater truth. I realized that “hanging out” with myself was more fulfilling to me than with a guy.
- I haven’t truly come to terms with loving myself.
I spent years hating my body — even while implementing healthy habits and fitness — but I still haven't completely accepted my body. With each new weight loss and fitness journey comes more insecurities developed along the way. I’m a work in progress and perfection isn’t the end goal.
- New experiences made me strong and warier of people’s true intentions.
Anything new is scary, especially when there are no books to read on it. It was all so fast that I didn’t realize what was truly happening and in the end, it’s made me smarter.
- I gave myself a different persona than who I was.
Online, I would interact with guys with so much confidence and flirt. In reality, I was victim to awkward conversations and not following through with what I'd say. I needed to become the version of my true self, both virtually and physically.
- I looked for validation and attention from men.
A part of my obsession with dating apps stemmed from wanting an ego boost. I'd get compliments from guys, which I could've only dreamed of in high school. My low self-esteem and craving to feel wanted made me think it was okay to have this validation and attention, even if it wasn’t the right kind. Now I look for validation from myself only — no one else.
Dating apps aren't for everyone. Some people find love on them and others find it the old-fashioned way, organically. Whatever your mode of dating, always remember to trust your gut and go with the philosophy that everything happens for a reason.