Dating During Social Isolation
For the past five years, dating apps have been a source of frustration for me. I’ve turned to them only when I am feeling one of two things: extremely optimistic or extremely lonely. Either way, I would set my expectations way too high and inevitably feel crushed when it didn’t work out.
A few weeks into my quarantine, I was quickly running out of friends and family to regularly call, FaceTime, and text. In a moment of boredom, I opened my dating app and started swiping, hoping to find a guy (or a few guys) to talk to over the next few months and then meet for a drink when this was all over.
It didn’t take long to get a match, but I wasn’t filled with glee when it happened. I actually felt dread. Having to send the first message, the thought of coming up with something clever and witty, really overwhelmed me. I quickly closed the app.
A few hours later, I tried again. I got more matches but I wasn’t excited about any of them. No longer able to use the excuse of being too busy, I asked myself, “Why wasn’t I excited to talk to these guys?”
I let my matches expire and took a few days to think about why I was forcing myself to spend time swiping on an app when I wasn’t willing to take the next step to begin the conversation.
I realized that wanting more people to talk to wasn’t a good reason to be on a dating app. As much as I think I do, I don’t actually want a boyfriend right now. My life is a bit up in the air. I’m unemployed, I plan on moving out of state in the near future, and a global pandemic probably isn’t the time for me to settle down with someone. I want to be by myself right now. And that's okay.