Slide left. Click. Tap. Scroll. Yes. Hmmm..maybe so. Okay never mind, NO.
*Quickly exits app and deletes from phone*
This ladies and gents is what dating is like nowadays. At least when it comes to online dating.
There are a myriad of reasons why one makes the decision to try their hand at dating online. Maybe you just want to try something new or maybe your schedule doesn’t permit you to meet people in more traditional ways. Whether you’ve tried it for a week or months we all know the routine. Trying to find at least one normal person who you feel won’t kill you is like finding a needle in a haystack.
I, just like many people, have made an attempt to enter into the sometimes awkward, frustrating, entertaining world of online dating. Most recently, since moving to Spain, I’ve discovered that online dating, specifically Tinder, is a great way to meet Spanish guys to have language exchanges with. What I find interesting is that guys will use this to lure you into dating them. They help you with your Spanish and you help them with…?? I don’t even want to know.
I have come to the conclusion that there are five distinct stages of emotions that everyone goes through when they find themselves swiping, clicking, scrolling and rolling for potential dates.
The Begrudgingly Optimistic Stage
This is the stage at the very beginning where maybe your BFF is leaning over your shoulder, advising you on what to put in your profile. While you on the other hand are rolling your eyes saying:
“Girl bye! I am NOT putting that!”
“Fiiinnee, I’ll put it but it better guarantee me a date!”
Because let’s face it - For a lot of us, online dating is not our first choice in meeting new people but sometimes it comes down to being our last option. We’re somewhat optimistic about the potential of finding someone but still a little skeptical. It’s natural. If you’re a first-timer it’s un-chartered territory and in your head you’re thinking, “What have I gotten myself into?”
This is the stage where you check boxes about your age, religious views, whether or not you want kids and think about clever ways to say what you like to do on the weekends. You find yourself figuring out how to describe what you’re looking for in a partner without coming across unreasonably picky.
The Cautiously Hopeful Stage
Okay so now that you’re past the initial stage, you’re now ready to start checking out the potential. Surprisingly enough to you, within minutes you’ll start receiving likes and messages from guys who have been lurking and noticed your profile(or really just your picture).
You start to think, “Wow! This is easy! I haven’t even done anything yet and already five guys have sent me a message! Maybe this isn’t so bad after all!”
But before you check out these messages you decide to do some searching for yourself. Yes, a lot of the candidates may not be for you, but in general your are intrigued by the amount of decent candidates out there. Much to your surprise, you’ve crept up to a solid 7 on your hope meter.
The “Really, bruh?” or “Oh, really???” Stage
This is the stage where you’ve suddenly found yourself exchanging messages with potentials. Yes, the title of this stage may be a bit confusing and you may be wondering what the difference is between the two. Well, here’s my explanation:
The “Really, bruh?” reaction comes after you engage in a little back and forth conversation with someone and they annihilate their chances at furthering the conversation by saying these four annoying words, “Send me a pic.”
Really, bruh? Because I just posted about 5, 6,11 pics on this site and you’re asking me to send you another pic? And what exactly are you expecting from this pic?
Whether they ask you this dreaded question, send you an unwanted pic of themselves, or say some type of sexist, racist comment unaware of how totally offensive it is, you’re immediately turned off.
The “Oh, really???” reaction comes when you’re pleasantly surprised by how normal a potential is and you find your yourself wanting to know more. You hope that you can move this conversation to text messages and dare I say…an actual date?
The Boredom Stage
By this time you’ve been on the dating site for a week or so, maybe even longer and you feel like you’ve seen all there is to be seen out there.
The 10 conversations you’ve been balancing with potentials have gone a little stale. Maybe some have turned into actually text messages and maybe a few have even resulted into dates(yes!), but after a while, the activity on the site starts to become boring and feel more like a chore.
Which brings me to…
The Defeat or Success Stage - Depending on how you look at it
This is when one of two things happen:
The feeling of defeat - If you haven’t found any potentials that have resulted into dates, this is where you throw in the towel, deactivate your account, and start from the drawing board as far as your dating life is concerned. You’ve gotten so annoyed with the weirdos that you can’t bear one more minute.
The feeling of success - This is what we all hope for even if we hesitantly signed up on the site. We’ve successfully landed a few dates, some which may have resulted into second, third or fourth dates, or maybe into committed relationships.
But success doesn’t necessarily have to mean that you’ve found your next boyfriend/girlfriend. It can simply mean that you’re proud of yourself for even getting “out there”, taking your dating life by the horns and trying something new. Even if you never plan on signing up on another dating site for the rest of your life, at least you experienced something new.
Have you tried online dating? What has been your experience?
A proud east coast girl, Christina moved from New York City to Madrid in 2015. She is a writer, former fashion buyer/merchandising professional, and a Beyonce enthusiast. She enjoys day dreaming, traveling, reading, blogging, DJing and partaking in some of Spain's most beloved cultural traditions: siestas, tapas, & sangría.
You can follow her & her blog on Instagram at @iamchrissyleigh/@wonderwander_online and her blog site, www.wonderwanderonline.com.