With over 50 million users on Tinder alone, millennials are living the death of organic dating. That’s right. Kiss goodbye to impromptu drink offers from that hottie at the bar, and save yourself the exhaustion of IRL flirting – because finding love has become a task reserved for cyber space.
I’ve been single for three years and in that time I’ve dipped in and out of more dating apps than I care to recall.
There’s Bumble, designed to empower women by encouraging them to make the first move. There’s Happn, the app that allows you to refine your romantic perimeters to a matter of metres, meaning you never have to leave East London again. Then there’s OkCupid and PlentyOfFish, the apps most frequented by the terrifyingly unstable. And of course, there’s Bumble’s nemesis Tinder, the go-to destination for guaranteed entertainment.
Though as satirically as I refer to them, this easy-access dating revolution comes with a sinister edge – it’s unprecedentedly addictive.
Hi, I’m Pippa, and I’m a Tinderholic.
You think I’m being dramatic don’t you? Okay, so it’s not quite cocaine – but online dating still deserves its own written warning. You become conditioned by this virtual world of seemingly unlimited suitors that you spend hours emotionlessly swiping through thousands of profiles, angling for a ‘match’ like a perverted game of snap. I’ve spent evenings locking eyes with handsome strangers across distant pub tables, and proceeded to skim through Happn in a bid to find their might-be profile; willing them to reciprocate my ‘crush’.
What happened to me? I used to be the girl that would brazenly walk over and say hello. Admitting that to you shames me to an impossible degree, but that’s just the nature of addiction – it changes you.
Of course I accept the shallowness of dating-apps by engaging in them myself. There’s no easier way to indulge your ego than to receive a message brimming with compliments from an unfamiliar boy. And then your phone lights-up in simulated joy to inform you of a new match; as you unlock your phone to vet his profile, you realise there is no profile to be found. He unmatched me. You tell yourself you don’t care – all the while futilely racking your brain; why did this virtual profile so callously reject mine? Did he think I was ugly?
Like an ineffective hit to a drug addict, I’m becoming numb to theatrics of modern-day dating. Will I ever fall into a relationship founded on more than age ranges and geographical locations?