Connections

Being in your 20’s, especially your mid-20’s, means that everyone you meet is asking you three questions:
1. Where do you work?
2. Where do you live?
3. Are you dating anyone?

While the first two questions have their own set of problems, it’s the third one that hits a nerve with most people. My answer’s been the same my whole life: no. Then come the questions and judgement because of that answer.

The truth is that it’s hard to make a connection for me. That connection requires the first layer of trust–something I don’t give away too easily.

Take me to the places and the people that know me
Tryin’ to disconnect, thinking maybe you could show me
If there’s so many people here, then why am I so lonely?
– “Connection” by OneRepublic

I’m part of a generation that relies on texting for our primary method of communication and swiping left and right for a date. I tried the dating app thing, twice actually. But both times, I came to the same conclusion: dating apps aren’t for me.

Now, this doesn’t mean that I think they don’t work for people. They do. I’ve seen it with my own friends. The reasons they don’t work for me have everything to do with me rather than the apps themselves.

One, I feel like I’m judging someone and the truth is, I am. That’s too much pressure for a brain that’s already scared of making a wrong decision. Sure, I can judge whether a person is cute or not, but what does that really tell me? What if I met this person in another setting? Would I write them off or be drawn to them? I have no idea. And besides, who am I to judge whether they’re worth a shot from a short questionnaire and three to six of their best photos?

The main reason, though, I’ve already said: connection. It’s linked directly to this trust thing, but it’s also this desire for an organic relationship. Any time I’ve been on a date with a guy from a dating app, (and to be fair, it’s been well over a year since I have) I didn’t feel anything. These were perfectly nice men who took an hour or two out of their days to have a conversation with me and yet, there was no…spark? (Very YA novel of me, I know.) That’s the only way I can describe it.

I know what it feels like to like someone, really like someone. When you want to know how someone’s mind works, what makes them the way that they are, what you can do to make their life a little easier, a little better and how you can be there for them.

Unfortunately for me, that doesn’t happen on a dating app. There’s a disconnect.

So, even without those apps, here’s hoping for more connections this year.

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