Cue romantic music, play the scene we all have seen before: boy meets girl, girl meets boy. Boy and girl go on a date. Boy and girl have a wonderful date followed by a series of wonderful dates, small arguments, and eventually, get married.
I have heard this story a million times, seen it in movies, read it in books, heard rumors of it happening today but have yet to really see this myself anymore. Dating has theoretically has gotten less complicated but has removed the ability to get to know each other. Why ask anyone out in person if you can just find your perfect person on an app?
I graduated from college in May of 2014 and moved to LA later that year. While my move was made to focus on a career, my head filled with fantasies of meeting “the one.” Finding someone just like me who wanted to do what I did, had scenic dates on the Santa Monica Ferris wheel, and eventually be one of those people who lived with their boyfriend and told their younger friends not to worry about love because it’ll find you.
I don’t think I need to tell you how this went – but it clearly didn’t go the way that I was living in my head. Moving to LA meant meeting people in real life wasn’t going to happen unless they were homeless and asking me for money. You join Tinder or bumble or plenty of fish and find your perfect someone there.
I joined Tinder first, met some guys off of it – no one was a prince charming. Most dates were quiet or awkward or just wanted to move straight to sex. This is what I originally thought dating apps were for. It seemed no one wanted to know me and that the things about me that I found important. Eventually, I deleted tinder and then tried whatever was next. I heard stories of people finding love on those sites but they seemed few and far between. Many of my friends ended up quitting dating or just put their focus in on themselves.
At some point the romantic comedies I once idolized being in starts to feel impossible. I became a cynic because the number of good men on a dating app is few and far between and most guys don’t put in that much effort. The formula on their end is almost laughable – shirtless selfie, some quote about the office, and a thing about how much they love the beach and the gym. It’s either that or you’re playing Where’s Waldo since some guys just have group photos of themselves. I’m sure if I asked a guy the formula on our ends would be considered laughable too – but to be honest I’m scared to ask. The conversations are meaningless mostly “hey how are you” before one of you asks a weird question and then gets ghosted on. Some people find their soul mates on dating apps but I feel as we rely on them more and more we begin to stop looking for meaningful reasons to be in a relationship.
After swiping left on guys who don’t put in the effort, guys who only post shirtless selfies, and guys with nothing but group photos I have begun to give up. What happened to seeing someone on a subway reading the same book as you are and striking up a conversation? What happened to finding true love at a coffee shop? Did these things ever happen? Do people meet in real life anymore? The thought of meeting someone not on an app seems hopeless. I attempt to strike up conversations with people in real life and attempt to meet people who seem interesting. Again I am barricaded with random shirtless selfies that I never asked for. Some people suck in real life too.
As I begin to give up on meeting people in real life and consider getting a pet instead – I hear a story about my co-worker. She met a guy in the elevator of her building, he’s a lawyer and she’s a lawyer. They are around the same age and both single. The romantic music begins to swell. Boy meets girl, first dates, first kisses, and a new love on the horizon. Maybe there is hope for me after all?