Home Dating apps If I’m exhausted from a dating app, where can I look for someone else?

If I’m exhausted from a dating app, where can I look for someone else?

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“This mood of utter defeat and fatigue seems to be common among my single friends, as they try to strike up unique and engaging conversations with complete strangers on a daily basis.”

After a wild night, Carrie and her friends eat brunch. A hungover Charlotte bends over her cup of coffee, while Carrie and Miranda eat their eggs, and Samantha shares details of her wild sexual exploits with a firefighter. Exasperated and a little emotional, Charlotte laments: “I’ve been going out since I was fifteen, I’m exhausted! Where is he?”.

As I approach my 29and birthday in May, I would be lying if I said I didn’t ask myself the same question. Instead of 1990s Manhattan, I live in 2020s Melbourne – and not much has changed. Rather than catching the Staten Island ferry to judge a calendar competition for firefighters, I’m scouring the depths of the internet for men.


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My last relationship ended a little over two years ago, when COVID seemed like a distant thing that only existed overseas, and I never imagined that multiple lockdowns would bring me into the longest period of sexual dryness of my life. Trying to get out of lockdown seemed too difficult as Dan Andrews set rules that allowed Melburnians to only visit their ‘intimate partners’.

It happened in July of that year, and I was in a bit of a weird space with this guy I had spoken to online – a real Ross-and-Rachel-will-they-won’t vibe -they (spoiler: we didn’t) – and I just couldn’t bear to ask her to be my intimate partner when we hadn’t had a chance to kiss yet. So I gave up and spent most of my time in lockdown learning new jobs and binge-watching TV shows.

Fast forward to the end of 2021, and it looks like our days of endless lockdown are behind us. I had largely forgotten how to be social after months of only talking to my dog ​​and co-workers on Zoom, and I couldn’t imagine how I would meet someone I’d like to hang out with. Like many of us in times of desperation, I picked up my phone and downloaded the big three: Bumble, Tinder, and Hinge. It may have been oversaturated, but I figured dating could be a numbers game, and the more people seeing me, the better.

Almost six months have passed since I returned to “the apps” and I’m more exhausted than ever, and worse, still dateless. It’s hard to say exactly what left me so disappointed when it comes to online dating, but I suspect it’s a combination of things. Many men, feeling removed from the real world and protected behind their phone screens, seem to think they have permission to blatantly objectify me based on my gargantuan breasts or round buttocks.

In my experience, an emboldened man can opt for a relatively benign “I like your curves” or, more revoltingly, “I’d like to treat you like a duty.” Slam you on my desk and do you all night”. Then there are the bafflingly stupid posts, like the young man who bragged about his “ripper” father joke: “Why was the building never finished? Because Russia took your crane! “. I immediately swiped left, not only because joking about a human rights crisis is in bad taste, but the joke didn’t make fucking sense either.

This mood of utter defeat and fatigue seems to be common among my single friends, as they try to strike up unique and engaging conversations with complete strangers on a daily basis in hopes of making a meaningful connection. I was talking to a friend of a friend recently, who proclaimed that dating apps are dead and the real way to meet someone now is through Twitter or Instagram.

Although this approach confused me, it is a theory that I have seen work successfully in practice. My friend, newly single and DTF, recently posted a thirst trap on her Instagram stories with the caption “Who wants to go see The Batman with me?”. The guy she was planning to message her with did so within half an hour, and although he had already seen the movie, they planned to see The Batman the next evening.

I considered trying this exact move myself, but became paralyzed with shyness and deep neuroses, and chickened out. I was afraid no one would answer. If it was dating now, then I wasn’t ready for it. Was my grandma right, should I just join one of the college varsity clubs in hopes of meeting a man? As a middle-aged master’s student at a college with varsity clubs full of eighteen-year-olds, the jury is still out on that one.

Now back to our girls at this Manhattan restaurant. Consoling her friend, Carrie suggests that maybe their group of friends are “the white knights” who will save themselves from celibacy, or maybe it’s up to them to be the heroes of their own stories. It’s a predictable trope, but as I watched these friends comfort each other through years of painful encounters, I couldn’t help but wonder if there might be some truth to that.

As Melbourne regains some of its pre-COVID glow and we begin to socialize as we once did, the pool of people we are naturally exposed to will expand and we will hang out with people we have met organically. I don’t know how long I can be bothered to persist in talking to strangers on dating apps, but when I leave, I don’t think I’ll miss anything. For now, I am content to use this energy to hang out with my friends, i.e. my own white knights. That being said, if you would like to date me, my DMs are open.

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