I was recently shared by a friend an editorial on a guy about how Tinder destroyed his self confidence. My friend shared the article with me along with the comment ‘You talked about this the other night.’
I downloaded Tinder last year, I can’t remember the when and frankly I don’t want to remember. I do remember why I did it though.
I wanted to meet guys, wanted to go out on dates. See, people around me were having fun with it and enjoying themselves on their random dates even if they failed. I’ve had few relationships in my life. The most serious one was a few years long and it ended last year.
The download and the set up were pretty quick and then I started with the swiping. I got my first match and super like really quick but there was a problem. My matches weren’t talking to me. They just remained on the list. That stupid ‘Matched’ list.
I’m pretty old fashioned ya see. I’m one of those that thinks if a guy likes a girl, they should make the first move. Sure, call me out on that crap and equality but I’m not going to waste my time chasing after a guy who won’t look for me. It’s a two way street.
People around me kept using Tinder and doing all these things, yet here I was with an app that just didn’t tell me anything other to come back and look at potential matches. I could see them having fun and even just chatting people up they were probably never going to meet up with. I was left thinking all the time, I’ll get a shot.
Weeks passed and all I got were a few more matches…but my inbox remained empty. I was visually appealing, at least I would think since none of the matches wouldn’t have happened unless they liked my Link dress. Though there seemed to be something that was stunting from anyone to make a move.
I know why I was stunted but still, if you find someone attractive and match with them, I would’ve expected a little ‘hey, hello’. Someone close to me got those messages constantly! So it started, the little worm in my head. It began to crawl and pick at my insecurities. Suddenly I wasn’t good enough. I wasn’t attractive enough because something wasn’t ‘clicking’ with the people in the app.
I wasn’t looking for a fix. I wasn’t looking for a quickie but I was looking to meet new guys and try my hand at meeting new people. I lost a lot people in my life after I came back from the states so I just wanted to expand my horizons. I wanted to go out. I wanted to be social. I was 27, don’t smoke or drink but I still wanted to socialize.
The days went on and my only Tinder notification was a reminder that I should go back and look at potential matches. Time and time again I would get nothing out of it and my confidence took a huge dive. I wasn’t pretty, my pictures probably could’ve used a different filter, maybe another angle and it just started to become too troublesome to even look at myself.
I was being stressed out over this! I was panicking because I just couldn’t find out what the heck was wrong with me! My insecurities were just increasing with every swipe, regardless of direction. I wanted a validation that I was attractive, that I was enough…and I just wasn’t getting it. I felt the need for that validation. The app was causing that to come from really deep within me. It was almost like a drug. I needed to be validated. As you can guess, it was getting worse.
Then it took a while to realize how bad my stress was mounting on this. I was suffering from panic attacks, my anxiety was climbing over this. I kept looking at my flaws. I kept pointing out what was bad about me. This continued for hours on end during my downtime. Then it hit me one night while talking with someone, I was different, why was I bothering with this? So I did what I knew would help me go back to what was really important.
I deleted Tinder and I haven’t looked back since.
It’s been a long process to repair the self damage but it’s been a sturdy road these past few months since then. I’ve been able to accept that I am enough and that my non-traditional, goofball, doofus, silly and dorky ways are a part of me and there’s nothing wrong with that…
…and I’m doing just fine remembering that.