Dating in 2022 – “Wherefore Art Thou, Love?”
Does LOVE think that I have COVID???
I went to brunch with one of my girlfriends the other day. We’re still in a global pandemic, so as we waited for our table to be called, we stood by the door and watched the influx of people coming in and out wearing masks. Some even wore gloves and double-masked to be safe(r). After about 15 minutes, our server (also wearing a mask) escorted us to our table. We discarded our coats, perused the menu and began the ‘let’s catch up” process. As we took off our physical masks, our figurative masks came off as well as began to engage each other in conversation about life, love and all things in between. A question that she posed to me, “Does Love think I have COVID?” made me laugh hysterically, and gave me new inspiration for this week’s blog: Why is dating so hard?
DATING APPS ARE THE DEVIL!
Online dating apps have taken the phrase “first impressions are everything” to a whole new level! It doesn’t matter which one it is, they all work pretty much the same way. You create a profile, upload the pictures that you think show you in the best light. But what does that mean?? If you’re a woman, you don’t want to show too much cleavage or such a form fitting outfit that you’re oversexualized. Or do you? I mean, sex appeal is important, right? So, what’s the perfect photo that shows the balance? You want to show your intelligent side (so yes! The one with the glasses). But you also want to show that you can be a little quirky too (so, also the one where your hair is just a little weird because it shows that you don’t take yourself that seriously and you can still have fun). If you’re a man, you want to represent yourself well too! Buuuuttt…you’ve acquired a little pandy pouch (kinda like the freshman 15 in college, but this time it’s the pandemic you have to blame). You don’t want to put up anything that’s going to make you look like you can’t be taken seriously (so the one with the beer straw is out! Even though it’s one of your favs). You aren’t really that into pictures, so now you have to comb through hundreds of photos your ex took to find a decent one that she’s not in. OR you love photos, but can’t put up too many because you don’t want to seem like you’re too into you!
- OK! So, now you’ve got the perfect set of pictures posted. They flatter you, and tell a complete story along with your carefully crafted profile questionnaire. You click “save” and the world of online dating is OPEN FOR BUSINESS! You start looking, swiping and clicking. Looking, swiping, clicking…And the wait begins. And continues…and continues…and…you get the point. How the heck long are you supposed to wait?? What is an acceptable amount of time to wait before deciding that your time would be best spent doing something…anything else?
And then what about the ones that do respond and then go ghost?? What in the world is that about? Here we are, two people in the vast oasis of the universe that both clicked “yes” on the “I’m open to love and I’m open to love with you” button. We talk and, I think, we connect. Next thing you know, you’re out. Uggghhhhh!!!
Then there’s the issue of having too many options. And this is why you need therapy, individual therapy. You’re sitting down and swiping with reckless abandon. You’ve amassed possible companions in the double digits. How do you narrow it down? Howwww?? You need help. And not just with the narrowing. You need help with allll of it!!
You need therapy to help you navigate the waters of (dating) life!! Why? Because this cycle of dating – not dating – wanting to date – and still not..this can exacerbate all kinds of icky (for lack of a better word) feelings and thoughts. If you’ve been single for a while and don’t want to be, time (and this sick dating cycle) can kick up feelings of loneliness, hopelessness and negative self-worth. Yes! We may not want to admit it, but how people feel about us has a definite correlation to how we feel about ourselves – even for the most confident people.
I don’t want anyone to underestimate the power of the feeling that love is somehow evading them. It’s depression worthy. Truly. You start to feel like you’re going to be alone forever. You start to internalize that you’re just not good enough and there must be something wrong (with you). And that’s not true, but your heart can’t seem to make the distinction.
If you have had traumatic or negative experiences before, you may actually be afraid to date. You (or moreso your heart) may not seem to be able to muster the courage to open up yourself to the possibilities of that kind of hurt again. It doesn’t matter that without opening up, you can’t receive the love either. And this is why I’m recommending therapy.
With an individualized therapy regimen, you can talk to someone who is on your side, looking at things from your perspective, and attempting to help you broaden it. You have, at your disposal, a trained professional that has tools and resources to assist you in unraveling the knots that this tangly web of falsehoods that the uncertain world of dating has you enveloped in. You can be free. You can! You can traverse this terrain healthily – even if the journey is long. You can come out on top with your head and heart intact and be ready, truly ready, when you do swipe right and meet Mr. or Mrs. or Mx. Right. Don’t give up!
But, in the event that you do feel like giving up, or you’re starting to feel hopeless or depressed, come see us. And don’t worry about what kind of love you desire. We don’t judge. We help people from all walks of life, sexual and gender identities through this very thing. We are real people, some of us single and trying to mingle too. So we get it! My only point is this: Even though you may be single, you don’t have to be alone. We’re here…