I bid thee farewell, dating apps

The dating world today is the worst.

And that’s the most positive way that I can say it.

High school and college are so much different than adulthood. One of the main reasons is the forced interactions with people. Sure, you’re sometimes required to mix and mingle when you’re an adult, but it’s different.

When you’re still in school, you’re in classes and organizations and activities with other people, and it’s natural to make friends and sometimes even form romantic relationships with those individuals. Quite a few of my friends met their lobsters in high school and college, and that’s really good for them, especially since they don’t know the pains of the dating scene as it is today.

Because it is the worst.

This is half of the pic from the game.

I recently met a guy on a dating app who seemed pretty legit. We went out more than a few times and had great conversations. I had never gone out with a dating app guy more than once, so I figured that was a good sign, as well. This fella also texted me pretty regularly throughout the week and appeared to be interested in me. He asked me to go to a baseball game with him, and I did, and it seemed like we both had a good time. He even took a selfie of us at the game, so one might assume that things were going well.

Oh, assumptions.

I’ve been ghosted before, and it’s sadly a pretty common thing on these apps. I’m not completely sure why I believe that people are going to be honest with their feelings and say things like “hey, I’m just not interested in you, but I wish you the best.” Sure, ghosting is a heck of a lot easier, but easier isn’t always the way to go—especially when you’re dealing with people.

That guy and I clearly weren’t meant to be, and that’s fine. He’s not my lobster. Speaking of that, I bought a shirt at Target the other day that says “you’re my lobster,” and maybe one day I’ll actually be able to wear it in front of my forever love. But even if I’m single forever, it’s still a great shirt.

And speaking of being single forever, I’m finished with the dating apps. I gave them the old college try (more than once), and each time has reminded me that they’re just not for me. I’m happy that they work for some people, but I’m not one of them. I’m going back to believing that I’m going to meet my guy while I’m walking or running through a park, and he’s playing frisbee or football with some friends and accidentally hits me with the frisbee or football, and I fall, and he runs over to check on me, and then sparks fly.

No, I don’t watch too many romcoms.

CalPal and I lost at bingo, but we’re OK.

I played bingo the other night, and I definitely didn’t win. I actually didn’t even come close. During each game, I had nine squares that I was trying to keep up with, which required a great deal of focus—after all, there was money on the line, and I’m also a highly competitive person. At one point, though, I took a moment to look around the room at all of the people emphatically dotting numbers called on their boards and listening intently as Theresa called the next letter-number combo. There didn’t appear to be many meaningful conversations going on in that crowded room. In that moment, it hit me that sometimes we truly do focus so much on the things we want or think we need that we don’t pay enough attention to the wonderful things that are already there.

I don’t need dating apps. I don’t need a boyfriend or a husband or a lobster. And I don’t need some ideal love story that Meg Ryan’s former characters would applaud. Sure, those things would be nice, but being able to shout out “bingo” and walk away with some cash would have been nice, too. And maybe they’ll still happen for me someday. Regardless, I’m going to make sure that I appreciate what I’ve been given instead of focusing on what I don’t have.

Even if it means falling behind in bingo.

When you can’t find the right avocado

Dating can sometimes be like trying to pick out the right avocado—you’re trying to find the one that’s best for you, and you might encounter some not-so-great ones in the process.

And you certainly don’t want to get one that’s a lot worse on the inside than it looked on the outside.

I fully understand that no one is perfect, and I don’t expect anyone to be. But I still have the childhood belief I always did that there are people who are perfect for each other. I look at my parents, who have been married for almost 45 years, and I know without a doubt in my heart that there’s no one else for either of them in the entire world. Spend about 12 minutes with them, and I’m pretty sure you’ll agree.

Sure, people may have to go through some imperfect matches to get to their lobsters (I’m sorry if you don’t get that Friends reference—it’s on Netflix, and there are reruns on TV all of the time), but I believe certain people are meant to be together.

And others simply aren’t.

I shared in the past that I tried a dating app for less than a day. Not a fan. But for some weird reason, not too long ago, I let a few of my friends convince me to give it another try—for a longer period of time.

I talked to some guys who seemed nice and others who turned out to be turds, but even the nice ones just didn’t seem right for me. I went out with one of those nice guys, but I felt zilch the entire time. Well, unless you count boredom, because I felt that (I know that sounds mean). So, once again, I deleted the app—this time forever.

There are some things I’ll never understand.

I think one thing I really don’t like about the apps is that everything feels so forced. Do I want to meet my Jim Halpert? Sure. But I honestly don’t want to go searching for him. And I know many people have found their true loves on dating apps, and I’m very happy for them, but that doesn’t mean it’s right for everyone.

I do realize that I have somewhat high expectations, but I’m fine with that—and sometimes I wish my friends were, too. I understand their hearts are in the right places, but we’re all different and don’t all want the same things in life. I know what I want and what I don’t want, and I’m not looking to spend time and energy where I don’t want to. I’d rather be single forever than end up with someone for the sole purpose of ending up with someone.

My friend and I were out one night recently, and we met a couple of guys who seemed pretty decent. I realized very quickly that I wasn’t interested in either of them, but I was good with the wingman role for the evening. At one point, one of the guys asked me if I was single and told me I should go out with him. No, no. False. And then he asked me how I would know if I was meant to be with a person if I never actually spent time with him. I tried to answer as best as I could without being a complete jerk, but I had chatted just enough with him to know that we were definitely not meant to be and that I actually didn’t want to spend any time with him at all. Ever.

Truthfully, I don’t know if I’m the right person to answer his question. I know what I want to believe—I want to believe that when you know, you just know. But I’ve never been there before. Have I had hope for certain people? Of course. I think we know how that turned out, though.

But I do know something else: I know that, regardless of what your dating or marital status is, you’re capable of sharing love that’s big and authentic and pure and hopeful and genuine and bold and determined and true—and it doesn’t have to be reserved for just one person. It’s a love for all.

We don’t all have to agree on everything. We don’t all have to hold the same beliefs. We don’t all have to take the same paths to the same destinations. We don’t all have to fall in love or have people fall in love with us.

But I do think we should all know what love is and what love does—and it doesn’t take a perfect pair to do that.