What Happens When You Outgrow Online Dating?

Dating is hard. No, wait, let me rephrase that, dating is rough AF.

Back in the 90s and 2000s, the biggest challenge was where to look for a potential date, which is why everybody anticipated Friday and Saturday nights. It was the perfect time of the week to go out and hit the hottest clubs with your posse. For a lot of women, part of the experience was deciding on what to wear, putting on nice makeup, and mentally preparing oneself for a night of endless possibilities.

Tinder: The Gateway Drug

This changed when online dating came into the picture. Looking for a potential date isn’t a problem anymore. You can sift through the countless options right at your fingertips via Tinder. As schedules became more packed and careers became more demanding, it was the most efficient way to meet new people within a certain perimeter. The best part is you don’t even have to spend a dime unless you subscribe to their premium services. For someone who used to spend 10-11 hours at work, it was the perfect channel for me. I also realized that it was an ideal service for people who dislike unnecessary small talk. The problem with spontaneously meeting people at pubs or clubs is you don’t have the assurance that they’re worth talking to unless you actually strike up a conversation. For an impatient and calculated person like myself, I don’t like to gamble not knowing what the potential risks and gains are.

Boys, Boys, and More Boys

It didn’t disappoint. After a few hours of swiping left and right, I had matched with cute foreign men within the city I worked in. I had Filipino matches, too. But if there’s anything I’ve learned from my historical data, I don’t pair well with Filipinos. It’s either I’m too opinionated or abrasive. I’d rather avoid them than get bored to death. Through the app, I’ve met interesting men—some of whom I shared interests with, like music, literature, and political inclinations. I had initially set a rule that I’d only agree to go out on dates when the first exchanges are engaging enough or we’re looking for the same thing which, you know, is a night of no strings attached fun.

But you see, no matter how much you calculate your life, there will always be outliers.

There were good dates, bad dates, and then there were really terrible ones, the kind where you just want to kick your head wondering how did that slip right through? The pragmatic in me didn’t really sweat it much through. “What’s a bad date, anyway?” I shrugged it off. Plus, if there’s one thing I learned from my mentor at work is you’re allowed to make mistakes but you’re only allowed to make them once. I took that into heart but, of course, there are days when the mistake was too hot to resist. Heh. Still, I owned up to those moments like the big girl that I am.

Change in Perspective

It must be the age, additional responsibilities at work, or change in life stage but I’m starting to think that online dating might not be for me anymore or at least it’s not as fun as I had initially thought. I think there’s a part of me who’s already starting to toy with the idea of commitment but doesn’t know where to start. But it could also be that I’m getting tired of men trying to lure me into these fun conversations then ghost me towards the end of the week.

When I was younger, I realized I can tolerate these things because I can jump to the next AFAM that I will potentially meet on the app. But I’m not 24 anymore, I have additional responsibilities, juggling two jobs. I need to set a good example for the younger version of myself and my students. I actually care if you spell “you’re” and “your” properly or if you keep tabs on political issues, not cause you want to get into my pants, respond to my messages on time, and if you’re well-read enough to talk about the latest article I found in Harvard Business Review or the management book I had just finished. These days, I already find myself asking, “What’s in it for me?” because between sleep, book, Netflix, and a date, the latter would already be the last on my list of things-to-do.