It’s been 18 months since I went on my first date with someone I met on a dating site. My relationship with Tinder has been very up and down with many breaks in between due to, well, it kind of killing any hopes of happiness and self-esteem I had left. Wonderful.
It’s been a topic of conversations amongst a lot of my single friends who are also dabbling in the old art of Tinder. It’s 2016, after all, I can name loads of friends who have met their significant other online and even more who regularly use dating apps. Even talking about it isn’t a big deal anymore. It was once a shameful secret and 5 years ago, you probably would have been pretty confident you would end up chopped up and buried in the woods after meeting some stranger online.
It’s now the norm. How else do you meet someone when you’ve finished school, university and are no in a stable job with your clubbing days behind you?
As I see my friends at various points in their Tinder journey, I’ve noticed a pattern that we tend to go through.
I’ve dubbed this the stages of online dating.
But hopefully, this will be the last dating post I’ll have to write because I’ve completed Tinder. Wink wink.
Stage 1: hope.
God, it’s so fun this dating thing! Getting to know someone, sending them selfies of you looking cute and catching the feels when they text you last thing at night and first thing in the morning. You could get used to this and start planning your future together in your head.
You’re playing it cool, doing all the right things. Not being too needy or paranoid. There are so many options at the moment, what could go wrong?
Stage 2: fun.
So you’ve been on a couple of dates now. Not all have them have lead to more but you both had fun either way. You’re still swiping and wondering who you’re going to meet up with next. This is fun! Dating is funnnn and your confidence is high.
Stage 3: paranoia.
All your previous dates have been fab. You’ve left things on a nice note and enjoyed the idea of potential love.
Now this is different. You’ve met a guy and you really like him. Only thing is, you’ve no idea how he feels about you. It’s hot and cold, he goes a few days without texting you and then asks to see you. Then he ignores you.
He use to text you all the time and then one day it just stopped.
Maybe he’s busy.
Maybe he’s working.
Maybe he’s out with his friends.
You tell yourself you’re being ridiculous
You have a bad feeling about it all though.
This is the first time you’re being ghosted and you have no idea what’s going wrong.
You’ve not done anything different, you’ve not said anything different but all of a sudden this guy has lost interest and is texting you less and less.
You double text a few times and lose your dignity a bit.
Then you give up.
Stage 4: desperation.
You’ve been stung a few times and your confidence is rock bottom.
You feel like you’re going to be forever alone so you change your tactics.
If men aren’t going to play nice, why should you?
You arrange to date 3 different men in a week and lower your standards.
Where you would usually delight in the fun of talking to a guy for a month before arranging that exciting first meet up, you’ve say yes to a date after an hour.
You feel a bit powerful about this, but mostly lost.
Stage 5: crisis.
You’re last 3 dates have been a disaster. You barely knew them and when you got there, one looked 15 years older and admitted to he lied about his age to get younger girls, one hated everything you liked and replied only yes or not to everything and commented on how fast you drank your wine. The other spent two hours going into detail about his mortgage and life insurance and left you feeling like a child talking to her uncle.
Now dread has replaced the excitement before each date and you’re imaging your life with 7 cats.
Stage 6: Loss of home.
You feel like shit. You feel undatable and have no idea what’s going wrong. I mean, you think you’re okay but are now doubting yourself as a person.
It’s time to take a break.
Delete Tinder and look at memes instead.