I was about 13 years old when I first watched Bridget Jones’ Diary. I think my Mum had gone through a recent breakup and we were having a movie night with ice cream and the duvet on the sofa.
Bridget’s perpetual singledom and self-confessed ‘spinsterhood’ seemed like a problem that would never concern me. Of course I wouldn’t be approaching 30 and still single, how ridiculous. However here I am, 27, single and attempting to navigate the minefield that is modern dating whilst simultaneously mourning the simpler times of being able to meet someone in the pub or out with friends like my parents did.
The thing is, quite simply, I despise modern dating. I hate the apps, the clinical feel to swiping people and judging them purely on their looks – because lets face it, no matter how many times we try and claim we matched with them based on their bio we’re probably lying – the inane conversations that lead nowhere, being ghosted by people you genuinely have feelings for with no real idea why, the mind games, the knowledge that you’re probably one of 20 people they’re dating, the constant cycle of getting ready, going out and inevitably being disappointed when your date really doesn’t live up to expectation.
I’m tired. I’m so, so tired of it.
And yet I still do it, why?
Is it because I’m scared to be alone? Is it because I am hyper aware that I’m approaching ‘spinsterhood’ at an alarming rate, or is it because none of the women in my family found happiness with a partner until their forties and I’m destined to follow the same trajectory?
Honestly at this stage I’m not even certain myself. I continue to subject myself to these situations while inwardly shouting at myself that I’m independent, that I don’t need a man, that someone will come along when I least expect it and I should just get on with living my life for me. Yet my right thumb betrays me, continually swiping left, and occasionally right, almost on autopilot.
The thing is, being single into your late twenties and early thirties is normal nowadays. Honestly, my entire friendship group (aside from one person) is single. I have so many friends and acquaintances that I’ve met through blogging who are a similar age and still single – so why am I even concerning myself with finding the mysterious Mr. Right instead of focusing on myself?
A lot of my soul searching this year has been surrounding relationships and in particular the unhealthy behaviours I have developed after 10 years of dating extremely toxic people – the most pressing one being why exactly I continue to find myself drawn to these toxic individuals in the first place. Is it because I need to spend longer getting to know myself and getting to the crux of what exactly it is that I want in a partner? Actually probably, yes.
This is the point at which I should probably vow to delete the apps. To put myself on a dating ban for the rest of 2019, to focus solely on myself and my business and leave the fuckboys to their own devices (literally), but I think we all know that’s not going to happen. Modern dating sucks, but it’s almost akin to a social media addiction. It doesn’t work out with someone, so we’re back on the apps searching for the next person to cross our path – an endless conveyor belt of potential matches at our very fingertips.
So no, I’m not going to stop swiping on Bumble or seeing who’s out there on Hinge, but I am going to take a good long look at myself and figure out truly what it is that I’m looking for. Am I being too picky when looking for potential partners? Am I not being picky enough? Who knows.
I feel like I’ve asked a lot of questions in this blog post and not really come to any conclusions but honestly it’s been a bit of a cathartic word dump for me and I guess sometimes that’s the beauty of having a blog – to be able to just get stuff off your chest.
Let me know if you also struggle with modern dating, what you think of dating apps/sites, and if you’re still looking for the right person.