Tinder, dating and Radical self-responsibility
A friend asked me the other day about whether I could write more about modern day dating and relationships, specifically how tinder has affected the way we date.
In my opinion, Tinder is a symptom of a society disconnected from itself. It is a response to world which avoids FEELING
Tinder is like a Chinese menu – so many options (possibly too many); all are clearly available (because if they are not they are crossed out with permanent texta);
Whether you like the sweet and sour, the honey fried prawn, the combination omelette, the sizzling, it’s all ultimately (probably) chicken (and by chicken, I mean human beings looking for connection).
And let’s be honest: you end up sharing your dish with everyone at the table so your plate becomes this collection of fried shit, none of which you ordered because what you ordered is on the other side of the table and your friend has already scoffed half of it.
I have tried dating apps, but I am not currently ‘on them’. They can be a great way to meet people, they can be an ‘ego boost’ post break up, or they can be a fucking waste of time. I have experienced all of these feelings, and have decided for now, it’s not for me.
Apps like Tinder have taken the risk or rejection out of dating, but simultaneously, the beauty of being vulnerable. Dating as a head game, comparing potential mates by how they look relative to what else is out there.
It isn’t a question of who is right for me, but rather, who is 'better'. There is no guarantee that if you are sleeping with someone, they are not sleeping with someone else, telling someone else how they feel, buying someone else dinner. For the sense of control, we perceive we have by using dating apps, it is merely masking the complete lack of clarity that surrounds modern day relationships.
Dating right now for all those single ladies and lads out there is bloody confusing.
- There is a strange combination of wanting connection, but also wanting freedom, and seeing the two as incompatible
- Our perception of love is one of crazy, insane chemistry between two people - and if this doesn't exist straight away, we cross them off as incompatible
- When it comes to relationships, which are arguably the largest source of our joy as well as our pain, we leave it completely up to 'fate' (whilst all other desires in life we are encouraged to seek help and advice, such as our career)
- Romantic consumerism has posited that love can only exist in a vacuum of crazy intense orgasms, butterflies in our stomach, passion and drama rather than respect, loyalty and friendship
- The ‘grass is always greener on the other side’ mentality perpetuates the belief that there is someone 'better'
Caveat: This post is a) not a guideline to finding a mate, b) a how-to guide for using Tinder to find a mate or c) a rant about how shit Tinder is. It is also written from my perspective – female, generation Y, white Australian. Take what you want, and leave the rest, I don’t speak for every single person on the planet.
I too have rushed into downloading dating apps post-break ups, scrolling scrolling scrolling for hours, deleting the app, downloading it again, texting random men about fucking NOTHING and pretending my heart isn’t still swollen and sore by distracting myself with small bursts of oxytocin that follows a match.
But the momentary buzz of connection that keeps you addicted to the app is only scratching the surface of the deeper connection we crave in relationship with others.
As the old saying goes – you get out what you put in. We see what we want to see, so If you’re using Tinder to satisfy your ego’s need for external validation, then you will attract people who are unworthy of your time and energy.
Let’s be clear here. When I’m talking input, I’m not talking about hustling for dates, booking yourself out for 4 nights of the week with different people and dating multiple people at once.
I’m talking about the deep, INNER work that comes with consciously creating your best life, connected loving relationships. It actually isn’t about THEM at all – it’s about you.
So, when I was asked about dating and modern relationships after my last post, I decided to talk about radical self-responsibility in relationships.
While this applies to all relationships - romantic, familial and friendship – this post is specifically looking at romantic relationships because 99% of peeps who use tinder are in this headspace (even all they want is pussy or to suck cock, I’m of the opinion that this is still a stand in for the desire for deeper connection).
If you are wondering why you keep attracting ‘the same kinds of friends/relationships/people’ into your life, it is likely that either a) YOU are unwilling to change in a way that will make these dream peeps/relationship/dog/whatever you want’ want to come into your life, or b) you need to learn a lesson here.
In other areas of our life, we are taught how to get what we want by working HARD. If we want to buy a house, go on a trip somewhere, land a job, we do the WORK it takes to make it happen.
WE save the money. WE do the research, and we BELIEVE we can do it. It takes commitment and investment (of time or money, often both).
But when it comes to relationships, particularly the significant ones, it’s just ‘meant to happen’. We are told to leave it all up to fate, ‘it will happen when you least expect it’ they all say.
And if you are anything like me – this is FUCKING FRUSTRATING when you are unhappily single, because you cannot help but wonder, when is he going to SHOW UP in my life?
Here is the secret of all secrets (are you ready?)
If you want this epic relationship YOU have to show up for it. You truly cannot attract the relationship you want if you are unaware of what you are projecting onto others.
Because we seek gratification, love, pleasure, joy and happiness externally, by comparing and judging others as either better or worse than us, dating and relationships are painted with the same brush. We focus on them – how they can’t meet our needs, or they won’t show up, or there’s no single men in Perth, yada yada yada.
I SOOOOO get ya. And I’m still working through this.
And sometimes what happens is we give up. We become so focussed on how it’s never worked out with anyone before, we get sick of waiting for them, so we decide to do it alone.
This myth of independence is killing our biological need for connection and community. Humans evolved as social beings, and flourished in small bands or tribes.
We have fooled ourselves into an independent existence, denying our yearning for love, for partnership because we are taught it is a weakness to want to be loved. I’m here to tell you that it’s a beautiful thing to feel love, it takes courage to be with your loneliness, and it goes against our most basic, biological nature to cut ourselves off from it.
So instead of mindlessly consuming and discarding people with a swift swipe left – what is the alternative?
Acceptance. Know that you are worthy of love and connection, that every single human in any moment (particularly when they are assholes) are just wanting to feel loved. Feel your aloneness. Feel your isolation. Feel what it is like to be alone, and not wanting to be alone.
‘Loneliness is a sign that you are in desperate need of yourself’ - Rupi Kaur
Do the inner work. And if a loving, fulfilling, epic relationship is something that will bring you immeasurable joy, then get support with this. We are not taught how to be in relationship, how to reflect on our interactions, and how to take responsibility for our shadow aspects of ourselves.
Single-hood is spaciousness. It can be loneliness. But it is always, ALWAYS a choice as to which category you fall into. Accept and love both states, because they are part of your journey and to deny them is to deny an essential part of yourself.