What I Gained When I Quit Online Dating

Spoiler alert: My whole damn life.

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Photo by Rob Hampson via Unsplash

A month ago, I deleted my dating apps entirely. To say that I had gotten into a deep, dark place might be an understatement. God, I was miserable.

I had a string of dates that ended so poorly or completely went south before they even started. I almost started to understand agoraphobia. Seriously.

Dating is supposed to be a joyful thing. For me, dating is full of something and it ain’t joy.

It’s supposed to open you up to new people and new experiences. The reality of it is that I like my current experiences. They’re good enough.

I love sitting at home on a Saturday and reading a book for hours and drinking a glass of wine or a cup of tea. I like seeing bands with my friends. I like hiking by myself to clear my head. I like endlessly watching concerts on TV.

I’ve deleted dating apps more times than is reasonable. But, I always came back. “What if” is an evil temptress. She can pull you in with fear of missing out. She can convince you that you are not living your best life.

This time, I won. I don’t miss it. I have gotten so much more out of removing it from my life.

I am no longer tethered to my phone. When I am home, it can be in another room and I don’t wonder where it is. I don’t check it to see if I have messages. I’m not waiting for a text back from anyone. My phone is a communication tool, not a matchmaker.

Sometimes, I forget I have loose change in my pocket and remember when I hear my jeans tumbling around in the dryer with about $.37. This noise is pretty much what my brain sounds like all the time.

Dating added about another $.24 to the dryer cycle. I can concentrate now. To be honest, I don’t think about dating at all. In the last few days, I have actually contemplated whether I should replace my dishwasher more times than I have considered my love life.

My God, online dating is the biggest time suck I have ever experienced. You can spend hours flipping through the human catalog! I now spend more time actually engaging in real life. I’m living more.

I’m also getting things done. I feel like a freaking adult! I sucked it up and cleaned my garage. Seriously, I never thought I would prefer cleaning my garage to dating but it’s totally true. What a damn fun thought. It makes me giggle.

I have had a number of friends comment on my decision to stop dating. Some are very supportive and admire my fortitude to just go it alone and be happy. Others have noted that it sounds a lot like accepting defeat and isolation.

I don’t give a rat’s ass. This is not an area of my life that is open to commentary.

Wait. What? Huh? That’s a weird thing to say. I have not completely given up on dating. It’s that I’m not seeking it. There is a big difference and a big shift right there. It feels good. It allows me freedom and possibility. I’m letting the cards fall where they choose, not where I choose.

TL;DR summary: I have run fresh out of give a shit. Scene.

Written by

Flaming pinball, nerd, music lover, wine snob, horrible violin player. No, I won’t stop taking pictures of my drinks. vanessaltorre@gmail.com IG: vanessaltorre

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