It’s been a whopping eight months since my last relationship — a decent amount of time to gain my independence back but still, miss the sweet nothings from a lover.
About three months ago, I got back into the online dating world. Living in Los Angeles, my sea of fish is plentiful; though those fish are usually thrill-seeking-in-the-city men looking for lust, not love.
I re-activated my Bumble account with good intentions; I wanted a serious relationship with someone who valued me for all that I am. I created a profile that was a balance between intriguing, funny, and wanting to find a genuine connection. Add to that a picture of me with Kobe Bryant — that’s usually a slam dunk matcher; pun not intended but leaving.
Starting all over on Bumble meant I got the best of what Los Angeles had to serve — in terms of selection of men — from the get-go. Of course, seeing gorgeous men traveling the world to take photos with tigers and laughing with their unamused dogs was more than enough to keep me swiping.
Several hours into my Bumble endeavors, I started matching with eligible suitors. I was flattered — actual human men wanted to get to know me. After being single for months, this was the sort of confidence booster that surprised me, but I welcomed. From then on, I was hooked.
A month into Bumbling my way through Los Angeles’s below 35 population of men, I started to get a hunch that my intentions weren’t as I initially thought.
I found myself mindlessly reaching for my phone whenever I had a free moment. I just wanted to check real quick if Spencer from Culver City messaged me back. Not Spencer from Venice because he asked me to get drinks, and, on further inspection, I noticed he was just an inch too short for me. Just like Ben from Hermosa.
I was anxious to spend my free time swiping, even though I didn’t see my matches to fruition concerning an actual date. I would chat up a guy or two throughout the day; then they would ask me out to grab drinks. I would quickly re-check their profile, find a reason I didn’t like them, and convince myself not to go on a date.
But it was fine — there were always more guys to swipe on.
Feeling like I wasn’t sure where my life was going? Swipe on Bumble. Missing my ex-boyfriend because of a dream I had? Swipe on Bumble. Worrying that I I look fat today? Swipe on Bumble.
It hit me one day — after promising myself I would get to bed early but continuing to swipe for an hour and a half past that time — that I needed to re-evaluate my true intentions for online dating. If I was continually swiping, yet never going on a date, why was I even on Bumble?
As I considered this, swiping just a tiny bit more for the night, I got a match. A satisfied feeling, almost like getting a point on a game, faintly rushed through me. And that was it.
I was seeking the coveted match to make me feel like I was enough.
Bumbling was like a game. There were all of these men that I judged. I always said that I hated only being able to consider my compatibility with a guy based off his looks, yet I was on the app playing like it was Candy Crush. Every match I received was akin to another point. My queue of men, waiting for me to message them, was a live scoreboard.
Without realizing it, I channeled all of my insecurities into a goddamn dating app. My happiness was in the hands of men I didn’t know, and would apparently never know. Torture is the word that comes to mind.
Coming to that realization; I deleted my Bumble for awhile. The endless cycle of swipe-match-ghost wasn’t fair to my self-growth, or the guys I matched with that were genuinely interested in dating; I needed my time back. I needed my insecurities back. I needed to work on myself.
All of a sudden, I had a lot of free time. It was quite the shocker to realize how much time I spent on Bumble.
Focusing on finding happiness in myself, rather than a slew of single men that probably have their own insecurities, was a game changer. I picked up a new hobby, enhanced my self-care routine, began to create actionable baby steps for my goals and reminded myself every day that I was enough; hell, I was more than enough.