The Shape Of Us

I have been single for over seven months now. After car-crashingly trying to navigate heartbreak by joining dating apps and making some pretty awful life choices (purely when it came to men), it has made me realise a few things about the world in which we date now. And more importantly, it has made me realise everything about me… at last.

I remember my university days. The total lack of complication when it came to approaching absolutely anyone and having a conversation about absolutely anything. Of course there was intent and purpose however there were words exchanged, eye contact made, body language read (and mis-read), and there was the chance to interact like actual human beings.

The art of online dating never really became a ‘thing’ until I was in my early 20s about 10 years ago. Tinder was the first, where it was innocently created as a platform for strangers to meet. That was the joy of it. It gave you the chance to meet someone you may have never ever seen or considered or even had the slightest potential of interest in. The platform started by being a safeguarded hotspot where you didn’t have necessary worry that you were attracting the wrong ‘type’ of person…. and this goes for everyone. I am not damning the patriarchy. And then Bumble arrived and suddenly woman had the chance to approach men first. Something many of us have been doing for years. However this granted advantage didn’t and doesn’t take away from the total cunty-ness behaviour that ensued afterwards.

Let’s look at the stats:

Don’t get me wrong. Dating apps do work.. sometimes. I have been to two dating app weddings. They were pretty spectacular… and they are still together.

The Number of Dating App Users Grew to 366 Million in 2022. Despite being around for the past seven years, they have exploded in popularity since 2016, when there were 240.9 million dating app users worldwide.

  • Tinder is the most popular dating app in the UK.
  • Glasgow is the UK’s most Tinder-addicted city, followed by Birmingham, Liverpool, London, and Leicester.
  • Only 15% of Tinder users in the UK are female.
  • 21% of Britons are steering clear of dating apps until a better vetting process is established.
  • The UK dating app industry generates approximately £11.7 billion.
  • A first date costs around £41 in the UK.
  • 44% of Tinder users have been invited on a first date at McDonald’s.
  • 13.6% of online matches can end in marriage.
  • 18% of Brits have met their current partner through work.
  • A first date costs around £41 in the UK

But these are the ones that really hit home….:

  • 50% of single Brits have never asked anyone on a date.
  • 85% of dating app users are men
  • 50% of the men on the apps are virgins
  • 20% of the men on the apps are already in relationships
  • 8% of the male users are convicted felons…..

Oh but how we have moved away from the Facebook poke. My recent experience in dating apps has been somewhat of a rainbow rollercoaster. I have conducted a few social experiments where I have removed any photos of me in active wear or a bikini (mainly as these photos (for women) are the big hitters and also, perhaps these aesthetics should be saved for in-person appreciation. The last date I cancelled, I was accused of being ‘too fun and social’ and when I suggested we didn’t meet his responses were:

“it doesn’t actually bother me except that I imagine you can find someone more compatible”
(ok so this was polite)
“Feel free to message if you somehow fail to find someone better”
(he then text again a few days later)
“I am a 100% introvert. I guess it depends how much you want to share your life with your boyfriend. I’ll take 100% of the sexy body and the surfing. 15% of the going out and socialising.”

{and when I questioned him on the use of the word ‘take’)
“It’s the second time you have said something like that and it was equally stupid then. It’s important to gave people around who challenge you. I’m guessing you haven’t had much of that.”

A friend of mine helped me write a response to this dickhead before I blocked him.
I also consequently deleted all of the apps.

So, is this is how we have to date now? Where our online existence exists as entertainment to other people. There is no way you can gauge the true characteristics of a person through a screen. And so I posted my top five self-gratifying selfies, three best one-liners and just hoped for the best. Where we use these tools to try and look better than all the other competitors online just to convince them (and ourselves) that they should pick us.
You may as well write LOVE ME in shouty capitals.

I have met some of the most interesting, interested, fun, creative and charismatic group of people over the past few recent months. It has allowed me to realise and appreciate that there is more to life than the one I previously had. It has made me also know exactly what it is that I want and need.

I want to allow myself to know that I can be exactly who I am, not who I think I should be. And certainly not what someone else wants me to be.
I want someone to call me out, to make me accountable to all of my behaviour. I want someone who communicates with me and understands how I respond. I want to trust someone implicitly and not worry that they will fall victim to the magpie culture in which we find ourselves living in. That the temporary attractiveness of someone else won’t replace the potential permanency and promise of me.

I want to be one of one.

I don’t want to be an option. I want to be the choice. I want to be the decision.

I want to be someone’s someone.

I will be happily single until this moment comes.

Worth a read:

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