Online dating apps have been my friends for further long that I would have imagined. I met great people which who I am still friends, guys who after I met them, I wish I could have cancelled the date, and relationships that teach me more about myself than what I would ever imagine. But, how come from something so relentlessly spontaneous and adventurous, people still shaming those who use the apps?
Online dating is -simply- not for everyone but the brave and committed to either has a great time or find love under unique circumstances. There is this misconception that downloading dating apps is for the desperate with no moral whatsoever; we need to stop doing that ASAP! Not everyone has the same social charisma not everyone can make a move IRL not everyone wants to chase and ass or some male genital. Some people -just- do not even have the time to go out with the mindset to meet someone; that is when dating apps kick in to rock your world! Of course, you risk the chance to be catfished at some point -really not a difference from someone lying to your face at a bar- do not stereotype that online dating is a mistrusting lie around the clock. There are joyful moments that lead to a second date, as well as, the ones when you wish a falcon could pick you up by the shoulders and disappear. The way that I have always seen it is as a new sport where only the skilled one manages to triumph.
In reality, this post is a resurgence and the answer for those calls for help, uncertainty and lost faith. About two or three weeks ago -or even more- I was having a beer with my coworkers and a new invite popped around, sitting down with us, and so on. I have not seen this person vastly for a long time so, me being me I started my interrogation and asked him how is life going, professional and personal. Of course, he jumpstarted talking about his professional first since it was all coworkers going out and whatnot, and since the COVID-19 our work lives have changed, and it is not the same energy -rather- it feels like being spooked by the dark forces of retail. We started the conversation in that route by then the rest of our coworkers end up joining as well. Once the retail talk ended, I asked him about his dating life -in which- he bluntly told me nothing was going on everything was in stand-still. I proceed to ask him if he has downloaded any dating app during the quarantine and -to be honest- I cannot recall his answer, but I am positive it was a no.
In between mixing beer and gin & tonic, I opted for giving him my two cents, asking candid questions hoping for an honest answer. I was surprised that he even answered, some people opt for keeping online dating as the dirt we often sweep under the rug. Back to the answer, he said yes, however, I remember it being the shiest and utmost uncomfortable yes. My curiosity levels spiked and opened an endless list of follow up question as if I had anything to do with a professional dating advisor yet, I comfortably relly in my nine months of psychology during Uni.
The reason why his answer was short and shy was because of how our culture -Hispanics- portrait the action of online dating. For some reason, our entire family can move to the USA and adapt a few cultural traits, but in reality, the Hispanic culture is thicker than nothing you have seen before. We could be born first-generation “Americans”, our family will always treat us as we still live back in our respective countries I get it, they want our values and traditions to represent our heritage. The complexity comes from moral values; some Hispanics parents will feel so ashamed to be brought home someone that you just met by going around in social media or dating apps, followed by comments as “that is for the desperate only”! I can -truly- call that out and say BS!
Online dating helps busy, introverts, and socially awkward humans to have a chance to meet someone online, text for a couple of weeks, and if there is the slightest connection or curiosity, you set up an in-person date. Yes, online dating also helps you find a casual sex partner, and there is nothing wrong about that either. There is no shame with looking for both, but we are dismantling why it is important not to shame the actual dating portion. I would say, circa 6 years ago, I started swimming in social dating apps, encountering myself with different guys from all over the world. It was so rad, so awesome, I thank the universe I did not come across with any perverts or creeps, so I guess I had a lucky charm on my side. I remember chatting with multiple guys at a time, in all sincerity, I was broke and hungry during my Uni years, I would set dates -just- to visit my favourite restaurant without having to worry about the bill, wink. One thing I had clear, I was there to meet people, have a -strong- connection with someone exotic dates and turn it to casual sex if that was the aura of the moment.
Fortunately, I had several chemistries with the kindest guys I swipe right with; like my coworker often mentions, I have the devils luck. I took advantage of that luck. Some of those relationships include one short-term toxic relationship with this Colombian guy who stole my spare car keys, another wonderful semi long-term relationship with an Italian from Naples which was such a sweetheart, one with an Italian from the Venice who was a total prick in all the hurtful meanings, a short-term with a Paki, and my current -longest- relationship of all, which I cherish with all my heart, hey Guilmo, sending you all my love! Apart from that, I used my fresh early twenties looks to enjoy being loved, expressed my interest for casual sex, and at times, I could say I was shamed by it too.
Circling back to my long-distance coworker, the one certain advice I offered him was, to fully enjoy the experience -only- if he comfortable going around the online dating wave. We will always be shamed by our actions, regardless of what we are doing, how we dress, our sexual preferences, and the list goes on. It is easy for us to remember that we need to satisfy our happiness and our being before others. Shame is only a disrespect to someone else moral values -which- in my eyes is just some platonic ideal created by the structure of religion. You are not hurting anyone for online dating, on the contrary, you are moving with the times, with how dating works in our era. Yeah it is cute and all to meet someone in person, and have a “happy ending”, just have clear you can also find the same results with online dating!