h2>Dating : Why I’m Deleting Tinder
“So I might delete Tinder,” she confided, her voice just above a whisper and her eyes sparkling. “I never liked it much anyway. I just felt like I should be dating.”
As I shook my head at my beautiful, confident sister, who was in the middle of her internship abroad, I wondered just how she could have felt obligated to date. She was living in Paris, working fulltime and using her free time to practice her French in Parisian bistros. To me, her life sounded more than glamorous enough, regardless of whether or not she was dating.
I went to tell her just that when I realised that the same thing could be said about me. I’m in the middle of building a career for myself, expanding my social circle, travelling as much as I possibly can and writing on the side. My life is about as full as it’s ever been and, if I’m entirely honest, I don’t really want to date someone right now.
When I brought this up, my ever-pragmatic sister told me just what I needed to hear: “so don’t.”
Immediately my mind filled with all of the reasons why I couldn’t just take a break from dating. There was a number of them, and they were all equally pathetic; it would seem sad, I could eventually get lonely or bored, or worse: I could end up dying alone!
Instead of mocking me, she gently questioned every one of them. How can your life seem sad if it’s full of everything you love? How are you going to get lonely if you’re surrounding yourself with people and spending quality time with the ones you love? How will you get bored if you’re in the middle of building your life?
“Stop worrying about the way it could look and start focusing on what it’s really about. You’re not being sad or pining, you’re working on getting the things you want out of life, finally going after everything you’ve always talked about.”
I wanted to roll my eyes at her and tell her it wasn’t that easy, but I couldn’t. She was right. Being single isn’t necessarily a part of the desperate search for your soulmate. There’s nothing I want more than to find a great partner and start a family with him, except to make sure I’m actually ready to share my life with someone.
Before I enter another relationship, I want to make sure that I’ve done what I need to do for me. I want to be independent enough to know that, if I choose to stay, it will be for love, not out of necessity.
I want to build a lasting, fulfilling career so I can teach my children how to perfect their CV or lead a meeting; I want them to grow up thinking it’s normal to have a happy, successful mum.
In theory, I could do all of this while dating, but in practice I know I won’t. It’s hard to keep writing when you’re half asleep after getting drinks with someone the night before. The racoonish circles under my eyes and my perpetual yawning after a night without sleep also make networking a lot more complicated.
In an attempt to compromise between dating and sleeping enough I tried moving dates to the afternoon so that they wouldn’t affect my sleep. The problem that remained was that I still felt like I was losing precious time. Every date represented three or four hours that I could have spent on my artificial intelligence project, on my writing or on growing my professional network.
The real reason for my unwillingness to date was that there were too many other things I wanted to do. I just felt bad for admitting it because finding your perfect match seems to be one of the most significant life goals. A big part of me believed that everything would magically fall into place once I found the man meant to share my life.
Once I met him, we’d automatically know what we wanted our life to look like and would immediately go about building said life together. I’d be so much stronger with his hand in mine, never having to worry about much of anything after having found him.
I know that this is partially true. When I’m in love, I feel stronger and a little happier, knowing that I have someone I love by my side. I might even start trying things that I was scared to try alone or use the euphoric feeling of being madly in love to push past boundaries I thought I couldn’t overcome. However, in most cases I’ll also be spending a lot of time building a relationship.
The reason I’m being so selfish with my time now is because I don’t want to be building a relationship with someone. I want to be building a new and improved me. I want to focus on the things I won’t have time for when I’m in a relationship. Not because they won’t be important to me but because they’re easy to postpone and then forget.
Being single is the best time to actively pursue all of those hobbies, passions and seemingly impossible goals. Suddenly you’re motivated to forge ahead and try new things. I don’t want to lose that motivation or slow down.
Right now, the relationship I’m looking to strengthen is the one with myself. While I’m looking forward to growing with someone else, I know I need to grow alone first.
So, for now, I’m deleting Tinder too.