Something strange happens when you download Tinder.
I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that during my short tenure on the app, I experienced a warped idea of my own hotness and worthiness, as well as the hotness and worthiness of others.
Touch a few buttons, choose your best profile pics, write a dumb pun in your bio and suddenly, you have an endless line of men (or women) waiting patiently for you to make your judgement call.
You become Alex Perry; the designer sunglasses mercilessly digging into your cranium the only excuse for how savage you’re being to strangers.
Too many pics with tigers in Thailand.
If you’ve got the stamina to swipe for longer than two weeks (I failed), you might start to ask yourself, “What do I actually want out of this?”
If it’s just a root, you’re probably in luck. But if you’re looking for a deeper connection, experts reckon our swipe-happy nature may be preventing us from meeting a keeper.
According to dating conglomerate eHarmony, 74% of singles’ actions aren’t a match for their desires to find a deeper connection, with Aussies dating an average of 6.9 people at a time, ghosting their dates (57%) or stringing people along (34%).
Been there, big time.
PEDESTRIAN.TV spoke with psychologist and eHarmony relationship expert Mel Schilling to get some advice on how to break away from the swiping habits that are keep us in a state of perpetual singleness.
1. IDENTIFY YOUR MOTIVATION
“Every time you feel like getting swipe-happy, pause and ask yourself what your real motivation is – are you bored, seeking attention, feeling insecure, or do you truly want to find someone special?” asks Mel. If it’s the former, she reckons you should put down the phone. “Go spend an hour doing something for yourself like hitting the gym, calling a mate or indulging in some trashy reality TV, you’ll lose the compulsion before you know it.”
2. WRITE AN (HONEST) LIST OF WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING FOR
“Make a list of your own values, deal breakers and attributes that you would want in a partner, then take that list and compare it to the various digital dating sites available – which one matches your needs the best?”
As mentioned earlier, Tinder is ace for a root. The whole premise of the app is geared in the superficial. While you might find a meaningful relationship on there, a fair few users are in it for that one thing. Mel’s advice is to scope out alternate dating sites and methods and find one that resonates with your wants and needs.
“You don’t need to detox from digital dating completely, just don’t focus on finding a partner solely on looks or other superficial factors, if you’re in need of a deeper ‘spark’,” she says.
3. PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE TO ACTUALLY GETTING OUT THERE
Dates can be great, dates can be shit, just like everything else in life. If you’ve had one too many garlic-breathed dates with a side of stunted-conversation, you might be wary of putting yourself out there. Mel reckons you need to bite the bullet and just do it.
“With gamified apps, it can be so easy to just play with the app instead of actually taking action. Pledge to go on a date with every person you match with, and you’ll quickly learn to be more selective with whom your dating, and by extension, find the dating method that finds you those right people.”
While I personally wouldn’t go on a date with every single person I’ve ever matched with on account of the fact that time is a finite concept / I’ve swiped right to some stinkers, Mel’s advice is solid – get your fine sweet ass out there.
4. REMEMBER WHO IS NUMBER ONE IN YOUR LIFE
At the end of the day, whether you wind up married with three rug rats biting at your ankles or decide to enjoy the company of ten feral cats, the person you’ll always wake up with and go to bed with is yourself.
“Over a third (34%) of Aussies report hurt feelings or hits to their self-esteem thanks to Australia’s bad disposable dating behaviour,” says Mel.
“The dating scene can be tough but by first finding happiness with yourself, and then connecting with people you’re truly a good fit for, you won’t be as affected by some of the inevitable rejection that may come with dating.”
The happier you are with yourself, the easier you’ll bounce back.
Godspeed my sweet, horny children.