Tinder Hearts Club

GirlfriendsWhen I decided to write a personal post, my first thought was to create some sort of piece on love, because, being in my 20’s, I spend some time wondering when/how I’ll meet someone, probably too much time. Friends suggested a post on hookup culture and social media’s assault on modern dating. I think I could write a book on that topic after just this last year of being single and learning how things supposedly work now… But, despite wanting to share the horrors of Tinder, and what I learned from putting myself out there, I wanted to discuss a side-effect that, to me, was more damaging.

This past year, I and most of my girlfriends were single around the same time. It was girl nights galore. A lot of those nights were spent commiserating over lost love. After all the hype most of us eventually caved and downloaded one dating app or another. And so began a spiral down the social media rabbit hole. At first we laughed — a lot — we shared our online dating experiences from week to week, and made some friends along the way. But the college town where we live is fairly small. Pretty soon we were having to check with each other to avoid dating the same people. We all ended up matched with most of the same guys. This was about the time when that nasty side effect I mentioned kicked in.

Let me preface this by saying I have never ever considered myself competitive, but Tinder and the dating game switched something on in me. I became this version of myself that I didn’t recognize at all. I ended up lost in this strange place of jealousy, feeling competitive and insecure. These emotions left me sort of alienated and wanting to keep my dating life to myself. Something happened though. A wake up call. A girlfriend and I both unknowingly went after the same guy. He was dating us at the same time. When it came to our attention, she shared her experience and feelings of disappointment with me, and I could more than relate. That’s when I realized. This girl, my friend, is not my competition. She was dealing with all the same crappy scenarios I was. We were both in the confusing love life struggle together. Now, that guy is long gone from our periphery, but the lesson stands.

I’m sure at one time or another we have all been guilty of putting down or villainizing a fellow female over competition for attention or over jealousy, but I refuse to let myself fall prey to those emotions ever again. My call is for solidarity.

Her success is not your failure… That’s one of my mantras. We weigh ourselves down enough as it is with negativity and criticism… at least I do… So let’s lift each other up. We can rise together and stronger than ever.