I quit swiping

“We are each of us angels with only one wing, and we can only fly by embracing one another.”

A friend of mine recently wrote a blog about ‘swipe culture’ and its’ impact on the modern dating scene. After reading the blog, I thought it would be nice to write a response from a different perspective.

For the uninitiated, ‘swipe culture’ refers to the abundance of mobile dating apps, where users “swipe” between profiles to quickly sort through potential matches. Swipe left to pass. Swipe right for a potential match.

I’ve hopped on and off of these apps many times over the past few years, before making a decision to quit them once and for all. There are only so many profiles you can take, that read:

“Looking for a partner in crime to explore this city with. I love whiskey, tacos, and seeing what life has next for me.”

There might be another blog post about the types of dating profiles I find most entertaining. Today’s not the day.

First dates are a scary thing to undertake. So is rock climbing without a harness. The connection between the two? Endorphins. The more you conquer ‘scary’ things in your life, the more addicting they can become.

First dates can be experienced like a drug, with the game ending after a round between the sheets. The players exit once the dance is over, rarely closer to commitment than another notch on the bed post.

Swipe dates are easy to come by. Pull out your phone and you can have a date lined up within 15 minutes. This creates a never-ending stream of first, second, and third dates.

If you don’t have time to find a date, what makes you think you will have the time to maintain a relationship?

The rush of the first date becomes exciting. A lot more ‘exciting’ than a lifetime of romance and long-term commitment. You know, the kind that goes to the grocery store together to pick up the cat food, visits mom when she’s in the hospital, and lends a shoulder when the other needs to unleash tears.

Romance sounds a lot more like funeral planning than the thrill of a honeymoon. It sees the long-term vision and plan with a partner, rather than the initial sizzle that comes when two people first meet.

This is where swipe culture really shoots romance in the foot. It breeds first-date chasers, who struggle to ‘quit the game’ they so enjoy playing.

Bad behavior tends to follow a lot of the swipe-relationships I’ve seen, where commitment seems to be a foreign foreign language, lost in a sea of first dates.

Find your tribe
I often hear the excuse that swipe dates make it easier to find a match when you have a busy schedule. This displays an imbalance in your work-life situation, as well as rigidity in how much you’re willing to compromise in order to uncover romance in your life.

I’ve meet a lot of interesting people simply by following my passions and interests. Romance hasn’t poked its nose into my life yet, but I consistently find a lot of joy in the tribes of people I’ve connected with since moving to San Francisco.

Because of this, there isn’t a part of my life that feels broken or incomplete. I’m surrounded by people I have the opportunity to love – every single day.

Romance takes time to develop. It’s a poetic dance, rather than a calendar item that can be scheduled. It isn’t about taking what you want and need, but being willing to set these things on fire to brighten and warm the other person.

I quit the swipe scene because I made the choice to let the universe surprise me with romance, whenever it seems fit to fall into my life (which will likely correspond with me getting my life together) instead of digging through selfie-profiles, seeking tacos.

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