Social Media, Dating, and Anxiety

Okay, so I know I’ve talked about the struggle with dating, and the struggles I have with my anxiety. But let me just tell you about dating in the era of social media.

It. Is. The. Worst.

Dating is rough enough as it is. I sometimes feel like I literally have no time for it. But when I find someone I actually do like talking to, someone that I will make time for, it’s great.

Until the freaking internet gets involved.

You haven’t heard from the person. You figure they’re busy, working or running errands. So you start browsing Facebook, only to see that they’re online.

Cue the questions, the scenarios, the negative thoughts that the anxiety is rushing to your brain.

Are they ignoring you? Did you say something wrong? Were you too forward? Did they just decide they didn’t want to talk to you anymore? They read your message, why didn’t they respond??

It’s even worse if you happened to meet that person on a dating website, and you can see that, while they’re still not texting back, they’re online. Chatting up other girls. Finding people who are far more interesting to talk to than you are.

I’m not saying anybody is doing anything wrong in this situation. That’s what you’re supposed to do when you’re dating, right? Talk to and go out with a few different people in hopes of finding the right one? If I’m being completely honest, I do the exact same thing. I’ll start talking to one guy, then I might start a conversation with another. Eventually, I find myself talking to one more than the other, and then the conversation with the guy I’m talking to less eventually fades out. Granted, most of them are guys I never get the chance to actually meet. As a single mom, the majority of guys I go out with are guys that I met online. But the online aspect is what keeps me from holding myself accountable. Since I’ve never met them in person, I feel like I don’t owe them any type of explanation when I decide not to text them back. I tell myself, it wasn’t going to go anywhere or amount to anything anyway, so what’s the point?

I’m not a bad person. But it’s not fair to use the internet as an excuse to not be honest with people. Blowing somebody off is easier than rejecting them, but it’s such a shitty thing to do to someone. Nobody deserves to have to question themselves, and ask why they’re not good enough for another person.

I really believe that my generation is one of the most accepting, caring, and loving generations in history. We’re all about kindness, self-love, self-care, consent. For the most part, we think before we speak. We choose our actions wisely. We want to save the planet, and the sea turtles. We listen to people’s stories, and we believe them, and encourage them. We tell people how brave they are for speaking out about past traumatic events.

But, we’re also the generation that invented ghosting. With things like Tinder, we turned dating into the most superficial thing imaginable. We hardly even give people a chance anymore, if they don’t meet our physical expectations. We’re constantly competing for other peoples’ attention, yet love the feeling of other people competing for ours.

So how great are we, really??

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