Swipe Right, Swipe Wrong: How to Avoid Superficial Connections on Dating Apps

Dating apps are supposed to be the ultimate matchmakers, right? Swipe right, chat a bit, and voila, you’ve found your soulmate. Or at least someone who can keep you company on a lonely night. But what if you’re looking for something more than a Netflix and chill session? What if you want to connect with someone on a deeper level, beyond the superficial compliments and emojis? Well, you might be in for a rude awakening.

Let me tell you about my friend Sarah, who learned this the hard way. Sarah was tired of being single and decided to give dating apps a try. She was hoping to find someone who shared her passions, her dreams, and her vulnerabilities. Someone who would listen to her stories and tell her theirs. Someone who would make her feel seen and understood.

But instead of finding Mr. Right, she found Mr. Swipe Left. Every conversation she had on the app was shallow and boring. The guys she matched with only cared about her looks and their own egos. They showered her with cheesy compliments and tried to impress her with their lame jokes. They never asked her anything meaningful or showed any interest in her personality. Sarah felt like she was talking to robots, not humans.

One night, she matched with a guy who seemed different. He had a nice profile picture and a witty bio. He claimed to have similar hobbies and values as Sarah. She was intrigued and excited. Maybe this was the one she was looking for.

They started chatting and there was an instant spark. He was funny, smart, and charming. He made her laugh and smile. Sarah felt a glimmer of hope.

But then, he ruined it all. He switched from being witty to being flirty. He started complimenting her appearance and sending her suggestive emojis. He asked her for more pictures and hinted at meeting up for some fun. Sarah was disappointed and annoyed. She realized he was just like the rest of them. Sarah had enough. She unmatched him and deleted the app.

This story illustrates one of the biggest problems with dating apps: they can make us feel more disconnected than ever. While they offer us a plethora of potential partners, they also encourage us to judge people based on their appearance and their first impression. They make us focus on the surface, rather than the substance. They make us forget that behind every profile, there is a real person with a real story.

Sarah’s experience is not unique. Many people who use dating apps feel frustrated by the lack of meaningful connections they find there. They crave something more than a casual hookup or a fling. They want someone who can make them feel alive, not just swipe right.

Beauty Is Only Skin Deep

One reason why dating apps suck at finding you true love is that they make you judge people by their looks, not their personality. You know the drill: you swipe through hundreds of photos, hoping to find someone who catches your eye. But what if you’re missing out on someone amazing, just because they don’t have the perfect selfie or the coolest outfit? What if you’re swiping left on your soulmate, just because they don’t fit your ideal type? I remember when I matched with this guy who looked like a model. He had gorgeous blue eyes, a chiseled jawline, and a killer smile. I was so excited to chat with him, thinking he was the whole package. But boy, was I wrong. He turned out to be the most boring person ever. All he could talk about was his gym routine, his protein shakes, and his car. He had no hobbies, no passions, no opinions. He was as shallow as a puddle. I quickly realized that his looks were the only thing he had going for him.

Speed Dating or Speed Failing?

Another reason why dating apps are the worst is that they make you rush into things, instead of taking your time to get to know someone. You feel like you have to impress them right away, or else they’ll lose interest and move on to the next match. You feel like you have to put on a show, and hide your flaws and quirks. You feel like you have to be someone you’re not, just to keep them hooked. I remember when I matched with this guy who seemed really cool and fun. He had a great sense of humor, and we had a lot in common. We started texting, and he was always witty and playful. He made me laugh and smile. But then, he started pressuring me to meet up with him. He said he didn’t want to waste time on texting, and that he wanted to see me in person as soon as possible. I felt like he was moving too fast, and that he didn’t care about getting to know me better. I felt like he was only interested in hooking up with me, not in forming a real connection.

The Paradox of Choice

A third reason why dating apps are not your friends is that they give you too many options, which makes you feel less satisfied with any of them. You think that there’s always someone better out there, waiting for you to swipe right on them. You think that you can always find someone more attractive, more interesting, more compatible than your current match. You think that you don’t have to settle for anything less than perfect. Once I matched with this guy who was really sweet and kind. He was attentive, thoughtful, and respectful. He always asked me how my day was, and he always listened to what I had to say. He always made me feel special and appreciated. He was everything I wanted in a partner. But then, I started getting bored with him. I started wondering if there was someone else out there who could make me feel more excited, more adventurous, more alive. I started swiping again, looking for someone who could spice things up for me. I started ignoring his messages, and eventually ghosted him.

Swipe, Dump, Repeat

An additional reason why dating apps are a bad idea is that they make you treat people like disposable objects, rather than human beings with feelings and emotions. You think that you can easily replace someone if they don’t meet your expectations or if they make a mistake. You think that you can ghost someone without any consequences or remorse. You think that you can break someone’s heart without any guilt or regret. I remember when I matched with this guy who was really cute and smart. He was funny, creative, and passionate about his work. He always had something interesting to say, and he always challenged me to think differently. He was unlike anyone I had ever met before. But then, he did something that annoyed me. He canceled our date at the last minute, saying he had a family emergency. He apologized profusely, and asked me if we could reschedule for another day. But I didn’t believe him. I thought he was lying to me, or that he had found someone else. I felt angry and betrayed by him. I decided to delete his number and block her on the app.

Living in a Bubble

A fifth reason why dating apps are no good is that they make you lose touch with reality and yourself. You think that you can hide behind a screen and a profile picture, rather than showing your true self to someone. You think that you can share only the parts of yourself that you want to share, rather than revealing your whole self to someone. You think that you can avoid the risks and challenges of real-life dating, rather than facing them head-on. It happened to me with this guy who seemed perfect for me. He had the same hobbies, the same taste in music, the same sense of humor as me. He always said the right things, and always agreed with me on everything. He always made me feel good about myself, and always complimented me on my appearance and my achievements. He was like a mirror of myself. But then, I realized that he was too good to be true. He was not a real person, but a projection of what I wanted him to be. He was not showing me his true self, but a version of himself that he thought I would like. He was not being honest with me, but telling me what I wanted to hear. He was not connecting with me, but manipulating me.

Create Real Connections

So, what can we do to avoid falling into the trap of superficial connections on dating apps? How can we find someone who can make us feel more than just a swipe right? Here are some tips to help you out:

  • Be selective. Don’t swipe right on everyone who looks good. Instead, look for people who have something in common with you, or who spark your curiosity. Read their bios, check out their interests, and see if they have anything to say beyond “hey”.
  • Be yourself. Don’t pretend to be someone you’re not, just to impress someone else. Don’t lie about your age, your job, your hobbies, or your preferences. Don’t use filters or photoshop to alter your appearance. Don’t copy and paste generic messages or cheesy pick-up lines. Be honest, authentic, and original. Show them who you really are, and what makes you unique.
  • Be respectful. Don’t treat people like objects, or like they owe you something. Don’t ghost them, block them, or break their hearts without a good reason. Don’t send them unsolicited pictures or messages that are rude, vulgar, or inappropriate. Don’t pressure them to do something they don’t want to do. Treat them like you would want to be treated: with kindness, courtesy, and dignity.
  • Be patient. Don’t rush into things, or expect instant results. Don’t judge someone based on their first impression, or give up on them after one bad date. Don’t settle for someone who doesn’t meet your standards, or chase someone who doesn’t want you. Give yourself and others time to get to know each other, and see if there’s potential for something more.
  • Be open-minded. Don’t limit yourself to a certain type, or reject someone based on a superficial criterion. Don’t assume that you know everything about someone based on their profile, or that they have nothing to offer you beyond their looks. Don’t dismiss someone who challenges you, surprises you, or makes you think differently. Be willing to explore new possibilities, and learn new things.

Dating apps can be a great way to meet new people and have some fun. But they can also be a source of frustration and disappointment if you’re looking for something more than a superficial connection. By following these tips, you can increase your chances of finding someone who can make you feel alive, not just swipe right.

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