I don’t know where this online dating obsession has come from but I think we need to talk about it. Every time we are alone you are either over analysing the Hinge date you went on last night, musing over outfits for your Tinder date tonight or aggressively breaching privacy laws with an immensely deep Facebook stalk of your new match.
Why are you doing this? Is this frantic left and right swiping a by-product of lockdown? For someone who is pretty complex, why are you so keen to suddenly package yourself up in four photos and a few brief (and pretty weird) sentences?
I don’t think this is Covid-19 boredom. I know that’s what you tell your friends it is, but I think it is something much deeper than this. I think it comes from your own sense of grief over the University dating experience that you felt you have lost. I think that you have been conditioned by a belief in first dates, term time flings and slightly more shabby ‘Will meets Kate’ type scenarios where eyes meet over the Library water fountain.
I hear you saying the same things to your friends, over and over again: “I wanted to meet someone in a club this term” or “I definitely would have a boyfriend by now if it wasn’t for lockdown”. I hear you say these things and I think this is why you are taking to the human online shopping aisle, you are desperately trying to find someone lined up and ready to go the minute this pandemic ends. I also think you are doing this out of a fear of being left behind by your coupled up friends. You feel that their lives have more meaning because they have successfully managed to find and maintain a relationship.
I don’t know why you think these things, but I’ll hazard a guess. You have this expectation that University is where you meet the love of your life, and therefore you are sad that Coronavirus has taken this away. I also think you have internalised this (essentially ridiculous) notion that in order to ‘live your best life’ you need always need to be ‘having a thing’ with someone.
I am not telling you not to online date. I understand it can be fun, but if you are going to do it, do it for the right reasons. Not because you want to self-swerve your life onto the path that you feel it would have taken if not for COVID-19. Also, don’t do it just because you want to play catch up with your friends who are in a relationship. Having a boyfriend never has, and never will, define the value of yourself or the life you live.