It’s been a while, but you’re ready. Bars are too loud, libraries are to quiet, and concerts… well, just no to concerts. But, you’re ready. Your friends have suggestions, your family has demands, and you have, um, well, you have your preferences at least. Doesn’t that count for something? Yeah, yeah, it counts. It’s Friday, it’s your day, it’s time,… and you are ready. Plopping down on the couch, you swipe your cellphone off of the coffee table and get ready to, to… to what? You pause, not really having a good answer to your own question, and that worries you.
You don’t want a hookup, you want a relationship with someone like you. Or maybe not like you? Who knows. But they do have to be hot! Not too hot though; you know you can’t handle too hot. Plus, looks aren’t everything, right? Which is better, you muse, a hot psycho, or a bridge troll with a heart of gold? Or which is worse, for that matter. The images of a sexy celebrity grinning wickedly at you while holding a bloody knife, and a lumpy green troll smiling sincerely with a box of chocolates in hand, war within your mind. You shake your head to clear it and then sigh. Why can’t this just be easy? It used to be so easy.
The dating app on your phone glows, casting an eerie light over the thumb you left poised above it. Closing your eyes, you let your digit drop against the screen. When you finally get up the courage to open your eyes again, your’re immediately overwhelmed by the amount of matches your profile has garnered. What surprises you even more though, is just how many people have swiped right on yours. A slow and warm flush travels up your neck and curls into your cheeks as a shy smile tugs at your lips. People like you, they really like you! But, do you like them? Your smile fades as you contemplate this. Can you really find love based on a picture and a few analytics? With so many bombarding options flooding the screen, the urge to drop your phone and run is strong. But, something else is stronger. Cold fear lances up your spine as a thought that never occurred to you, takes over your mind. What if this web or ‘swipe’ based dating is the wave of the future? If you don’t swipe ‘right’ now, will you be left… alone… forever?
So, in this digital age, known for its definitive lack of interpersonal interactions, how does one find true love? Behind a glowing screen, hidden by the shield of an app, many have found love or at least some semblance of it. But can the app itself be credited for the success of thousands, possibly millions of wonderfully matched human beings? Maybe… or maybe not.
In The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai, neither Samson nor Rhiannon were looking for love, but they both ended up on dating apps. That allowed them to facilitate a physical relationship for an evening, but left both of them wanting more later, and nursing hurt feelings. They did eventually find each other again by chance, but layers upon layers of unresolved feelings had to be unpacked before there could be any consideration of having more than an empty fling. And despite what they both said to others and themselves, they both wanted more. But how did all of that emotional baggage get claimed and sorted? Not through any app, or web page, or email. No. It was through one-on-one, face-to-face, in-person contact.
It can be tempting to tap a screen and watch matches appear before your eyes for your swiping pleasure. How alluring it can be, hearing the pleasant ‘ding’ of an email notification filled with potential suitors and prospects of love. But, at the end of the day, meeting in person is still the key to starting and maintaining a relationship. Apps and dating websites shouldn’t be seen as the catchall for daters in search of a counterpart, but just one of many springboards available in the modern world. I personally met my husband over a decade ago at a construction site. Go figure, right? Case and point, true love can be found anywhere, so don’t feel the pressure to swipe right. Trust me, you won’t get left behind.