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I can confidently say I am done with the whole online dating and am never entering that world again. Everyone wants to be there, but no one wants to be seen!
The world has become an overwhelming place to live in. Navigating through adult life is a challenge in itself and add to it some twists like being a single parent in a new country, you get the perfect match ever – stress and bewilderment.
I came to Canada in March 2022, and it’s almost one year since it’s just been me and my daughter. It’s exhausting, it drains me but, I have never for a second regretted coming here because if I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have known how strong I am.
My first priority after making the move was finding a job in my own field and getting my daughter started in the education system here. Thankfully, I had the immense luck of being around people who cared enough to guide me and within a few months, I found my footing.
The day I got the confirmation of my job, and one of my closest friends who is also here, both drank wine, ate a shitload of food and finished the Ferrero Rocher chocolates we had bought for my daughter (I hope she never reads this when she grows up).
Anyway, during this wine and sugar rush session, in a conversation, I realized that I had been single for way too long and probably needed to be more out there, in the whole dating scene. Seemed like a good idea at the time, to be honest.
Even though I am a desi Indian, I have always been very frank and almost best friends with my mother (except for when I was a teenager, and she was a hyper mom). So, when even my mom asked me to create a profile on “those apps”, I gave it a shot.
At first, my friend managed my profile 100% because it had been years since I had spoken to anyone with the intent of seeing them and of course, I had no clue what to expect in such conversations. It was also during this time that I learned terms like casual relationship, non-exclusive dating, exclusive relationship, situationship etc.
In the one year that I have been here, to give the good old dating a chance, I met three people. In the world of pronouns, it’s best I make things clear by saying – I met three men. Now, in today’s time, this number is probably what someone swipes right and meets in a week but, for someone like me, it’s been a lot.
A lot because to my astonishment the whole meaning of seeing someone has changed a lot in the past couple of years and online dating has a huge part to play in all of this. It seems online dating is what Thailand is for Indians, where everyone wants to go but no one wants to be seen.
Personally, I can confidently say I am done with the whole online thing and am never entering that world again. Not because the people I met weren’t good. Everyone has their own journey, and it’d be wrong to judge anyone based on a few conversations.
Also, not because everything is bad but, simply because I feel, it’s not a place for me. One slight cross-checks with the help of some concerned friends, and you see how things are.
I always used to believe being one’s own self and being upfront and matter of fact are the easiest things to do because you don’t have to spend energy pretending or putting up a charade but, club that with the gram-filter life, we all are a part of, and voilà! Nothing is real!
I would say just like the internet has its pros and cons, technology has its pros and cons, and just like mass production had its pros and cons, online dating too has its own pros and cons. The plus side of meeting someone online, which I completely understand, is, not everyone is as social, thus having a virtual platform to meet people would be a very big relief for a lot of us.
The downside is, the sheer magnitude of options one can interact with simultaneously often makes no one contact authentic. But then again, expecting authenticity is a tad much given the times we are living in.
This virtual world is great for someone who can navigate without being affected by the absurdity of it. It’s an amazing place to meet new people have some great conversations, hook up, or not, and have company without any strings attached but, there’s this sense of detachment that looms heavy in there and that’s not everyone’s cup of tea.
I am someone who has spent a few years on my own just to gain perspective and be whole again after my marriage came to an end so, starting from telling my favourite colour would happen again only when I know the connection is genuine which I am 100% sure would not happen via any dating apps.
The cherry on the cake is, I have always enjoyed the solitude. I am an only child so, getting bored is very difficult for me and I like my company. I am also great at staying in and cancelling plans.
Furthermore, I prefer sleepovers with my girls over going out partying and I prefer books to people so, my social skills are below average too. That basically probably means that’s how things are going to be for a while.
When I look around, I see everyone is in a hurry. Hurry to reach some place, hurry to respond, hurry to eat a meal, hurry to reach conclusions, hurry to judge, hurry to bring in the ego, and so on. What’s common in all this is the madness surrounding us humans. We have started seeking comfort in chaos. Calm disturbs us.
It’s easier to sit with a thousand distractions, but it is very difficult to sit with one’s own self and have an honest conversation.
I trained myself to have that clarity in my life, and it took work, it took effort, it took cancelling out the noise, and I am not giving that superpower up for the noises that aren’t even whole sounds. It takes work and mindfulness to feel the apricity, but then felt, it’s foolish to let go of that magic and not feel calm.
Image source: Nicolas Menijes, and dooder, free and edited on CanvaPro
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