After six months on Tinder and then Bumble, I could definitively conclude that, like the 80s hit, I was looking for love in all the wrong places. It was like I kept saying, “I’m going to eat healthy now!” then going to McDonald’s for another meal, and ending up feeling sick afterwards no matter what I ordered.
“A salad must be healthy, right?” Not at McDonald’s. Finally, I got it: there is no health food at McDonald’s, just as there is no Full-Package Man looking for a long-term, committed relationship on a swipe app. Go to a different restaurant! my soul cried out. You’ll always end up feeling sick here!
I’d spent six months – an entire half a year of my life I would never get back – trying out every possible contender on Tinder and Bumble who seemed like he might be worth an hour of my time. Suddenly that had sucked six months of my life. Sure, before I’d downloaded Tinder I’d resolved to take some proactive dating step, and going on lots and lots of dates was better than having no dates, but I was searching for quality after being bombarded with quantity.
On New Year’s Eve, I deleted my Bumble account. I was officially swipe-app free. I breathed a massive sigh of relief. Every time I felt the urge to pick up my phone to see if I’d gotten any new messages or to swipe through a few (or a few hundred) prospects, I realized there was nothing to check, no one to swipe. A couple of days into the new year I downloaded Duolingo, a language-learning app, and started learning Portuguese. At least if I had a compulsive need to be using my phone, I’d be doing something productive with it. According to the app, I could become fluent in another language in 10 minutes a day, far less time than I’d been spending swiping.
I needed time to detox. Digesting the romantic equivalent of so many Quarter Pounders with cheese over the past six months had left my heart bloated and greasy. It would be nice to have more nights to myself, free to take bubble baths and read more books (one of my other goals for the year, besides getting into a relationship with a FPM).
In no time I could say phrases like “Do vegetarians drink beer?” and “the butterfly writes a book” in Portuguese. Not everything the language app was teaching me made a lot of sense, but it made more sense than continuing to go to McDonald’s looking for a healthy meal.