January 2, 2024

Dating Apps & the Art of Knowing what you Bring to the Table.

I hate online dating.

I know, therein lies the most unoriginal of thoughts, repeated time and time again. But there it is.

While I appreciate that it’s a necessity in places where it’s complicated to meet people—and I know there are success stories you hear via a wedding toast—it isn’t, and will never be, my cup of tea.

When I discussed this with a former roommate, I told him that I didn’t like the way people packaged themselves for others to potentially swipe their interest in.

I would read things like “home owner” and “entrepreneur” and wonder where the real person was behind those titles.

And the more I peered into this foreign world or rather swiped through it, the less I felt good about myself.

It was then that I could see that my dislike for online dating was partly because I didn’t know how to package myself.

My usual go-to was a few smiley photos with as little writing as possible, mainly because I figured the getting-to-know part would happen on the dates themselves.

Truthfully, being a woman in her 30s, my desired age range is 35 and up, which usually meant from what I gathered on the apps, men who had their sh*t somewhat together (at least from the outset).

Here was me, a Greek-Australian who loved her heritage but also was equally obsessed with Latin-culture. Someone who loved to write but never truly found a fulfilling role or a stable career. An aspiring nomad who found it hard to find the courage to leave the comfort of her hometown.

How on earth should I summarize my life in a way that doesn’t feel somewhat fake or inauthentic? I found myself pondering more often than I care to admit.

It’s not that I felt the need to put all of my cards on the table, as that ship had long sailed in my 20s; I just didn’t know what it was that I brought to the table.

And even though, I can hand to my heart tell you all the reasons why I think meeting someone face-to-face is infinitely more appealing; I also had to recognise that I was feeling a bit insecure about where I was in life.

A big part of the reason actually is that I found it hard to date in general.

Returning back to the conversation with my former roommate, he confirms my fears when he says the following:

“When I meet say a 33-year-old who doesn’t have kids or doesn’t own a home or anything, I have to wonder what’s wrong with her.”

Weirdly, I’m not offended by this offensive statement; instead I go home and mull over it for a few days.

The conclusion I come to, and what I’ll share now, is that I’m tired of believing that something is “wrong” with me.

To do that would be to give into the notion that in order to give and receive love, or even just get an iced coffee with a prospective partner, one has to come from a place of completion—of almost perfection.

I shied away from dating for over a year, under the guise of “doing the work,” and yet I think I’ve just not wanted to accept where I am and where I am not.

Now, I know ambition and a really curated LinkedIn profile are things that some dating enthusiasts look for, and I will never disparage personal preference. You like what you like.

But for me, if someone can ask of themselves the hard questions, be a good human being to those who can’t do much for them, and have an insane appetite for the world around them…I’m interested.

I realise that the other stuff matters too; however, I’d prefer to tick those things off first.

In the spirit of concluding this article, I know I should list off all of the qualities I have come to now appreciate about myself.

The funny thing is, and just as I found no reason to argue with my former roommate, I don’t feel the need to.

Knowing what you bring to the table is knowing that you don’t have to always say it.


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Maria Ermides  |  Contribution: 395

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