Besides the occasional bout of homesickness I was so happy this summer, content with everyday and everyone I was surrounded with. Enamoured with life, attending all the events I wanted, not having my mood be dependent on the presence of others, doing everything by my choice – I was content.
I realized I wasn’t feeling this way when I returned and it wasn’t because home life was so different or change was unadjustable. Somewhere along the way, when I started trying to meet people online, I’d let my ego get tied into the validation of other people, their frequency of replies, and their eagerness to meet, the more or less uncontrollable factors.
I know it was silly to have accepted them as if they were an accurate measurement of my personality or appearance. They didn’t even know me. Somewhere along the way, I developed a toxic relationship with myself. There are books and articles teaching us to get rid of toxic partners, parents, and friends, but I’d forgotten about toxic thought patterns. That’s ironic given what I studied, no?
I don’t know how or when I let myself go from confident and comfortable to confused and insecure, and when I realized, I didn’t like it.
I didn’t like how people’s – strangers’ – lack of respect for me online had me questioning why someone would feel I wasn’t worth the respect, and if perhaps they were right. Then I started reading about other people’s experiences in forums, blogs, and articles; they described how they were ghosted, stood up, felt used, etc. I hated how they were told to accept this behaviour as the new norm and to write it off with “It’s just [site/app for meeting people here]. Get over it,” disregarding that the way they were feeling was valid, not addressing that no, it’s not okay for people to treat each other this way and yes, if you feel hurt, it’s normal, not being too sensitive. It was disheartening. It made me sad. And when I really thought about it, I was adding to the problem, too. You’re either on the bus or in front of the bus. Plus it was a problem I could easily get rid of.
So I deleted it all.
It was really fun talking to people, but any connection that I would’ve categorized as meaningful eventually got stale. Any person I’d met that I thought I’d be good friends with for the long run ended in silence. I know it’s not always like this. Unlucky maybe. Self-fulfilling prophecy maybe. Small sample size maybe.
Society. There’s this stigma against people who are single. They make it out to be a situation people are fighting to get out of. It’s not true. But I guess the marketing worked on me.
Be prepared to see people in a more jaded way if you’re about to embark on online adventures. It seems more about meeting people and getting their own needs met and basic, real life courtesy gets left behind. As uncomfortable I was with all this, even I felt it was appropriate to leave people hanging and delete without a trace.
Starting accepting and even expecting rude behaviour as appropriate…
Filed under: feelings, from my understanding, life, changes, tinder