Let's Just Say It, Online Dating Can Be One Of The Worst College Experiences

Let's Just Say It, Online Dating Can Be One Of The Worst College Experiences

I don't even know where to begin.

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The smartphone took away the human need for in-person contact without addressing a desire for intimacy, creating a kicking, screaming baby: the dating app. While some experiences can be worthwhile, dating apps such as Tinder and Bumble have caused distress in the college dating community.

Many students find it challenging to stay interested enough to meet the person they've been chatting with in person. Conversations are harder to keep alive, intentions aren't clear enough and it's easier to be judgmental toward someone when you're speaking to them for the first time online.

Speaking from experience, when you finally do find someone worth meeting in person from Tinder or Bumble, the first date can often times be different — and worse — than expected. Most of the time, this is because the image created in your head of your newest match usually doesn't add up to how they are in real life.

According to Psychology Today, the variety of potential partners offered through dating apps can make it even more difficult when it comes to searching for a relationship. With so many virtual profiles to consider, many single people find that online dating isn't as helpful as originally thought.

A quarter of 25- to 40-four-year-olds use online dating apps, but only about five percent of users are able to successfully form a relationship from them. If you have ever been on Tinder, you can already agree to the fact that its focus is more toward instant satisfaction rather than a long-term, healthy relationship.

"Dating today is a nightmare," says Behavioral Psychologist and Author Barry Schwartz told Psychology Today.

For each first meeting, you don't know what to expect — so expect the worst. Many women who are dating tend to send their current location to their close friends, bring along pepper spray and mentally prepare. While not all first dates are awful enough to take action, it's better to be safe than sorry when a date goes south.

There are bad experiences involved with online dating as a college student, but we can't let that keep us from looking for relationships. If you aren't a fan of apps like Tinder, try being more friendly to peers during class, club meetings or parties. You never know if sparks fly unless you try.

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It's Time To Challenge 'You Complete Me' Culture

Your partner should be your companion, not your completion!

pmterch
pmterch
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After having some time to reflect after "The Bachelor" finale, I think this is the perfect time to put this article out there. In this article, I want to offer you a different perspective on how to view relationships. I want to challenge you to defy cultural assumptions of what romance is and shine a light on how codependency can squash your happiness.

The puzzle analogy

In wedding vows or proclamations of love, we often hear the phrase, "You complete me." We compare finding our person to finding the missing piece of the puzzle in our lives. Once we place that puzzle piece in the empty hole, we can finally see the beautiful and complete picture. Without that piece, we would be in a frenzy, searching all around under the kitchen table and on everyone's chairs to see if we find it. We desperately hope the dog, or the baby, hasn't eaten it. We hold out hope.

This comparison, as I have found, has created quite an issue in our modern day society. We are so obsessed with finding that missing piece in our lives to complete us that we often search in the wrong places or live in unending frustration. Sometimes we find a perfectly wonderful person, but they seem to lack everything on our checklists of what we have deemed as the perfect missing piece, so we let them go. If you are one of the lucky ones who has found a person who fills the void in your life, you often try to shove them into the puzzle as hard as you can and force them to fit. You need to be filled; you need to have the beauty of the final picture — without it, how could you ever be completely happy?

Where did I go wrong?

I was riding along in the car with my boyfriend when I realized we had hit a rough patch. We are a long distance couple — going to separate colleges four hours away from each other — but we only live two minutes away from each other when we are back at home.

I had never had a boyfriend before my second semester of senior year. I had always been very independent. I moved a lot, which meant anytime I got close to dating someone, POOF, there I went. But, this time I had finally stayed and found an amazing guy — my best friend.

When I was single, I was the queen of relationship advice (as we all are when we are not blinded by rose-colored romance). Finally being in a relationship made me realize how easy it was to fall into habits that I had always scorned others for. I began letting this relationship affect me in ways I never even suspected it could.

Don't get me wrong, this was not his doing at all. My boyfriend is the sweetest guy I know. He is always lifting me up and supporting me to reach my dreams. While we both struggle with anxiety and depression, we have found a way to always put our individual mental health first. My boyfriend had dated people before me, but I had not. This altered expectations of what this relationship was supposed to look like for each of us. He knew what mistakes to try to stay away from, while I was still trying to figure it out.

How to reframe your perspective in relationships

Regardless of my background, I think I have stumbled on the most amazing way of reframing perspective in relationships. Once I started changing the lens on how I looked at our relationship, we started bickering less and I became so much happier.

Here it is: your significant other is your COMPANION, not your COMPLETION.

Of course, you should feel happy and enjoy when your partner is around. They should treat you with care and make you laugh, but they should not be the person filling the empty piece of your heart — that isn't their responsibility. They should not be the ultimate source of happiness that makes you feel emotionally whole. This perspective is extremely unhealthy because people are fickle and we make mistakes. We screw up . . . all the time. Our culture loves to use the phrase, "You complete me." It sounds extremely romantic. However, it can be so problematic.

Now, when I spend time or communicate with my boyfriend, I see it as a lucky bonus we get after we both have spent time improving ourselves that day. When I text him, I don't expect him to reply to me immediately — even though I still wish he would because of the need for instant gratification, let's be real. I know that he is going after his dreams by working as hard as he can to make a life for himself. As a girlfriend, not only should I commend him for that, but I should also give him the space to do that. Likewise, I should go after my dreams and work as hard as I can to achieve them.

Your partner should be the fun blanket you have on top of your comforter. You would be just as warm without the blanket and still get a good nights sleep, but the blanket is still really fuzzy and gives you extra joy and you can wrap it around you while you are watching tv. And, if it is a really cold and stormy night, perhaps you snuggle up with your blanket and hold it tightly for a little extra warmth and comfort.

I am a believer in God, and I believe his holy spirit makes me whole. Regardless of if you share this belief or not, I think we can all agree that we are all supposed to walk through life together and lift each other up. If we expect to put our happiness and worth on the shoulders of one person, then that relationship is going to crumble. Why would you want the person you love most to crumble? I certainly don't. I want to be able to look my partner in the eyes and say, "I love you and I want to stand by you when you need me. When you don't, I will be okay because I am still whole and fulfilled".

pmterch
pmterch

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Tinder Isn't What People Think It Is, Here's Why

No, I'm not a Bumble brand ambassador. Whatever they do.

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I grew up in a very strict household, one where, as soon as I started considering dating apps, I was told by my parents that they were only used for one thing: sex. However, since then, I have grown up considerably, turned 18, and started college, so I have begun using apps like Tinder and Bumble. I've found this statement to be totally false, as many other users of the apps can attest to.

Yeah, of course, there are people on Tinder or Bumble that use the apps for hookups or one-night-stands. But I've found that a majority of the people on there are looking for casual or long-term dating, and I have even encountered some people just looking for a friend (not friends with benefits).

So, if this is the case, how did Tinder get such a nasty reputation—one that scares users into hiding their phone screens in shame, so no one sees them swiping left or right? Well, that's not what my article is about. Instead, I want to focus on the stigma that follows the names of these apps and services. I want to be one of many voices that helps get rid of the negative and shameful stigma that comes with using dating apps.

I, like most of the people who will be reading this, am considered a millennial. We are the generation of innovation, technology, and avocado toast, apparently. Because we are inherently so involved in using and advancing technology, it isn't surprising that we would develop a way to use our smartphones to find that special someone we want to spend the rest of our lives with. That is, until we develop the tech to upload our consciousness to the Cloud and live forever as computers (kidding!).

I still believe that Tinder and Bumble are exactly what they were originally created to be: fun and easy ways to connect people through their smartphones. I think that the negative connotations that are connected to the name Tinder deter many people from using the app, which defeats part of the purpose—which is to get as many people with phones on the service, so more people are connected and matching.

The problem is, the way to get rid of the stigma against Tinder, Bumble, and apps like them is for more people to download them. But if people don't want to download them because of the negative stigma, then we get stuck in an endless cycle. So here's my suggestion to whoever is single and reading this: download a dating app! If you're single and ready to mingle, whether or not you've struck out in the dating scene using an app like this before, give it another go! You never know who you might meet on an app like Tinder or Bumble!

Please let me know if you took my advice (or didn't), and what your experience was at the link here! (or using the link below)

https://sophiperez.typeform.com/to/opDWXR

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