stress about the dating app becoming the date

i’m talking with a cool person on hinge at the moment but i’m stressing about it too, kinda, because something i’ve noticed in of all my time on these apps is that, no matter how much chemistry you have with one of your matches, conversation can only survive on the app for so long before there has to be some kind of leveling up.

normally that means meeting in person, getting a drink, but it can also manifest as trading phone numbers, or following one another on instagram, or skyping. in fact, when you open hinge right now, you’ll see a pop-up saying that the company’s done a survey of its users and found that over 70% are willing to talk with their matches through video chat, and to have that work as their first date (the folks behind the app obviously wanna encourage people to stay indoors and help flatten the coronavirus curve).

but i feel like there’s so much pressure to be interesting via all these different avenues of communication, and for some reaosn it’s worse than meeting with somebody in person, ideally at a bar, where there’s a shared environment, you’re reading each other’s body language, there’s a degree of physicality to it (knees touching under the bar, the playful touch of the other person’s forearm with every joke).

Love Sick, Caitlyn Doran

if you’re out with somebody in person, you’re sharing an experience, and if conversation should flag at some point, well, you can look away from each other for a moment and then comment on shit that’s going on around you, or use your surroundings as a springboard for finding other stuff to talk about.

whenever these app conversations kinda sputter into nothing and die, i feel something akin to the wasteful fatigue of like when you’ve had two or three beers at lunch and then you’re all groggy and lethargic at like 4 p.m., the whole evening still ahead of you. it’s a feeling like, shit, i could’ve made something here, but now i’m just burned out.

anyway. what will be will be.

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