If dating is like a roller coaster, *online* dating is like that one designed for euthanasia (opens in new tab) but with none of the euphoria. One minute, you're having a lit conversation with a Lucky Blue Smith-lookalike brogrammer—if those really are his pics. The next, you're like "Everything is futile. Love doesn't exist. Does this make me a nihilist?"
It's definitely bleak out there, but don't we all know at least one really cute couple that met on Tinder? Maybe? For Tinder/Bumble/Happn/FarmersOnly times both good and bad, here are five daily affirmations to repeat to yourself quietly as you sob into your whisky and wear out your thumb swiping. Cheers.
You are not your matches.
I mean, yes, v. flattering when you match with a Thom Browne model, but honestly, nobody is worth having those "DID HE BUILD A RIGHT-SWIPE ROBOT" doubts. You're hot. Accept it. On the other hand, it is maybe not so healthy to attach too much meaning to how many horses you've got in your stable.
It really is all up to you.
Hands on, uncertainty is the worst part about this whole f*cked-up but statistically sound way of "meeting people." But you know what? You're in control—always. All you ever have to think about—all that really matters—is if you like him. Not the other way around. Besides, there's a little button in the righthand corner that can end it all in an instant if you somehow can't extricate yourself.
Your feelings are valid.
This goes two ways: "I'm going to die all alone except for my sick couture collection, which I will bequeath to the Met." Or "LIFE IS GREAT! LOVE IS GREAT!" Emotional waffling is part of the Dating-App Experience™, so just enjoy the ride, I guess. (I'm captain of #TeamFeelingsSuck, JSYK.) But when you're irrationally hurting or even more irrationally back-in-middle-school crushing, that's how you know you're alive.
You can stop whenever.
It's a lot. Which is why I never think about adding to the callousness of the world by being one of 50 million users who sort through real, human people like they're no more than avocados on a Trader Joe's shelf. JK, JK. But really—when the mirror selfies and the dead-end flirtations get to be too much, just sign off for a while.
Never swipe on an empty stomach.
That's just good sense.
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Chelsea Peng is a writer and editor who was formerly the assistant editor at MarieClaire.com. She's also worked for The Strategist and Refinery29, and is a graduate of Northwestern University. On her tombstone, she would like a GIF of herself that's better than the one that already exists on the Internet and a free fro-yo machine. Besides frozen dairy products, she's into pirates, carbs, Balzac, and snacking so hard she has to go lie down.
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