“hey Anna, I hope you feel better and continue to take care of yourself! I would appreciate any advice on how to navigate dating apps in general. Whenever I go on (I only use hinge), I still feel paralyzed by the sheer amount of options and having to keep up with surface level conversations. I often quickly pause my profile again. I would love to hear your thoughts whenever you are able to share them.”
My Dearest Bad Biddie,
Call it what you want: the paradox of choice, FOMO, analysis paralysis, it all boils down to one thing and that one thing is that humans are happier when we have a few choices, but not too many choices. I’m not a scientist or researcher, so the following is, like all of my advice, based on some combination of conjecture and pure opinion, but if I had to pinpoint why we feel the dating apps are so overwhelming, it’s because it feels like we have to participate in everything and everyone. Back in ye olden days, our parents met a few people, dated a few more, and then, presumably, made a choice, for better or worse. Nowadays, we have eight hundred options at our disposal and how do you know if you’re making the right choice when you have eight hundred choices and half of them are all posing with a tiger in their profile photo?
I don’t know how the rest of the world deals with the paradox of choice, but I know how I used to deal with it: by freaking taking the pressure off. If I only wanted to swipe on five guys back in the day, I would only swipe on five guys. If I had three conversations going with three different guys, but I only wanted to talk to one of them, I would only continue the conversation with one of them.
If spoiled for choice, do not fail to choose something, even if that something turns out to be the wrong choice. Without choice, the world becomes an unmanageable beast that lives, rent-free, in our heads, paralyzing us from living in the here and now. You don’t have to date or talk to or swipe on all the men on all the dating apps, you just have to start with one and go from there. Even if the one you start with is the wrong choice, sometimes making the wrong choice is what leads us to the right choice.
Your internet hype woman
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