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Written By Aspen., – Official Contributor of The Crowned Series

The time has finally come! Next week marks 10 months since I’ve moved back to my home state and started a new chapter in my life. It’s been almost a year since I pursued a romantic relationship and almost four years since I was in a serious long-term relationship. Over the years, I’ve had little interest in investing the time and energy that I felt would be required of me to be a good partner to someone else. Grad school served as a fantastic distraction as I was far too busy with work and class to even worry about dating. But now I’ve found myself with slightly more free time and a mild quarter life crisis since turning twenty-five that has left me curious about dipping my feet back into the dating world. 

Now, the last real relationship that I was in began in high school. I’ve quickly learned that it was far easier to meet people in both high school and college than it is as an adult. So, I’ve decided to join the wave of dating apps. Now, I’ve also been the type of girl to dream of a fairytale relationship. Perhaps we would meet on an airplane or run into each other on the sidewalk on the way to our respective jobs. The kind of scenario where they knock the hot tea out of my hand and the in the midst of an apology we lock eyes and from there history is made. As I get older and older, the chance of this seems less and less likely. Out of necessity, I’ve decided to get on board with the times and pursue an online love story instead. 

Throughout this journey, I’ve enlisted the help of two of my best friends who are currently or were previously well-seasoned when it comes to dating apps. I’ve created accounts on Tinder, Hinge, and Bumble and the experience has been stressful to say the least. It certainly is fun to swipe left and right based on the people but in the back of my mind, I struggle with the idea that it’s all fake! I see the success stories but I constantly wonder if that could ever be me. As is usually the case for me, I’ve taken a lot of time to sit in my discomfort surrounding the dating app process and have determined that my most developed romantic relationships were heavily built on strong emotional connections fairly early on in our interactions. And that’s precisely what my dating app experience has been missing so far. But I’m not giving up just yet! 

My friends said that I just need to get to the next level. They brought up the good point that I need to put in the work to utilize these apps as a starting point for one day reaching these in-depth emotional conversations —- even if it means starting off with petty small talk. In an effort to challenge myself I’ve decided to give it a try. If nothing else, it’s an opportunity for me to get more comfortable with the idea of reaching out to people, being honest about what I want, and taking realistic steps to get it. 

In grad school, I made it my mission to do something every week that scares me. As I navigate this quarter-life crisis, I’m bringing this mindset back as a means of forced challenge and change in my life. Besides, what’s the worst that can happen? If it doesn’t work out there’s always casting for season 2 of Love Is Blind, right? My students are already setting up my future stan accounts.

Aspen ., Official Contributor of The Crowned Series

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