Southern Belle in Training

Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle Blog || Est. 2012 || Charlottesville, VA

July 1, 2019

Relationship Monday: Why I'm Glad I Gave Dating Apps Another Try.

     Happy Monday and happy July! I've been sharing different monthly series blog posts on Tuesdays of each month this year, but for July the monthly series will be on Mondays- I'll be sharing a new Relationship Monday post each week this month! I've always enjoyed writing these in the past, and I haven't shared any in the last several months which means I have lots of post ideas now! I thought I would kick things off by taking a little dive into why my views on dating apps have shifted again in 2019. 



Photo by Kate Greer

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     Last October, I wrote a different Relationship Monday blog post entitled "A Year Without Dating Apps." The backstory: I had decided back in Fall 2017 after a couple years of using dating apps unsuccessfully that I needed a long break from then. I decided that 2018 was going to be a dating app free year. I wasn't giving up dating entirely- it was fine to go on dates if I met guys through natural means. But no apps! They were stressing me out way too much, and I found I was in a place where I'd get really disappointed after a bad first date from an app and dwell on and overanalyze it for way longer than I should. 

     I held to my commitment to myself of staying off dating apps entirely in 2018! But as 2019 approached, I began to start thinking about personal goals and resolutions for the new year. I realized that one personal goal I had was to overcome my anxiety surrounding dating. Back when I first started using dating apps a few years ago, I was way too serious about it. I would stress out so much for first dates, and freak out over every text that I sent to someone I was talking to. If they didn't text back right away, I'd also freak out. I would get attached to a guy that I'd only met once or twice, and then be pretty devastated when it didn't work out. There's nothing wrong of course with mourning a bad break-up, but being super upset when you've only met someone once or a couple times just isn't really normal, and that's exactly that I'd do. 2018 was a great year of finding confidence and contentment in being single, but where I do very much desire to have a serious relationship someday soon and eventually get married, I wanted to start dipping my toes back into dating more regularly this year, and overcome the anxiety I had with it.

     I started to realize at the end of last year that the best way to overcome dating anxiety would be to do more of it. I wanted to have more texting conversations, more first dates, more opportunities to get to know guys with little pressure (just to enjoy first dates, not to stress about if it's going to become serious or not). While I did meet a couple guys last year the "old fashioned way" (aka not on apps), meeting guys randomly was happening few and far between, and even less so once my work schedule got so weird with being a morning radio host. I felt that apps were my best bet to get more "dating practice" in. There were also two different articles I read from Christian perspectives on the potential benefits of dating apps- this one from blogger Stephanie Wilson and this one from Boundless (which is a Christian singleness podcast and website). Both articles highlighted different points about being intentional with online dating, and it helped me see that I could use apps again in a better way than I had before!

     I re-downloaded Bumble right after the holidays, and have been on several first dates this year. I even met someone in the spring that I did end up dating exclusively until last month. Now I'm currently taking a break from Bumble/apps again, but my perspective on them has totally shifted from what it was in the past. Here's why I'm thankful I did my dating apps break in 2018 but am glad I did them again in 2019: 


     *Being in a great place with being single: This one might sound a bit contradictory- if I'm so happy as a single woman, why am I seeking out a more dates? Because finding true contentment in singleness has lead me to have a much more relaxed attitude with dating than I did in the past! So I meet a great guy through a dating app and it works out? That's great! So I don't meet anyone I want to date exclusively but I have some cool experiences meeting new guys and learning more about myself? That's also great! Since last year, I've been in a season where life is so so so good as a single woman. I am prioritizing my career, my friends, my faith, my blog and of course being a cat mom. I'm at a point where I'd love to add dating into being one of my priorities as well, but if I didn't meet anyone worthy of that I knew that I'd still be totally fine and happy. 
   
     *Getting more relaxed with texting guys and first date conversation: As I shared above, I used to have so much anxiety with dating. I would obsessively check my phone when I was talking to a guy, and overanalyze every bit of the first date- from what he wore down to the conversation topics. I realized that the easiest way to take the early stages of dating more casually was just to do it more. Being back on dating apps this year has lead me to have healthier boundaries with using them / texting guys, and first dates don't scare me anymore! 

     *Becoming more aware of what I'm looking for in a partner / realizing my non-negotiables: The more guys that I go on first dates with, the more I realize what qualities I want and don't want in a serious relationship partner. For example, humor has always been an important characteristic to me, but after going on several dates this year with guys who I didn't find very funny or I didn't get their sense of humor, I realize this is even more crucial to me now! I've also realized the personal values and personality traits that I'm not able to compromise on- which can be a tough lesson to learn, but better to learn that now! 

     *Getting out more / exploring Charlottesville: First dates are fun, and I think for a few years ago I lost sight of that! They're an excuse to get out of my apartment and have something on the calendar. I've been on first dates from Bumble this year at some of my favorite spots around Charlottesville, and also at a few new-to-me places. Even if the guy turns out to be a total dud, I probably still enjoyed where we went! 

    *Being realistic about dating as a 20-something in general: When I go on a first date from Bumble now, I truly have no expectations going in. I'm not expecting that it could be my future husband like I would a few years ago, but at the same time I'm also not expecting that it's going to be totally terrible and I'll hate him. I'm pretty neutral and realistic now, and it was only through a lot of first date practice that I feel I got to that point! 


     I'm currently taking another little break from dating apps, but I am thinking at this point I'll most likely do Bumble or another one again before the end of the year. I feel like I learned a lot through going on so many dates (and one brief relationship) for the earlier part of this year, and I wanted to share this post today in case any of you fellow single ladies or guys are curious about the benefits of doing dating apps! There definitely can be negatives, which I did experience in my first time doing apps a few years ago. But once you're in a season of contentment with single life, there are also positives to getting more dating practice, and I think now I finally have a good understanding of what using dating apps in a healthy way looks like. 


      Relationship Monday posts will continue next week on the blog!


      God Bless,

     
      xoxo Annaliese 
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15 comments

  1. You already know that Andy and I met online through a dating website, but I am so, so glad we met that way. It allowed both of us to be intentional in what we were looking for, plus we wouldn't have ever met "in real life" ;)

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  2. Realizing what you really want in a partner is so important :) You got this girl!

    x Lisa | lisaautumn.com

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  3. I think it is great you are so self-aware when it comes to online dating. I think it is important to recognize when you are letting it get out of control and become too much pressure like you did in the past. Online dating is SO much better when it can be fun!

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  4. Love this look girl! It is so preppy and happy and you can never go wrong with gingham. (:

    xoxo,
    Juliana Grace | www.julianagraceblogspace.com

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  5. I'm super glad you went for it, and found more comfort in dating apps!

    - Genevieve
    https://studyinglifewithgigi.wordpress.com

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  6. This dress is so darling! I am so proud of you for giving them a try again. I love that you're going into it casually too. I know many people who have found the "one" on dating apps.

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  7. Such a great & insightful post! When I started to have "fun" being single and stopped taking dating so seriously it became easier for me to enjoy a 1st date for just what it was- a chance to meet someone new & explore my own town! If it went well - great! If not... a free drink/dinner ;) LOL

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  8. I love reading what you've learned through dating apps. I think they're great for getting to know people and getting out to explore.

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  9. Wow, it really sounds like you've done a lot of growing and self reflection over the past year and a bit, and that's great. Different means work for different people, and how well they work is also affected by where they are in life. It's great to hear that you were able to be in a place where you really appreciated being single, as that will definitely help ensure that you only date someone who is actually worth dating, and won't settle for less 🙌

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  10. Dating apps are a hit and miss for some people. I hope everything goes well for you :)

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  11. Like everything else social media, I think dating apps have so many benefits if used with awareness. Thank you for sharing your experiences!

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  12. This is a great post! I have never used a dating app, but I know so many people that have met their significant other that way!

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  13. I love that you are using your experiences as opportunities for growth and inner reflection. You are a lovely young woman. You keep being you.

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  14. Can totally relate to what you said about purposely dating more frequently so that dating feels more comfortable and the anxiety around it is lesser. I think in general it's helped me to realize how many people are out there and be less likely to compromise on what's important to me.

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  15. Whatever way you meet someone, I wish you lots of positive experiences and amazing dates!! ❤️

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