Dating apps can be so dehumanizing. You mindlessly swipe through douchey photos, cringey bios, shocking emoji use, and it’s easy to forget that the makers of these incomprehensible choices are full on human beings. You don’t owe anyone a date or a conversation, but at the very least, use these methods to acknowledge that behind all the terrible profiles you see are real, equally terrible people.
Remember they are somebody’s child.
The Burning Man bisexual with every last plant and star from the nature section of the emoji keyboard littered throughout her profile? She is somebody’s daughter and a blessed child of God. Now just imagine how tragic that is for God. You don’t even have to meet her, but He made her and will one day watch her get white dreds. This is more than a 2D representation, this is a real person who shares the Earth with you, and that is alienating and dire.
Know there is more than meets the eye.
You may open up an app and see a guy whose whole entire thing is traveling but in a way that feels weirdly competitive and sort of colonial. But stop and realize that this is merely how he is choosing to represent himself to potential lovers, which is so much worse. If you were to actually see this man as a real flesh and blood being, then that would suck for you, because he would tell you about Vietnamese street food in an aggressively authoritative way.
Picture seeing them in real life.
It’s hard to believe that every finance bro on Hinge who went to an Ivy, only has photos of himself in a suit on a rooftop bar, and will be impressed if you can “teach [him] something” is a real person. So release all of your judgment around his profile, and imaging sitting across from him on the train. He’s probably having an insufferable conversation with a guy he ran into, and they’re insisting on standing five feet apart and yelling to one another, pitching their voices down in a battle for the lowest octave. When his friend gets off the train he’ll loudly say, “Alright, good to see you, man,” then look momentarily vulnerable as he remains in the space where he was just having an inappropriately loud conversation. But then he’ll put in his AirPods and continue to never reflect on anything ever. This is a real, terrible person.
So keep swiping away, but remember: All those profiles that make you say, “Fuck, I will never find love,” are REAL terrible people who exist all around you. Tough!