Hello, my loves. Welcome back to Unf*ck Your Relationships. Today, we are going to be talking about all things dating apps.
This is always a bit of a hot topic to talk about, even when it’s not “trending” or anything. Women have opinions about dating apps…like, serious opinions. I get told all the time, “I want to work with you, but I know you really advocate for dating apps, and I just feel like I’m going to meet my person in person. I hate dating apps. Bumble is the devil, Hinge is the worst, Tinder is awful,” etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.
Now, I will say, Tinder isn’t great. If you’re going to use dating apps, I would recommend Hinge. But that’s beside the point.
There are so many apps out there that you can try out, but we tend to paint them all with the same brush. If we have a bad experience, we decide that all dating apps are the worst, but have we actually given them a chance?
Before I get into this discussion about dating apps, I want to put this out there: do whatever the fuck you want. It makes no difference to me. I do advocate for dating apps, but I met my partner in person, which just goes to show you that it doesn’t matter whether or not you use the apps. You’re a grown-ass human, and you can choose whether or not you want to use the apps. But what I want to bring to your attention is the fact that you might be cock-blocking yourself because of the stupid stories you’re telling yourself about dating apps.
If you’ve been following me for a while, you guys know that I met my partner Drew at a sexuality/tantra retreat.
Obviously, the fact that he was even there showed that we were very like-minded. We both really value growth, so that made sense. But I had also met guys on dating apps who had been to this exact same retreat before. I had met guys who were doing the work. I remember going on a date with a guy years ago, when I first started attracting more conscious men, and this guy really, really stood out to me. I still think he’s a wonderful human. But I remember us being on a date, and he told me that he was doing inner child work, and I was shook. I’d never experienced a man doing the work before.
And you know what? I met him on Bumble. In fact, prior to Drew, I met my last three partners on dating apps; one on Tinder, one on Bumble, and one on Hinge.
So, obviously I got something out of these apps. And even though they didn’t ultimately work out, I don’t believe that the measure of a successful relationship is how long you stay together.
I’d still call all three of those successful relationships, even though we didn’t stay together in the long term. And that’s perfect, because I learned a lot anyway.
The point of this is that being on dating apps gave me so much experience with men. It taught me so much that I wouldn’t have been able to learn otherwise.
I learned to set boundaries. I learned to say no. I learned to ask for what I wanted. I learned how to maintain my sovereignty even when I felt really excited about someone. I learned to make sure I could tell the difference between someone’s words and someone’s actions. I learned how to spot red flags. I learned how to have high standards. I learned how to be direct. I learned how to cut things off. I learned how to trust my intuition. And I wouldn’t have learned those lessons the same way if I hadn’t been on dating apps.
Dating apps gave me so much, so of course I advocate for them, especially since I see women cock-blocking themselves with their shitty mindset around dating apps.
There’s so much about being on dating apps that doesn’t feel good to people. And hey, if something truly doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. But don’t just listen to your ego because it’s much easier for you. It’s obviously easier for you to meet someone in person when you’ve had a few cocktails and you don’t feel shy versus having to actually have an intellectual conversation over a dating app, having to navigate someone asking for your number before you’re ready, or maybe you have to navigate not knowing how to transition from the dating app into an actual date.
That’s not the dating app’s fault, by the way. That’s your…I don’t want to say your fault, but it’s your responsibility to learn how to tackle those things.
There are things that come up when we’re navigating dating apps that people just don’t want to have to deal with. And I get it, okay? I do.
Are there dickheads on dating apps? Absolutely. One hundred percent. There are dickhead women and dickhead men on there.
That’s right; it’s not just the men. A lot of women are spending their fucking weekends swiping because they have nothing better to do; they have no self-esteem and are only looking for external validation, straight up.
They haven’t done the work; they’re just wanting to match with someone. They just want someone to tell them that they’re hot, that they’re beautiful, or whatever it might be. Whatever they’re looking for, they’re doing it because they actually don’t have a sense of self-worth.
So let’s stop pinning it on just the men. There are definitely men who are just swiping on every single person and are only there for sex, but there are women who are doing that exact same thing, so let’s just take that narrative off the table.
One of the shittiest things people tend to associate dating apps with is the experience of getting ghosted or stood up.
It happens to the best of us, all right? When I was dating, I absolutely got stood up.
Over my entire dating life, I got stood up twice, and I got ghosted a couple of times. But you know what? I did not give any of them a second of my fucking time after that.
I remember this one time, I was supposed to go for a big breakfast date with someone, and I showed up…but he didn’t come. I messaged him to let him know I was there, and I never heard back.
Here’s what’s interesting: the very first time that I got stood up, I was really upset. I was really excited to meet this guy, and I definitely cried about it, but after that, I didn’t give it a second of my time. However, when I got stood up for this breakfast date, I actually didn’t care at all.
I didn’t get up and leave because I was embarrassed. Instead, I got myself a juice, sat down, and read a book. I went for a walk on the beach afterward, and that was that. I didn’t even send him a message asking what happened; I just unmatched and moved on with my life, because my mindset was, “Your loss.” Honestly, it just saved time, right? Better that he showed me who he is now rather than two years into a relationship.
Let’s break down the numbers. When I was dating, I’d say I had great conversations with about 70% of the people that I matched with. Out of that 70%, I went on dates with about 40 or 50% of them.
Most of those were just a first date that didn’t end up going anywhere, but that was fine. Some of them resulted in two or three dates. Some of them I dated for two years, and a couple of them I dated for a few months. And even though those didn’t end up going anywhere either, it was still perfect, because I learned a lot.
So 70% of those men, I had great conversations with. I’d say 20% of conversations on dating apps will be a thing where you send a couple of messages back and forth, and then they just fizzle out. Those messages were like, “Oh fuck, I gotta respond to this person.”
You’re clearly just not feeling it, and that’s so perfect. That’s fine. And then maybe 10% were total fucking douchebags. But here’s the thing; you’re focusing exclusively on that 10% when you write off dating apps. And maybe for you that number is higher, but in any case, why are you focusing on that versus the conversations that are good?
I can almost assure you that’s a fucking theme throughout your life. You’re just focusing on what’s not working versus what is, and in addition to that…remember that douchebags aren’t exclusive to dating apps. You can meet douchebags in person, too.
There are not-so-great men who would never use a dating app, who only meet women in person, and there are not-so-great men on dating apps. There are wonderful men who would never use a dating app, and there are wonderful men who use dating apps. Can we just see people as people rather than telling ourselves it’s the dating app that’s the problem?
Now, if you get to a place where you’ve done all the work, you’ve withdrawn my projections around dating apps, and it’s just not for you right now, that’s fine. If you want to meet men in person, by all means. Please do. Like I said, I met Drew in person. I obviously advocate for that as well. I’m not saying you should hole up in your house and fucking scroll Hinge for six hours. But if you want to meet men in person, then—and I’m saying this with all the love in the world—get the fuck out of your house and do it.
If you want to meet people in person, put yourself in rooms where you’re going to meet people you would be attracted to.
You can go to cooking classes. You could go to a meditation circle. Sometimes I do ice baths and stuff on the beach, and you can go do that too. If you’re into conscious stuff, go to a retreat. Go to a workshop. Go to a kink party. Do whatever the fuck you want to do, but start doing something.
Once you have a clean relationship with dating apps, then you can decide whether or not you want to be on them. But until you have a clean relationship with them, I don’t want to hear shit about them.
If you want to change your relationship to dating apps and you actually want to find a relationship that lights you up and inspires you, then come join my program Swipe Right, because it’s fucking next level. It’ll change your whole mindset around them.
Join Swipe Right, a 6-week program for women who want to date with intentionality so they can meet the man of their dreams: https://michellepanning.com/swipe-right
Ready to do the work? You can find all courses, masterclasses, and more right here: https://michellepanning.com/all-offers
I get it, girl. I’ve been there too. For years, I was going through the same experiences with men over and over again that left me feeling confused, anxious and pissed off.
I silenced myself in dating and relationships because I was terrified of being judged, rejected and abandoned. It all changed when I went through a break-up and thought “enough is enough. I cannot continue to repeat the same relationships with different men! Something HAS to change!”