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Dating online for years

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In this month's column, she discusses why — even after finding love on dating apps — she's doing the challenge. This past January, I went on one of the best first dates of my life.

after 10 years, here's why i’m over online dating

Up until recently, online dating was a big part of my life. I hope that by taking a year off apps, I can date more intentionally. Instead of sometimes dating people who are fun, yet I see no future with, I want to date someone who is on the same dating page as me, with similar relationship goals.

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I am now determined to change that. My goal is to have a fulfilling, sustainable relationship, even though I travel a lot.

While I did have some short-term relationships with people I've met IRL during my travels, finding a long-term boyfriend is definitely the most challenging aspect of my nomadic lifestyle. I often question if I can have both or need to sacrifice one for the other.

But some of my nomadic friends have found success finding something more permanent, which gives me hope. I used dating apps to supplement — not replace — meeting potential dates in person. But since dating apps were involved in my professional life, I got to know the ins and outs of them, probably more so than other daters.

Overall, I felt that I could use all the time I spent messaging on apps more wisely: Doing activities, offline, that interested me and seeing if I met dating prospects more naturally. My first experience of going off dating apps was App-less April — an experiment I did for Bustle where I took a month off from dating apps.

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It illuminated a lot for me, but most notably I learned the value of initial face-to-face communication; focusing on in-person interactions versus being glued to my phone and worrying about which online match wrote me back or not ; it was a nice departure from what I was used to. I was also able to focus more on in-person chemistry with someone versus online messaging chemistry which often does not match up in real life.

It seemed that meeting someone in person, through a friend, meant they were more accountable — it was like getting a real-life letter of recommendation, and the chances of them ghosting were slim-to-none versus app matches who shared no mutual friends with me and could easily go M.

But, a month off dating apps is one thing.

My question now is: Will I be able to do it all year? And will I be able to meet my primary goal — date more intentionally, while still being a nomad, and find something that lasts.

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