Dating sites make me feel ugly


17-Dec-2016 00:46

I find the vast, vast, vast majority of men unattractive.

Mostly it’s that I don’t have any physical attraction to them, but once in a while (about twice a year if I’m on a lot of dating sites, or once every few years if I’m not), I’ll meet someone I actually think is good looking (a hint here is that I find most celebrities physically unattractive, apparently my sex drive is picky but I couldn’t tell you why – although I DO have a high sex drive…).

For the first time this week, I found some actual research that confirms that both male and female Tinder users report a lower self-image after using the popular dating app.

Scientists asked 1,044 women and 273 men – mostly university students – to complete questionnaires detailing their use of Tinder, and reported the following: “We found that being actively involved with Tinder, regardless of the user’s gender, was associated with body dissatisfaction, body shame, body monitoring, internalisation of societal expectations of beauty, comparing oneself physically to others, and reliance on media for information on appearance and attractiveness.” There’s some irony to this, considering that we are constantly told Tinder is little more a validation-seeking app. Instead of a confidence boost, those who sit swiping absent-mindedly with their friends, with coffee at lunch, or secretly at the office, are feeling more and more disposable, probably because, for every 1 or 2 matches, it’s hard to shake the feeling that you’re also receiving 100 tiny rejections. Aside from the feeling I was burning a pile of hours swiping away when I could have been out with friends or reading a book, or doing anything productive, I couldn’t help but feel that I was being more judged every time I would open up to look at my matches.

I’m not going to say whether these women are right, although THEY certainly feel they are.

Did you feel flattered, or did you think it seemed stupid?Women, on the whole, are far more discerning than men when it comes to physical attraction.In the linked Ok Cupid study, women think that 80% of men are BELOW average in attractiveness, when, in a normal distribution, that number should be 50%.Now to be honest, I’m not too bothered about finding someone in the next couple of years, I’m still young at 28 and my career is my priority right now, so I’m not in too much of a hurry, but the reason why it’s been bothering me is that I’m actually starting to worry that my family messed me up so much I’ll never be able to love anyone.

I’m therapied out and no longer diagnosable – I’ve made a massive recovery and feel extremely healthy – so I don’t think more therapy is going to suddenly make me find more men attractive.

However, I’m also aware having been through a lot of therapy after numerous and significant mental health difficulties (eating disorders etc.) that I tend to date cold or unavailable men and then not ask for more and maintain that emotional distance – essentially, I seem to have been in a habit of avoiding intimacy by going out with people I don’t find attractive, or more often than I’d like to admit, men who I know are gay before I even ask them out…otherwise they’re narcissistic or give mixed messages, or aren’t close in some way etc.




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