As I was in the shower, I was mentally thinking over my potential date this coming weekend with someone I met on Hinge who seems nice but did not quite 'click' it for me, if that makes any sense? As usual, what I dread most is telling that person afterwards that you just don't see them like that.
And then it dawned on me, the reason why I just don't like dating apps.
When you meet people through regular life, there are usually no pre-assigned expectations. You are free to try and build any kind of relationship with them that you want, they could be your friend, a one-night stand or the love of your life. There's usually time to figure out which of these categories that person fits in for you. There could be someone you really fancied when you first met them, but when you got to know them that feeling passed and now you are free to remain friends without the awkwardness of those early feelings and their implications.
On dating apps (at least the relationship-oriented ones), on the other hand, there is a certain expectation that you're getting to know that person for the precise reason that you might want a relationship with them down the line. Because of that initial expectation, saying something like "But we should still stay friends" after romantically rejecting someone becomes almost an insult because of the societal implications and the vilification of the term "friendzone".
As an introvert who in the past hasn't had the easiest time building genuine and close relationships with people, this act of the repeated trial and error is way too emotionally exhausting.