I hate being ghosted. I hate being swiped left.

Modern dating works for cowardly people who see others as algorithms. For the rest of us, it’s playing a shitty game that’s unappealing. It isn’t about love, it’s about matching through availability. Such a turn-off; modern dating is telling me that the main thing some random person and I have in common is that we’re both single…that someone who’d relate to the things I like and believe is probably already in a happy relationship. So, I’m a leftover, among a sea of other cowardly ghosting leftovers.

Today, we have the technology and A.I. to help us find the perfect match, but nary a reminder that relationships happen in phases…especially the “Fuck you, I’ll rip your ass apart” phase, because: ghost/block. Soon as something goes wrong (or even if the person’s okay but people get greedy), there’s always the great internet pool, just waiting for a return to blissful Phase 1.

The world, I feel, is lonelier than ever because escape is easier than ever. We’re blinded by the fad of independence, the shield of self-reliance, but ignoring the most important scientific truth: we’re happier and live longer when we’re with someone we love, in a relationship we’ve earned.

I hate modern dating because it’s about masks. “Swipe left” is a hammer right above my head, waiting to flatten me at the moment of imperfection. We live in a world of posed pictures and selfie pics, dating coaches and matchmakers. Writing a dating profile is more crafted than a job resume. We brag, we show our best features, post a million inspirational quotes and act like we jump out of planes or swim with dolphins. But I think it’s all going the wrong direction because maybe we should embrace vulnerability. Perhaps it should be considered inhumane to be told we’re number 21 of 50 other people dating the same person and every week, by process of elimination, there’s an e-mail telling us if we’ve made it to the next round. Maybe this algorithm, mass-dating thing is blinding us.

Though it hasn’t worked as well as when I tried to pose as a romcom character, being myself now assures me that whoever insane person does love me for me is worth pursuing. So far, I haven’t gotten any tugs on the metaphorical fishing pole, just a lot of ghosters, a lot of masks. Every so-called dating expert would advise against my be-yourself strategy, that I should stick with the skydiving, dolphin swimming narrative, but fuck it. I’m a real person, I have flaws. I’m just a guy. I have my good days and bad, I make mistakes, I don’t always say a memorable romcom line, I try to be a good person and a loyal person. I don’t jump off planes and swim with dolphins. My life isn’t a Skrillex video.

And if that means being swiped left on, go ahead. (But please don’t ghost me out of the blue, especially when things seemed like it was going well. I can take it. Just say it’s not working out, because if you ghost me, I’ll worry that you got hit by bus. Then, I’ll stalk you to see if you’re okay. That’s when I encounter you and your new guy Thomas, who jumps off planes and swims with dolphins and has a well-paying job, a dragon tattoo, a cool life mingling with celebrities, a six-pack, a black belt in krav maga, plays the ukulele and I’m wondering out loud where in the hell does he find time to do all this shit?)