Dating Apps • Navigating with Self Worth

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Dating can be a beast as is - and navigating the process with low self-worth is, well, dangerous. Tread lightly. I've had, and have, my fair share of low self-worth that I'm working on. But, when it comes to men/romantic partners/dating, etc I've always had a pretty good sense of boundaries, of what I require in another person and where my self-worth stands in relation. 

Now, I've never been into dating apps. I found them kind of silly, didn't think I'd be able to find anyone of serious quality and cringed at the thought of posting myself on them. I also recently ended my most serious relationship thus far and didn't think I'd be ready to find someone else...give up more of my energy to anyone else...have time to meet anyone else. But, my roommate had joined a few and we'd spend our evenings perusing the men, laughing or ooing-and-ahhing. It made us feel...almost powerful. So, with some encouragement, I decided to make a profile.

Here's how I'm navigating my experience with high self-worth

SET AN INTENTION • We all have our own reasons for joining dating apps, but it's important to narrow it down to one solid intention. At this time in my life, I am not ready for another serious relationship. And, with my busy schedule, it feels nearly impossible to meet anyone new, romantic or not. Therefore, my intention for joining is simply to meet new people. I have no intention of dating, kissing, flirting. yuuuck. If that happens, then great - an added bonus.

USE YOUR INTENTION AS A FILTER • If your intention is to find a romantic partner and start a relationship, then keep a very critical eye on the guys you choose to "swipe" or "heart." Matching with a guy who is not aligned with your intention can be a trigger for low self-worth. Since my intention is to meet someone new, not find a romantic partner or hook-up, I immediately decline anyone who hints at looking for a sex pal. I know that if I were to match with that kind of guy and meet up with him, I'd take a hit to my self-worth when he didn't care about our conversation and tried to pull me to his apartment. Always bring it back to your intention.

MAKE A LIST OF NON-NEGOTIABLES • Understand what you value in another person. Is it that he always holds the door for you? Insists on paying the bill? Doesn't just talk about himself? Anytime there's a strike against your list - don't waste your time.

SEPARATE YOUR INTENTION FROM THE APP • This might sound counterintuitive at first, but bear with me. What I mean is don't depend on the dating app to reach your intention. You may not find a romantic partner via swiping through random men on your phone. I may not meet anyone cool or interesting. Entering the experienced detached will help keep your self-worth high. 

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So far, my experience has been pleasantly aligned with my intention

I've gone on two "dates" now with two different men I've met via the app. I sussed them out beforehand and met at a public place, surveyed my non-negotiables and found great conversation with two interesting, cultured humans. 

I'm not searching for love anytime soon, but when that time does come I'll shift my intention and adjust my filter. Who knows, you may look up from swiping through one day on the sidewalk and run right into the love of your life. Detach and have fun. 

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LILA SEELEY • ASSISTANT EDITOR

A California creative with a passion for travel, art, frothy lattes and extra cinnamon.


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