Today I was strapped to the top of a plane, and flew in the sky above the Cotswolds at 130mph. I raised over £1,000 for charity. It was insane. I received so many messages of support and comments/interactions on social media – my phone was going off like it was my birthday.

And then I received a message from some boy I matched with on a dating app, and was due to meet for the first time in two days. He said he didn’t want to meet anymore because he’d met someone he was ‘quite interested in’. And I cried.

I literally just did something totally phenomenal with my day. The pilot at wing walking said that, at this moment in time, more people have climbed Mount Everest than done wing walking. AND I raised by far and away the most amount of money for charity I’ve ever raised before.

And this one message completely threw me off.

Why?

Because I am done. I have been trying to ‘put myself out there’ all year. I’ve tried meeting people in bars, and matching with them online. I’ve tried apps and paid websites that apparently specialise in a common interest. I’ve asked friends if they know anyone they can set me up with. I have spent the entire year trying to figure this shit out.

And what have I learnt?

Well… I’ve learnt that human beings cannot effectively connect via a text box and swiping. I’ve learnt that it does not matter how honest you are, people only meet you as far as they have met themselves – they can’t tell you what they want if they don’t know.

Mostly, I’ve learnt that the gamification of dating is bonkers. We live our lives (me included) getting validation from likes, views and matches. It is a point scoring exercise. Instagram and Facebook get the brunt of this accusation all the time – turning us into a generation of external validation – where our likes on Insta mean more to us than our real life connections.

And it is true.

Online dating is just another game. And while I recognise this, I don’t know what to do about it. And I am not alone.

I bet you relate. I bet you’re sick of the swiping and the endless string of disappointment – not what they looked like in their pictures, not really into the hobbies they said they were, not really as funny in real life, unable to hold a conversation, unable to understand human connection…

I haven’t blogged in such a long time, because I haven’t had anything positive to say.

I started off with a great record to be honest. The first date I went on this year turned into a four month ‘relationship’. But in the end neither of us were emotionally available enough to progress any further – and that is an extremely polite and tame way of describing what happened. I learnt a lot from that, about myself mostly. And I’ve spent the past few months trying to build on those lessons. Trying to be more emotionally available, less cynical, more open to the possibility of meeting a nice guy.

I always attract the mess. I always get the guys with issues. And that is entirely my own fault because I like to try to fix people (and myself). I can articulate things in a way that other people cannot, I can connect with people quickly and deeply because I can see their pain and I can reflect it back to them in a way that they understand, so that they can heal it.

I’ve been able to do that my entire life. And I like it. I feel like I add value to the planet in some way.

But I do not want or need a boyfriend that needs fixing. I want someone who’s ambition matches mine, who’s ability to support and nurture other people matches mine, and who’s thirst for growth and connection matches mine.

And that is why I am so upset this evening. Because I thought that I may have finally found that. Literally the first guy who did not appear to have issues, who communicated properly, in full sentences. Was creative and had his shit together.

I thought I had finally reached a point in my own development where I’d attracted someone like me, instead of someone who wanted a piece of me to plug up a hole in their own self.

And I know that there is something better coming around the corner. And I know that I just need to trust in the Universe because she’s never let me down before. And I know that just because I can’t see what’s coming, it doesn’t mean it isn’t going to be amazing, and it isn’t going to arrive in the next five seconds.

I know all of that.

But I am tired. I am fucking tired of swiping and vetting social media profiles, and judging people based on their online presence. I am tired of reading between the lines and I am tired of the constant disappointment.

I keep trying to protect my sense of self worth from all of this shit. And let’s be honest, I had a pretty solid foundation at the beginning of this year. I’d worked really hard to build myself up. But online dating is just painful.

We give ourselves over to algorithms and play within various parameters on apps, while hoping to match with someone who is going to brighten our lives.

I know it works for some people. But for me it has just chipped away at the foundations I’ve built and permeated my sense of self worth.

I stopped listening to audiobooks because I was too busy swiping and texting and going out drinking – all in the hope of finding the perfect match!

Well, I give up. I can’t do it anymore. It’s ridiculous.

I still want to find someone that compliments who I am in all of the ways listed above. And I don’t know how I am going to do that without a dating app, or a bar crawl. But I am going to try. Because my mind and body cannot take any more of this utter bullshit.

I am sick of being someone else’s external validation.

Yes babe, you’re really hot, you take a great selfie, and you send hilarious voice notes. But I’m looking for a bit more than that I’m afraid. So you can take your whatsapp thread elsewhere. I’m going back to validating myself. I think you should learn to do that too. Then maybe we might all find what we are looking for. Instead of numbing out on likes and swipes and matches that lead nowhere.