I recently jumped back on Hinge after time in quarantine had me quite frankly desperate for attention and shallow gratification. While I could lie and say I was looking for love, this lack of human connection has me fighting old habits of self-doubt. A dopamine rush based almost solely on compliments pertaining to my appearance felt like it could be a quick fix.
Yet, as the messages started to roll in, I realize that I do want more than the heart. I seek the excitement of getting to know someone knew and the possibility of connection to the person whose fingers tap on the other end of the glass screen. While I can quickly comeback to snarky comments or compliments, I freeze at any message that remotely resembles a “How are you?”
The truth is I don’t know how I am, and I don’t know how to properly answer this question right now. I could say I cried reading the news this morning, that I worked out for 2 hours this afternoon out of borden and heighten insecurity, or that the last 3 hours I watched summer house on Bravo because I literally couldn’t think of a reason not to. I could say I feel immense grateful, luck and privilege but also scared, sad and angry. The thing is I don’t know how I am, but a de facto good seems neither truthful nor timely, and something snarky (which I usually go for) seems very off putting giving the current circumstances. So I let these messages linger in the ether, because I don’t know how to build connection on such uncertainty.
How do you respond? What is the appropriate way to answer ‘how are you?’ to someone you have never met right now?