There’s nothing more unsettling than that feeling you’ll be single forever. Chances are you won’t, but society has given us just about every tool under the sun to help ease that paranoia in the meantime.

These days, there seems to be a dating app for everything. You can join dating apps that are exclusively based on race, economic standing, astrological sign, profession, what country club you belong to, or even how many Instagram followers you have. These apps essentially allow you to date within niches so small you might as well be looking in a mirror.

When started, it was all about increasing your options, to expand your chances of finding someone compatable. Since when did dating apps become about subdividing cultures into specific categories? With each advancement the pool and “margin for error” gets smaller and smaller. The problem is, are you really opening doors with these apps and increasing your opportunity, or are you limiting yourself?

Therein lies the problem. The beauty of dating in the real world is finding someone who compliments you, not mirrors your every preference. These dating apps are missing one thing: spontaneity. Life is about embracing the unknown, opening yourself up, and welcoming the chance of meeting someone different than yourself.

These apps have become popular because they’re easy. By eliminating all of the things we think we don’t want, it falsely seems like dating is somehow simpler. But in reality, it’s being made more complicated by telling us that we have to be dating all of the time.

I think we should be able to date at our own pace. Love doesn’t happen immediately. In fact, it often happens when you least expect it. If your face is constantly buried in a dating app, swiping through suitors that you somehow picture yourself with, you’re assuming you know exactly what you want and need.

These apps are reinforcing our mental image of who our suitors should be. However, sometimes the best things in life can’t be calculated in advance. We should be thinking more about widening our doors and inviting more room for the unexpected.

I’m not saying don’t online date; I’m saying that the world might be a better place if we stopped categorizing one another and just rolled with the punches a little. Life has a funny way of working things out, you simply have to leave yourself open to letting it. Meeting someone is a process that takes time. Have patience! If you’re limiting yourself to dating only within your country club you might miss something– or someone– right under your nose.

In Your Inbox