In my quest for pushing myself forward and out of my 2018 funk, I finally decided it’s time to get back on the horse and start dating. While I don’t yet feel quite comfortable pursuing a “relationship,” I don’t think getting to know new and interesting people is the worst idea in the world. This is a huge undertaking for me, because essentially I’ve been in 2 relationships solidly since 2013 with very little dating in between. Let’s just say the landscape has changed a bit in the last 6 years, most notably being online dating apps.
I have always been staunchly averse to online dating for myself personally. While many people I know have had a degree of success in that arena, I am far too pessimistic, critical and impatient to adequately filter through the duds and weirdos and find a good one. But in the spirit of “new year, new me,” I decided while in Charlotte over the weekend to download Tinder and Bumble. Having lived, worked, played and dated in the Tri-Cities my entire life, this pond is starting to feel quite small and figured if nothing else it would be an easy way to connect with new people in a bigger city where there are more options for the type of person I am interested in meeting. Boy was I wrong.
Let’s start with Bumble so I can go ahead and get that out of the way. I’ve had plenty of people tell me they far prefer it to Tinder for a variety of reasons ranging from “there are better quality guys,” to “it’s safer for women” to “Yeah I use it because the chicks have to reach out first and it makes them think they’re in a ‘safe space.’” (Ok creep-o.) Within 10 minutes of swiping however, I realized this is not for me. I am very old fashioned and do not like to chase or approach men, so I will NEVER be the first to pursue them, even online. So we can go ahead and eliminate that avenue.
Now to Tinder. My god. Maybe it’s because I’m 33 and my expectations are slightly high, but COME ON!! First of all, I’m no dummy. I’m fully aware that most people on these apps, just like in real life, are looking for an easy hook-up. Unlike in real life, apparently the security of a phone screen gives men a limitless level of courage and stupidity. In anticipation of this, I set my preferences to an older audience and broadened my searches to up to 100 miles away. “Men between 35-50 are more mature, have careers and are ready to settle down,” I told myself. L.O.freaking.L. Of the 10 people I actually matched with, I received messages from most of them. The first gentleman really started things off in the right direction when he asked if I was a “professional dancer.” (Makes me think I may want to reconsider my profile pics,) There was not one person interested in getting to know me beyond “where do you live, send me your phone number.” One fellow wooed me with “Hey gorgeous. Are you interested in what I’m interested in?” I felt the context clues didn’t warrant me asking what exactly he WAS into. The most in depth conversation I had was with a man who asked me “what kind of guys are you into?” What a fabulous question sir! This actually got me thinking and I created a list of my impossibly high standards which I will now share here:
- Have a pulse
- Have a job with taxable, documented income
- Don’t be a liar
- Don’t be married
- Have a car and a place to live
- Don’t be a socio/psycho path
- Preferably your parents are deceased, but we won’t split hairs on this one
My Romeo did not respond to my doctrine of must-haves, which made me wonder exactly which one of those expectations he could not meet. Alas, another one bites the dust. After a solid 24 hours giving it a shot, I decided to throw in the towel after my college boyfriend popped up. If this app could make a full-blown alcoholic who almost killed me when he drunkenly plowed us through a gas station seem normal, I am too fearful to go on.
I am walking away from my short-lived Tinder career with a wealth of advice and hands-on experience for any of you gentlemen readers who may be looking for a lady online and need to spruce up your profile: -never post a shirtless mirror selfie. If you’re shirtless, it better be because you are doing something active and someone else took the picture. -Please post more than 1 picture, so we can actually know what you look like. Also, stop posting all your pictures wearing a hat and sunglasses. Unless you want a girl with a uni-bomber fetish, because the rest of us can’t tell anything about what you look like. -You never attended “The University of Multiple Orgasms,” so please refrain from that and any other reference to your so-called sexual prowess. -Learn how to spell. For god’s sake you have to write less than 500 characters. Figure out the difference between “allowed and aloud.” -Animals are cute but if your main profile pic is set to just a picture of your dog Patches, I can promise you no one is going to take the time to scroll to your next picture to see what you yourself look like. -Most importantly, don’t say anything online you wouldn’t say to a lady in person.
Maybe I’m just too old or plain old-fashioned, but from here on out I’m sticking to meeting people at bars and social functions like a normal person. At least then I can be rewarded with a free dinner or drink when they turn out to be a weirdo!