Have you heard of Tinder? It’s a dating app that uses your Facebook profile and matches you with people based on your geographic/age preferences, mutual friends and interests. It takes all of 5 minutes to be up and running, then you anonymously like or pass on people by swiping left no/right yes. If you have both swiped right it results in a “match” and the app opens a text chat between you. In actuality it is a game, and when you hit on a match you have the option to stop and text your new match or “Keep Playing”. I can handle playing. Dating, not so much.
Dating is not my favorite topic, I don’t even like the word. I don’t understand dating, maybe because I have never done it. I had two relationships in my late teens/early twenties back in the days when you liked a boy, he liked you, and you became an “insta-couple”. I met EX when I was 21, and we didn’t date. We were a regular hook-up that turned into a relationship. Astrologically, dating is not in my chart. I’ve had several astrologers say some version of “you are NOT a dater”.
PC is also a large part of why dating makes me cringe. When he and I first re-connected, he was 8 months into his separation, I was still married, and he was actively dating. Of course he was, it’s what most separated men do almost immediately. Divorce is a HUGE blow to the male ego. Even I understand why dating is an important part of the healing process. He should have been dating. So it caught me off guard when, during that first conversation, PC mentioned “the women I’ve dated” and I almost blacked out with jealousy. Side Note: You know there is a problem when you find a suspicious text from another woman on your husband’s phone, and feel nothing; but a platonic male friend you haven’t seen in 10 years and haven’t spoken to in 4 years mentions he’s been dating, and you have a visceral reaction.
To say I struggled with the dating concept once our relationship shifted doesn’t begin to cover it, (that requires it’s own post). PC and I are both free to date. I am not dating. If PC dates it is a deal breaker. I detest the concept, it is NONSENSE. All of my friends think I should date. I actually agree, I probably should, I just don’t have it in me. I wish I did, and on more than one occasion when the roller coaster was dropping I have demanded that my friends find me someone to go on a hate date with. Thankfully it isn’t so easy to find someone for a hate date. The only real option seems to be online dating, and that is one of my worst nightmares.
I understand why people use online dating. I have a friend who met her soon to be fiancé that way, and I am thrilled for her. I know it works for some people. I guess my aversion stems from the same wiring that makes me hate dating in general. It just feels so forced to me, like you are letting the internet do the Universe’s job. (I suppose one could argue that the Universe is using the internet as a tool, but that’s WAY too philosophical for this post.) There is an online dating site for EVERY type of person and relationship, it goes well beyond Match and E-Harmony. There are sites for “Group Daters” and Swingers, even one for “Farmers Only”. It’s a world unto its own. But last week one of my best friends, who has requested to be called Daisy here, introduced me to the world of Tinder.
Daisy is fabulous, in her early thirties, and recently went through a horrific breakup. Though she doesn’t share my overall views on dating, she is not a fan of online dating, and right now she isn’t enthusiastic about dating of any kind. So when friends forced her onto Tinder she was not pleased. But Daisy is “Yellin’ Tinder” now. There is power in a good ego boost and a good distraction to help you through heartbreak, and Tinder provides both in spades. She showed it to me and I was so entertained I decided to give it a try.
Daisy and I don’t care about the outcome of any of this, so scrolling through potential matches is pure entertainment. The two things that are an automatic swipe left for me are, having the same first name as EX (rules out 20%, super common name); and having the same first name as PC (way more than I expected, his name is not common). We both have a minimum height requirement of 6’2″. You can’t select a height preference, so if they don’t offer it up in their profile you have to go by the pictures. If he doesn’t look tall enough, swipe left. Even without that criteria, it’s almost always easy to make a split second decision…
I’ve been on just a few days and I have well over 20 matches, which isn’t too shabby for a mid-life Princess. And Daisy, being fabulous and young, is receiving a tremendous response. I have no plans to ever actually date any of these matches. Daisy may, because why not, she’s young. And smart. She is currently chatting with an MMA fighter who texts “RAWR” several times a day, and she would love to parade this giant through the bar her ex frequents just for fun. She has also had to delete some gems, including a guy who lost his license for 10 years and wants her to travel 20+ miles to see him; and another who text and asked “are you thinking about how much you want to f*** me”. Which makes me feel lucky that the men in my age category (43-52) seem to have a very limited ability to chat it up via text. I’ve only heard from a few, and the worst I’ve encountered is one who started out strong, but now communicates mostly via smiley emoticons.
I am definitely having fun with this. I don’t see me venturing any further into the world of online dating, or dating of any kind. But if dating is a concept I have to deal with, I will play.