If you’re not in your 20s, dating is hard…especially in Indianapolis where it feels like everyone over the age of 31 is coupled up or married. So my single friends and I did what it feels like any open minded person interested in meeting new people outside of a bar has to do, we went online.
I know several people that met their mate…even their spouse…online and I couldn’t be happier for those folks. Truly. The following are my opinions based on my experience and that of my friends. So if your experience was different, I’m happy for you. But this is my public diary so I get to write what I want…about how I feel…and what I experience. 🙂
Match.com and OKCupid….sigh….they are like the land of misfit toys. Sure, there may be some interesting men with potential out there buried amongst the pack of predators, but I don’t like shopping at TJ Maxx because I don’t like digging through the shit to find the one good deal. For that same reason I don’t like getting bombarded with lowbrow come ons in hopes that someone with potential might find my profile. If someone has the secret to these sites, I’m all ears. Until some divine wisdom comes my way, Match and OKCupid are dead to me.
Tinder….oh Tinder…here’s what I like about you. There are a few things…I like that if I swipe right on someone, they don’t know unless they swipe right on my profile too. Then we’re matched! None of this seeing who’s liked you and being repulsed or liking someone and then waiting….and waiting…and waiting (for which finding someone to like is hard enough anyway). I like that you offer up five photos that I can look at and an “About” section that doesn’t allow someone to tell their ENTIRE life story. Hey, dude, how about you save something for us to talk about when we meet???
My challenges with Tinder are many…or rather my challenges with the men on Tinder are many. If you aren’t looking for a swing partner (which I’m not into, for the record) why include pictures with what I can only assume is your ex? Just because you have your picture with a somewhat attractive woman, doesn’t mean I’m going to think you’re better looking or want to take her place in the photo. Also, making a stupid fucking face doesn’t make me think you have a great sense of humor or don’t take yourself too seriously…it means I think you don’t take making a first impression seriously and you have no idea what women look for when first meeting a man. Do you walk around in public with that look on your face?? Noooooo….so don’t use that photo on Tinder. (You’re welcome.)
Here’s where it gets tricky with Tinder. I’ll be the first to admit that at different points in time, I’ve collected ‘man cards’ (I’m thinking of trademarking that…it’s mine). Sometimes you just need a little boost to the ego to know that someone you thought was attractive thought the same of you. Enough…end of story. But I don’t think that’s a good use of the site and have stopped. If I swipe right, it’s because there’s something about you that I found interesting. Maybe it was your pic…maybe your profile…maybe both…but swiping right is nothing more than smiling at someone across the room. Doesn’t count for much unless you walk over and strike up a conversation. Which in Tinder terms means sending a message. I’m a bit old school and definitely not desperate…so I expect the man to message me first. If you can’t manage that then we aren’t gonna be well suited anyway. I’m looking for a man’s man…that will love all my gay friends. I’m looking for someone with chutzpah….and lots of other things that I’ll share on another day.
So now we’re messaging on Tinder. It’s playful banter…an exchange of small talk in text form…we’re beginning to get to know each other. One of four things can happen from here: (1) we have a pleasant exchange and decide to seize the moment by meeting for a drink or coffee within a day or two of matching…(2) we spend days…maybe weeks…messaging back and forth. You even ask for my number so we’re texting outside of the app, which is a little closer to real life but it’s all still just 1s and 0s….words on a screen…(3) a combo of one and two where after spending several days – maybe a week – messaging, we finally decide to meet in person…or (4) we’re just electronic pen pals and never meet…ummmm, and the point in that is….
Personally, I like the go-getter mentality. Why spend days or weeks texting back and forth? We’re on an online dating site to find someone to date…in person…in real life. And step one is meeting…face-to-face. See, women — or at least the women I’m friends with — are looking for an intellectual connection AND a physical connection. And the latter means seeing each other…being in one another’s presence and feeling the energy. We want a spark just as much as any man. I don’t care that you can hunt and gather…I mean, that’s great and important for survival but we’ve progressed as a society and I’m looking for a partner. Someone that is going to hold my attention on a mental and physical level. And while it doesn’t have to be instantaneous…admittedly getting to know someone builds a deeper physical connection…I know myself well enough at this point to know that I need an initial spark. Period. That doesn’t mean that you aren’t fantastic and exactly what some other woman will find dreamy. Just means you aren’t the one for me.
So to #3, please don’t confuse my kindness and humor and responsiveness to your messages as more than my interest in you as a human and my hope that when we meet…if we meet…there’s a spark. And if there’s not a spark, I ask that you keep in perspective that I don’t really care how long we messaged back and forth, we didn’t really meet until that face-to-face encounter. And one encounter does not a relationship make. I say this from a place of gratitude for your time and allowing me to get to know you but with a dose of realism and honesty…we’re not a match.
I’ve met some really awesome guys on Tinder…most of which I’d be happy to grab a beer with and watch a game, but I haven’t felt a spark yet. Maybe I never will…I can’t shake the feeling that I’m a bit old fashion. Something in my gut tells me that I’m going to meet the next guy I date in person, not online. We’re going to be somewhere, doing something that we both enjoy and just bump into each other. A conversation will ensue…smiles…laughter — genuine laughter…an exchange of numbers…and a relationship will blossom. It may not be my last relationship, but it will be the first meaningful one since my last mistake and that will move me further forward in the right direction.
So I’m left with to Tinder or not to Tinder, that is the question….
For more about the app, check out “10 Things You Should Know About Tinder“. And thanks for the photo, Elena.