* Since these posts will be about love, I will be featuring photos from, where else? Paris!Photo Credit: Monica Brinn, Tuileries Garden, Paris, France
I have recently resettled back here in the US of A and am living in a major metropolis. Because I take a ridiculously long-time to get over relationships, I haven’t been in one since before anyone thought an oompa-loompa would run for president.
I have heard that “they” say that it takes half the time of the relationship to get over it, so if you are with someone a year, you should be moving on six months after you have broken up. Apparently, my heart is a slow mover and late bloomer; I seem to take at least twice as long. I had a couple of pretty catastrophic relationships, and when your heart has been used as a punching bag, I think it is forgivable to take time to get over it.
Then I unexpectedly met the closest thing to my perfect match I could ever have imagined, but alas, he apparently did not feel the same way. It ended in like the quiet tinkling of broken glass and I was the dust and fragments that remained. That six month relationship ended in April of 2015, and I haven’t dated anyone seriously since then unless you consider a one-night stand serious, in which case, we have very different definitions.
So I have decided that unless I want to literally wither away and allow my libido to completely dry up, I need to get out there. Let me be clear here: I am a perfectly happy human right now, and I know that I don’t “NEED” anyone, but I would LIKE a partner. I have known for a long time that I don’t want kids, and I am not fussed about having a husband, but I want a committed partner who is willing to stand by me for the long haul with or without rings and legally binding documents. A Post-it is fine.
I am a reasonably attractive woman, so finding equally attractive young men to scratch a sexual itch is not a problem. It is one of the joys of being a woman: sex is easy to find. Sorry guys, I know that is just super unfair, as are multiple orgasms. You really got the short end of the stick, but hopefully you feel the trade-offs are well worth it.
In an effort to meet people in this new town, and to check out what the city has to offer for social activities, I decided to join one of the free dating apps. Hey, one of my friends met her husband on her first date on this thing!
First one must set up a profile. I chose six photos that were representative, but did not show me trying (and usually failing) to look sexy. There is not one where I am wearing make-up, although I almost always wear at least a little make-up. I am not pouting in any of the photos. I am not showing my voluptuous A-cup cleavage or size-2 butt. There are no bathroom selfies or any selfies of any kind. I am doing yoga in a couple pics because that is me, after all. My point is, I want to look like me, but not a glamorous version of me. Someone who wants glam, need not apply. Someone who wants a pouty twenty-four year old need not apply.
I wrote a pretty detailed profile that was honest and descriptive.I indicated in the “what are you looking for” section that I am not interested in a married man. I learned that is important to note after my last foray into this world.
Almost immediately, I got a message. And I did the most reasonable thing you can imagine. I panicked. I wasn’t interested. I didn’t know if I should reply. I started to hyper-ventilate, so I chose “Disable,” and closed the app. Phew. That was close. I will go back to being an old-maid. Much easier. I went to sleep.
In the morning, I awoke to a bunch of new messages. What the…!?!? I apparently had not clicked through enough times, and had not actually disabled my account. I opened the messages, and low and behold, some were interesting. I decided to give it a go.
So I started swiping left (not interested) and swiping right (there’s potential). When you swipe right on someone that has swiped right on you, the app tells you that you are a match.
I swipe left on anyone under 35 and anyone over 45.
The age thing is interesting. I think that at 40, it is reasonable, that my span of ages is 35-45. It’s very sweet to be inclusive, but I do not understand the men who have the age span that they are interested in as 19-69. Really? I also REALLY do not understand these guys that are in their early twenties and message me. I want to share some examples:
“Hi! I thought you were a real cutie and I wanted to say what’s up.” (Age 23) A real cutie? I am a grown ass woman, dude.
There was the 24-year old that said hello, and I replied that I was far too old, although I was flattered. He replied, “I’m sure if we hung out you wouldn’t think I was way too young. Have you ever wanted to hang out with a younger man.” I did not tell him that I have…many times. No need to encourage the child, but since I want something a bit more serious, I declined his advances.
My favorite was the 21 year old! What!??! He assured me he was very “mature for his age” and that he “Sought out older women on purpose.” This was after his introductory message of “Hi.” Followed by a series of heart-eyed emoticons. Awesome, so a mature 21-year old. That means he will have the mentality of me at age 20. Perfect.
I am not sure why I feel the need to engage the young ones. I feel maternal. I don’t want to ignore their messages. I feel no such qualms with the guys my own age. I counted, and I have ignored 38 messages in the past two weeks since I joined. I feel somewhat badly because I realize it is hard to make the first move and to put yourself out there, but if I know I am not interested, what am I supposed to say in response? “No thank you, you are only 5’2″?” or “No, I’m sorry, but you look much too much like my dad even though you are only 50, which is still way too old, by the way.” I mean, I feel like there is no nice reply, and further more, it opens up the chance for them to try to convince me otherwise, like the young guys do, and then I am wasting time repeatedly telling a guy I am not interested. Ain’t nobody got time fuh that! I simply cannot spend all of my time on this app and composing 38 kind rejection messages is far too much to ask.
Some of the messages are just like, “Hi, how’s your day?” Others decide to write a novella. Others try to use deprecating humor such as the one whose opener was “Me me pretty please. Pick me!”
Some get ornery when I don’t reply: “I don’t bite, you should write back.” I mean, I wasn’t worried about being bitten…but now, I sort of am…
There are a fair number who I swipe left past because they are all into ‘hedonism,’ which I had to Google. Apparently I am just that innocent. There is a certain BDM and S&M crowd who are blatantly seeking to dominate. Swipe left.
There are plenty who are married and looking for ” a good time” such as the one whose screen name was ‘Affair-Fax.’ Swipe left. In fact, BLOCK.
Or those interested in polyamory. I mean you do you, but swipe left.
The height thing is a factor. I don’t want to be cruel. No one can do ANYTHING about most aspects of their appearance, and that is especially true of height, but it really is me, not you on this one. I feel sooooo uncomfortable around guys shorter than me. So, at 5’10” he must be AT LEAST that tall, otherwise, swipe left. Sorry.
The kids thing is interesting. I know I don’t want my own kids, but I am sort of okay with them having kids. However, if their kid is in every photo, I’m like, super glad you are a great dad, but swipe left. If they indicate that they “want (more) kids,” I swipe left no matter what. What is the point? I know I don’t, you know you do, why waste one another’s time even if you are otherwise perfect? Swipe left.
Body type is a factor. I am a bit like Goldilocks. This one is toooo fat. This one is toooooo skinny. This one is tooooo muscular. I teach yoga and health and fitness is important to me, but I would prefer that you think that I am the prettier person in our relationship. Therefore, while an overweight man is a left swipe so too is a super buff gym rat. I want someone who is juuuuust right.
After that, it is hard to say what makes me swipe right or left. I have been an equal opportunity right swiper and have done so for white, black, jewish, asian, Indian and mixed race fellows that meet the age and height requirements. I certainly am drawn to the ones I find physically attractive, but the ones with gym selfies and biceps the size of my leg, which they are flexing for the photo always get a left swipe despite the fact that they may be very attractive. In fact, I am instantly turned off by any photos baring any part of their body. Maybe I like some mystery, but I am not interested in seeing them shirtless if they are not in shape and if they are, it just comes off as arrogant. So shirtless photos usually win them a swipe left. Although that is not a hard and fast rule. If their profile seems intelligent, I will forgive showing off. Bathroom shirtless photos are never forgiven. Just, no.
I read the full profiles, and I like the ones that take the time to write something, and I make decisions based on what they have written. Egregious grammar and spelling mistakes: swipe left. Super religious: swipe left. Priority is clearly drinking, drugs and clubbing: swipe left. Some of them write really thoughtful, funny, intelligent profiles. That is attractive and paired with appropriate age and height and not breaking any of my other rules, they get a swipe right.
I basically decided not to make the first move. I have broken that rule once in the past two weeks (interestingly, he was also one that showed himself shirtless and was really too attractive for me to be the pretty one). He replied, but after a few messages, he stopped responding. I am not chasing. I have decided that I have chased enough in this life of dating. I want the guys to chase me for a change.
That leaves the ones who have 1.) passed all the criteria; 2.) that I have swiped right on and/or they have wiped right on me; and 3.) sent me a message.
I will reply to those messages. I am lucky that I’m not working full-time because all this on-line chatting takes time! I’m not inclined to chat forever. Pretty quickly, I want to meet. If he proposes that or I do is neither here nor there. So, we set a time and date. His number goes into my phone as FIRST NAME DATING APP. The date goes into my phone as DATE WITH NAME DATING APP.
And that’s when the dating begins…tune in for the next blog!