Okay, I’ll admit it: I’ve not been the same since I had the euphoric hit with my first Tinder date. Nothing since has even come close. I’m actually taking an O2 break, and working on myself for a bit before jumping back into the dating pool. I mean, I’m looking, but I’m not interested in anything less that fantastic. And for THREE STRANGE DAYS I had it. But what changed? Do I believe her story? Or did something cool rapidly? Was there something I did? Was she actually a bit manic when we met and coming down a few days later, realized “Nope, he’s not what I’m looking for.”
Sure. It’s happened to me. I got intoxicated once by a woman who kissed like a teenager. The hope and inspiration in that kissing was all I needed. But it was a short runway. And before we attained flight, I had a moment to assess the actual woman rather than her lips and sexy texts and …
Okay, it’s an old story. Sure it’s a new dawn for me, but ONE close miss has been enough to upset my optimistic approach to dating again. I’m a bit jaded. I don’t want FIRST DATES. Ever! Okay, that’s not accurate. Let me try again. First dates can be a real drag. I’ve had about three, TOTAL, in four years that were worth the price of a cup of coffee. And I’ve had a lot more that should have never happened. I’m learning. But what my crush showed me, was how close I am to manic passion myself.
I was ready to leap. I was kissing and fantasizing and talking with this woman. And each time she showed up, all three times, I was again fascinated by her looks, her humor, and her passionate style. And she appeared to rise to the occasion as well. Leaning in on the second date, in the parking lot and kissing me with a fury. She texted me later, “I kiss like I make love.” SHIT. She was on fire. But perhaps she was also showing how out of balance she was in her life, as well.
It was a furiously fast pace. But when the chemistry is on, you know it. And with both of you feel it’s on, and are *both* able to express it… The rush is like a drug. You’re chemical romance revs up and you’re ready to go. Ready for whatever. Flexible. Encouraged. Hot.
Usually, I was the one in pursuit. This time I had a live wire. Was something off? Was it me?
And then a bump on the runway. An emergency exit. And a text that said
What? Where did “at least be friends” come from. It wasn’t in our vocabulary. We weren’t broken up, we hadn’t fought. We had merely paused with the understanding that her life had suddenly become unmanageable. Okay. That’s fine. But this was a breakup text. This was what you say when you’re shutting down a relationship.
Okay. Information received. And yet, she haunts me. I was flipping through my texts and her name showed up. “DAMN,” I thought. Rather than just a little break, a bit of time to sort out the chaos of her immediate life transition, she had kissed me off with a “be friends” text.
What does this say about where she was? Had I been led on? Or did we both merely feedback and connect and generate a lot of heat? Then, as things got complex in her life, I was the simplest item to eject? And sure, messy love is consuming. But she had fired up Tinder as well? She had said she was looking for the next relationship. She shut down her Tinder app within 24 hours of meeting me. “That’s how I do it. I’m not looking to date. I’m looking to find one person and see where things go.” I’m pretty sure that’s a summation of her story. And perhaps the “where things go” had changed for her after date/meeting number three.
I’m not obsessing. But I’m also having a hard time moving on from this moment in the sun of passion, messiness, and an enthusiastic partner.
On the flip side she had a few “um, wait a minute” items
- She was smashingly good-looking (a smile that melted me)
- She responded quickly and affirmatively to our Tinder correspondence
- We met within 24 hours and kissed late into the second hour of our first date
- She lit up with energy and joy when we met, but maybe it was just too good to be true, maybe it was *too much* energy
- A few unsolicited selfies moved things on rather quickly
- Her fluency with sexual communication came through in our early phone calls
- She gave me a heat rash when I thought about her (things were just a tad too hot)
Um, those can all be good things. But in this case they might have been too good to be true. Too energetic. Too willing to jump into the fantasy of where things could go.
As I browsed our texts and saw the enticing photos she sent me I was saddened for a moment as I recalled the hope she kindled. But it was a false hope. And this is obvious by the way she exited and removed all potential for the future with that one text. When I saw that again, I said to myself. “If you open this one back up, you are just spending wasted energy on a dead-end. She’d contact you again if she were interested. I mean, if *she* was as thrilled as you were, she’d be asking for another glass of wine as soon as things settled down.”
But it wasn’t the settling down that needed to happen for her. Her life had been chaos before we met, and was chaos when we began “dating” and it devolved into even bigger chaos. I’m happy and sad to have missed the madness we could have created together. But madness is not what I need. I’ve had a taste of that before too. And I’m not interested in heading back into something intoxicating yet lacking in fundamental integrity. And maybe that’s the rub. She was awesome. Or what she *showed me* was awesome. Maybe the chaos she was showing was only what she couldn’t hide of her maelstrom. Perhaps beneath the writhing and hopeful surface she was a vortex.
I’d meet her and kiss her today if she called. But I’m pretty clear now, that she won’t. And it would not be the best thing for me either. Heady, but not healthy. Oh love, you fickle bitch.
The Off Parent
back to On Dating Again
- Big 5 Relationship Questions to Answer Before You Start Dating Again
- The Cute and Happy Woman is Nearby, I’ve Seen Her
- She Came On Like a Freight Train – The Woman Who Says “Yes”
- 5 Early Warning Signs When Dating: Looking for Ms. Lovejoy
image: unknown woman image, russian photographer site vk, creative commons usage
Okay, so we’re all getting in on the game of Tinder. (see: She Came On Like a Freight Train – The Woman Who Says “Yes”) But it’s more game than dating, in my experience. Swiping left or right might be a bad metaphor for relationships. If your response and requirements are so superficial, perhaps you are looking for something different than I am.
Online dating is hard enough. With most online dating sites you get photos and a few words to determine if the person is a potential fit. LESSON #1: 99% of them are not.
Okay, so what do we have to go on with Tinder?
- Number of mutual friends on FB (um, if you haven’t figured this out yet, you can easily FIND the actual person on FB once you have a picture and mutual friend, duh!)
- Some FB similarities
- Filtered only by proximity and age-range
- A “am I hot or not” swipe system for saying YES or NOPE.
There is very little about Tinder that is really new. But it’s the new thing. The idea of it being a hookup tool for younger users, might be true, but as us older folks jump on, we’re looking for a new “dating app.” And if less is more then Tinder might be for you.
I have to admit, I was encouraged by my first Tinder experience. I mean, wow. The first MATCH ever followed through within a day and we were kissing on the first date. Wow.
Here is how my impression of Tinder has changed over time.
A. My initial impression before I got a Match. “Um, yeah this is good for the hookup kids.”
B. My impression after my first YES and eventual MEH: “Hot damn, maybe there are more just like her.”
C. My impression now after date #2 and #3: “Yeah, it’s worse than Match.com. I’ve got nothing more than a photo. And the superficial selection process is somewhat demeaning.”
And yet… After all that, Tinder has something going for it. Simplicity. There’s something sort of thrilling at opening up the app and seeing the little concentric circles going radiating out from your picture, “Finding people nearby.” But of course, that promise is quickly brought back to reality. The women in my sphere are not looking for a hookup, as the “nearby” might suggest. And that’s fine, that’s not really what I’m after either.
But once you’ve gotten over the initial rush, and I have to admit my first experience *was* extraordinary, you’ve got a dating app, with *much less* information than you have on other sites. The newness of the swipe grows old as the app opens up to “everyone” within your radius. Once you get going (I think Tinder rewards frequent check-ins) the blur of Tinder-ites becomes more of a tedium than a thrill.
You’ve got the same problems as any other online dating site, but you have less information. My second Tinder date was an amazing looker in her pictures, and when she arrived at our coffee date, disclaiming that she was “coming directly from the horse barn,” it was as if she were trying to look unattractive. I couldn’t make the connection between who I was seeing and who I had swiped right. And my third Tinder date was just… boring. Zero connection. Zero game. I guess I should’ve taken notice of how quickly she wanted to meet without any banter.
Banter is good. Banter and the art of the selfie, may be the two sharpest indicators of a match for me. If she’s got no verbal game I’m done. If her pictures are glam shots (I’m swiping left anyway) or don’t match up with who shows up, I’m gone. With Tinder, you’ve got very few indicators of who you might be setting up to enjoy or waste time with.
I’m really done with the boring “hello” date. My criteria for a face-to-face meeting these days is “amazing.” If she’s not got some quality or fantastic attractant I’m not going to follow-up. I’ve got over 2,000 “hidden” women profiles on Match. That’s a lot of filtering. If I had to swipe 2,000 women to the left, my finger is going to get tired real quick. Tinder, check it out, but don’t be surprised to see a lot of the same faces from Match or OK Cupid.
Perhaps Tinder’s real winning application is travel. If you’re heading into town for a music festival, for example, and you’d like to meet someone for drinks, Tinder might be your winner app. It’s easy to open when you hit the ground. You are likely to see a lot of potentials in your proximity. And if that’s what you’re looking for, who knows, perhaps adults are hooking up on Tinder as much as the kids are. I’ve not travelled with Tinder yet, but I think it might be a neat experiment.
In the end the simplicity is the pro and con of Tinder. It’s easy and sorta-fun to open the app and see who shows up. It’s a little hit of “maybe” dopamine. But the thrill quickly wears off after you’ve been swiping for a while without any YESes. And sad when you get no matches at all. Maybe #4 is going to be a hit for me. That’s always the thought with online dating sites, “maybe she’s out there NOW,” I’d better go check.
Give it a go and let me know what you think.
The Off Parent
back to On Dating Again
- The Happy, the Fit, and the Beautiful
- My Casual Sex Experience – First Lesson
- Crossfit Sex
- An Early Frost: Dating Options and Casual Sex
- If Age is Just a Number Why Do I Still Want to Lie About My Age?
image: almost every girl on tinder, post memes, creative commons usage