As all sane women do, I texted one of my best friends before swiping:
Just downloaded a dating app. Panic is setting in. What. The. Fuck.
As all best friends do, her response came in two messages:
It’s not Tinder is it? Lol
To be fair, I probably should have just downloaded Tinder. Coming out of a long-term relationship, I’m not looking to make googly eyes and visit farmers markets on Sunday mornings. I’m taking it easy; I’m taking it slow.
I’m taking it like a whiny child because I’m not cut out for modern dating.
Bumble appealed to me. It has the mechanics of Tinder (swiping left or right), but if you match with someone, it places the ball in the lady’s court for first contact.
(Side note: I’m a heterosexual woman, so I’m not sure how this would work for those looking for same-sex matches, which is an option in the app.)
After swiping through some profiles I noticed a common theme. Phrases like, “You’ll swipe right and never message anyway lol,” and “Let’s be real, you’re not going to read this” covered my phone screen like greasy fingerprints.
I’m going to kill this, I thought. Being not a total jerk, I had every intention of messaging anyone who swiped right on me as well. I was reading their profiles. I could do this.
After about 10-12 people matched with me, only two responded to my initial contact. And very quickly stopped responding at all.
I tried not to take it personally, but it hurt. Still, I wasn’t about to add some passive-aggressive comment about it to my profile.
I could send a double message, but that would make me appear as thirsty as I am. And I’m not about to chase anyone.
Then I saw another side to it (myself?).
Ladies, do you ever see a guy’s picture on his dating profile, and he just looks so good and pure and innocent? So, you think to yourself, Maybe a banker with a 401k is the kind of stability I need in my life. And you almost swipe right. Your thumb is twitching to do it, but then you realize that he 100% could not handle all that you are and you would just crush him?
Maybe I couldn’t do this.
I did some soul searching and found that maybe I’m not interested in hooking up with someone. Marriage is something I’m not particularly chasing right now, but neither is a one night stand with a stranger.
Then I realized that I’m a sucker for a good date. I want to be courted. I want someone to at least pretend to be interested in my life, asking me dumb questions and surreptitiously wiping his sweaty palms on his jeans because he’s as nervous as I am. Because even if there is a guy out there who’s sweet and kind, he’s gotta be able to handle the girl who gets whiskey drunk on the occasional weekend. He’s got to have some grit.
So, how do I find that? How do I meet people if not online? Because my social anxiety prevents me from going out a lot. When I do go out with friends, I’m out with them, not prowling for men. I’m terrified of going to a bar alone for fear of being killed, roofied or raped (still not sure which is worse, if I’m being honest).
Maybe I’ll change my profile to, “Sweaty palm-er looking for someone whose palms get just as sweaty. Must love pit bulls and whiskey.”