May 30th, 2016
I did a thing. A thing that I vowed I would never do. I wasn’t bribed or dared or drunk. I installed a dating app on my phone. And I don’t even want to date! I mean, that’s only mostly true. Because I want to have the opportunity to accept dates and do date things like movies and dinners and first kisses. I want to reach into my closet and finally choose one of the dozens of adorable dresses that have patiently and hopefully hung for so long. Mostly, I just want someone potentially available in the off chance that I have an opening in my schedule and don’t want to fill it with the usual. Is that something I should include in my bio? Should I disclose that my spirit animal is a cat because I want love when I want it and even if I want it, one too many strokes will get you bit? And like a cat, I’m a bit of an asshole and I’m never going to greet you at the door or follow you around. And you have to think that’s awesome.
In my defense, I was really vulnerable. I was facing a holiday weekend without my kids and I had loads of things that clearly needed to be done, but still, I didn’t even have the option of saying no to a date. And it’s not that I haven’t had really amazing friends, male and female, to spend my little free time with. But I’ve been super guarded about not giving the wrong idea and making sure that I wasn’t filling my life with another distraction or external validation. And mostly, I’m scared as hell that I am completely incapable of properly vetting the assholes. Cause let’s be honest, I’m like the mecca for addicts and douche canoes. And yet I’ve thought they were perfectly delightful creatures.
So anyway, I’m finally thinking that maybe I would be open to a date. Like singular. Like not a string of dates multiple days in a row. But how does one do this? I go to work and the gym and church and Hobby Lobby and rugby practice. I mean, where does one procure candidates? And I don’t even get hit on. So all of this is leading to the thing. My adorable sister has been nagging me to get online for ages. To which I’ve emphatically assured her that I would never do. But sometimes wine and long, lonely weekends are super effective in convincing a person that a dating app is bloody brilliant.
To summarize, I ended up installing Bumble. Without any clue as to how to Bumble or really what Bumble actually was. My understanding was that it was women driven and my profile would only be visible should I swipe right on any of the strapping, young bucks. My sis and I were overly enthusiastic and swipey. Which resulted in a collection of matches that, much like many of the shoes in my closet, would just sit there and look nice. I liked that only I could initiate a conversation. Inherently, there was an issue with this, however. Historically, I’ve been a pleaser. I like people and want people to find me equally delightful. So as I looked at this queue of men, I felt this obligation to extend a greeting to each of them. This was especially taxing as I’m not one to simply offer a hello, I feel like I have to be cute and clever and smothered in charm. Not to worry, within 48 hours of this exhausting process, I had gotten over most of this. And in all fairness, the majority of the people that I did reach out to, seem to be really ok guys.
And so now what? What do I do with the recently acquired names, numbers, and carefully scripted bios that I’ve accumulated? I’m not interested in soliciting a Netflix buddy even though I hear that’s a thing. I’m not optimistic enough to believe that The One is going to swipe right on my awkward profile photo or that there is, in fact, The One. Do I cautiously accept coffee dates from the men within a 30-mile radius of me? Do I playfully chat up and try to keep track of the gents that I’ve accumulated? Will I see past the façade? Will I recognize authenticity? I kind of don’t even know what to do at this point.
Because unlike the me that recklessly entered the dating scene too soon after each heartbreak, I feel especially tainted, flawed, and weighed down. What do I possibly have to offer any sane person looking for a relationship? And vice versa, what could another person bring to my young, experienced and guarded family? So do I really have any business accepting a date or making new friends? And finally, how do I ever get to a place where I trust my ability to sense the good ones? Do I love myself enough now to recognize when someone else does?
I don’t know what I’ll do with this yet. If I’ll allow this to be a part of my free weekends. But I know it’s ever more important for me to be mindful, stay present, and eagerly strive to love myself.
And lastly, at what point do I warn the fellas that they may become fodder for a blog post? Only joking. Mostly.