I know that I should start dating, again. Maybe, I should give you an idea of my dating history before I tell you why I’ve opted to take a break from Tinder, even though I need to go on (more) dates.
I’ve been in love three and a half times—the half being subjective to whom I’m talking to. There was a period (a year) in my life where I intentionally went on 40 plus dates in order to learn about men. After dating one of the 40 for about three months, I met an Aussie traveling, fell in love and then decided that it wouldn’t work because I wasn’t ready, in all aspects. After that heartbreak, I’ve dated a few guys, went on a few dates and then moved to the city where my love life was pretty much put on pause while I got settled in, which took about nine months.
It wasn’t until I traveled to Australia, this time as a single woman, that I decided to jump on the Tinder bandwagon. Mostly to window shop, I didn’t have any intentions of meeting up with anyone. Quite frankly, there were enough guys walking around to mentally swipe right. I also found Tinder to be more work than not. You actually need to engage in conversation with another person—someone you have never actually met in person.
When I got back to the states, it took a little while for me to start swiping in the city. I honestly couldn’t be bothered. And then there was that brief moment when I thought that I wanted a boyfriend. My moment of weakness got the best of me, and I started swiping.
I went on a couple of dates and decided that Tinder just wasn’t for me. Everyone that I had ever fallen in love with began with “Once upon a time...”—not “Once upon a Tinder.” I deleted the app and didn’t return to it until my best friend informed me that there were better looking guys in the rotation. Hot guys? Say wha?
Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it didn’t kill my vagina. However, it did turn me off.
Lets be clear: I get why people go on dating sites and apps like Tinder. It’s freaking hard meeting possible partners nowadays, for many reasons: the evolution of gender roles, the consequences of modern technology, the age of social media, or maybe chivalry is possibly dead. I can go all day speculating on why this is, but the bottom-line is that it is. Tinder makes it easy to meet people. We are creatures of convenience, and even if we aren’t, many of our potentials may be. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not hatin’ on Tinder. Nah. I get it.
Recently, I decided that I needed to start dating again after meeting a guy that I had an ongoing crush for—for six years. After realizing that he was no longer what I am attracted to—because I’m no longer the same person and all that good stuff—I was left not having a type. Because I swear he was my type. And the guys I thought weren’t my type has me googly-eyed and interested. (Side note: I know it’s not all about looks, but sexual attraction is a must for me, and lets be honest, most people.)
So, how does a girl learn about the kind of partner she wants? Well, the obvious is to start dating different types of guys. This means I would have to make some kind of real effort. And it would look like this: 1. Swipe right if there is some kind of interest, 2. Reply to messages, 3. Agree to meeting up, 4. Follow through despite all of the excuses that I could make about being busy, 5. Be present, 6. Say thank you and goodnight, and 7. Repeat. Sounds easy, right?
Not so much. Something happens between 5 and 7. I’m over here, in my chair, thinking about 7 with a different person, while he has different plans. Why? Because his intentions are different from mine. He is looking for a relationship, while I am looking for a partner—two very distinct things. And that’s why I have decided to take a break from Tinder for a while, maybe indefinitely.
I am not looking for a relationship. Not to say that one should not look for a relationship. Most of us are seeking romantic companionship, while some of us are looking for the partner. I think it’s important to distinguish what you are actually looking for and what the other person is seeking to avoid possible misunderstandings.
Some of you might be thinking, “What do you mean? You can’t look for a partner without looking for a relationship.” This is what I mean: I am content with being single. (By the way, contentment is a good thing.) I don’t yearn for a relationship or companionship because 1. I am in relationship with everyone everyday and 2. I have enough going on in my life to keep me occupied. Therefore, a relationship is not what I seek. I am looking for my life partner, a person, a living and breathing human being that is my match. And this is when you say, “Aren’t we all looking for that?” While there is nothing wrong with it, I would argue that we all aren’t. Some of us want the relationship or the idea of it more than the other person, kind of like a person who may want a baby and not necessarily the family. So for me, I want the partner, while the relationship thing is a given.
Because I’m clear that I am not looking for a relationship, but a partner, keeping myself in “discovery” on Tinder is pretty damn misleading. Aside from the people who are just looking to hook up, there are people who are actually looking for a relationship. I was reminded of this on my last, and possibly last ever, Tinder date.
So here’s to meeting people the traditional way—in bars and grocery stores.