I’ve started down the perilous road of online dating. I’ve been single for several months. The “rule of thumb” I’ve always heard is to not date for one month for every year you’ve been in your last relationship after a breakup. So for me: three-ish year relationship, break-up in mid-June makes mid-September the magic time.
I held off until late October as I was busy with my kids’ fall sports schedule and I just wasn’t feeling ready. When things quieted down from the barrage of activities, I had some additional break-up feelings that I felt I needed to sit with and work through. There was also some additional loneliness and heartache from seeing all the online pics of me and the ex get taken down from the various social medias. In hindsight it was good to work through those feels and not just cover them up with more business or another relationship.
Finally, I brought the thought of dating up with my therapist. She seemed to think it was a good time to, “get back out there”. Admittedly, starting to put a legit profile together and sign up for the various dating sites felt very awkward. It was as though I was stepping off an airplane into a very foreign place. I’m still not 100% thrilled with it, but I guess it’s the way of the world and likely the way of most busy adults these days.
My think was picking a dating app. Tinder is the go to for most, but feeling like limping into the wide world of online dating, I started looking at some of the “lesser” apps like Badoo and MeetMe. Here’s a word of advice from this part of my experience, don’t do it.
These apps are on the fringe of all things dating. They are frought with fake profiles, profiles of prostitutes and profiles people just looking to get high. There’s also a lot more pressure to spend money on the site. I talked with one or two people who made these observations very clear.
I ended up talking more to my therapist about this. She’s roughly my age, recently divorced, similar station in life and now familiar with the online dating thing.
She recommended Tinder to start as it was a crossroads for many people. She also said this could be a bit of a problem as there wasn’t much to filter profiles by. Being I didn’t and still don’t entirely know what I’m looking for, this was a good a start as any. I uploaded some photos and wrote a factual, but bland profile for myself, went out there and started swiping.
By swiping, I mean swiping right on about everything except for obvious “working girl” profiles, trans profiles (not that I mind them on there, just not my cup of tea) and profiles with dude’s pics (did you make a wrong turn at login or are you trying to live out some pick up a straight dude fantasy?).
The results were mixed. It turns out I care about education level and I would love to have someone I could go do the physical activities I enjoy such as downhill skiing and golf. I’m also not a big fan of people who go way out of their way to be eclectic. After a couple connections and a couple of dates I was/am feeling ready to take a break from it all already.
Another concept I need to adapt to is much of the gender identification lingo. She/her, they/them, queer, non-binary, demisexual, sapiosexual, bisexual (okay I understand that one) and many of the other identifiers just didn’t exist when I was last looking to date. Fortunately, my therapist was glowingly happy to explain all of those like a hip mom who was down with the lexicon. This was obviously one of her many moments to shine, so now my brain is caught up, i.e. I know “queer” can be a little bit of wild card that can sometimes require more conversation and sapiosexuals want brainy peeps. Still the normalcy of it is taking a little time to sink in.
In the meantime, I’ve branched into Bumble. The reason for this is the ability to filter a little better. There also seem to be more professionals and women who resonate.
With some profile editing (work on having a strong, entertaining profile, it’s worth it) I’m starting to become innundated with interactions. It’s a good thing, but I must admit to being a lousy multitasker and am starting to take up more of a non-swiping, defensive position to work through the backlog of chats and dates. These interactions and some of the things I’ve found helpful are likely going to be the backbone of my posts for a while.