Safety in Numbers

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“Swiper, Stop Swiping!”

I can’t help but wonder if perhaps Dora the Explorer had a crystal ball and could see the danger awaiting us in the age of Tinder. 

Notice, it’s Tinder, not Tender. I get the benefits of a photo, age, and distance between me and my potential paramour. Date, booty call, one-night stand, relationship, potential love interest, however I choose to use it. It is a good tool for finding some company when I travel because it doesn’t just match me based on my homebase, it works on my actual location. It’s akin to a bar living in my phone. There is frequently a sense of ennui to my swiping. A detached boredom with no expectation. I am simply window shopping. I might try a few things on, but I really have zero intention of buying. My wallet is empty, and I don’t have that much credit. 

Unfortunately, the absence of alcohol, dark lighting, and loud music promotes a strange sense of intimacy. I  have to use words to communicate. Sorry honey, your cleavage isn’t going to buy you company tonight. Words easily trap me. I lose all sense of reality and fall into a hopeless fantasy. I can convince myself this is safe, because it’s not real. I am in no danger of falling in love or getting trapped because it’s Tinder. Somehow I talk myself into dropping some of the walls I use to keep everyone at a safe distance. I recklessly engage in mutual sharing of hopes and dreams for the future. I shed a little of the prickly “f*ck off” persona I adopted so long ago. I even have a few photos that are apparently “hot.” I think it’s the lighting and red lipstick. Maybe the angle. I managed to catch a pensive yet not angry expression. It wasn’t easy. It was one of many, many bad ones. I’m not showing you, because now that I mention it I am more than a little embarrassed and should probably delete this whole aside. 

I pretend. The safety of my little blue screen gives me a sense of confidence and I become charming and flirtatious. The awkward parts of my personality are hidden a little. I’m not afraid of being myself, because it doesn’t matter what these guys think of me. They aren’t real. I honestly have nothing to lose. I’m just passing through. 

I find myself saying things I would never say IRL. I match and unmatch with an abandon usually reserved for women more beautiful than I am. I am picky about who I choose to meet. The conversation has to be lively and interesting. I eschew the men who start of asking my bra size. I know my bra size. It’s not interesting to me. Somehow I feel like I am in control in this situation. If you irritate me, I can just stop talking to you. Unmatch, block, ghost, ignore, I have a plethora of tools at my disposal. 

Sometimes I am pretending to pretend. I allow myself to get caught up in the excitement of foreign experiences. I start to look forward to our interactions. This is probably because I am so picky about the men I choose for communication. Really, it’s easy to dislike boring, unintelligent men. 

I’ve become friends with a few of these men. The ones I go out with are generally quite attractive, educated, clever, and age-appropriate. They tend to have a way with words. I find myself intrigued and at times more than a little attracted to their electronic personas. 

That doesn’t diminish my fear of intimacy. It doesn’t ease my distrust of the whole prospect of love and happy endings. I firmly believe (well, I tell myself I firmly believe) there are no fairy tale endings, and there is no Prince Charming. All that is waiting for me is a lifetime of disappointment and resentment. Who needs that? It’s far better to never get your hopes up. Don’t get attached. Don’t expect anything from anyone. You are the master of your own happiness. It’s not lying within another person’s grasp. They will only let you down. 

When I first discovered the possibility of dating for “fun” I thought I had found the perfect solution. I would be honest from the beginning and demand these men play by my rules. It was great. 

Except I forgot the rules. I found myself daydreaming about one man when I was out with another. I just wanted to be with him. I did not want to see the others. 

What is the punishment for self-imposed and perhaps misguided infractions? 

I know! I know! Let’s overthink and concoct imaginary slights to punish him over. Except let’s not tell him how I am feeling. I will just quietly seeth with resentment and start judging him much more harshly than he probably deserves. I will not discuss this with him because it makes me sound crazy. 

I have turned into “that girl.” 

There is safety in numbers. I don’t have to risk getting attached. I can pretend. Until I start pretending to pretend. Then the real danger starts. 

You are not 45

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Okay, look fellas, sigh It’s cute that you think younger girls are hot. It’s even a little flattering that you think I am cute. 

But give me a damn break! 

You are so obviously not 45. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, except it shows you are a liar. Unless it’s that you think I am stupid. 

It makes me feel a little ageist, but come on. Seriously???? Time has been marching across your face since before my mother was born. No. I don’t want to meet you for “fun.” I don’t even know you! 

When did “fun” become a euphemism for meeting a strange man in a strange city in the middle of the night? Oh, everything is closed! Why yes, I think it’s a swimmingly good idea to come to your hotel room. Of course you have no ulterior motives. You sound like a super nice guy. How would you feel if your daughters were up for this kind of activity?  Sure, I considered meeting you for a drink. I like meeting new people. 

I was obviously born last night. 

No. It doesn’t sound like fun. It sounds gross and degrading. 

Does this actually work? What kind of woman is looking for this? 

I’m not judging other women here. Maybe a little. I can’t help it. Come on girls, get it together. We deserve better than this.

I deserve better than this. 

No, I’m not meeting you at your hotel room. Stop lying about your age, you are obviously not 45. 

And… unmatch. 

Secret Agent Man

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I’m not going to lie, The Professor irritated me. It would be disingenuous for me to insinuate I was still all that interested anyway. Don’t forget I get bored easily. I need fairly consistent interaction or you run the risk of getting replaced.

While The Professor was fun and I enjoyed our first date very much, he made a critical mistake. He decreased contact and failed to keep the excitement going. Granted, he did say he is not good about texting and calling. In hindsight this feels like an excuse. Besides, did he really think making out a little in the car meant I didn’t still need to be actively pursued? 

Unfortunately for him, The Spy had decided to strike. He has been texting and calling regularly. Not excessively, just often enough to keep me a little thrilled. Good morning texts and phone calls in the evening. He is witty, handsome, and disarmingly charming. He is respectful and curious about my day. Our conversations have a natural flow and we are interacting with each other, not at each other. 

The Spy sends me funny selfies sporadically through the day. He sends memes. He references things I’ve mentioned before. It feels like he is paying attention to me. He acts interested in my thoughts and perspective. We discuss things. Our date is planned for tonight and he periodically sends me the hourly countdown. He is obviously smart; he is making me feel like he can’t wait to see me. He is flirty and sprinkles in just enough innuendo to make me blush and grin like a fool. 

Seriously, someone needs to teach men how to be a little risqué without resorting to vulgarity. Don’t ask about my cup size or pubic hair when I have not even indicated an interest in getting naked with you. I am not sending you pics of my boobs, and I don’t want to see your penis on my phone screen. I promise. 


Sigh. I love a man with a beard. 

Maybe it is unfair to compare men to each other. How do you evaluate two very different personalities in a fair manner? Is it possible The Spy only seems so awesome in comparison to The Professor because left me wondering how he felt until it was too late? 

What are the rules to dating? How do you know if you are doing it right? 

How do you know if someone is truly interested or if they are just on a conquest? 

Why does it feel like The Spy already knows me? 

Who told him I love Dwight Yoakum? How did he know I eschew “Nashville country?” 

Who told him to send me a joke about C-diff and to drop the word propofol correctly into conversation? 

How did he know to joke about following me back to Texas? (To insinuate you plan to do that will get you dropped in a hurry.) 

How did he know my deep appreciation for the many ways the word f*ck can be used in a sentence? (Mom, the edit was for you.) 

I guess you can tell I am having a good time. I’ve been in a ridiculously good mood for the past five days. It’s exciting. Even though I have no idea how things will turn out, I am thrilled to be on the ride. 

Tinder Adventures Continue

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My Tinder experiment last year was quite the experience. I spent more time shocked by people’s audacity than feeling any love connections. 

As I gear up to spend a little more time on the east coast, I am convinced Tinder could at least provide some distraction and entertainment. 

Surprisingly, I am having fun again. Deleting the inappropriate ones. Ignoring the creepy ones. Laughing at the guys who are posing topless. 

I’m texting one potential match and he may have earned himself a date by making me laugh. I informed him I was the selfie queen. He responded that he could be king and proceeded to take a public bathroom selfie. I am a sucker for a well timed selfie battle. 

Life is fun. Tinder can be fun. Let’s all just lighten up and enjoy life for what it is. 

I would like to avoid the douchebaggery of dick pics. I could do without seeing your chest carpet. Ew. I’m still not sure what they are showing off. But okay. Whatever works for ya buddy. 

I don’t have to find a Prince Charming or the love of my life. I get to meet new people and go on adventures. If I manage to make a new friend, I’m gonna consider that a success. 

Tinder Talks

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I do not even know where to start. Did you seriously just ask me if I like cuddling? What kind of question is that? I thought we were on our way to having a nice conversation about work. I was all geared up to explain more about what I do. Then, he had to ruin the whole conversation. Instant turnoff. “Do you like cuddling?” I guess this explains that service where you can hire someone to come spoon with you. Sorry buddy. I don’t give my cuddles to just anyone.

Then, the other guy… WHAT? Indubitably? Ugh. The pretentiousness of this dude is so thick I doubt I could ever get passed it. He may have been trying to be charming and cute. It is a shame he failed so miserably. He never recovered. Unmatched.

Keeping in mind, I am not looking for Prince Charming. Nope. Not at all. I just kinda want free dinner. Which is going well. I have met or have plans to meet several people. I don’t even know if I would call this dating. Perhaps it is just socializing. It is fun. Life does not have to be so serious.

I have even met a guy I really like. Tinderbabe. Ha! He just laughed when I told him his nickname. He is cute, smart, and funny. Who else do we know with those traits? We have a lot of similar tastes in movies and Netflix, so it works. I am comfortable and myself when I am with him. I feel like I have made a new friend. He even watches Downton Abbey with me. How freaking sweet is that? I am glad I swiped right on him.

If I am being honest, the only thing Tinder may be good for is an ice breaker. I am not going to pretend you can get to know someone on Tinder. For the most part, these are strange people with some interesting proclivities. There are several people looking for BDSM friends (I cannot figure out another way to word that), a dude looking for toes to suck (I failed to get a screen shot because I swiped left so fast), a guy just wanting to give massages (with no reciprocation required???), and many married looking for a third or FWB.

Some of my complaints.

  • Pics that are blurry and group pics. It is rude. Why even post a pic if you can’t tell anything about you?
  • Memes instead of pics. Again, what is the point?
  • Photos of your children. Are you using your kids to catch women? That is gross.
  • Incessant sexual innuendo. I have actually just started telling people I don’t appreciate it. Sometimes they stop and we can have a pleasant conversation. Other times, they have to get unmatched. I don’t have time to constantly redirect you. I believe I made it clear up front I am looking for people to hang out with, not a string of one night stands.
  • Married men looking for FWB. I don’t like it. I don’t care if you say your wife is cool with it. I still find it creepy.
  • Drug references. Are you not presentable at all? Why would I want to go out with you?
  • Repeatedly asking how I am and never the conversation never going anywhere. SAY SOMETHING!
  • Typing ‘U” instead of you. Are “U” that busy?
  • Only messaging me after 11:00 at night. Clear message for a booty call. No thank you.

Tinder is a quick and convenient way to meet people. Social media is strange. The common decency filter is often removed and replaced with inconsequential communication. Most of the people I communicate with are not people I would EVER date. I guess I am just as guilty as these guys are. I am using them for distraction and entertainment just as much as they claim to want to use me.

Tinder. Please don’t. 

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  Let me be clear. Ewww. This is the ONLY correspondence I have had with this “gentleman.” Trust me, it will go no further. Gross. Please do NOT come to my hotel. Is this real? I never dreamed people actually spoke to people this way. It’s tacky. 

Come on guys! Does this work on any level? What the hell is wrong with you? This is seriously gross. Oh! And the Pray Now picture? One of his profile photos. Certainly seems to be a man of God to me. 

On a brighter note, I have had some interesting and seemingly nice “chats” with some fellows. (Pronounced fella in Texas) I just love the word fellow. Pretty sure it is the best word for a man.  Not the doctor kind though. I only like a few of those.
I don’t know how to feel about Tinder. I have been called “beautiful, baby, honey, hun, gorgeous, sexy, sweetie, darling, and dear.” All of these terms of endearment from people I have not even spoken to. (FYI: this pretty much puts you on the un-match list.) 

You don’t know me! Don’t be calling me names. Try “hello” and say something witty and clever that is not filled to the brim with innuendo and references to either your penis or my breasts.  

I promise you: I am not going to have sex with you the first time I meet you. Probably not the second either. Wait. Not probably. It’s not happening. 

So stop alluding to sex! It’s annoying! You are an adult. Can’t you have an adult conversation without stooping to sex? Do you have any hobbies? Is your job interesting? 

Furthermore. There is a shocking number of profiles for married men out there looking for FWB. I’m dying to know. Why don’t you have sex with your wife? Your marriage would probably be happier. If she doesn’t want to have sex with you, maybe you should evaluate how you are treating her. Do you make her feel special? Do you make her a priority? What is it? Why are you giving up on our marriage? Love your damn spouse! 

Maybe I am naive. I think I may have to follow a certain British chap’s advice and go back to the old fashioned way of meeting people. You never know, you may get to have a really fun time at a Bruce Springsteen concert.  

  
 

 

Tinder Pics. 

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  Okay. Come on fellas. Is it really that hard to find some pics for Tinder? 
I am convinced you guys need someone in your life who loves you so you can get some decent pics of yourself. (Obviously, selfies are not your forte.) I cannot fathom why so many of these dudes are NEVER smiling! I just have to swipe left on those guys. Yuck! I want to laugh and have a good time. Why are you presenting yourself as such a bore? 

Can you explain this pic to me? Is this a visual representation of The Pina Coloda song? Do you want to get lost in the rain? What is happening here? I had to swipe left. Now, I will never know the story behind this photo. 

  Seriously? This is your pic that you want women to want to get to know you with? It is not even a picture of you or something you have done! Ugh. I am convinced some people are even lazier than I am when it comes to Tinder. 

But, this is my favorite thing: the fish picture!   Now, most of you post a giant behemoth trophy fish! I’m not sure what makes this fish special but you know I swiped right just so I could have the opportunity to ask. In fact, I may make it a policy to swipe right on every fish pic from now on. I really want to hear the story. (The red scribbles are protecting his anonymity.)

Is fishing a particularly strong display of virile masculinity? Should the thought of you sitting on a boat, drinking a beer, and lazily casting out an invisible line be an aphrodisiac? Do you expect me to know what to do with said fish??? I can’t cook! I don’t touch live fish! Maybe I should reevaluate my new policy of swiping right on the fish pics. 
  Now, these are a pretty accurate representation of who I am. I realize I am lacking a full body shot. (Come on, you can tell I am not a petite girl from these pictures.) At least you get a variety of facial expressions. Surely these shots give somewhat of a glimpse into my personality. At least they demonstrate my selfie habit. 

Choosing pictures to demonstrate your entire being is impossible! Maybe I should include a photo of an advocado. To demonstrate my deep rooted love for them. Oh! And I should probably include the pics of Boomer Wayne and the cats. 

Tinder is such a waste of time. I feel like I am a strange stalker. I choose whether or not I might want to find out whether or not you swiped right on me. I wonder how many people just swipe right on everyone. How many people swipe right on no one? 

Well, I guess I should chalk all of this up to a grand experiment. I am not looking for some great romance. I’m just killing time. If I happen to make some new friends, cool. Otherwise, I’m just going to keep complaining about the absurdity of it all. 

Tinder is so weird! Why I am even on it? I really need to get a life. 

Tinder is the Night

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I have many well-intentioned loved ones who just want me to “find someone nice.” Meet the man of my dreams, fall in love, get married, and live happily ever after. The problem is I have no idea how to do that. When I am left to my own devices I do silly things like play on Tinder. There must be some trick to meeting a nice guy. I doubt I am going to find him while I am sitting on the couch in my PJs.

So, I was bored.

I am also pretty much lazy when it comes to looking for men. I really have zero desire to put much effort into this task. I am not looking for some great love affair. I am also decidedly not looking for a one night stand. I was just bored. Someone to go out to dinner with might be nice. Maybe someone who wants to discuss movies or books. 

I typically tend to forget how many ways men suck. First of all, S3XY??? What the actual hell? Does that ever work? This dude is in his 30’s. So, I am left pretty much flabbergasted at his lack of charm.  At least pretend you are interested in something other than sex. Lie. Whatever. 

I suppose I should be grateful at this guy’s level of honesty. He certainly loses points for missing the hint. If brazen stupidity were an attractive trait, he would have a leg up on the competition. My very favorite part of this exchange was the “U sure.” Ummm, yeah. I am fairly certain I am never going to be interested in having “a sexual relationship” with you.

I am trying to think of what physical characteristics could make me ignore a man’s absolute lack of common sense. He would have to be one hot dude. Tall. Tattoos. Broad shoulders. A beard would help. Thick hair would be nice. Or balding (I am really not picky about hair. Just be smart about your hair. NO comb overs!) Cute smile. Deep voice. Good job. Nice eyes. Smart. Passionate. Responsible. I realize those are not all physical characteristics. I just need more than a pretty face! Oh, a pretty face is not on the list. I don’t want a man prettier than I am.

I have no idea why I responded to this man on Tinder. I suppose I just wanted to see what ridiculousness would ensue. The entire conversation was less than 20 exchanges and most of my responses were not even nice! Did he actually think this would work? What kind of girl would find this a viable option for a nice evening? Are there women who are just looking for a loser to sleep with? I can’t imagine how much liquor it would take for me to overlook his conversation skills.

Tinder is probably not a great option for me to find stimulating conversation and interesting company. Maybe I need to find a coffee shop. Perhaps I should start stalking men at the book store.

We conduct so much of our life on the internet. I am convinced we could go on forever without expanding our social circles at all. So, where am I supposed to meet this nice guy who thinks I am fantastic? Where the hell is he hiding? Someone should drop him a text and let him know I am terrible at hide- and- seek.

Tinder. Ugh. Fellas, I am going to need you to get a clue. Don’t be douchebags. Girls don’t find that attractive. We need more than to be called sexy. I am much more than just a body. I have interests and goals. I love to argue and debate. I need so much more than a physical relationship.

Tinder probably needs some tenderizer.

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Okay, so you have probably seen or heard of Tinder. It’s the online dating app… well, I am not sure if it should be called dating…

So, this thing called Tinder. It is pretty easy to set-up, it syncs with Facebook, so you should have photos handy. All you get is a pic, age, and how geographically close your match is to you. How do you get a match? Well, you have a stack of cards, and you see the main pic. You can tap it once and look for more photos, and see a short blurb that the person wrote.

Now, for the fun part. You swipe right if you think you like them. You swipe left if you don’t. Now, if you swipe right, and he swipes right then you are a match.

If you swipe left, you never see them again.

So, it all starts off more like a meat-market, and I am not really sure where it all leads after that.

I do have some observations though.

  • Some men do not know how to choose a photo.
  • Why on earth would you not have a photo?
  • Spelling and grammar are important.
  • I tend to swipe left if you have girls hanging all over you. (That is weird.)
  • How is that some people manage to look like DB? Do they not see it?
  • This really is pretty shallow.
  • Wait. If we matched… now what?
  • People are crazy.

I have seen a couple of people I know, and a couple of people I know are MARRIED! Come on guys, we live in a pretty small town. Does your wife know that you are on Tinder, and only looking for “Fun, nothing serious?” You are a jerk. Why is it that some men just do not seem to take marriage vows seriously?

Tinder is weird. You are probably not going to have an emotional connection and get all tender unless you spend a lot of time on there, however maybe it is just a numbers game. I can see why it was initially for hook- ups. Not sure what else it is good for.

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Don’t worry, there will be more matches later, I just finished swiping left a bunch of times.

So, what is proper Tinder etiquette? If you see a friend or work acquaintance, should you swipe right?  I mean, what if they swipe right on you, and you never match?

So far, I think I have always swiped left on people I know. I cannot figure out what the intention of Tinder is… are these supposed to be people who I would like to hang out with? Or people I want to HANG Out with? I am just not sure. I guess I will keep playing on here, seeing whether I meet interesting people. I will mostly swipe left.

Although, what would happen if I always swiped right? Would that mean that I am open-minded? I suppose that could be an interesting experiment. Let’s see what will happen if I only swipe right. Maybe I will learn something.