I realize we live in a time when it’s incredibly easy to satisfy ourselves by grabbing our phones, clicking, googling, and in some cases, swiping, to find what we want. I get it because I’ve done it; I’m pissed because my jeans are getting too tight, so I hit Amazon up for a new piece of jewelry to lift my spirits, because fuck you jeans I am going to fill this void right now.
So after my marriage ended and quite a few people suggested online dating to me, I knew in the pit of my soul it wasn’t what I needed, not even a little bit. It would be like trying to fix the fact my jeans were too tight by buying a new necklace, and it wouldn’t quite do the trick for me. I’d still be left wanting something different.
My husband is gone. And admittedly, I feel a void. But it isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I need to feel this empty space in my life and leave room for the right feelings and person to fill it — some day, in the way I want it to be filled.
It may seem old-fashioned or short-sighted, but I want my dating life to unfold organically, like it used to 20 years ago. Scrolling through pictures and profiles of (hopefully) single men doesn’t feel right to me for several reasons:
1. I want it to be spontaneous.
I want to be surprised. I don’t want to already know all the details beforehand. Sure, I don’t want to be wasting my time with some creeper either, but there’s never any guarantees with either option.
2. I wouldn’t be able to keep it all straight.
What if I get him mixed up with some other profile I was viewing? (I would totally do this.) Talk about looking like an asshat. I mean, if I was on a date with a man and I’ve made arrangements to be away from my kids, and he thinks I’m Linda from 20 swipes ago, I would definitely think he was a dickweed.
3. I would be swiping with my vagina.
I am afraid I won’t be liking or swiping based on the reasons I should be. I honestly won’t be focusing so much on what they say as I will be looking at their picture to see if I am sexually attracted to them — I am just being 100% honest here. I would be swiping with my vagina, and not that there’s anything wrong with good sex, but I don’t want to do that right now. Besides, pictures are very deceiving. After being around someone and getting to know them a bit, that is when true attraction comes through.
4. I would probably lie on my profile.
I also don’t feel like I can be free with myself while filling out the damn profile. I want to write “I enjoy stupid comedy movies and trashy novels,” but will feel compelled to write “I enjoy historical nonfiction and documentaries.”
And you bet your ass I won’t be able to write “I want a little bit of naughtiness in the bedroom” because that might attract the wrong kinda dude. I want to be myself, and it’s easy to be myself if I trust you enough to tell you those things. I don’t just let everyone know Will Ferrell is my favorite actor — you gotta earn that.
5. I want to see someone for real before spending time alone with them.
I think it will be way more fun and exciting to spot a man across the ball field at one of my kids’ sporting events (or across the aisle at Target, wherever) and be drawn to them because of the way they are around their kids, or how they carry their daughter’s little sparkly purse.
And I might even be a little turned on if I see a man ordering a brownie sundae, asking for extra hot fudge. I might even ask him how it is and if he moans with his mouth full while there is hot fudge dripping down his face, I would definitely ask him out. That’s the man for me.
6. I want real.
I don’t want to read a profile that was meticulously planned out. I don’t want some dude on his best behavior, sitting behind a screen meticulously proofreading his sentiments. I want to know the way he interacts in real fucking life with real people before I spend time any with him. If I am not able to be 100% honest on my profile (see No. 4), I certainly can’t expect anyone else to be.
7. I’d rather spend my money on something else.
With the money I’d spend to have someone judge my profile and pictures, I could be saving for something important, like a new handbag. I would much rather spend an afternoon with Kate Spade or Coach and know our relationship will last longer than a few hours.
8. I don’t need a booty-call app on my phone.
A lot of people treat these outlets as hookup sites. Let me be clear that I see no problem with that, but if I want to have an orgasm just for the sake of having one, I can do it myself. At home after eating a bag of Cheetos, thank you.
9. Who has the time for this?
With three kids, a career, a household, and a social life, I don’t have time to stare at 100 profiles until my eyes glaze over. I’d rather be scrolling Facebook or unloading the dishwasher.
10. It seems most people meet someone in real life anyway.
Most of the women I know who tried online dating said they had some great dates, yes, but typically have met their current long-term partner in real life be it at a bar, through a mutual friend, or a hot plumber who came to their house to fix their leak.
I am not trying to be a martyr. I realize I am likely behind the times, but I don’t give a damn. That’s just how I want it to happen — organically — and I don’t care if I have to wait.
So for now, I’ll keep my pantry stocked with Cheetos and go out for ice cream (heavy on the hot fudge) on the regular. I am sure he’s out there, and I can’t wait to meet him.