In my attempt to keep myself accountable and understand what works vs what doesn’t in terms of my NY realisations and putting my dating learning into practice, I’m going to attempt a weekly diary. Of sorts. I need a witty name for it though. Diary of an Idiot? The Dating App Diaries? Oh that spells DAD as an acronym. How about DAD…I need your help!? Oh god.
‘Witty Title’ – Week 1 it is then.
My intention is to keep these posts private. Then I said to myself, don’t be silly, share yourself with your readers (be vulnerable, remember?). Then my decision swung back to private because what if I decide to share my blog as part of that vulnerability with a potential match?! And then I considered that this might be funny to read and relateable to some people, it could even be heart-warming eventually, and who doesn’t want to see a metaphorical car crash become nothing more than a minor shunt? And on I go, continuing to swing between private and publish. So if you are reading this, you know how my final decision rested. If not, then I’m talking to myself. Yet again.
I downloaded Hinge. I could have downloaded a ton of apps, but Hinge describes itself as the ‘app designed to be deleted’ with the black heart emoji and if that tiny, technologically designed, piece of art doesn’t describe me and my cynical approach to love, then at least I won’t feel guilty for deleting the app, even if I don’t find love, as they’ve already given me permission! I also met my last ‘proper’ boyfriend on there and whilst it didn’t work out, I can confirm the calibre of possible matches are so much better. The pool is more limited compared to the likes of Tinder and POF, which invariably elicit an eye-roll along with thumb ache from swiping, so quality over quantity right?
So here is how my first 24 hours went:
Likes: 24. Matches: 10. Conversations: 10. Papersifted: 3
How are you papersifting? I hear you ask… 1) Conversational skills – I cannot emphasise just how important this is to me. Communication is the key to discovering someone. It isn’t a means to impress someone, a lesson I have learned the hard way myself. So, if they cannot ask questions and show a sense of curiosity about me as I do them, then I will take that as a big sign that they are not interested in me. I do wonder if I’m being a taaaad strict about this though. I might get lots of questions in a face to face setting, but that’s not really possible on a dating app is it?? Where I find the written word the easiest form of communication, despite it being being the most unreliable, others might not, so I wonder if I might inadvertently be discarding a whole group of people. I definitely don’t need perfect spelling or grammar, but I do need some witty repartee. Or at least a game of Word Tennis. Or Wennis. Oh that’s never gonna catch on. Awful.
2) Not having something in your life other than work or children – I’ve said it time and again: I value my freedom. Which really translates into I value my independence and the fact that I don’t have somebody looking to me to complete them or their life or meet all the needs they lack in their life. BUT, if you are special enough then I will make room for you. If they don’t have any interests or hobbies, that’s bad! Extra-curricular activities are good; a healthy sign of somebody else who has self-love and independence.
3) Making Me Laugh – if they can make me giggle, or do that really unattractive snort thing where I breathe through my nose a bit heavier that normal (BTMNABHTN) we can move this towards a non-app conversation. Unless of course, they haven’t met points 1 and 2, in which case ‘buh-bye’.
4) Above all else, I value kindness. Being thoughtful isn’t possible at all times. I get it. I understand that being kind when you feel the world crushing on your shoulders is the last thing you may consider. Emotions right? But if they can show some glimmer of hope in what is otherwise a shitty world, then I shall consider that as a pretty good sign of empathy and that I’m not going need to tread on eggshells when we have to have difficult conversations.
For the most part, I have initiated all the conversations which I could never do on the likes of Tinder or POF because somehow, in the Western world, being the first to initiate a conversation there has this ridiculous meaning that you are the lesser attractive person. I kid you not! Seriously, go Google it right now! However I am approaching the Hinge mob in the same way I would a guy in a club. Or a dad at football. I’m dropping the metaphorical handkerchief and hoping they’ll pick it up and hand it back to me. Thus, making it easy for them to chat and approach me, because although the pool is smaller, there is still an extraordinary amount of members. Not only do I give them a green light by doing this, I have a second motive (muhahah) I’m hoping I will also stand out.
So…things that have worked well;
‘Did you know, Giraffes have 3 hearts. That would come in pretty handy for when you inevitably break mine’
Debatable topics: ‘Dairy Milk or Galaxy’ ‘Thrilling sport or pompous pageantry’ (in reference to F1) or giving them a lead into my own crazy theory that the Earth is alive.
Telling somebody they have an attractive quality. It’s so attractive when… ‘guys get hands on in the kitchen, completely underrated’ or ‘men get hands on, it shows how strong you are’ ‘a guy can introduce me to new things or is spontaneous’
Being vulnerable (ish) describing ‘how empty home feels without the Christmas decorations’, ‘my Elvis Wedding fantasy’ and ‘being open to finding someone special’.
I know, I’m so smooth! And here is a list of things that did not work well:
All of the above. Newsflash!
It’s amazing how up and down the dating app journey can be even in a matter of a few days. It’s pretty ruthless actually, the seemingly easy-going nature of chatting to people has an undercurrent of brutality; charring the remains of my already black heart just seems overkill. What do you mean I am not funny or pretty or flirty enough?! But, of course, that goes two ways. Of all the people I have chatted to this week, I consider 4 of them having potential, although 2 of them have stated they want children and although I feel way too young to say I won’t have anymore, I really can’t envision myself doing it all again. So that leaves two; Chris and Matthew. I fancy Chris. He’s a fair haired Jamie Dornan type with a clever captivating ability to just seem curious about everything. It really is endearing but I wonder whether this endless questioning would eventually do my head in? For instance, would I be allowed to put my feet up on the sofa and binge watch The Office without having to discuss what it is about the dry sarcasm and satire that really appeals to my psyche? Not my psyche dude, my inner child, I like to laugh. Try it sometime! But as it turns out, he doesn’t see adopting step-children in his future for a variety of well explained reasons. He was sure to let me know that he fancied me though and if I was open to a non-committal situation in his clever captivating way. Oh man, I am so so tempted, I can feel my inner slut stirring, awakening from a long siesta, but I send her back into hibernation and say NO! Actually, I flip the script and tell him he should message me if he changes his mind on children ‘winkyface’. TOUCHÉ! I know, I can’t believe it either. I actually like this guy, fancy this guy, and despite wanting to find out if he has the skills of his doppelganger in that film, I channelled my boundaries and politely explained casual wasn’t what I was looking for and gave him a second chance to change his mind to my way of thinking. He didn’t and so we went our separate ways and I am so proud of myself…..This is fucking progress yo!!!
As for Matthew, I don’t really fancy him, but he’s cute and he is interesting and he’s really had me in fits of giggle. He seems well travelled, very nerdy and is a gamer, which means we would have plenty of things to talk about and geek out on and I would have plenty of free time to do my own thing and binge watch TV guilt free. Plus, I could always join in that Tik Tok trend, you know the one where the girlfriend gets out of the shower and drops the towel and the boyfriend’s are supposed to dribble some sort of ‘I’m out, see ya’ to their friends before making sweet sexy lurve to you. On seconds thoughts, I’ve probably missed the boat on that one. I’m not particularly convinced wanting to take part in a Tik Tok trend is a valid reason to pursue a date either, but my wants/needs and boundaries for choosing a partner are no longer based on looks. Unlike Chris, he’s not clever with his words, so I know he is 3 years out the end of a divorce and looking for somebody long term who is adventurous in the bedroom. He explicitly asked me if I was and instead of raising my hackles (as would normally happen) or nose-diving into what his version of adventurous means to him (which I’ve done in the past to prove that I’m so t o t a l l y chill with sex stuff), I just replied with I’m an open-minded gal, and that’s all I will say on the matter until you have bought me a drink! Setting my standard? I think so!!
So how do you balance the attraction to the inside person with the desire to the outside person. Many times in my life I have come across people who I have not immediately been attracted to physically but have developed attraction to, FD and SD both being good examples. And those that I have been instantly attracted to? Well historically I have invested way too much and too quickly with them! Ha, who am I kidding, even when the attraction has grown on me, once I’m there I still invest way too much based on the attraction rather than the investment from them. For example FD called me ‘Babes’ when wishing me Happy New Year. All I’ve done is think about it since, I’ve invested 4/5 days in thinking about whether ‘babes’ means anything. SMH! So just because I’m making progress in one area, I’m failing miserably in another.
But seriously. Back to the Newsflash and dear readers, picture me right now: I am sat on the edge of my seat, leaning forward with that excited, slightly high-pitched crazy intonation in my voice typing these thoughts out to you as they flash in my mind like a virus to a web-browser when you click on one of those ads, or to anybody who is considering dating or currently dating and wondering ‘what if’ ‘why won’t they’ ‘how can I…’ ‘what am I doing wrong?…’.
Actually I’m probably still just talking to myself, but the answer is…
There is no answer!! What works with one guy doesn’t work for another. There is no fucking formula to this. If a guy is on your wavelength and understands your vibe then you will have a conversation. Maybe see if the Wennis (gah!) can last a couple of days! If it does, bingo. Call them. Or ask them to call you! Go on a date. Video call. But do not assume that having a good conversation and making it to a date or two or three is automatic entry into relationship territory. Just because you would like to see this go further or just because you are attracted to him or even still figuring both of those out, does not mean the feeling is mutual. He may have got to his answer sooner than you! Conversely, you might have gotten to that point before him and you’re gonna have to tell him you do not want to take it further. Think about it. How many times you have been the first to conclude a match is going nowhere? Now, keep this in mind when you suddenly feel the familiar discomfort of rejection try to envelope you and remember we do not fear new opportunities, love or vulnerability. We fear old pain!
What a revelation!? I’m gutted though, I feel like if this was a book, I’ve already spoiled the ending and we haven’t even got past the first week. First day in fact, I figured out all of the above on Saturday, in the first 24 hours.
P.S – If you are a match reading this, then I assume your name is Chris and you changed your mind.
P.P.S – but hopefully, your name is Football Dad and you finally came to your senses.