I am no longer on any of the dating apps. If you have been reading this blog for a while, you know I have been on and off them the last year to year and a half. I know they work for some people, and almost did for me with a couple of people – especially when we couldn’t meet people out in the world due to the pandemic. I was cleaning up my computer files and found a document – a “manual” for being in relationship with me. This was a document someone actually had me write for them in 2018 (how fucking crazy is that?!). Funny thing is, he didn’t use it (It is also still very accurate also which is a little weird). Since he was/is/has been a serial dater, I think it was actually his way of making a woman feel heard (even if she wasn’t) and building a new level of intimacy with someone quickly – kind of a not bad idea… Our “relationship” didn’t progress because he was poly and I did not want to be. Fast forward to now and he ended up dating another man and starting a dating business.
We aren’t “back to normal” for dating yet really, but the Universe is going to have to send me someone a different way because I am not built for the dating apps. Maybe for most people it’s a fine way to start interactions, but for this snowflake it doesn’t work – LOL. I just have a few observations to share about the on-line dating experience… If you are going to travel this path, you may want to think about some things to make your experience better.
A large percentage of the time people seem to use old photos for their profile. If you meet them in person, your first thought tends to be “Fuucck… can I have the person you used to be?” So – pro tip here – use your current photos so no one gets disappointed before you even open your mouth.
Some guys have every photo doing something… like the first photo is them standing in front of a national monument (Eiffel tower is popular one), the second photo they are hiking to the peak of something, third photo doing a complex yoga pose half naked on a mountain top, fourth photo playing a sport, fifth photo in a long distance bicycle race, sixth photo golfing someplace nice, seventh running a marathon, eighth photo is them feeding children in a foreign country, ninth photo on a motorcycle… you get the idea. They are really fucking busy doing impressive things. I may want to do all those things… but will you want to do them again? Do you even have time for a girlfriend? Maybe I’m too boring for you because I am a normal person, doing normal things?
Other guys have pictures of them doing “guy things” … Here is the fish I caught, here is the campsite from my camping trip, here is the football game I went to, here is my truck… and my motorcycle. This makes me think, “What do we have in common?” Do you want a female friend or a male friend?
Some have their profile photo taken from waist height giving them 14 chins, or in a darkened room so you can’t really see them…the dark ones make you think they may be a serial killer or generally unsafe in some way (and not in a good way). A disconcerting number of men take their photos in bathrooms… just don’t. Bathrooms are not that appealing. Also, be aware, people like me will pay attention to the background. If you are going to bother to try and take an attractive photo of yourself for promotion in your profile, why would you not make the bed or tidy up your space a bit? I have to look at the photo and say to myself “Would you like to be in that space?” The answer is a resounding “No”.
Next the words in your profile… this is such a problem area. No words often mean they are only looking for sex… and there is nothing to converse about to start a meaningful (or even light) conversation with… except body parts. Some start out with a list of hard and fast what they don’t want in a connection. “No drama” is a common phrase in those profiles. Isn’t it interesting in life that the people who say they don’t want drama are usually the ones that have it or create it? It would be so cool if more people just honestly stated a brief summary of who they are and what they are hoping to find… after a while, the profiles mostly start to sound all the same… everyone on the planet likes walks on the beach for fuck sake. Often you find yourself spending time just trying to decode what they are really trying to say. See what is behind the words and figure out who they are… or maybe that’s just me. Speaking of decoding… Someone who uses a lot of actual “codes” in their dating profile, I think might be serial daters… 6’1” D W male ISO FWB – HWP w/GSOH for GGG SPIRA must be DDF. It shouldn’t be so hard to know what they are looking for… Don’t make your potential partner google everything, just use real words. Be lighthearted… I tried to be funny at one point and started my profile with “I’m just here for the free t-shirt” (followed by a “just kidding” – to which some actually wanted to know how we get the shirt… what part of “just kidding” was unclear?). If you are smart, you should let it show… (if you aren’t, it’s okay – there are lots of others that aren’t also) but don’t make people get out the dictionary either… I’m speaking to you – Mr. polygot (just say you speak multiple languages, thank you.). Try to be the “real you” would be my best advice.
Once you and another person have both gotten past the photos and first profile words (or no words) have decided to take a chance on the other and now have the opportunity to exchange words, you still aren’t on smooth ground. One of you has to start a conversation. I can’t even tell you how many people I had a “mutual match” with, but no conversation ever happened. So… if you are going to “like” someone, go ahead and say something! This part of the process can be so challenging. You try to start a conversation and so many people don’t seem to know how to have one… (heavy sigh). They might answer questions you ask, but never ask you anything about yourself. Or you end up talking about really safe things… favorite movies, music, then get stalled out and have nothing else left to say. It’s hard. I like to ask questions that require a little thought and tell me something deeper about a person – warning, not all people like those kinds of questions. Also, if you take a while to think of something else to say, sometimes people respond to your not quick response to them with aggression or hostility assuming you don’t like them… which is just dumb and definitely a conversation killer. Specialists say, “Keep it light, be flirty, be fun” and that works for a little bit – but if you really want to get to know someone, at some point you have to go a bit deeper. If I were to do it again, I would have a list of questions ready to help me keep things rolling along (but that’s me… Polly prepared).
At some point, if you want to go further, you exchange numbers so you can text and then some day speak on the phone (talking on the phone is less common now than you would think). Texting is not a great way to communicate on a regular basis… so much can be misunderstood. I think I may have to actually speak on the phone more in the future… which is actually an unpleasant thought for an INFJ. And by the way, lots of phone conversations can be great in knowing someone better, but it doesn’t necessarily guarantee you will mesh in person. Energy is a tricky thing… a good energetic match is something you can’t really predict.
Meeting in person is the next make or break part. There are so many I have met in person, and we never spoke or texted or interacted in any way after that first meet. If you met this person organically, instead of on a dating app, you would have known instantly they were not for you. A coffee date is good for this… not committed to a meal and not committed to a big chunk of time. Treading lightly here… but a sex date is appropriate sometimes if you have had conversations about that and it’s important to you (don’t judge me and I won’t judge you).
There is so much that goes into finding the right person to actually “be” in relationship with… all the apps can do for you is help you say hello to someone. All the sifting and sorting is just amplified because you can say hello to so many people. Finding your person is just a lot of fucking work. If you are going down this road, all I can say is “I wish you a short and joyful journey”.
Here are dating tips I actually put on my Match.com profile at one point: (It should be noted, not everyone found them humorous or enlightening)
***Unsolicited dating advice for people my age:
It has become apparent to me a public service announcement should be made (only partially joking here)…If you are serious about finding a quality partner, I suggest you keep the following tips in mind.
1. Try not to be a one word or one sentence response type of person. It’s really hard to have any sort of interaction with someone who just answers what you ask and does nothing more. You may not be much of a “talker” – but you’ve gotta give a girl something to work with.
2. Even if it’s out of your comfort zone, ask questions. How are you going to know someone if you don’t ask them questions? It also lets people know you care about something other than yourself…which is a good thing.
3. Be unapologetically straightforward. If you’re just looking for a hook-up, be honest. We are all adults here (well…“adultish”) and there is nothing wrong with sex – it’s normal, natural and healthy. If that’s all you’re looking for, there are dating sites specifically geared toward that.
4. Don’t be shallow. Women over 30 have curves. We have grown other humans inside our bodies…life and gravity have an effect. I’m willing to bet you don’t look like you did in your 20’s either. Get over it.
5. No response is a response. Get over that too. It’s okay…none of us floats everyone’s boat.
6. Don’t play games…say what you mean and mean what you say…unless you want to spend the rest of your life playing the games – that’s a different issue.
7. Don’t make assumptions. If you don’t know, ask. You know what they say about someone who assumes…they make an ass of u and me.
8. Don’t ask for a woman’s number or to meet her until you’ve had enough conversation to generate some amount of interest. It’s just creepy.
9. Don’t take your selfie from down low – making you look like you have 14 chins when you might not…you can do better. Limit the number of “fishes you’ve caught” pics unless that’s what you do for a living. Forget putting pictures of your motorcycles, cars, houses, etc. so you don’t attract the wrong kind of woman.
10. If you are talking to multiple people (good for you), you need to keep them straight. Repeating yourself or forgetting what someone has told you about themselves is not sexy. Make notes if you have to – or at least re-read the past conversation.
11. Be a gentleman – even when a woman considers herself a “feminist”. Opening doors, having manners, not trying to divide a restaurant tab like she’s having a meeting with your CPA…be a man – a gentleman, and let the woman you’re with, be a woman – a feminine woman.
12. All of us have baggage (mine is designer and very cute) – try not too drag yours out too early in the interaction (mine is neatly stowed under the seat in front of me). Focus on the positive in your life – what you focus on expands. Who knows- maybe you’ll forget you have it and lose it.
***This signifies the end of this PSA. You may now return to whatever you were doing before this interruption occurred. ***
I’m tired. I have dating fatigue. Too many people are on the fickle, “next bright shiny object” dating quest -not even really taking the time to see who someone really is…
My new way of dating (try not to laugh too hard) is to just let the Universe bring me someone. Now that I actually go out in the world again, it will be significantly easier for the Universe to do this. There was a time I would have only met the Amazon delivery person (who now doesn’t even wait at the door – they drop and flee). Someone actually started a conversation with me in a parking lot yesterday – go figure. I have placed my order so now I will just do all the things I want to do and at some point, they will show up… reminds me of a coaster I have – it says, “Do what you love and money will follow. Ate pizza, drank wine, took a 5 hour nap in my underwear and took selfies with my dog… Now I wait.” LOL
Seriously, when I get done traveling and doing things that interest me, if I still haven’t had Mr. Right show up and I get on here and whine… feel free to tell me “Get back on the apps you silly twit”. But I do believe in energy and that we attract things and people in based on our energy… so I will keep you posted.
Authentically yours… Wayward Yoga Girl