I sipped my wine in slight euphoria, watched him pay for the check and write the tip with ease. The server comes to pick up the receipt and thanks us. We both smile and thank him as well.
“We can sit here for a little bit,” my date smiled, leaning back in his chair. “I like talking to you.”
I keep my blush hidden, placed the wine glass back on the counter of the bar and reciprocate my truth, “I like talking to you too.”
I felt myself relax at that, tuck my nerves in a nearby shell and let them dissipate into the sand. The waves continued to flow; smooth, coursing, quiet. I laughed, he laughed, we smiled. I danced, metaphorically, across ballrooms and carpeted hallways, living in glee. I was hopeful for this year; reassured, light even, especially with this being my first date in over a year. I saw no flashing lights, chaotic sirens, egos being publicized—no projections, arrogance, rudeness, sarcasm, questionable beliefs, obsessions…I was careful, cautious; looking, seeing, hearing—trusting guts, intuitions, butterflies…
After he went to the bathroom, I read his social cues; body movements, his phone in hand.
“You have to go?” I asked
“Yes, sorry,” he said, quite apologetically.
“No, no worries at all. I have to drive home,” I smiled.
He said earlier he had plans with friends, but was quick to take me up on pizza for lunch, wine for pleasure.
I am floating high above the horizon, soaring through ecstasy; pure, unadulterated bliss.
It’s almost too much to bear; this beating hope.
“I know, I got, what you need,” Keith Sweat sings. “So what you wanna do?”
Day 1: …
Day 2, noon: “Hey, it’s me,” I text. “I had a good time on Saturday. I hope you did too? Unless I got the wrong impression lol I’m down to hang out again sometime soon. If you are not interested, however, no worries. Just let me know.”
Day 2, night: …
Day 3: …
Day 4: …
Day 5: …
And I even thought he was kind of cute for a 30-year-old man who can’t communicate.
Just a week before, I spoke with a very religious man who believed he was the shit. He was quite arrogant, borderline narcissistic—to say the least—asking if I can cook because he likes a woman who can cook. Yes, he said that. Mind you, he proceeded to explain his reasoning as best as he could, which, of course, did not make it better. He also had this desire to know if my parents were divorced because if it wasn’t obvious enough, it would decrease the chance of him getting divorced if they were still together (though, I’m not sure how that logically makes sense). What I loved about this conversation is that he told me he never had a girlfriend. I almost laughed on the other line, as it was made crystal clear on why that would be.
Four weeks later, a man I had a connection with for about two weeks told me he was moving to New York. Despite how encouraging I was in the development of his career, I simply declined in continuing on as there would be no point in talking if he was going to move across the country. That is not something that would benefit me. He explained that we could do long distance. I said no. He then proceeded to make me feel awful, regretful, for a decision he initially said he was okay with. Suddenly, it’s my fault for “leaving him” when we never even met in the first place and thanked me, yes, thanked me, for leaving him with quite an immature attitude. I drew a line at that and ended it quickly, blocked him too.
After another three week break (with tears of the universe being against me) and dead Tinder matches and ghosted Hinge conversations, I met someone else. Two months in, it was going quite well. We established we weren’t going to be exclusive and continue to date other people, while also going on dates with each other. This thus turned into basically a friends with benefits case which I distinctly said I did not want to do (he stopped taking me on dates due to not having “time“). And as I consistently communicated my intentions, boundaries, and what we mutually agreed upon, by month three, the trust was broken and dishonesty occurred after I had explicitly asked him to be open and upfront about intentions and feelings.
Wait, let me not put him on blast.
I once said in my last post about dating at 24 years old that “unless you are a book boyfriend from any of the books I am reading, or Manny Montana or William Levy or Sebastian Stan or Jay Ellis or any of the hot men from HBO’s ‘Insecure,’ please do not enter my vicinity. My department is closed, this mansion is unavailable. No, sir. No, thank you.”
The funny thing is that I might possibly stand by that until I’m 30. But I’m optimistic (when I have a session with my therapist that is).
One of my favorite comedians, Taylor Tomlinson, who is honestly too relatable in every sense, makes a joke about modern dating/love after a four-year-old asked her what love feels like.
“Trust no one, swipe left.”
While we laugh at this and her perfect delivery, the accuracy is hilariously uncanny.
Because let’s be real, online dating is horrendous, almost dead. Surely, I can attest to this.
According to PewResearch, about 54 percent of relationships are developed through dating apps. 38 percent of Americans deemed these relationships as less successful than relationships that began in person.
So really, there is only a 50/50 chance of developing a relationship from a dating app with a slightly hopeful success rate.
And please do not give me advice on which dating app I should use, as most people who have given their counsel are either in committed relationships or married.
Let me give you some insight on these apps based solely on my experiences of just this year:
Like I had said above, Tinder for one, is certainly dead, and the few of you that actually developed a relationship from Tinder is clearly in that one percent. Tinder these days, if you haven’t noticed, are used for hooking up, and really, hooking up only. Today, you can find yourself getting 50 plus matches with no communication or responses. Yes, no one fucking talks. The amount of times I have messaged these men with little to no responses is utterly ridiculous. No follow-ups, no how-are-you’s. The most response I’ve ever gotten from a man was him asking me what area I lived in, followed by a “So you down to fuck?” message. No, Sean. Just no.
Hilly, well, is filled with crusty, dusty, horny men, ohkay? I wouldn’t recommend it. I once had a man ask to have sex with me without even uttering a “hello.” I deleted the app the next day.
Hinge, well, I’ve been ghosted on Hinge more times than I can count. And it’s not the ghosting during small talk that grinds my gears. It’s when we would vibe, when we would begin discussing our interests and developing a connection, and I would undoubtedly have the desire to continue off the app. But before I could type up my phone number, next thing I knew, his account had been deleted—or he’d unmatched me mid-conversation.
Hinge is also where I get the most one-word or small talk responses. Technically, most of those have been from military men. And here’s a little PSA to all the military boys: if you are looking to DTF, announce that, because y’all active duty men are boring as fuck. There are only so many times you can ask how my day is going. And why do I have to lead the conversation and ask you about you? No, sir, I don’t want to meet up with you if you can’t hold a simple conversation. I mean, yes, I get it. You are only here for a couple of years and all you want to do is fuck around. Fine, be honest about that so I can say wave and say “goodbye.”
And what is up with men saying they don’t have time to date? Then why the fuck are you on a dating app? Let me repeat that: why the fuck are you on a dating app if you don’t have time to date? Oh, I don’t know sir, hence the word dating in “dating app.” And let me tell you something real quick: the thing about time and being so incredibly busy is if you really wanted to, sir, you would make the time. The phrase “if he wanted to, he would” is facts. And if you aren’t interested, just say that and be honest. But let me not project.
Also, clout chasing? Really? Boy, come on, now. I am not going to follow your trashy social media page filled with hideous pictures of yourself so you can gain more followers. Be an influencer somewhere else.
Moreover, Bumble, I’d say, is suitable, but definitely not more than Hinge. I personally don’t have enough experience with this app to give a proper review. Most responses I receive are quite similar to Hinge, as well as the ghosting. I only met one person from Bumble, and that was surely a bust.
I did, however, talk to someone that was very upfront and honest about feeling this out. As refreshing as this was, I expressed that I am willing to do the same, only if he’s interested in getting to know me like I would be interested in getting to know him. This means obvious communication and conversation, which I thought he understood. Apparently, he meant wanting a one-sided exchange: me asking him questions and him asking none. When I was honest and stated politely that this wasn’t going to work out, he immediately unmatched me, quite quickly might I add, before I could explain. I thought his reaction was hilarious.
On the contrary, at least Bumble tells you when they unmatched you or completely delete their account. The only downside is I can’t see who matched me without paying for premium. It’s honestly almost like Tinder and Hinge combined. You’d message them, get a response back so the men can keep you as a match, and never message you ever again. It’s a fun time.
So, really, it makes no difference what app you use. You’re quite lucky to develop any sort of relationship, marriage, partnership from a dating app, and for it to last.
Now, I do have to disclose that despite the statistics and quite irritating experiences—and my pessimistic attitude throughout this post—I’m not particularly saying I’ve given up, that I’m discouraged by dating and connecting with someone I would eventually (and hopefully) spend the rest of my life with. I know it may not sound like it, but I’m trying not to let my experiences with dating affect my future partners and possible relationships. I may be hanging on a thread, dangling at the cusp, but my glass is still half full.
I’ve learned several lessons this year about not only dating, but about myself. The challenges I faced, the constant boundaries I placed—I mean I have men out on these streets thanking me for being so mature, kind, and forthcoming, for being expressive of my emotions and wants/needs. I’ve learned what it means to be selective, and who will not come up in my vicinity and disrupt my ongoing peace.
I do, however, have a difficult time comprehending online dating with all of its absurd processes and modern-day oppositions.
I’ve even had conversations with men I’ve met on these apps regarding their experiences with online dating themselves. It seems women as well are not strangers to ghosting and one-word responses. Yet, as far as intentions and honesty goes, they can’t answer whether women are similar to men in that sense or not, probably because they too are not being upfront about their own intentions.
So, yes, I could go on and on for ages, ranting about online dating in 2022—which, might I add, my therapist struggles to understand too— but let me just say this for the online dating beginners and the innocent, hopeless romantics who never kissed a few frogs:
“Trust no one, swipe left.”