Sunday, January 18, 2015

Throwing in the Tinder Towel

Where have all the cowboys gone?

5 reasons why I am throwing in the Tinder towel for good. 

And not just Tinder, all of them - Hinge, JDate, eHarmony, Match, they all gotta go. 

Here's why:

1) My prince, if he's out there, will come to me on a white horse. 

I have no intention of suiting up in steel armor and scaling castle walls to win the heart of my sleeping prince. 

I own a well-read copy of The Rules. Some poo poo it, but I think there's a lot of wisdom in the book. It's not a long list of ways for women to play games or to trick men into liking them. Quite the opposite. The book teaches women how to create enough space for a man and a woman to get to know each other in a savory way despite our endless options for immediate-gratification-dating. It encourages women to love and value themselves and to not waste their time chasing, impressing, or trying to save a man from doing the hard work of being vulnerable and chivalrous. 

The authors took it up a notch when writing The Rules for Online Dating  which celebrates online dating. Where I stand now, I don't. I think online dating itself breaks one of the most fundamental rules - allow the man to pursue you.

The simple act of creating a dating profile says to the world "I am looking for my Prince. I am putting myself out there. I am trying." 

No. I am not trying. Not any more.

Me, I am asleep in a high tower. I don't envy my prince. I am sure there are dragons to slay, walls to scale and motes to cross. But I trust he'll figure out. And until then, I'll enjoy my beauty rest. 

2) Speaking of beauty...You Can't Judge a Date by It's Picture.

I don't need to list the myriad ways that men and women take liberties with their profiles to make themselves more appealing in the online marketplace. Anyone who's ever dated online has had a least one experience of meeting a date for the first time and being like "what the fuck?!". Mine was with a man who claimed to be 35 and who was...50!!! His hot pictures were from like 1989. "Dude, I was 9 back then, Bro.This date is done."

I don't really blame anyone for stretching the truth. In fact, sometimes I worried that my profile pictures actually look nothing like me in the flesh. My eyes are deep set. My face is a bit crooked. My weight fluctuates a few pounds on any given month. My teeth must be yellower then my spiffed up Instagram filter would lead on to. 

This is all just to say, I want to be in 3D when I meet someone. Right there, in real time, we can decide if we are hot or not.

3) When Supply is , Attention-Span is .

I've read a few profiles that said something to the effect "Ladies, I know you think you are a snowflake and should be adored for your every move, but that's not what I am all about."

Let's get clear. We're all snowflakes. 

A real man acknowledges that all individuals - men and women alike - are unique and have value. A real man looks for reasons to adore. A real man looks for ways to be all about that. 

But again, who can blame a man (or woman) for thinking that a woman is a dime a dozen? Online we are. If I don't IM in a timely matter or follow sexual ques immediately, there are a million other women on the site who might. AND they probably have a better bikini body than I do! Who am I to expect a man's sustained attention online? 

Attention is one of our most precious commodities as human beings. Paying attention is a powerful display of the ability to love. It is an act of love. If a man is too distracted by all the glittery profiles to focus in on one special being, he loses the opportunity to practice the art of attention. A man not practiced in this art will never be a good lover. 

So then I ask myself, why would I draw from a pool of men who are distracted by a million other bikinis? 

Nah, I'll just kick it, thanks.

4) Selfies Make Me Sad. 

5) I Don't Really Need Any More Screen Time. 
Updates, message, alerts. My phone is blowing up. My inbox is full of "See who's checking you out, Heather" emails. I need to create an auto filter. Gmail, please move all of these eHarmony emails into "probably won't work out anyway."

Oh man. That's pretty pessimistic. If I put that sh** on my profile, I'd be single forever!

But it is true that there are lots of alerts and lots of administrative tasks associated with dating. At the end of my workday, the last thing I want to do is spend some more time in front of my computer replying to potential lovers. The more time after work I spend "swiping right or left" the less time I have out in the real world enjoying the real things I enjoy with the people I love.

I'll be the first to admit it, it's fun to "keep playing the game" and numbing my brain with simple decision-making exercises (to the left for "No Way" to the right for "Hottie"). So much easier than making more complex decisions in my life. But I do think it comes at a cost. My soul kind of hurts after the game. And unlike other games (like Cards Against Humanity for instance!) that are played with other people, there is no laughter involved. No shared moments. No "Remember when you ______ when we were playing Cards Against Humanity? That was hilarious!"

At the end of the day, it's just not satisfying. Not joyous. A satisfied, joyous lover makes a better lover than a lover who is bored, just wasting time.

I'd like to be a good lover. So, for now - and probably forever - this chick is going offline.


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