Towards the end of 2014, I was separated, and in April 2015, I was divorced. Yep, sucks, but life moves on.
I haven’t put huge amounts of effort into dating. Now, that’s not to say I’ve done nothing what so ever about it, it’s just that I haven’t gotten super enthused about it. And, while it’s never been mentioned on Facebook or in my blogs, I didn’t spend all of that time alone. I’ll mention three people here, but not by name – no need to embarrass them by making it public they went out with me 😉
Right after my divorce, someone decided that, well, basically hanging out and having sex would be fun. As usual, I was a bit dense about it – I just assumed I was making yet another friend. Until she made her intention… umm… abundantly clear. That went on for a short bit – about a month or so, I guess.
Thing is, while the sex was good, that doesn’t mean it was with the right person. There’s nothing wrong with her, just that it wasn’t a good match between us for anything but something like a sexual relationship. And that’s not what I’m really after.
Not long after that, a friend I’ve known for years and I were hanging around, and we were both grousing about dating prospects (she’s been single for a lot longer than I have, though), and eventually I hit her with an idea: why don’t we give it a shot, and see what happens?
She had (and still has) a LOT going on in her life – if I ever think I’ve got too much going on, I’d only have to look at her life, and realize I’ve at least got time to breathe. We hung around for a couple of months, but we never seemed to go anywhere – there just wasn’t any spark between us, and we rarely had time to see each other (though, we talked via text and phone fairly often.) It just wasn’t a good match on multiple levels. There’s nothing wrong with her – it’s easy to mistake the idea that “we’re not a match” for “Oh, there must be something wrong with him / her.” Far from it – still a good friend of mine, still someone I respect, and still someone I think is a very worthwhile person.
After that, I kinda ditched the whole dating idea.
One day, I was browsing Facebook, and saw yet another funny Tinder profile pic – I had seen quite a few of them go by on places like 9Gag.com, and it made me curious: how insane is Tinder, really? Are there a lot of profiles like those?
Of course, to view other people’s profiles, it meant I had to make one. Rather than try and be serious about it, I went all out geeky. I didn’t make it completely a joke, but if anyone responded to it, at least I knew they were somewhat geeky, and had a sense of humor.
Now, I’ve been on dating sites before – probably something like 8 or 9 years ago I first made a profile, and was active on them for quite a while. My experiences with them were fairly bad. In fact, I never actually went out on a date with anyone I met on those sites – though, I did make a few friends here and there that I still interact with on Facebook.
Online dating seems to draw some weird folks. I’ve had conversations with a number of people who’ve been on the receiving end of stuff like dick pics, weird offers, etc. Well, it happens to guys, too. Now, don’t get me wrong, I like a nice set of boobs. But, if I don’t know the person very well, why are the sending me shots of their boobs? I think dick picks that women get is worse by far than unsolicited nudes and boob pics, but it’s still a very strange thing. (One exception: I once ended up with a series of nudes from someone, and I didn’t feel weird about it. She wasn’t from the area, but we had gotten to talking off and on for at least a month when we got on the topic of art and photography. Come to find out, she had been doing self shot nudes using a timer, so she sent them over. Quite nice work, actually.) That’s just ONE thing from online dating – it can get really weird.
Anyway, so I checked out Tinder. Yes, it was just as strange as other platforms I had been on before, with one exception: since people have to “match” (both of them saying they are interested, based on whatever criteria they choose). So, that weeds out a great deal of the worst possible matches for each other. And I did wipe right on a number of women because they really did look and sound like interesting people. Probably 90% of the profiles I swiped left on (saying I wasn’t interested, so they system wouldn’t match us – said for the sake of anyone who’s never heard of Tinder before.) I also filtered into a reasonable age range – sure, there were probably a lot of 20-something profiles that were weird and funny, buy they didn’t need a 40-something indicating they were interested in them! 😉
Yes, Tinder is weird. Eventually I’m going to finish the article on here that I started about my short Tinder experiences, but for now, I’ll stick to the main topic.
However, I did end up chatting with a few people on Tinder – I do think the system of filtering seems to help the process. Now, as usual with online dating sites, my interest level for a conversation online ends up falling off quickly. Something rare happened – I actually kept up a conversation with someone for more than a day or two. Not only that, I did something completely outlandish: I asked her to lunch.
Lunch was good, and she ended up being a fairly interesting person! Heck, not once did I get the “great, this person would make my life a living hell” sort of vibe. 🙂 It didn’t go any further than that, unfortunately. She had a lot going on, and we talked about going out for lunch or supper again sometime, but it never materialized.
After that, well, I never logged into Tinder again, and never bothered looking at the dating thing again – not because I felt burned or anything like that (geez, it was one lunch), but because I just didn’t have the motivation and drive. (OK – not completely true. There was the whole “September is take a man on a date month”, and someone off Facebook took me out for supper and some drinks. But, that wasn’t really an active dating attempt on my part. I posted it because, well, I felt the whole idea was pretty lame, and it fit my mood about such things 😉
I mention all this rambling stuff for two reasons. First, yeah, I did the whole “fool around with the idea of dating” thing after I got divorced. Second, it was another set of learning experiences. Knowing what I know about relationships and the whole dating process, in a way it was good to “get out there” and start getting a feel for what I wanted out of my next dating experience. Most of it hasn’t changed (no, I’m not looking for red-heads, despite the whole joke that I’ve got a thing for red-heads. Yes, I married red heads twice, but it’s actually not something I specifically look for.) And, well, it was also great because I feel that the friend that I went out with for at bit ended up being someone I know and understand better – let’s face it, it can be rare to have to time to spend getting to know a friend better.
What is it I’m looking for in a relationship? Well, I can tell you I’m not interested in “just sex” setups. That’s pretty much out of the question – wasn’t bad when I was much younger, but I’m not in it for just sex these days. Companionship is important. However, I’m not going to write down a list – checklists are easily broken, and if I do end up with someone weird getting fixated on me (that happens), I’d rather not leave a nice checklist for them to try and game (“OH, yeah, I’m totally into…” type stuff. Yeah, people actually do that. *SIGH*)
For 2016, I think my first step will be to get back on my Tinder account, and make a “real” profile instead of the somewhat joke I have on there. Don’t get me wrong – the picture of me in a kilt is going to be on there (otherwise, I’d consider it false advertising), it just won’t be the lead image of me anymore. And, I’ll rewrite to profile to be a bit more rounded. I’ll start there, and see where I need to go after that. And, there’s no huge rush – it’s not like I’m trying to date someone right now. Heck, I may not go out on a date at all in 2016 – and if I don’t, it’s not that big of a thing. But, it’s worth mentioning it, and worth trying to be a little proactive and putting myself out there. 🙂