I hadn't realized it had been a while since I posted a Toast Talk till one of you left a comment requesting one (thanks, Christina). It's always a balance to know how much of my personal life to share but I've been thinking about writing about a topic for a while and figured now was as good of a time as any. Dating and being single. I know I'm not the only twenty-something woman navigating these waters and I'd like to be honest in letting everyone know what I think about this current life stage: it sucks. You can be as content with your professional life (which I am), have amazing friends (which I do), and be busy with your own life and exciting things (yup) and still feel like there is something missing. There are a lot of perks to not being in a committed relationship but after spending a few years dating - and I mean really dating and putting yourself out there - it becomes frustrating to keep grinding away at the process. I turn 28 next month. I know, I know...I'm so young, right?! Right. Okay, got it. But I'm at an age where I'd like to be in a committed relationship with someone who really likes me. And I don't think it's unreasonable to feel those feelings.
Don’t worry, I’m not desperate enough to try and go on the next season of The Bachelor (although this is something my family likes to joke with me about – hilarious!). But I was desperate enough to sign up for Tinder at the beginning of June. For me, downloading this app and making an account was almost worse than putting myself on TV. Mostly because it was the vehicle my ex-boyfriend used to cheat on me two years ago. But I had been in Houston for almost a month and was feeling all, “Okay, I’m in this new city with no gentlemen callers and I’d like to have a little attention.” If you’ve never experienced Tinder, I’d like to paint you a little picture…
To make a Tinder account you have to do so via Facebook (because the app will let you know if you have friends in common). So that’s all fine and good except for the fact that the only photos of yourself you can post have to be ones that are on Facebook already. That posed a problem for me since I only have five profile photos: my current one where you can’t see my face and four from college (one of which has me cuddling my little brother). These are not the “come hither” types of photos I imagined needing. So then I had to do something totally embarrassing andgo through a ton of photos of myself, chose ones where I thought I looked best, and upload said photos to my Facebook account. This wouldn’t have been so bad had I made the upload invisible to all of my friends…oops. How obvious is it that someone is making a Tinder profile than when you see them add five photos of themselves where they look fantastic? I just, I just can’t.
Ok! So I had my photos all ready to go and after crafting what I felt was a short, sweet, and witty little bio I was ready to start “swiping” as they say. I guess I should mention that I took this leap around 8:00am CST. This is only important to know because after an hour or so of making swipes I had more matches than I could count on my fingers and toes. What. A. Confidence. Boost. “I’m not going to die alone!” I thought. The first 12 hours of using the app feels like some sort of high. The butterflies you get when you first chat with someone cute in person – that’s what I would compare it to. But after 24 hours I was starting to feel drained. Sure I was having some conversations through the app (it’s like texting but these strangers don’t have your number or last name) but none of the chats were great and most all of them were very dumb. The time consuming back and forth quickly became exhausting and by day two I was feeling dread anytime I saw a message come through.
But I pushed on. I went on a drinks date. The guy was very nice but we had better conversation through the Tinder app than we did in person. That’s kind of like meeting someone who looks better in photographs than they do in person, right? My second drinks date was fine but not great. I didn’t plan on following-up with either guy. By the end of my fourth day with the app I had two more dates set up for the following week…after going through the weekend I canceled on both and haven’t opened Tinder since.
The good news is that even though my experience with the app ended, I was able to meet a guy in life the “normal way” (through friends) who I really liked. I mean, I still really like this guy. There was just one teeny tiny problem: his job is incredibly demanding and I never really got to see him. When a relationship never gets the opportunity to take off things can’t progress. I’m a pretty low-key person when it comes to dating – I do my own thing but I like feeling like the person I am interested in is also into me and wants to see me – but I start to lose my mind when things turn hot and cold. Rather than make this very busy and somewhat clueless man feel like he’s been murdering my emotions for weeks upon weeks, I let him know that I thought we were on different pages at the moment and that the timing didn’t feel right. Sigh. I’m not a girl who likes to hold out hope out guys (I literally cut ties and move on) but like I said, I like this guy, so I didn’t want to completely burn the bridge. You never know right?
So where am I now…I’m not on the Tinder. And I
think know my friends have run out of the short list of guys they could set me up with. And really, while being set up by friends can be awesome, it can also be hard when you meet one of your friend’s friend(s) and you don’t feel a spark with them. This happens to me more than I care to admit and I always leave the date wanting to punch myself in the face and mail the guy money for the drinks he bought me. These non-spark guys are always really nice and really great on paper – the kind of man I want to end up with – but I know within 15 minutes (sometimes less) if I’m into someone or not and I just don’t see the point in making more dates happen if I don’t feel it. My friends joke that this gut feeling of mine is sabotaging my dating life…but I reason that I’m just being fair to myself and to the guys.
I’m super single. That’s were I am at the moment. I’ve read books – including Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari (in hopes of understanding how to navigate dating in 2015 with all the apps and texting) and Why Men Love Bitches (in hopes of knowing how to make a man fall in love with me) but neither have helped my soul mate materialize any faster. If anything, Aziz just made me realized how screwed I am because dating in this technology heavy day in age reallllly sucks and it doesn’t seem like it will be getting any easier to find a mate when everyone now thinks the next best thing is just one swipe or app download away. No, I don’t want to download Bumble, Hinge, or The League. I don’t want to be on match.com or send out a pathetic PSA to everyone I know that I’d like to be set up with someone awesome. I know that plenty of people create fabulous relationships from these forms of dating (the apps and sites – not the PSAs) and that makes me really happy for them, but I just don’t think they are for me. What I want is for things to be as easy – like they were in college, when meeting someone was as easy as making the rounds at bars and you and your friends were all in the same boat.
Alas, I know that I need to be patient. I’d like to think that meeting my person isn’t an “if” but a “when,” and that timing is everything. If any of you single ladies (read that in a Beyoncé singing voice) have any words of wisdom that will help me get through this less than ideal time I am all ears. If you don’t, I’d just be grateful for some good vibes that I’ll find someone to be sent my way. But, I’m also happy to focus on the great things I’ve got going on and relish the good parts of being single. I’d also like to go on record and say that I would kill it if I were on The Bachelor. But don’t worry, Mom and Dad – I won’t do it!