Taking (Another) Break.

I’ve been on the same dating website on and off for about six years now. I’ve been on my fair share of dates, but nothing’s ever amounted from them. I got pressured into giving a guy a handjob when I was 18, and that’s really the highlight.

Which is pretty sad.

Then came tinder. I’m pretty sure, if my memory is correct (which, to be fair, it is often not), I’ve only met two people from tinder–that guy I met who drove me to the res (which I wrote a blog post about last year), and a person who I fell for but ended up just wanting to be friends with me (and that’s where we are today).

I was talking with this friend recently about the frustrations I’ve been having, and she’s been having many similar ones. She has come to the conclusion that she is unlovable—while I tried to argue with her on this, I see where she’s coming from. If it hasn’t happened already, it probably never will happen, and probability and simple logic lead her to believe that she is the common factor, so it must be her.

I’m paraphrasing here, but you get the idea.

I’ve spent years trying not to believe those exact thoughts. I’ve spent my entire young adult life holding onto this hope that someday I will find someone. And I’m not even asking for a long-term partner or a soulmate–I’m merely asking for someone to show me a little bit what it’s like to be romanced, to be loved, to have a good time, to have something special with someone, even if for a while.

But, it seems highly unlikely.

Last night I checked Tinder and, lo and behold, the guy who I had talked with at the bar for a little while who I also matched with on the app, unmatched with me.

Now, this really isn’t a big deal. But I was still befuddled. Any number of reasons could have caused this unmatching, but damn, you’d think, Hey, we’ve already talked, sliding into this online conversation will be a lot easier.

But I don’t think people on tinder are that serious. Tinder is game. It’s an ego-boosting app, and that’s usually the end of it.

So I deleted all my “dating apps.” Because my friend may be right–it may be time to give up the ghost. It may be time to just try and accept being alone. Sure, I’ve tried before, but I was younger then, and now that I’m 23 with a pretty solid understanding of myself, maybe it’s time.

The reality is, not everyone meets somebody else. And it seems like that’s probably my reality.


Men Die Young

I was actually excited about this “date” (thanks, Tinder…) but sitting in the passenger side of this stranger’s car, listening to the Deftones, has me totally unenthused. Maybe this person’s lack of simple manners stems from the fact they went to Rush-Henrietta and don’t trim their beard enough. Beards are fine, but there’s a limit. I haven’t made eye contact with him once, nor has he tried to make eye contact with me. He inhales his cigarette really sharply and exaggerated and I expect him to say something each time. He’s boring. Or maybe I’m boring.

Sitting in the passenger seat, I know why men die younger: because they drive like lunatics. I keep thinking, I don’t want my parents to see my mangled corpse in the wreckage of this strange man’s car. On sharp turns it takes all of my muscles working together to keep myself in the seat. He changed the music and turned it up even louder. As if I’m not deaf enough as it is.

His lack of manners come even more into play when we reach the reservation. He doesn’t wait for me to get my cartons, or wait for me to pay, or even wait to head back to his shit-mobile. Again, no eye contact. On the drive back he plays some terrible punk-metal-teen-angst-sounding band that I hate. Commercials via Spotify keep coming on, either advertising beer or sex or both. I watch the sphere of the sun in the reflection of the window. It’s silent. My mind wanders.

I think about how getting an 8.5 out of 10 on a poem isn’t good enough. I think about how I need to participate in my classes more, and that project that’s coming up that I need to email my professor about. And that paper on Orlando which I really need to start writing. I think about the possibility of being raped, and I think about how I’ve never thought of that before. I think about how I need to buy booze but I have so little money and I really hope my paycheck is decent this week but I know it will be mere pennies. I think about how dry my mouth is and how cold the inside of the car is.

I have nothing to ask this person.

There’s not even a handshake on parting, which would have been weirdly formal but I’d take anything over him scuttling back into his apartment, which, only God knows what that looks like. It takes me a minute to back out of the small, snow-choked driveway and I head back toward 490, toward home, with a cigarette between my fingers. I took a chance. I took a chance, and I only wasted two hours of my life. But at least I got a free ride to the reservation. There is that.


The Age of Internet Dating

I just “matched” with three women on tinder. In a row. This has never happened before. Why did it just happen now? Well, I changed the distance setting from “up to 30 miles away” to the maximum 100 miles away. The women I matched with? All over 70 miles away. This is funny. And aggravating.

Let me tell you why I have tinder; I downloaded it last spring and have used it for nothing more than entertainment since. I’ve had a couple decent conversations. I’ve never met anyone from the app. I usually “unmatch” myself from people within a few days. I’ve been asked out for coffee and hookups and have declined it all, simply because, well, I did the whole internet thing for a while and all it did was show me how disappointing people are and how I am not ready for any form of physical intimacy.

One of my good friends, M, had tinder on her phone for a while as well. She actually downloaded it after I mentioned it to her, although she actually used it. She met multiple men from the app and had quite a few dates/hookups/whatever-you-wanna-call-em. Nothing of substance, from what I’ve heard, though, and nothing that has lasted, but from what I heard, none of those men were worthy of her time anyway.

As a product of the ’90s, the rapid progression of technology my generation has seen is amazing and also terrifying. We went from Tamagotchi to GameBoy Color to Motorola Razr to the iPhone. I remember being in elementary school and the most advanced technology we had were those big, beige, brick-like desktop computers in the library. Remember Dial-Up?

Don’t get me wrong – technology is great. It allows us to be more efficient with our academic and professional work, communicate quickly and easily, store documents, pictures, music, and videos all in one place. We no longer need to spend a day in the public library to write a paper. Everything – literally everything – is right at our fingertips. I carry around a miniature computer in my purse all day long. But technology has its downfalls, and as someone who’s inexperienced, and frustrated, in the “dating game” (or lack thereof), its downfalls definitely plays a part here.

I’ve been on OkCupid. That website leaves you pretty vulnerable because anyone can message you. Also, from my experience, most people on there are not actually genuinely nice and they just want to screw something other than their own right hand. Tinder. Matching with people may give some an ego boost, something I don’t quite get, but I do appreciate that it allows people to be more selective – however, this is also a very superficial means of attempting to communicate with people. It seems as though most men just look at the woman’s picture and that’s it. I don’t know how other women use tinder, but personally, I tend to look at descriptions if I think someone’s picture is even remotely intriguing. You don’t even have to be attractive – if you look like you could have personality, I’ll look at your profile. Lastly, I recently downloaded this app called Wing Ma’am (“The Mobile App for LGBT Women”). So far it’s been pretty stagnant on there. It’s set up nearly identical to Grindr; you can see everyone’s pictures in one big block on your screen and you see who is closest to you. I’ve received one message from a woman on this app so far.

The only dating “advice” I ever receive (or rather, advice on how to meet anyone in the world, ever) is to use the internet. But the problem is…I have. And I am. And I’ve achieved the same lackluster results time and time again. Let’s face it; most people on dating apps are truly just looking to hook up. The Wing Ma’am app is a start for us LGBT girls, but I know there are others out there that aren’t available on all devices. Some lesbian/bisexual/trans apps aren’t even available in certain cities/states. Everything is just so stale when it comes to internet “dating”. I hear about people meeting at school, work, or in various public places, and I’m not trying to throw a pity party here, but that has never happened for me (I’ve also never been able to meet anyone through friends – another disadvantage). Do you have to be a solid 10 to get a person to talk to you? I get it though – we’re all insecure and fearful of rejection. But still. It’s. Frustrating.

I’m not even “looking” for a relationship right now. But I am 21 years old and have never dated anyone, not even casually, and the older I get, the more inexperienced I become, and I worry that when the day comes that someone is interested in me seriously, I will be too scared to do anything about it because of this lack of experience. Also, let’s be honest, sometimes even I want someone to spend more intimate time with. Friendship is fantastic. But I have to admit, I do sometimes crave someone to want to be with me.

– Z