Oh, Tinder. Why must you alert me to a new match like a siren luring a sailor across rocky seas to his death?
Whenever I see men I know (or “know” wink) on a dating app, I always swipe right. You know, out of curiosity. That’s what I did a few weeks ago when I came across J.’s profile.
J and I first matched about two years ago. Forty-four, worked in a creative field, British, and reedy, J. was my type. Early conversation went well, until I dropped the bomb.
“I’m a writer,” I said. “This is me.”
A few minutes waiting for a response stretched to half an hour. Finally, J. responded to give me the “thanks, but no thanks” speech. He was uncomfortable meeting up with me because he thought I might blog about it. “Because, like, you’re so intriguing?” I shot back.
We match again a few months later. Again we message, this time exchanging phone numbers. Because of my emotional shut-down at the time, I ended up blowing him off.
Fast forward to last night.
My cell buzzed with a notification.
You have a new match!
By that time I’d forgotten who I’d swiped, it had been so long since I’d logged in. I disabled my OKC profile months ago, and only occasionally entertain myself with Bumble in moments of boredom or horniness. With a flick of my finger, I got to my inbox and was pleasantly surprised to see J.’s face.
“The Universe wants us to meet,” he said in his message. I would agree. We chatted and set up a date. Cool.
And then the churning in my stomach began.
There are a number of reasons why I’ve bailed out of dating and writing a dating column, the primary one being that dating gave me agita. The whole process of messaging then meeting then performing like a seal with a ball on my nose for a stranger completely fills me with dread. The sense that I have is that, these days, nobody is taking dating seriously anymore. Apps are more a source of attention and entertainment for people than anything else. The only real connections made seem to be between private parts after three glasses of wine and a cheese plate.
There was a time when I loved dating. It was an excuse to go shopping and get dressed up. Now? What do you mean I have to put on a bra? Ugh. Dating is haaaarrrd. Straight up sex is pretty much all I can handle right now. It’s all I want to handle, if I’m being honest. I don’t wish to expend any mental energy on the charade of it all. Truth be told, I find most men boring and weak. I’ve discussed before what I require in a partner – grit, resilience, and an unshakable sense of themselves . Those are not usually qualities found in men trawling online dating apps.
So you’re from London. Interesting. What brought you to the States? Your job in fluegelbinder making? Fascinating. Pass the brie, please.
I totally have the opportunity to get laid by J., which I will probably take advantage of in the near future. Right now, dating – the act of getting to know someone – is nothing but a distraction, one I don’t need or wish to make the time for right now. I have other things bringing me pleasure and satisfaction. I mean, no, not of the orgasm variety, at least not as regularly as I’d like. When your casual sex partner is a parent, it’s kind of hard to get them to make a pit stop by your apartment at nine o’clock because you’re climbing-the- walls horny.
J. sent me a text last night asking if we were still on for Sunday. I haven’t answered. I’m tempted to reply back and suggest we drop the pretense and that he should just come over. In fact, that’s probably what I will do. If my intuition is correct, I won’t even have to say that because he’ll have read it here first. Problem solved!
In other news…
I did my first Precision Running class since injuring my foot last fall. The schedule had it listed as lasting only 20 minutes. That worked for me because I wanted to ease back into it. When I got to the gym I learned it was a type and was actually an hour. In the spirit of my newfound “Do What Scares You” mantra, I hopped on that treadmill and stuck the whole class out. Serving as extra motivation was the instructor, an impish looking guy I found myself attracted to for a brief moment. He blew that out of the water when he made a comment about a female friend of his who was teaching in the studio behind us. “There’s my friend so-and -so,” he said. “She’s working out her best asset.” I rolled my eyes and said, “Ok. That’s enough. Jesus.” Later, I told him how much I enjoyed the class, but that his comments really bothered me. Like most men when confronted with their misogyny, he acted all doe-eyed innocent, blinking furiously and making incoherent gurgling noises.
“I..err…uh…I didn’t mean anything by it,” he said. “We’re friends. She’s in great shape. We always make comments like that to each other.”
“Publicly?” I asked. “In front of other people?”
“Sometimes,” he said.
Whatever, man. I knew I wasn’t going to get through to him so I punched out of the conversation. As a woman I recently met in a yoga class said, “Once you see misogyny, you can’t unsee it.” She’s right. As soon as something misogynistic comes out of a persona’s mouth, it’s very hard to give them a second chance, because they’re letting you know with their comments how they view women.
People have suggested I switch gyms, but that’s not the answer. Do you know why? Because it’s not the culture of Equinox that is the problem. It’s the culture, period, that’s the problem. No matter where I went to work out, I’d have to deal with this. At this point, I’m not sure there’s anything I can do about it, and that’s really depressing.