Dating Lessons: All This Swiping Feels a Bit Demeaning

Dating Lessons: All This Swiping Feels a Bit Demeaning

“Go slow. Friends before lovers. There is no hurry. Pause before responding. Let them experience the chase for a bit as well.”

Swipe. Swipe. Swipe.

That’s all you’ve got to go on. A glance and a YES or NO. It reminds me of the site “Is She Hot or Not?” Well, it was a bit demeaning back then, it still is. AND… There is some benefit to the superficial glance/attraction response. It’s easy to tell what sort of partner you are interested in. And perhaps the twitch-response has a bit to teach each of us.

Do you keep swiping right (as in YES PLEASE) on a specific type of partner? Do I favor dark hair and tan skin? Am I stuck on athletic women size 2 and below? Is it the smile, the eyes, or some magic combo of all of them? I don’t know, but I do know that swiping is part of the process these days. And here’s a funny corollary: I like looking at Tinder in a web browser more than swiping with the app. (ODD. Retro? There’s a bigger picture to see, and you don’t’ swipe you click an X or a check mark.)

Oh, and did I fail to mention, I’m dating again? (Crap. Not what I had in mind.) But as the relationship of the last six months unraveled I have been more interested in reviewing my ideas about slow dating. Sure, things were amazing with this recent woman, but there were a few points that were not fitting and they kept coming up. It was obvious to both of us, even in our desire to work it out, to NOT BE ALONE, that something was not copacetic. Ah, yes, another chapter. Another BIG LOVE shoots past with roar of water under the bridge. It was a good breakup this time. All hugs and tears and best wishes. And I’m a single dad seeking again.

First a few things I’m noticing about being back in swipe mode.

  • First impressions are all you have on these dating apps (some people don’t seem to be trying)
  • When I find myself being judgemental on the left swipes I try to say something aloud, “Blessings on her, but not for me.”
  • Women my age are more attractive to me holistically (I still swipe right on the youngsters knowing they will not swipe back)
  • I wish there were a few more filters (I’m swiping my fingers off with “not even close” profiles)
  • Swiping right gives hope

And now a few first run jitters. This week I had a woman, attractive, a bit older, professional, who wanted to get together over a tequila shot. Okay. She was traveling and said she’d ping me when she got back to town. That was today. And we were in the process of setting a time and place. (She had suggested the place and asked when I wanted to meet.) I said, “I’ve got music rehearsal until 5 today, so I would be happy to meet you there at 6:30.” And poof she unmatched us. Is it the musician thing? Was she just paying the field until we set a real meeting? I’ll never know. But I kept opening Bumble and trying to figure out where she went. Of course, she was gone, never to return. The entire conversation was deleted or I’d show you the conversation. Odd.

As I move forward, slowly, I’m going to chant the following words like a mantra to myself. “Go slow. Friends before lovers. There is no hurry. Pause before responding. Let them experience the chase for a bit as well.”

I have moved into the bedroom too quickly the last two times out. Both relationships taught me huge valuable lessons. And both relationships fulfilled some emptiness I was carrying around when we got together. Perhaps, I’ve healed a bit from the ache. At the moment I don’t feel needy or lonely. I miss having a loving partner beside me, a best friend to chat with and share things, but I don’t feel the hollowness I used to. My last lover filled me right up. Great sex, great love, and a near miss. I am currently both hopeful and cheerful and that’s just the way to approach online dating again.

Always Love,

John McElhenney
@wholeparent

Update: But this is good.

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