I’ve mentioned before that I’m ready to dip my toe in the dating world. Well, to be more accurate, I’m ready for some sexing, y’all! It’s been far too long, and while my hand is a reliable companion, sometimes, I long for the touch of another body. Just to refresh your memories, I want someone with whom I can have dinner, a few laughs, maybe a movie or a show, raucous sexing, and then I can send them home with no hard feelings. I want this two to three times a week (I’d be down for more sex, but that usually slides into an actual relationship, which I don’t want), and it’s starting to feel urgent.
Before I went to Malta, I installed Bumble and actually put in a few photos. They’re not current, but I still pretty much look the same with just a few more wrinkles. The power of being Asian, yo! I looked at the first dude and immediately came up with a problem–I have to swipe one way or the other on him. I couldn’t just ‘like’ him or something like that and ponder him later. Also, you have to pay for something called Bumble coins to get more info, which is not something I appreciate. Anyway, I swiped left on most of the people I saw (looking for both men and women) for various reasons, but there was one guy that caused me pause. I didn’t want to swipe right on him because that felt like too much pressure, but I wanted to save him for later. I realized that because I would have to be the one to make the first move, swiping right on him was essentially saving him for later, so I did.
I let it go for the day, but checked it the next day. To my surprise, I had a woman swipe right on me (is it right? I never remember which is which, which is a problem), and when I tried to look at her info, I accidentally swiped right on her. I panicked and wanted to undo it, but Bumble won’t let you unswipe a right because they said it wouldn’t be nice. I panicked some more because in a same-gender match, either person can make the first move, and I don’t do well with rejecting someone. Yes, I hate to be rejected (who doesn’t?), but I hate rejecting someone else even more. Which is a problem if I’m going to use a dating app.
I uninstalled Bumble and haven’t touched it since. Yes, it was an overreaction, but it was also because I was leaving to Malta, so I really wouldn’t be doing much chatting for the next week. Now that I’m back, I’m thinking about installing it again. In fact, I’m doing it now. I just opened it up and found someone has SuperSwiped me. I don’t know what to do with this information. I really hate having to make a decision right away, so I just left it and set down my phone. That’s how I tend to deal with things–I push them away until they either go away or until I absolutely have to deal with them.
In addition, I don’t like that you have 24 hours to make a connection once you both swipe right. I understand the reason for it, and I actually approve in theory, but it makes me feel pressured to make a decision in a hurry. I like to take my time and ponder, but I also realize that it might not be the best approach when doing this online dating thing. I tend to brood and take my time with things until I make a snap decision. That’s not a bad thing overall, but it can get me trapped in the musing about things stage. There’s an interesting ongoing discussion about how many emails you should exchange with a potential dating partner before meeting them in person. I tend to prefer several as I’m a writer, not a speaker, but the general consensus seems to be one to three emails before a meetup. That seems like too few to me, but I’m definitely in the minority.
I am a catastrophic thinker in that I immediately imagine the worst possible outcome no matter the situation. For example, I saw the guy SuperSwipe on me (he looks like one of my exes, which is a good thing), and I immediately freaked out about swiping right on him and things just completely falling apart. My brain jumps immediately to ‘If I swipe right, we’ll meet, and it’ll be a disaster’. It’s funny. When I was a Christian, nominally, my youth pastor warned us not to hold hands because it leads to sex. Even though this was before I’d dated, I knew that this was bullshit. There are many steps between holding hands and sex, and you can stop anywhere along the line. Yet, my brain thinks the same way with this dating thing. It goes from ‘swipe right’ to ‘his ex boils my bunny’ without thinking of the many steps in between.
In addition, I could conceivably like the dude. Why do I automatically go to the negative? I’m also suspicious as to why he SuperSwiped on me as I spent about two minutes on my bio, intending it to be a placeholder until I could give it more thought. It’s clever, but it doesn’t really showcase my writing talent. So it’s unnerving that I’ve actually gotten two responses, especially as dudes aren’t supposed to be able to make the first move. I learned it costs nearly a dollar per SuperSwipe, which makes me uncomfortable as well. Why would someone spend money to contact me?
Should I be doing this when I’m filled with such doubt? Part of me says to wait until I’m more comfortable with myself, but the other part of me says just fucking do it. Stop thinking and start doing. On the first hand, I’m really not happy with my body right now. On the flight to Malta, the Air France portion, I could barely buckle my seat belt. I know it’s partly because they hate fat people, but it’s also me just being too fat. I did appreciate all the different shaped and sized people in Malta and how carefree they were about their bodies. Still. I posted a picture of myself from Malta with a wide-brimmed hat, and all I could think about is how fat I looked. Other people were positive about the picture, but I couldn’t get past my girth.
On the other other hand, life’s short, and I’m horny now. I’ve already had two people show interest. It’s really up to me to decide if I want to do something about it or not. Ian’s still here, so I’m probably not going to do anything while he’s here because that would be rude. Once he’s gone, however, I may dip a toe into the Bumble pool and see what I come up with. I have to remember that even if I swipe right, it doesn’t mean I have to do anything about it. Even if a woman contacts me, I don’t have to respond. It feels bad, though. I try to reply to everyone who tweets me (which is manageable because I don’t have many followers, unless someone famous retweets me), and I know I’d feel terrible if I don’t respond to people who message me on Bumble.
I think it could be a learning experience for me. I haven’t used a dating site since the Wild West days of Craigslist, and that’s a vastly different animal. Things are more curated these days, which is a good thing, but I have no idea what to do. I’m not good at dating–I never had been. I tend to be the type who’s friends with someone before dating, so this cold dating thing is way out of my comfort zone. I really need to approach it as a minimal-investment opportunity, not a make-or-break situation. I’ll report back when I actually gather up my courage and dive into this properly.