Dating. Hmmmm, the older you get the more obsolete it feels. Meh. Conditioned and shaped by every year that passes, I find that I am fully aware of how imperfect I am and how impossible I can be. Fortunately, I’ve also gained in awareness of what I want and what I deserve.
A gorgeous soul and wonderful friend Daammmnn Sam has been telling me to try online for ages. I usually meet her with the same rebuttal. Like a record I recite the following. “I can’t read them or vibe with them that way.” She frowns at me. I know that look. She gives it to me often. And she isn’t wrong. (Being friends with psychologists is extra) I’m protecting myself.
1. In my profession I see the repercussions of people sharing nudes without thought. The devastation of online privacy being ignored, and the destruction left in its wake. The internet is forever, and people can be so cruel.
2. The obvious one. Fear of rejection. It’s innate, I think. It doesn’t occupy too much of my consciousness, but it’s there. I suppose it always will be.
3. The nagging questions: Am I actually ready to date? Am I rushing? Just being a silly girl?
These questions are all valid and their emotional responses are very real. So, what was I to do? I have just published a courage tarot spread on Instagram. I felt that the current vibration called for it and people would need it. In alignment with that, I decided to give it a go.
Here’s how it went:
Which APP to use?
The most popular app, that needs no introduction was immediately struck off the roll. NO! I have heard more horror stories than success stories and I’m not even willing to try. So, I search and search. I had no idea how many there were. WOW! This took longer than I thought it would, but I eventually picked one. There is a small fee involved, but I’m ok with that. My hope is that it keeps scammers, man-children, and fetishes at bay.
Making a profile:
I answer 140 000 questions about myself, it seemed a bit much. I insert preferences (though I have no real idea what they are), age ranges and, and, and… Finally, the profile picture. I put thought into this. I went with a general picture of me at my desk. Its pretty and normal. Do I have better ones? Yes, but those were from nights out. I’m not willing to maintain that level of commitment to hair and makeup all the time. Every day, work makeup it is! Also, those in search of the more committed can just swipe on. It feels like the most honest choice.
The about blurb….
Hmmmm, I’m not looking to get employed or give anyone the wrong idea but I’m also me. Aaaand I’m not easy. I decide that the truth is the best. Anyone scared off by it, should be. Concise and honest, it read as follows.
“I’m just normal. No filters or pretention. Couldn’t be less interested in sexting, nudes or fetishes. I’m looking for someone who can handle fierce and a slight inability to be led. I can be bloody impossible. Do I have a softer side? Yes, but it doesn’t come easily.”
And so, it begins…
After all is set up, I leave it to go and cook dinner and carry on with life. Upon my return I check in. Emails and messages. OK. Take a deep breath, keep an open mind, and have a look. As I open them up and scroll through, I notice two things. First, everyone is ridiculously handsome, omg, gorgeous and air brushed. While it’s a fun idea I’m not convinced. Doubt number one. Then I made the mistake of opening the emails. Oh Loooooord. Long and involved stories of soul mate searches, broken hearts. CV blurbs of character traits and aspirations. And the mush!!!! Quoted poems, outpourings of badly plagiarised romance authors and corny pick-up lines. Doubt number two. At this point I remind myself that not everyone is like me. I encourage myself to remain open minded and scratch doubt number two. Still, it all seems like too much too soon for me.
Messages! Ok. Now Daaaamn Sam has told me that these apps can be really good for ego and confidence. Lots of messages, and I have to concede, it does feel really good. Well, the message list feels good. After you open them, it quickly fades. This is where the fun started…. Allow me to summarise a few of these encounters.
# 1: I have come to call him Mr. R.F.F.
R.F.F: If you meet someone and start a relationship then, after time, they become a bit demanding because of past relationships, what would you do?
ME: What do you mean?
R.F.F: You know, after a while there are restrictions. On what you do, where you go, who you speak to. What would you do?
ME: I would run. I would run for the hills!
In case you haven’t guessed, R.F.F stand for Red F*$king Flags!!!!
# 2. – Dead in the water
DITW: Are you religious?
DITW: So, what do you follow in life?
#3 – NUT CASE
NC: Would you like to meet up? (Literally the first thing he said to me)
# 4 – Mr. Fun
Now Mr. Fun was actually decent enough to say hello and engage in some normal conversation. So, I chat a bit. He didn’t ask if I’m his soul mate or his other half or any random questions about ex’s. He says he is a pulmonologist. He then went on to explain to me what a pulmonologist is. I’m annoyed by it, but I know I’m being unfair, so I ignore it. This is how he fell off the bus….
MF: Bored at home, do you want to have some fun?
ME: Thinking: Oh God! What does fun mean? Before I have time to respond….
MF: Sends a picture…
#5 – WTF?
WTF: What is your favourite fruit?
#6 – Language Barrier
LB: I know my appearance is at first, overwhelming
ME: (laughing) What do you mean?
LB: I’m just very overwhelming and I’m insidious.
ME: (Dying) Insidious is not a good thing.
Also ME: Having no desire to be slowly destroyed - DELETE
On the lighter side:
I’m not sure how I selected Afrikaans in my profile but it caused chaos. People abroad used google translate to put broken English into Afrikaans because they thought me Afrikaans. I then put the Afrikaans back into google translate and had to decipher the broken English. Google translate- as always spat out some pearlers! It was very, very funny. ☺
I have to admit that some did seem sincere and not all of them were so intense or odd, but I could feel my interest waning. As I drink a cup of tea I scroll and scroll. It reminded me of online shopping. I laughed to myself. How many times have I ordered something online only to discover that it was not as it looked, or it just didn’t fit, or I got something else altogether? Can online dating be any different? Mid ponder a face pops up on my screen - a live chat. Annoyed again I frown and try figure out how to close it. And then, he waves…. OMG, can he see me? OMG, surely not. In a split second, I scan my memory for giving the app access to my camera – I didn’t. It can’t be. Smiling now, because I’m sure he can read my confused face, he waves again. NOOOOOOOOOO!!! I cough-spit tea everywhere. HOW DO I CLOSE THIS???? At this point my iPhone does that thing…. The thing where every possible button doesn’t work. OMG OMG OMG! It felt like 15 minutes of trying to find the cross. I’m traumatised.
That ladies and gentlemen was the end! Deleted profile and never ever doing that again!!! Although my friends found it hysterical when I look up at Dammmn Sam and say “Well, I tried online dating” she gives me the look and responds “No, you really didn’t.” haaaa haaaa, right again! The truth is, I lasted 5 hours. 🤣🤣 I didn’t really try. I supposed it was a taster. I didn’t like it…
Many of these people are lonely and they will admit it openly. If these apps can actually lead them to a real relationship – wonderful. Others are just hopeless romantics, looking for the love of their lives. For someone who wasn’t even sure if she wanted to date, it was waaaayyyyy too intense. Perhaps they have been at it for longer and don’t want to waste time, so they put all out there. I can respect that. On the other side of the coin, I found that people say the most ridiculous things online. The distance provides a false bravado. Perhaps I’m judgey or just petrified, but none of it felt real. It lacked human tangibility. Will I try again? I suppose I should never say never, but right now, I can’t even imagine what event would lead me back.
Am I ready date? The jury is still deliberating. Maybe one day I’ll write about biting the bullet and dating in person. Not too sure when that will be. For those of you who are trying, don’t let me discourage you. If you can discuss fruit with a stranger, be less guarded, or comfortably send nudes, GO for it! 😉