24 Hours on Tinder

Shall we lighten it up a bit? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked if I’m going to start dating again. The answer for right now is “no”, and I suspect that will remain the answer for a while.

Having said that, I’m not immune to the desire of human interaction in a flirtatious capacity. I’ve always been a good flirt, which is said to be a trait of being a true Gemini. I crave human interaction. This is all probably related to self-worth and self-validation issues, but let’s save that for therapy.

Me in Vegas with fluffy hair.

At the suggestion of a friend, I did an experiment. During my weekend in Vegas in September, I signed up for Tinder to chat with men. The rules were simple. I would just talk to people. There would be no actual in-person meetings happening. I clearly was not ready for that. It was practice, if you will, for the future.

What the hell happened to dating? During 2009, the ex and I split for a brief period of time. We were going through a rough patch, and as Ross Gellar would put it, “We were on a break.” I saw some people during that time and chatted with a bunch more. I was young, still not jaded, so it was fun and innocent.

During that time, I was completely honest with the ex. He knew exactly what I was doing and with whom. Looking back, I almost wish I would have held some of the moments closer to my heart so that I could reflect on them like that old lady in the movie “Titanic’. Women need secrets, and while I know we all have them, we tend to lean towards radical honesty.

Anyway, back to Vegas. Twenty-four hours on Tinder was fun at first. There were some flirty and ego-boosting conversations happening. The majority of the men were very attractive and mostly professionals. I’m not going to lie; it was nice to be wanted and desired, but then I quickly noticed a pattern.

Here is a transcript of 90% of the conversations I had:

Excerpt from a real (almost normal) conversation.
  • Guy: Hey, how are you?
  • Me: Hi! Nice to meet you 🙂
  • Guy: Did anyone tell you that you have the most mesmerizing eyes?
  • Me: Thank you 🙂 I get it from the Irish side of the family lol.
  • Guy: Do you have plans later?
  • Me: I’m here for a conference so I’m going to hang out with some of my colleagues tonight. Probably lose more money and drink some vodka 🙂
  • Guy: Cool. Well when you’re done with that, why don’t we meet up and I can (insert any graphic and overly descriptive sexual activity you can think of here).
  • Me: ___hits block___

There was one guy out of over 100 – and I’m not exaggerating – that didn’t want to make me claw my eyes out. I chatted with him for a while only to find out he was married. *Womp Womp*

It’s a shame too because he had a fascinating job and his messages were very nice and normal and sweet. He was also incredibly handsome and a really good dresser. BTW, I don’t mean to blow the whistle, but Tinder is FULL of married people on business trips looking for a little side action. To be clear, I’m not judging those that are in honest open relationships. Kudos to you if you can make that work. I am however, seriously judging those that are not.

Caveat, I’m straight, so I can only speak from that perspective. What I find so much worse than men seeking another woman behind their wives back, are the women who agree to the hookup.

Ladies, we should be looking out for one another.

Here’s the thing about dating a married man:

  1. You will always be #2.
  2. The wife will always win even if that means she gets a divorce.
  3. If a man tells you that his marriage is over, 9 out of 10 times, he has not informed the wife yet. As one friend said to me, “Ask to see the paperwork.”
  4. If a man is willing to cheat on his wife, he will cheat on you too.
  5. If a man cheats on his wife, he has issues that need to be addressed in his soul. He may not be a “bad” person, but he has unresolved issues.
  6. The ripple effect of an affair lasts for years and will hurt many people i.e., children, parents, siblings, etc.

I’m not perfect. In my early twenties, I met this guy on South Street who drove a motorcycle, need I say more? We would hang out and go for late night drives on the bike down Kelly drive. It was fun and freeing and reckless. I loved every single second of it. I found out at some point that he was married with two kids, and I didn’t stop seeing him. Then one day, I didn’t hear from him. One day turned into three days, and I finally got a call. He was in a bike accident coming to see me. He realized how much he cared for his wife by the devotion she showed at that hospital. That was it for me. I learned a very valuable lesson that day. Leave married people alone. Looking back now, I don’t even remember his name. Time is funny.

If I’m being honest, I see the attraction to married men. They tend to have it together a bit more; they probably know how to cook and do laundry; if they have children, you can see their sensitive side. All of that is appealing to someone out there battling the dating scene. Yes I’m generalizing and yes there are plenty of really great single men out there too.

I’m not speaking from experience, as I’m not “in” the dating scene yet; but after a day on Tinder, I do know it is confusing out there. I get that Tinder is not really about relationships and more about the hookup, so I’m not sure what I expected. I guess I was still looking for the wooing and the charm. I’m old fashioned like that. I’m a lot of work. In hindsight, Tinder in Vegas was probably not the best setting for this experiment.

So what is next for me? I’m still trying to figure out how to unpack and keep the pups happy. Maybe dating is in my future, but I suspect that dating is more for 2020. Tinder is shut down for the foreseeable future. Right now, I’m focused on the other relationships in my life; family, trips with friends, the dog park, and most importantly the one with myself.

I cook and bake, know music and art. I have an amazing job that I’m pretty successful at, with a great company. I love unconditionally and look to connect with all kinds of people. I like adventure and traveling, good food and wine, and all kinds of fun. I listen and offer advice when necessary. I can be around musicians and C-Level execs and adapt as needed. I read and take any moment I can to learn. I will always put the people in my life on a pedestal and make sure they are living their best life. I’m also a klutz, silly, and often naive. All these things together make up the person I’m now rediscovering, and I keep reminding myself how great she is, and how much better she can become.

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