I’m going to drop a bomb on you right out of the gate.
I recently survived a year-long vow of celibacy.
Pick your jaw up off the floor and bear with me, because the last month has reminded me why I took that vow in the first place.
About a month ago I decided I was ready to start dating again.
I stumbled around Bumble as the true rookie that I am. I didn't know the difference between swiping left and swiping right or honestly what swiping really even meant. So after some convincing, a couple girlfriends got me to create a Bumble account and give this swiping thing a go.
I worked diligently on making the perfect profile. The best pictures. The best bio. And one night I loaded up the coffee table with snacks, put on my comfies, grabbed the pup and hunkered down for a night of swiping.
An hour in and I start getting “matches.”
*So some background on Bumble. It’s apparently a lot like Tinder (which I can’t vouch for beings I never used a dating app prior to this experience). But what makes Bumble special is that only women can contact men. So no creepy messages unless the woman initiates it. You have 24 hours to contact a match or they disappear into oblivion forever. Pressure is on right? *
So where was I?
Oh yeah, Swipe-Night.
So I start getting these matches and I'm admittedly excited to see the faces of these doctors and pilots and lawyers and gym-going hard-bodies that I had decided were worth keeping. I start opening them…and one by one I realize, it’s all the guys I DIDN’T LIKE. I was SWIPING THE WRONG WAY for over an hour.
In panic I threw my phone across the living room as if it were a spider crawling across my hand. Well, there goes that idea. Rookie mistake. And one I’m not willing to make again. Time to find a better way...
I quit drinking at the same time I quit guys. So meeting them presented its own difficulties. I have no problem going to a bar. But men are a lot less attractive without beer goggles. And what woman wants to take home a drunk man? So that leaves work. The dog park. The gym. Not a lot of options. And I’m not one to seek out a mate. This is something I firmly believe will happen when it’s meant to.
So then I see him. I’m at a work event and he’s employed by the client. He’s charming. He’s handsome. And I can’t pull the trigger. So I flirt until it’s time to leave and then dedicate my night to trying to find him on social media. I fail. So I wait until the next time we work side by side and tell myself I WILL make a move if he still isn’t wearing a ring.
Long story short, I got his card. I messaged him. We hit it off. Set up a date for later that week. I’m on cloud nine. But something in my gut says…NOPE. Oh come ON! I did not just step that far out of my comfort zone to have my damn intuition tell me to back up a few steps. So I called in the forces. We’ll call them my friends in low places. And they search out a little info on his background for me.
He was just released from a three-year stint in prison for assault, theft & robbery.
I won’t get into what it was exactly that he did but it wasn’t something you can really look beyond– even after three years in the slammer to think about it. And he had a no-contact order against him that was unrelated. So needless to say I cancel the date. And while you would think the story ends there, it doesn’t.
He changes his relationship status on Facebook THE NEXT DAY to in a relationship.
Wow, I picked a winner.
So guy number two is waiting in the wings. And with impeccable timing sends me an Instagram message a few days after disaster number one. My first reaction – be cold. Be abrasive. There are very few things I dislike more than being hit on via social media. But something tells me to be nice. So we talk for a bit. We exchange numbers. And for three straight days we talk from the time we wake up until we say goodnight. He’s successful (like REALLY successful). He doesn’t drink. He has three dogs. He volunteers his time in the community. He goes to the gym. He uses complete sentences and spells everything correctly. He sends flowers and swings by my apartment and work with my favorite energy drink. He takes me out to dinner and never once looks at his phone. He’s perfect.
So I know there’s got to be something wrong with him.
This is too good to be true.
And it was.
One short week into our whirlwind romance I discover what I’d been dreading.
Oh but don’t you dare for a second think that’s where this disaster ends.
She knows about me. And he wants me to be fiance number two. Yep, I was invited to be a part of a polyamorous relationship (not to be confused with swinging or some weird polygamist cult). Polyamory is having a committed relationship with more than one person with all parties knowing and being okay with it.
I won’t lie, it almost sounded appealing. I actually contemplated it.
But my strong feminist heart, as much as it liked being spoiled with little gestures and showered with compliments and attention, just couldn’t do it.
I’m the boss. And I’ve worked far too hard and far too long to allow a man to call the shots.
So I’m back to square one. And as I sit here typing this watching my flowers wilt on the corner of my desk, I can’t help but laugh. Because what I’ve learned in this last month of dipping my toes in the dating pool is this:
I know what I’m worth. I know what I want. And no amount of charm, no amount of money, no amount of empty compliments will convince this beautiful, independent woman to settle for anything less than what I deserve.
I’m a catch boys. Let’s go fishin’.