In case you’re curious as to how my dating life is going…

I had this metaphor in mind for how online dating was like Pokemon Go, but not in a good way, because you catch all of the crazies and you don’t want to and then I realized I may not understand Pokemon Go and it all fell apart. But I also don’t really understand dating these days either, so maybe it does work? #fullcircle #inception

I know what you’re thinking – L, you are SUCH a catch. How on EARTH are you not spoken for yet? And to that I say – I guess this screen on my Bumble account speaks to that.

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Dating is exhausting. Or at least, thinking about dating is. Movies and TV shows where you just run into each other at the grocery or something are bullshit. I go to the grocery on the reg and have yet to be hit on. Even on days I don’t wear my yoga pants.

I just looked and it’s been over a year since I’ve updated you on my dating life. I’ve been on a good amount (in my mind anyway) of dates in that time. So I haven’t given up ALL hope. But you guys.

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I made the mistake of staying on Tinder until earlier this summer. Because I guess I needed attention.

About this time last year, I met a guy, Jared, through there who was in town for the week from work from Pennsylvania and I figured we’d get a drink, why not.

A drink turned into much more – including him continuing to text me once he went back to Pennsylvania and making plans to meet up when I went up to see my cousins because he was only a couple hours away. OH. And he managed to finagle his way onto another work trip down here a couple months after we originally met. He picked me up from the airport when I got back to Louisville, yes there was distance but we were seeing what happened because we’d had such good chemistry and conversation and stuff.

Example text, and in case you want to know my flirting style:

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Until he went back to Pennsylvania after that second visit and CEASED EXISTING BASICALLY.

The fuck?!

Aside – Will we ever be past ghosting? I hate it. So much. It’s a common theme these days. Because why actually tell someone how you feel when you can just disappear? HA. Feelings.

If only that was the end, y’all. But it wasn’t.

Earlier this summer, he apparently needed to feel better about himself and his shittiness so he messaged me on Facebook and acknowledged that he was an asshole and what he did was wrong. And that he regretted it because he liked me and he fucked up.

To all of that I said… Yup. You’re right. He asked if he could text me again and I allowed it because I wanted to see how far he would take the apology and try and figure out why he even bothered. We talked for about a week before, to nobody’s surprise, he disappeared again. I wrote a strongly worded message in response to that one and then sent three middle finger emojis the next time I got drunk. Because I am a classy lady that way.

Then I had this exchange and was done.

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In the winter, I changed it up and tried Bumble – a novel concept in that it’s basically Tinder but the girl has to initiate the conversation. No problem. I’m a feminist. Within a few weeks, I’d re-met someone from my high school who I kind of knew back in the day and he asked me out after a few days of talking.

We had an awesome first date – one of the best I’ve had in a while. Great conversation, a lot in common, he was really smart and I liked making out with him. Here’s the catch – he was unemployed. And living at home. I get extenuating circumstances and stuff, but the way he made it sound, he’d gotten fired. And he had no idea what he wanted out of a new job, his future, anything really.

I’m not nitpicky, but you gotta have some direction.

We went out a couple more times – had a conversation about how he was a horrible texter/communicator which should have tipped me off – and then he decided he didn’t want anything more serious than a hookup. Which I had to get him tell me after much prodding because he again, didn’t have his shit together in any way, really.

I deleted the app. Then re-added it.

Got some shit like this…

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I’m all about flirting but I’m not gonna play a game with you. Especially when I’m not entirely sure that it’s not gonna end in an unwelcome and unrequested dick pic.

A couple months ago I went on a couple dates and was talking fairly seriously – and fairly long, actually – with a guy from Indiana. That right there goes against everything in me, because Indiana.

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Long story short since hopefully you’re seeing the theme here… all was good until it wasn’t. Meaning three dates in he suddenly “didn’t have time to date right now.” Which is funny cause he was on an alleged dating site trying to meet people. To date. Allegedly.

So. In conclusion. I have trust issues. And need a break. And am taking one. I’m not going looking. A relationship can come find me. Maybe in the grocery.

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Tinderella

Once upon a time, like in any fairy tale, your heroine had had just about enough of trying to date the regular way. Fresh off the latest situation that had started out great and ended horribly (as they all do in these stories), she decided to try something new, because what the hell.

And by new, I mean free.

I’ve tried online dating a time or two before. And got frustrated. Mainly because I was having to PAY to be frustrated. No thank you.

Then I heard about Tinder. Free, and you only got a message (or the ability to message), if you both clicked that you liked the other person. Perfect, especially since in a fit of loneliness and too much rum I signed up for Plenty of Fish and was immediately sent four messages by two guys in their mid-50s (I do have an age limit) as well as one former magistrate, of a city I used to cover who obviously didn’t remember me and hit on me and he looks like a fat Hitler and I’m pretty sure has a felony record/is on the run from the law.

I made a profile, picked my best pictures (because it’s all about looks here, folks, ultimately and unfortunately). I reminded myself to be open-minded and picky but not PICKY. I tried to come up with the best short description of myself as I could and off we went.

For all its craziness I’ve encountered thus far, I will say Tinder can be awfully good for the self-esteem. Within minutes, guys I’d swiped right (that’s 2014/15 speak for liked/approved of) had apparently done the same for me because I had about 5 matches.

“Oh this’ll be good,” I thought to myself, trying to figure out if I wanted to message any of them first or if I’d wait and for once, not be the one doing any chasing.

Lo and behold, I got one.

Here’s how romantic it was…

Him: “Do you like dragons?”
Me: “Sure, I suppose.”
Him: “Good, because I’ll be dragon these balls across your face later.”

And then we got married and lived happily ever after.

PSYCHE.

There were the two separate military guys that each wanted me to drive down to meet them at a hotel outside Ft. Knox. We talked some, but nothing ever came of either one.

(New rule after too many long-distance things… wait for the one that wants to come to YOU.)

There was one that was looking for a dominatrix, basically, that I had to pass on as well.

Oh, and the one that after being normal for an hour and a half got my number and asked if I wanted to hook up, THAT NIGHT no less, and unmatched me immediately after on the site when I said that I was fine with just talking for now.

There’ve been a few high points – I’ve texted with a few, some for several weeks. But nothing so far has become anything more than that. But the stories and potential blog material are enough to keep me going.

Like this exchange with one:

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Yeah, why is his name like that in my phone? Well, because those are the three words that described him. He shares a Tinder account with two of the other guys who (in their mid-30s) dress like Ghostbusters all the time and often just go out to bars like that.

I’m all for cosplay, first of all, but this was a bit much, when he LITERALLY could not talk about anything else. And if I saw GB (Ghostbusters, duh) one more time I was going to scream. So I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt. I gently (which is hard for me, Queen of Bluntness), asked him to tell me some NON-GB stuff about himself.

Outside of the dressing up regularly as a movie character and going to the bars in town I despise, he seemed like a pretty decent guy. I was reaching, I know, but I gave him a chance. EVEN when he said he didn’t wanna have kids, ever, as seen above, which is a huge thing for me (because I want them. Multiple ones).

Obviously, however, as all good love stories do, it ended (for him anyway, it had ended for me a while before) when he randomly texted me two weeks after we hadn’t talked. In the text he told me he was getting back with his ex, because “People keep telling me to.” Well, that’s as good a reason as any, buddy, have a good one. Also please lose my number. And now I can never watch Ghostbusters again.

As I said before, I’ve tried to be open-minded. And I still am..haven’t given up completely. But these guys aren’t making it easy.

I’ve seen FOUR (count ‘em) guys I graduated high school with and three more that I knew in high school but were in grades above or below mine. I’ve seen 2 ex-boyfriends/hookups and four people I am friends with and see regularly or semi-regularly. So there’s that.

And I’ve noticed some trends.

— There are some 13-year-olds posting their age as 27 but then posting their actual pictures and blowing their own cover.
— There are a lot of weird names out there. Or definitely made up. And I don’t think I’ll date a white redneck boy named Trae, sorry. There are names I can’t get past.
— If you have four pics but they’re all the same picture – swipe left (means no for the uninitiated/uninformed).
— If your pic is a close-up of your eye I will think you are a serial killer.
— There are a ridiculous amount of open relationships (alleged, anyway) and couples looking for threesomes. Swipe left.
— I like tattoos, a lot. But if the only one you have is one on your back saying “Powder” and you can’t explain it, that’s a turn off.

So. We’ll see how it goes and what happens next. Will I find love? Stay tuned. For now, I have to go respond to the message I just got saying “What’s the square footage of Amazon?” Because that’s what happens if your bio says you know a lot of mindless trivia.

Wish me luck.

I came, I saw, I winked. And then I moved on.

One month. That’s how long it took me to decide.

It was a month when my insomnia came back full-force, when my anxiety moved from threat level yellow (where it stays most of the time) to red-orange or orange-red or whatever that crayon color is.

It was a month when I had paid $35 and all I was getting for my money was added stress. And that’s something I definitely don’t need.

Also, do you know how many drinks you can buy at the bar for that much? Like 6, if you tip a buck or so on each one. More if you’re buying beer.

So yeah, so I quit Match.

When my month I paid for runs out at the end of this week, I’m dunzo.

I cancelled my subscription last night and afterwards? Got the best night’s sleep I’ve had in a month.

It’s not for money reasons. It’s not because I got too impatient trying to find the “love of my life.” It’s because I didn’t like how it made me feel.

Now. I’m not knocking the process. I think there are some people that do well with that option when it comes to dating. And obviously, it works for them, because I know people that have met good people and have great relationships that started with an online dating site. But it’s just not for me.

In this past month, I have cared more about what strangers think of me than I have in a long, long, long, long time. And I let it determine how I felt about myself.

When I was in high school, and silly about relationships as high schoolers can sometimes be, I cared so much about what other people thought. My mood was often determined by one specific boy’s feelings – or lack thereof – about me. I worried about everything I said or did when it came to him because one wrong word, one wrong action would mean the end. It would mean something was wrong with me, never him. (When in reality, looking back, it was SO him. Always. Weirdo.)

That’s when I was 17. And here we are, 11 years later, and I’m back in that mindset. I was letting what was happening – or not happening, actually – on that site determine how I felt about myself.

“Oh, I sent him a message and he hit the ‘no thanks’ button. Something must be seriously wrong with me. Bet he thinks my picture is bad and I’m not pretty.”

I’m not proud of these thoughts, people, but they’re there. They’d been down to a very dull roar for such a long time, but within the last few weeks, there they were, clear as day.

And I debated all day about writing those thoughts above. Because I’m not looking for reassurance or to be built back up. I know the good things about myself. I know the bad things about myself. I know that I more than likely think there are many, many more bad things than others do. But this online dating thing brought all of these feelings back up.

It’s a different world on there. The regular way of meeting people, if there is one – through a friend, through a group you’re in, through work, at a bar – is taken away. This method is strictly based on looks and how well you sell yourself in a profile with limited words and pre-determined questions.

By looking at my profile, guys aren’t going to get that I’m funny. That I am a great friend, that I take care of those I love, that I have pretty eyes when you get up close and what I’m like in a relationship.

Instead they’ll get a few pictures of me I think actually turned out well and answers to questions like “Do you smoke? How often do you drink? What sports do you enjoy? Which of these five animals do you like?”

And then they determine if they want to email me more or cut me off completely? And I’m paying people to help me with this?

No thanks.

My shrink said if I decided to quit Match I should write about being an Online Dating Survivor. And I guess that’s what I’m doing right now.

Because I survived the experience. I got out before the anxiety and frustration and depression it brought on swallowed me whole.

Thank God.

The art of the profile

The other night I winked at a bagpiper. Virtually. Not in person. ‘Cause that would look like this.

Only more awkward.

The last time I encountered a bagpiper in person it was in the middle of the night outside a bar while we were waiting for cabs and I asked him why he was playing a bagpipe outside a bar in Lyndon at 3 a.m.

Of those that have winked at me, one just seems dead-set on seeing more pictures rather than learn anything else about each other and the other’s only picture was him with a Beanie Baby monkey on his shoulder. I shit you not.

I don’t hate, but if you have a Beanie Baby on your shoulder in your dating profile picture, even if you are attractive, I’m probably passing.

Don’t even say its not about looks because it partially is for everyone. And on these profiles you want to put your best picture out there because you want someone to think you’re pretty/good looking because that’s unfortunately the first step.

Please don’t get me wrong. I am severely lacking in the self-confidence department (which is funny because people have told me they think otherwise) in many ways, but I’m not bad to look at. But there’s also so much more besides what you see in a picture that makes me awesome.

So, ya know, the online thing‘s going well…. (“My ideal match must understand and speak fluent sarcasm.”)

What I’m learning each day when I get these new matches is that there’s a fine art that comes with making a profile. And there are things that you definitely should not do but there still seems to be a ton of. And I’ve seen several that are interesting and just as many that make me wonder WTF.

Dos and don’ts of an online dating profile:
Do: Put a picture of yourself
Don’t: Take said picture of yourself in the bathroom mirror. You are not a 14-year-old girl. At least you better not be.
Do: Choose photos that show what you like to do.
Don’t: Post 12 pictures of your face from various angles like the gallery is a flip book of you turning in a circle.
Don’t: post 10 pictures of your dog and one of you that’s about a mile away and hard to see.

Granted, it’s hard to fill out one of those things unless you really like talking about yourself and are super-confident and have lots of pictures of how hot you are (there are several on there that seem to think both of these things about themselves). But be yourself. My profile reflects me in real life. It’s funny, it’s sarcastic, it’s not overconfident and people can check it out.

So that’s where we’re at. For now. But you know I’ll keep y’all updated.

This is what I want

Remember how I told you about how I’m all independent and whatnot? That doesn’t mean I don’t still want what this song’s talking about – that feeling of when you’re in a new relationship or about to start one and you don’t want anything to mess it up. Just a kiss is all you need, no drama, do what you need to do to make it work, because you like this guy and you hope he sticks around.

Seriously I am crazy-addicted to this song right now and have decided I’m pretty much at the point where I love anything and everything Lady Antebellum does.

Life story

Wanna know what my last relationship quasi-relationship was like? And the one before that?

Listen to the lyrics of this song. And thanks to The Roommate for introducing me to it and telling me it could have been written by me. ‘Tis true, well, I mean, when you take out the “hers” and make them “hims,” of course.

I tell you what I want, what I really, really want

Yep. It’s a Spice Girls reference. And don’t judge, ’cause I know you liked them too. I remember some of their music videos, especially that first one where they just ran from room to room and then stood on some steps and sang. My sister had the CD.

But I didn’t like them enough to dedicate a whole blog post to ’em. This is about something else, entirely.

You see, I’ve been single. For quite a while. I’m not going to say how long because it’s kind of embarrassing and also there were a couple in there that were basically my boyfriend, we just never called it that.

And that’s fine. ‘Cause I am all kinds of I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T and not like the dumb girl in the Twilight books who is teaching young female readers that they need a boyfriend to feel worth anything in the world.

Sidenote: A couple weeks ago, someone tweeted a Stephen King quote that I liked. Whether he actually said it or not, it sums up why I hate those books and like Harry Potter so much. The quote was “Harry Potter is about doing what’s right in the face of adversity and Twilight is about how important it is to have a boyfriend.”

That’s not to say I don’t want one, because I do. I’ve just had so many bad/ridiculous/there’s-not-even-a-word-for-it experiences, I’ve gotten used to it being just me.

But know this. I am a catch. For serious.

I think I just miss the way it feels to be in a relationship. Or even just to start one. ‘Cause it’s hard to meet people after college. Meet people sober, anyway. You’ve got to go to a bar or something because, as someone recently – and wisely – said to me “Meeting each other by bumping into the other person’s cart in the grocery and other crap like that only happens in the movies.”

Or people try and set you up. Or say they will and don’t actually go through with it for whatever reason.

I miss those beginning moments the most. Like, my most serious relationship to date, when it started, it was great. We met at a party in college and after it was over, he walked me back to my dorm that night and said he’d call me the next day to hang out again.

Well, the whole day until that phone call? Butterflies. Not like the ones I got before we flew to London, I think that was gas. JK. But my stomach did hurt until we got to Paris…

Seriously, though. The butterflies thing really does happen. And that night, when he called? I had a huge dumb grin and after hanging up the phone jumped up and down like they do in cliche-filled romantic comedies. You know, after they’ve kissed and they close the door and one of them freaks out? Yeah. That was me. Only time in my life, so far, I’ve ever been like that.

I don’t know why I’ve thought about that lately. It’s not the guy – we’re long over. Friends, now, even though when we broke up it was bad. And he’s getting married in a couple months, which doesn’t bother me in the slightest.

And I know it’ll happen. Whenever it decides to happen. That’s what people keep saying and I guess I believe it.

I’m just so damn impatient.

Opposites attract

Proof that you don’t have to like the same kinds of things to be best friends.

Conversation is with a friend who will not be named, but know that girl’s got a booty on her.

Me: When I get engaged, I don’t think I want a ring.
Her: Really? I want one as big as my butt-cheek.

Smooth criminal

I don’t wear turtlenecks. I cut the necks on my hoodies so they aren’t so close to my neck. I don’t wear necklaces and when I do, they aren’t tight ones.

Why? Because all of those things make me feel like I’m choking. Seriously. Even t-shirts sometimes feel too tight around my neck and I’ll stretch them a little.

Well, apparently, this all means something about my past life, if you believe in that sort of thing. You see, my aunt went with a friend to get their tarot cards read – which I’ve done before, but more on that in a minute – and the lady she went with had the same issue, she didn’t like things around her neck. The woman reading her tarot cards said she knew why that was, she’d been hung in a past life.

Hung. Like for a crime. So if that’s the case, that is what happened to me, apparently, in my past life. Maybe so. That would explain my fascination with COPS and Law and Order and Lockup and all these other crime and criminal and cop shows. I’ve even said before that I must have been a cop or criminal in a former life because I’m so intrigued by that stuff.

But what did I do, I wonder…

I got my tarot cards read once. She didn’t say anything about my apparently criminal past, but she did tell me a lot about relationships in my life. I’m a skeptic. I don’t get my cards read ever – this was the first time. I don’t get my palm read, I don’t live my life by my horoscope, though I do look at it from time to time. I don’t think tarot cards are from the devil, nor do I think you should live your life according to what the cards say. But it was cool to see what she said, and she definitely made me think. The girl that read my tarot cards didn’t know me at all or anything about me other than my name and even though she told me a bunch of things that “could happen” in my future, she also told me a couple things about myself that surprised me because, like I said, she didn’t know me AT ALL.

She told me I went through a change not that long ago, living in a quiet place to living in a busy place and not having much free time. True – moved from boring O-town back to Louisville and now am super-busy all the time. She told me I have great friends – DUH – that are all successful in what they do – DUH again – and they make me happy. True.

Then, she told me the other stuff. Like that I was single (um, duh) and that while it was good for me financially at the moment to not have to worry about paying for things for another person, it’s also something that’s been bothering me. Which is kinda true. I do get a little lonely sometimes. But anyways. She said it will happen but it will take time to get there – obviously, it’s taken some time already. And THEN, she said she saw me in a relationship with someone in a uniform, and they were involved with the military or law. (Hmmm, Hot Scott is a cop…)

There was a bad card that said me or whoever this mystery man is will get in a minor accident, but only if our relationship is in disharmony.. but all in all, I thought the whole tarot card thing was pretty interesting. I’m not gonna worry about it and when things will or won’t come true that she talked about, but it was something to think about.

Speaking of things to think about – seriously, what did I do to deserve being hung in my past life? Was I a famous criminal? Was I an outlaw? A bank robber? I want to know.