The Dating App

To: Anonymous
Subject: The Dating App
I’ve been divorced for nine years and have not dated anyone in seven.  I am a busy person:  teaching full-time, raising three kids on my own, taking care of a house and yard and other obligations that come up each day.   I like being by myself, and I consider myself an independent woman.  Most days, I’m content to take care of business, go home, soap up in the shower and hop into my jammies.
Then there was the dating app.  I don’t often feel unfulfilled and in a moment of weakness, when I was thinking there must be something more than PJ’s and ice cream, I hatched a plan to inquire about dating sites. If nothing else it would be entertaining.  It took me a couple of days to get the information I needed from a friend who participates and work up my nerve.   It was simple.  Go to the app store, download, put up a few pictures,  a quick bio,  and start swiping.  In retrospect it was not one of my most thought out adventures.
Wow!  That’s all I can say.  I learned a lot in a very short amount of time.  For one, people come into town, and they don’t even bother with the small talk.  They text “Hi do you want to meet up?”  with not even an insincere caring or inquiry for how I might be feeling.  Then there are the folks who don’t want to text through the app they ravenously  jump in for your phone number and address (are you kidding, possible psycho killers—Qu’est-ce que c’est—fafafafafafafafa–a little Talking Heads digression)  And then there was Tom, yep, we both swiped right and we texted back and forth.  Through the app, I might add.  Tom didn’t ask for my phone number, he was from nearby but he didn’t have me pinpoint where I lived, he was funny and according to him, he even had a job.  Tom and I texted back and forth for about a week, maybe every other day?
And suddenly my attitude changed, or surfaced, or just came to be.  My son was at his dad’s house, I had some down time and I wanted to watch Scandal on Netflix, eat my salad on the sofa in my PJ’s, maybe have a beer or maybe a cappuccino… Just as I was getting comfy and cozy, there it was–the notification!  Tom pinging away on my phone!  I felt my stomach flip with nausea, I probably sighed audibly or maybe dropped the f bomb, and suddenly, just like that, Tom became the obligation I just didn’t want.  I deleted the app.
Through this very brief encounter, I not only learned about all of the sex fiends and creepers that exist out there, I also learned something about myself.  I’m okay alone, and when it comes right down to it,  I’d rather be alone than struggle to make small talk through dating app texting.  Getting to know someone this way just isn’t for me.  I don’t feel like enduring the formalities of  talking with a stranger.  Harsh I know, but I’m calling a spade a spade.   (I guess it is important to stress here that I’m not knocking dating apps, sex fiends, or anyone who enjoys using and meeting people this way.  I’m also not equating all people who use dating apps with sex fiends.  Going yet a step further I’m not saying there is anything wrong with sex fiends.   I’m just stating the feelings that I had while using a dating app.)   I’m not opposed to meeting someone, but I’m thinking, for me,  it may need to be the old-fashioned way and possibly happen over time so that I don’t even notice the commitment building.  Maybe instead of a forced obligation, a friendship forms into something I value and, in turn, would be ready to give up Scandal for.  Obviously I take today’s term Netflix and Chill literally (and I mean literally the way Webster defines it , not as a synonym for figuratively, as seems to be the word’s new meaning).
Genuinely, Gina


This article was re-posted from Gina’s blog Emails to Anonymous