Okay, I did it. I went back to online dating. Four weeks, three apps and two dates later, I called it quits. It was the same nonsense all over again. There’s been no change in my experiences with – or opinion of – online dating. It works for some people, but apparently I’m still not one of them. And I have neither the energy nor the desire to continue with it. So I’ve kicked it to the curb for the hundredth time, and feel loads better as a result.
Here’s how it all went down this time.
I haven’t been on OkCupid for years. Back in the day it was the source of most of my online dates. Well, they’ve made changes and not for the better. You can still message anyone, but they can’t see your message unless they “like” you back. And the number of users has dropped precipitously. Last time there was an endless supply of matches. This time I exhausted all possibilities within a few days. I collected 35 likes but only one was mutual. Her profile didn’t give me much to work with, and this was our exchange:
Did we date once? Did we talk once? Was she trying to be funny? We certainly didn’t fuck, I know that much. But I never heard from her after that, so it will forever be a mystery. Two more weeks went by without any new matches or messages. All I had to show for my efforts was that head-scratching conversation.
Next up was Tinder. I never had much luck with it in the past and it was the same this time around. Little activity, lack of conversation, flakiness, suspiciously fake-looking profiles… Meanwhile I had over 50 matches on Bumble and a slew of conversations going. Goodbye, Tinder. I burned through many of my Bumble matches, not hesitating to unmatch with those who failed to impress. I was most popular with 28-35 year-olds and it didn’t take long to line up two back-to-back dates.
She was 35 and a police officer. Only a couple years older than myself but seemed more mature than that. Byproduct of her job, perhaps. We met at a sports bar for dinner and drinks and quickly settled into nice, easy conversation punctuated by a number of laughs. We seemed to be enjoying each other’s company. Midway through she casually mentioned she was recently divorced. This is the second or third time that’s happened on a date.
*theme from Jaws starts playing softly in the background*
Yeah, I’m starting to encounter this. Well, she didn’t mention having kids, so I guess it wasn’t as big a deal. Although, that’s something else I’ve been running into. There’s a number of single moms out there who don’t disclose they’re single moms until they think it’s safe. That happened several times during my latest stint on Bumble. Sorry, but your personality is not going to overcome my dislike of kids. Best to be upfront about it and not waste either of our time.
But I digress. We stayed there for an hour and a half, and then I suggested going across the street for brews and board games. It was a really cool spot and a popular hangout for people in our demographic. She enthusiastically agreed, but in between getting up from the table and reaching the exit she changed her mind, saying it was late and she ought to be going. I walked her to the parking lot and hugged her good night. She texted me the next day and we went back and forth a little, but eventually things dropped off and that was that.
This one was cute as hell – and she confided that she thought I was too – so I was pretty excited to meet her. We met at a cheesecake place near my house and I liked what I saw. She seemed a little more my speed, but the more we talked the more she appeared to be a homebody. Nothing much in the way of hobbies or activities either. Hmm. I wasn’t sure what I could do with her, although certain extra-curricular activities came to mind as I eyed her up and down. We called it a night after a couple of hours. The next day I invited her to see a band play at a brewery but she politely declined, claiming other commitments. Then she unmatched with me.
I wouldn’t really count this as a date. It was hardly even a meeting. I was suspicious from the start, since her Bumble profile was nothing but pics of her performing and links to her music website and YouTube videos. We talked music and she said I should come see her play at a bar that Saturday. I did, but when I got there I saw that I wasn’t the only one she invited out. I barely got to speak to her either. My hunch appeared to be correct. She was using Bumble to promote herself and her gigs. Not the first time I’ve run into that either. I’ve seen bartenders do the same.
I had two other hot prospects after that. I really wanted to meet them both, but for reasons unknown they suddenly stopped talking to me. One of them asked if I had an Instagram, which I thought was a little odd, then went quiet after I supplied my handle. I didn’t post anything untoward on there, so I don’t know what happened. The other unmatched with me after a few days of silence.
Eventually I ran out of Bumble matches, and I deleted the app a short while later. So I got that out of my system. I’m sure this is the point where my readers are going to suggest Match or Zoosk or Hinge or Coffee Meets Bagel or Duck Meets Goose or Nut Meets Bolt, or some other dating app. Not interested. I’m just going to do like my friend told me: “Don’t date. Just go out and meet people.” Which is exactly what I’ve been doing, and it’s already bearing some fruit. More on that in the next post…