Sunday, 24 August 2014

The Low Down (aka Give Phil Dunphy a Chance)

I decided to wait on filling you in about the Tinder dates until I had gone on both of them. I feel like since I went on two dates, they're automatically set up to be compared, and since I'm not sure I can actually date two guys at once, I figured one would cancel the other out somehow. I was wrong. They were equally...nice (I'm using the word nice here as a euphemism for "completely underwhelming"). Crap.

I've been fortunate in my years of singleness - I've never really had a bad date. I've had some that were boring, uneventful, maybe a little awkward, but never a date I would classify as awful. These dates lived up to that standard. 

Date #1, lunch with J, was fine. Nice guy, decent conversation, similar interests, bit of a bland sense of humour, but overall not a bad time. There was some awkwardness when the bill came...I'm about to crush the feminist agenda in one fell swoop here, I'm kind of old fashioned. You're a guy, you asked me out, and you have a good-paying job. You pay. I don't have a problem pulling my weight in a relationship and paying for my share...but this felt like a stand-off to see who would cave first. I'm also stubborn, so out of almost pure competitiveness I didn't want to give in. And I won. 

Date #2, afternoon drinks with D, turned out to be afternoon tea and sushi, which was nice. Again, nice guy, decent convo, better sense of humour and more sarcastic which is more up my alley, but same thing - it was a nice date. He's better looking than J, or at least I found him more attractive, so I suppose that puts him ahead marginally, but I got into my car feeling I had hyped myself up too I was expecting to enter the restaurant and "bam!" meet the man of my dreams.

I wonder sometimes if I'm waiting for a connection (spark, "Wow!" factor, je ne sais quoi...whatever you want to say) that leads me to have unrealistic expectations when I meet someone. Should nice be enough? Do I give Phil Dunphy a chance? (As one of my BFFs lectured me to do since I apparently need to give nice, nerdy guys a shot...but Phil Dunphy is, well, Phil Dunphy - ridiculously oblivious yet also hilarious - a girl should be so lucky!) Side note: having been a fan of Modern Family for quite some time, I feel like if I came across a truly Phil Dunphy-esque guy, I would certainly give it a go, if for no other reason than he would keep me thoroughly entertained! But I digress...

Does it get any better than this!?
I met someone once who changed everything in terms of what I thought I wanted (and deserved) in a relationship. We had a whirlwind vacation romance while I was traveling in South Africa (he is, or was, a winemaker there). It was honest-to-God love at first sight. I'm a big believer in your gut instincts - mine has always served me well (when I listen to it...) - and when I met gut dropped to the floor and my jaw did as well. He wined and dined me (and confirmed what a dud my recent ex had been in the sack) and I fell in love. Hard. To the point where it crushed me to go home and I wanted to move to South Africa. After a total of two weeks together. Crazy? Absolutely. It was insane. It was also imperfect, coloured by the utopia you create when you're traveling, and it didn't last. What has lingered, even after six years (the last three or four of which we haven't corresponded at all), is that feeling. The feeling when we were introduced as we unpacked our car and dragged our packs into his house - was electric. The English language has no appropriate words to describe it, all I can come up with are inadequate clich├ęs like, "time stood still," "there was only he and I," "my heart stopped,"...blah blah blah. It was breathtakingly amazing, and I still think about him...more often than I care to admit.

There have been some close calls, but no one has ever made me feel exactly that way. I waited a long time...but I've since realized I never will feel like that again, not precisely. That relationship - the entire heart-bursting experience of it - lives in a bubble, protected from reality. I've come to think of it as a once-in-lifetime occurrence...except that I still sometimes feel like I'm waiting. Do I give that feeling up? Is it unrealistic to think that kind of connection will once again come along and knock me off my feet? Does that kind of feeling always instantly ignite? Or do I need to give it time to smolder a little? If so...does that mean that while the two dates I had this past week were...nice...I should pursue a second or third encounter to truly give Phil Dunphy a chance? (However brutal this may sound, as nice as these guys are, they're like a boring version of Phil Dunphy. So they're really not Phil Dunphy at all...soooooo...I shouldn't pursue a second date?)

These are the things swirling in my brain at 4:30 am on a night I give the nice guys another go? Or do I go with my gut? Which is telling me, despite having walked away from nice guys in the past and later wondering if that was right, to politely decline a second date and keep going until someone grabs hold of my heart and won't loosen their grip. The question that always creeps into my mind at this point much longer do I have to wait for someone to grab hold and hang on?


Thursday, 21 August 2014

It's going down...

I'm yelling Tinder!!! (I now present you with a challenge: listen to Ke$ha. And resist inserting Tinder where timber should be in the song. It's impossible. I found a parody called Tinder on YouTube but it was kind of horrible. Me belting it out in the car whilst demonstrating my sick car-dancing moves...well that's possibly just as horrible but waaaaaay more entertaining. No, there will not be a link to a video of that. I'm not that crazy.)

I downloaded Tinder. Again. For about the fourth time. So really, I've re-downloaded it. The original download occurred during a summer patio sesh at a local pub where I was celebrating finally being able to call myself an ICU nurse. It was entertaining...flicking left or right through a bevvy of apparently available single men, getting a little rush of excitement from matching with someone. Then that second of weakness I get when I consider online dating passed, and I decided that Tinder is just as bad as eHarmony or or any other number of dating sites. So I erased it.

Then I had another second of weakness. So I re-downloaded it. And erased it. And re-downloaded it. And erased it. And met an adorable couple who got together through Tinder (and watched that hilarious Conan clip) I had my second of weakness, but actually thought about online dating with a little more scrutiny. And re-downloaded Tinder.

I've decided that Tinder is the laziest, and purest, form of online dating. Allow myself to explain...myself. (How does anyone go through a day and not quote Austin Powers at some point?)

Tinder is lazy. You download the app, connect to your Facebook profile, and voila! Profile created. There are no questionnaires, no surveys, no agonizing over your profile and how to describe yourself (which, if you read my previous post, you know I haaaaaaaaate trying to do). And then all you have to do is flick your thumb right or Or dislike? So easy. Online dating (which seems almost a little lazy to begin with since you do it from the comfort of your home) for the lazy!

Tinder is also...the purest form of online dating. Let's face it. Before you read through the thousand-word essay someone has carefully crafted to describe themselves on eHarmony, you look at their picture. And you pass judgment. You decide whether or not you find the person attractive enough to plow through the rest of their profile, which may or may not add to that initial attraction. Maybe their witty profile is just not enough to make up for the fact that their one and only picture is of them kissing their biceps (or maybe that just adds to their perceived wit and you're down with machismo dudes). Perhaps they are excessively good looking and witty but dammit, there's Crocs in every picture! Let's face it - Crocs are a make-or-break thing. If that's the best pair of shoes you can find for introducing yourself to the online community, we are not meant to be together. So what's the difference between me judging your Crocs on Tinder versus the rest of the online dating venues? (Maybe it's because Tinder is supposed to be the straight version of Grindr and that lends it to having a less-than-favourable perception as a legitimate dating app...) Whether you want to admit it or not, you're going to judge anyone you meet, online or otherwise, by their appearance. When it comes to searching out a romantic relationship is there a point to pursuing someone if you're not physically attracted to them? No. So why not cut out all the mumbo jumbo and just look at someone and decide - swipe right? Or swipe left?

It's possible that I feel the need to justify my download of Tinder, because it was conceived as a hook-up app for straight people. Maybe I'm looking for love in all the wrong places (pretty much par for the course for me really). But after a few weeks of perusing the app and a few convos with potential suitors, I've decided that I like it. People are going to judge me the same way I'm judging them, and so be it. I'm not everyone's cup of tea (I'm kidding, of course I am! Who is actually going to swipe left when they see adorable little old me!? Again - where is that sarcasm font when you need it). If they see something they like, they'll swipe right. If I see the same potential, I'll swipe right too. And when they request a nudie pic and ask if I'm DTF tonight, I'll unmatch them. Or when their opening message is "sup babe." I'm a stickler for grammar. And proper spelling. And don't call me babe, we aren't dating and you've just ensured we will never have sex.

Also, I have more dates scheduled for one day due to Tinder than I have had in total for the past few months. So...there's that.


If Conan and Dave Franco are doing it...

How can I not be?

Answer: Because I keep erasing it from my phone after deciding that it's silly. And then re-downloading it because it's also insanely addicting. And then I erase it again because I come across statements like, "Tinder is a product of the socially isolated times in which we live" in articles like this.

And then I read something encouraging from GQ and I think, well...why not? "After talking to people about their experiences, I realize that to think about marriage is to completely miss the point of Tinder. The app is about the world around you, the people in your immediate vicinity and the desires of a particular moment."

Indeed, GQ. Who knows where a particular moment will take you?