I used to go on a lot of Tinder dates. For me, they usually lacked any real passion or connection. They had a banality to them, a white noise hum like a fluorescent light.
I didn’t want to date a fluorescent light.
Call me old fashioned but there’s a certain spontaneity and excitement in going out with a person that you just met and don’t know anything about. Maybe you bumped into them in line at a cafe, or you caught them reading your favorite book when you were returning your rentals at the library. Maybe you got set up with a friend of a friend that you knew nothing about but you thought, “Sure, why not.”
There was no swipe right and match, no orderly list of commonalities before you two started talking. There was just two people sharing a quaint, serendipitous moment. A happenstance occasion that starts with the thought who’s this and ends with what’s next.
For me that’ll always be more fun than looking at online dating profiles while I’m taking my morning deuce. And isn’t that what dating and getting to know another human being is about – having fun with them?
For roughly a year in my life, all the girls that I went out with I met through Tinder. Everyone is different, and I’m certainly not looking down on online dating. What took me almost an entire year to realize, though, was that the reason I was using Tinder so exclusively was because I was avoiding putting myself out there in front of the girls that I knew I was truly interested in. That sounded waaaay too vulnerable for me.
I had just gone through a break-up, a year prior, with someone who I really cared for. I think I needed some time to heal and build my confidence back up.
But, searching for romance and being unwilling to go outside my comfort zone lead me to continue swiping away on my little fluorescent screen. And so the litany of tepid bath water dates continued.
Of course, they weren’t all bad. Some of the people I met up with, we knew right away that we weren’t compatible in that way. And so I also made some new friends.
There was just a certain fire of desire – a fashion of passion – that wasn’t showing up between us.
It took me a year and a countless amount of not so great dates to realize that maybe the reason that none of these dates were turning into lasting relationships was because I was the common denominator in them.
That maybe I was writing these girls off before I ever even really got the chance to know them. Maybe I knew deep down that I wasn’t interested in them enough to even be going out with them in the first place.
Maybe I was just biding my time. Maybe they were too.
You know that feeling you get when you kiss someone and the whole world just fucking stops?
You know the feeling I’m talking about.
When the moment before locking lips your heart feels like a trapped rabbit in a corner and the moment you kiss there’s such a wild chemistry between the two of you that it literally feels like fireworks are erupting above your heads.
That feeling – missing that feeling – was ultimately what had me uninstall Tinder and return to the land of socializing, authentic single people.
Because without putting my ego aside and talking to the women that I’m truly interested in – the kind that, frankly, I never bumped into on Tinder – I had no shot of ever enjoying that feeling again.
And I gotta say, putting myself out there again, starting up conversations with all sorts of people that I don’t know, riding that little wave of excitement every time I get the opportunity to give genuine interest in another person: It feels great.
I don’t want a fluorescent light.
I want fireworks.
Beautiful, loud, sometimes a little bit scary and definitely surreal.
And I think everyone else does too.