Photo by Sabina Ciesielska
By Lois Burak
Well, here I am, 53 years old and single, starting to see some signs of age, and yet still loving the thought of what’s possible and what my future holds. Perhaps at a point of rebirth but this time I’m wiser, more grounded, and have run out of the time and patience required for nonsense.
Last night I ventured onto the dating app “Bumble”, an interesting name for such a thing. The lifespan of the average honey bee is a few months, is this how long I can expect a relationship to last?!
The last time I engaged in online dating Match.com was the leading site and the 40 something-year-old men were an angry mob looking to get laid and viewed most women as “gold diggers.” Countless interviews (I mean dates) revealed that these men wanted to re-live their 20’s and 30’s. They’d been wiped clean of their retirement plans and houses by child and spousal support and were pissed that they dedicated the last 20 years to a woman who chose to devalue their undying love and support to the nearest dollar.
What a great time for my single male friends. It was open season – women in search of their soulmate, feeling sexually liberated and desperate to find the new “Mr. Right.” Women who were forthcoming with their desired fairytale fantasy life posting on social media for any man out on the prowl to see. As women, we thought showing transparency and openly sharing every aspect of our life would garner the respect of our would be knight in shining armor. Our honesty, independence and eagerness to please would be more than enough to seal the deal. In truth this left us vulnerable to men looking for “ins.”
What do I mean by “ins”?
cartoon by Tim Cordell
Recently I listened to Jim Florentine’s podcast episode about browbeating and narcissists.
Jim’s been open about his ex-wife’s infidelity and although I hear hints of the angry man I was used to dating in my 40’s, I believe that he is dead on with his advice to single women. Jim spoke about how narcissists will use strategy when collecting information that will aid in the manipulation of their intended prey. He went on further to explain how the posts we make on social media and the things we say out loud open us up for the victimization of these wolves in narcissistic clothing.
What was learned from this Jim Florentine rant was to plead the fifth the next time I’m on a date or interested in someone. Maybe that’s not realistic and counter-productive to getting to know someone but when you think about the plethora of singles swiping right, odds are there’s a large percentage of opportunists and wolves lying in wait…. proceed with caution.
MY Thoughts on Swiping…
Frankly, it all seems so dismissive. I come from a world of theatre of the mind and what sound effects play when viewing these potential suitors as I swipe left.
I’m young at heart so I’m a little shaken by the fact that I’m doing this at an age where men list having “all of their own teeth” as an attribute. The first gentleman I spoke to is 58 and listed The Wharton School on his profile. He used a lot of acronyms (which I strongly dislike, takes me longer to decipher and acronym than it does to pick a potential date) and he kept referring to the new age of the 21st century. Perhaps in an attempt to show he’s down with the younger folks.
He immediately asked me what school I went to in our communication. Perhaps this is important in a job interview however at some point my high school and/ or college achievements shouldn’t account for how I’m viewed by others.
In further texted conversation I picked up that he loved the Philly nightlife – which frankly reminded me of the men I dated from ten years ago…. UGH. Perhaps, I am being too judgmental – but like I said, I’ve learned a few things.
In the end – I was bored. Not necessary with him but with the process in general. I loathe texting and frankly had no idea how to continue the conversation.
Perhaps I’m not ready – I like my time alone. When I dare to reflect I find that I enjoy being a part of something or someone’s life. I like feeling as if I’m a valued contributor. The impersonal touch of swiping left and right has removed some of what I enjoyed about meeting people.
Perhaps the answer is not on a dating app – rather it’s being more engaged in life. Maybe I should just get a dog.